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
MyMedic™ And Veterans Charity Ride Deliver Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) To Sturgis, South Dakota First Responders
When facing challenging times, Americans seek out ways to help one another. They rally together and support those in need. That is precisely what MyMedic™ and Veterans Charity Ride did on on Friday, August 7th 2020, when they delivered a supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) to first responders in Sturgis, South Dakota. Due to a lack of funding and access needed to purchase and maintain proper PPE, first responders are showing up to emergency calls inadequately protected from exposure to COVID-19.
Veterans Charity Ride is a veteran operated non-profit organization that uses “motorcycle therapy” to help fellow veterans adjust to post-war life. Veterans (nominated through the VCR website) enjoy the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding on an all-expense-paid cross-country adventure of a lifetime. The VCR motorcycle ride began in Moab, Utah, July, 28th and arrived in Sturgis, SD, on Friday, August 7th, 2020.
This year VCR is taking things a step further with its “service before self” initiative. This effort will directly offer support and appreciation for our nation’s first responders and professional medical workers, who have been working the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Veterans Charity Ride (VCR), started by veterans for veterans, is a non-profit organization that delivers Motorcycle Therapy and additional life changing, life-saving holistic programs specifically designed to assist wounded and amputee combat veterans with their needs and the issues they deal with on a daily basis. Helping our fellow veterans through outreach, action, activities, education and follow-up is what drives our organization. The end result of our program is a healthier and happier, more capable individual, who is now living life in a much better physical and mental condition, and able to help and support other veterans to do the same. Visit veteranscharityride.org to learn more and support this worthy cause.
A family-operated First Aid Kits, Supplies, and Training company based on the objective to save lives, and is driven by a goal to prepare everyone with equipment and training for the unexpected emergency. Based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, MyMedic™ believes everyone should have instant access to a life-saving First Aid Kit. Visit MyMedic™ to learn more and follow @MyMedicofficial
America’s First Motorcycle Company & America’s First Registered Distillery Celebrate Quality, American Craftsmanship with Jack Daniel’s® Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster® Dark Horse®
Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, and Jack Daniel’s®, America’s first registered distillery, along with Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, today introduced the newest addition to its limited-edition series: the Jack Daniel’s® Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster® Dark Horse®. For the fifth-consecutive year, the three American brands have united to celebrate American craftsmanship through an exclusive offering of Jack Daniel’s-inspired Indian motorcycles.
This year’s model was carefully designed to embody Jack Daniel’s® Gentleman Jack®, a premier example of the legendary whiskey maker’s meticulous crafting process. A nod to the brand’s original gentleman distiller, Gentleman Jack himself, this special whiskey is double-charcoal mellowed for an exceptionally smooth finish, perfect for celebrating life’s finest moments and the people we share them with. Gentleman Jack® is aged in handcrafted oak barrels, adding a strong but balanced oak flavor, topped off with subtle notes of caramel and vanilla. Out of consideration for the fine crafting process of Jack Daniel’s® Gentleman Jack® whiskey, the Jack Daniel’s® Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse carries many attributes that reflect the distillation and aging process, such as the bike’s custom Whiskey Pearl paint scheme and oakwood accents inspired by the rich and elongated Jack Daniel's® mellowing process.
“We are honored to continue our relationship with Jack Daniel’s and Klock Werks and are excited to again celebrate American craftsmanship and ingenuity through this collaboration of three iconic American brands,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “The Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse is our most premium touring motorcycle and, much like Gentleman Jack, represents the ultimate commitment to quality and craftsmanship, while offering the widest range of premium features and riding technology.”
With only 107 produced globally, the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse is like nothing else on the road. All-new, one-of-a-kind features offered on the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse include the following:
Exclusive, One-of-a-Kind Design
With attention to detail worthy of a gentleman, the crafting process of Gentleman Jack whiskey is illustrated throughout the bike’s design. A custom two-tone Whiskey Pearl paint was inspired by Gentleman Jack’s double charcoal mellowing process, while unique Oakwood ceramic engine finishes deliver a premium, custom-inspired aesthetic, exclusive to this bike only. In addition, the bike’s fine details include premium Gentleman Jack engraved floorboards, custom Jack Daniel’s branding on the seat, tank and lowers, and a numbered Montana Silversmith badge signifying the limited nature of this model.
New Ride-Enhancing Technology
The Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse will debut Indian Motorcycle’s all-new Pathfinder Adaptive LED Headlight and Pathfinder S LED Driving Lights. The new adaptive headlight senses the bike’s lean angle and activates individual LED projector beams to provide unprecedented visibility. With 15 individual LED lenses that adjust in real-time to bike lean angle, patent pending technology, and the industry’s first adaptive high-beam feature, the Pathfinder Adaptive LED Headlight delivers unparalleled illumination of the road ahead – whether upright and traveling in a straight line or leaned over to carve a turn.
Furthermore, the 2021 limited-edition model will debut Indian Motorcycle’s ClimaCommand Rogue heated and cooled seat. With authentic Jack Daniel’s badging embroidered on the premium Genuine Leather seating surfaces, the seat delivers a sleek, modern look, while also allowing riders to conveniently manage heating and cooling settings via the Ride Command infotainment system. The ClimaCommand Rogue Seat uses a proprietary thermoelectric technology to cool or heat the seat, while a flexible graphene material optimizes the distribution of heating or cooling for both the rider and passenger.
Riders will also receive the luxuries of the industry leading Ride Command infotainment system, now with Apple CarPlay® integration, as well as traffic and weather overlays, controls for Bluetooth and USB audio source, navigation and extensive customization capabilities.
The new limited-edition Jack Daniel’s Roadmaster Dark Horse comes standard with a full suite of premium amenities, including an upgraded 600-watt PowerBand audio system, heated hand grips, an adjustable flared Klock Werks windscreen, and remote-locking saddlebags and trunk. The bike’s slammed saddlebags and precision machined wheels, with a 19-inch front, delivers a more modern style and design for the rider who demands the best. Powering the bike is the Thunderstroke 116, air-cooled V-twin engine – delivering a best-in-class 126 ft-lbs of torque. The high-performing engine includes a six-speed transmission and electronic fuel injection.
“The new limited-edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse truly embodies the spirit of Gentleman Jack – premium by design, attention to detail, and a smooth finish,” said Greg Luehrs, sponsorships and partnerships director for Jack Daniel’s. “Each year, we receive incredible feedback on the limited-edition collaboration, and this year, the team truly out-did themselves.”
Each Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse will come with a custom Montana Silversmith Belt Buckle in a display case. Each custom gift will come engraved with the owner’s name, motorcycle number (#001-#177) and VIN.
The Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse starts at $38,999 and is available to order through an Indian Motorcycle dealership. For more details on how to order, visit or call your local Indian Motorcycle dealership. Each bike will be built to order as a model year 2021 with delivery starting in September 2020.
Chris Dyson led all the way on Saturday morning at Road America, surviving a pair of restarts to capture his first Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli victory of the season. The multi-class race saw action deep through the field, as Ken Thwaits (XGT), Lee Saunders (SGT), and Tim Horrell (GT) each claimed class victories at the fabled Wisconsin circuit.
Driving the No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang, Dyson held off Ernie Francis Jr. to win by 8.19-seconds for his fifth career victory, and first since beating reigning champion Francis Jr. in the 2019 season finale at Daytona as the duo fought for the title.
"The car was absolutely fantastic the whole race, from start to finish." Dyson said. "The Plaid Mustang was brilliant and Pirelli tires were strong the whole way. I got a bit nervous on the last restart, because you can never take anything for granted in this series. We came here to win, and this was big for the team.
“I just want to say thanks to everyone at the Trans Am Series and Road America in a difficult circumstances for putting on a great show for us and holding this wonderful event,” Dyson added. “This is one of my all-time favorite tracks. It’s one of the greatest tracks in the whole world and being here every summer is just an absolute gift – especially this year.”
Dyson was on his second engine of the weekend, having lost power shortly after taking the checkered flag in his pole-winning qualifying session on Friday. The team spent much of the night installing the new engine.
Francis Jr. took second on the last lap, 13.129-seconds behind in the No. 98 One South Florida Wealth Advisors Ford Mustang when Tomy Drissi spun in Turn 9 while making a final bid to catch Dyson. Francis ran second in the early going before encountering mechanical problems which plagued his team throughout the weekend.
"We had a really tough weekend here at Road America," said Francis Jr. "It didn't really have the reliability that we wanted and just had a bunch of issues that we've been fighting. Just have to say thanks to my Breathless Racing team, they've sticking it through no matter what. We barely made any of the practice sessions and went out late for qualifying. We thought we finally got the One South Florida Wealth Advisors car sorted for the race. The car was strong at the beginning, but we had an electrical gremlin that shut down a cylinder in the engine about mid-way through the race, and we fell off the pace a little bit. Can't be too upset though about a second-place finish."
Drissi ran the fastest lap of the race – 2:06.655-seconds – and was bidding for his second-consecutive victory. However, he fell all the way back to sixth on the final lap in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro following his spin.
“The car started coming into us late in the race, so when I saw that full course yellow I thought 'Hey man we can take this race,'” Drissi said. “Dyson got a good restart, but I started reeling him in going into Turn 5 and Turn 6, thinking I could pressure him into a mistake. Then at the same time, I should have thought of big picture. With Ernie behind me we would have been tied for the championship right now. I am just bummed out right now. It's just a frustrating thing for the whole team.”
Local favorite Cliff Ebben finished third – 17.848-seconds back in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang,
"I am happy with my podium finish today at my home track, it's nice to be driving with Trans Am again," said Ebben. "Like they always say, it’s better to be lucky than good, and today I was lucky. After the first few laps I was out there all by myself, so it wasn't too eventful, but it was fun at the beginning and at the end, just like it should be."
Ebbens was followed by Simon Gregg in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro and Wisconsin-native Denny Lamers in the No. 66 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang. Lamers was the TA Masters class winner.
It was a brief and heartbreaking day for Amy Ruman. Her No. 23 McNichols Company Corvette stalled on the start. She took the green on pit road but broke the transmission and was towed to the paddock without completing a lap.
There was a brief caution coming out on Lap 2 for the stopped No. 15 Franklin Road Apparel Audi T8 LMS Ultra. Francis Jr. took second from Drissi on the opening lap, and then challenged Dyson for several laps following the restart. Drissi was running a strong third, but encountered traffic at tough locations on several instances to slow his progress.
The complexion of the race changed just before halfway when two class contenders went out on the 12th lap. Lou Gigliotti’s No. 28 G2 Performance Corvette lost a tire while running second in SGS. Moments later, Erich Joiner’s XGT pole-winning No. 10 Championship Coffees and Tool Porsche 911 GT3.R dropped out while leading the class.
That turn of events opened the door for Ken Thwaits, who led the rest of the way for his second career – and second consecutive – XGT victory in the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
"These are long races, and anything can happen," Thwaits said. "All I was trying to do was run as hard as fast as I could and hang around until the end to bring it home. It wasn't a very tiring race. I am fresh as a daisy and can do it again if someone asked me to!”
Saunders swept to his 11th career victory and third SGS triumph of the campaign in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper.
"We really pushed hard all weekend, and we are really proud to be here," Saunders said. "It was exciting to take the win here at Road America."
Gigliotti’s problems left Saunders with a four-second lead in SGS. Adrian Wlostowski ran second in the No. 96 F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang for 10 laps before pulling off with a mechanical problem with five laps remaining, bringing out the second full-course caution. That elevated Carey Grant to second in the No. 6 Grant Racing 2 Porsche 911.1 GT3 Cup, followed by Milton Grant in the No. 55 Sentry Self Storage Porsche 911.1 GT3 Cup. Larry Bailey finished fourth in the No. 02 Logical Systems/Sam Pierce Chevy Corvette, and was the Masters SGT champ.
Rookie Tim Horrell scored his second GT class victory of the season in the No. 45 Breathless Racing Porsche GT4 Clubsport, placing 10th overall in the 21-car field. The Breathless Racing team spent the night fixing Horrell’s car, with the front end smashed in from an incident in qualifying. That team effort earned Horrell the Cool Shirt Cool Move of the Race.
"I want the thank the team for not giving up," said Horrell. "They worked long hours on the car to get it rebuilt. This is my first time here and the race went really well."
The weekend concludes today with the TA2® powered by AEM main event at 2:15 p.m. CT, with Cameron Lawrence leading the field from the pole position for the 100-mile race.
While the full live streaming experience won’t be available at Road America, users of the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App will have exclusive access to a new beta test feature. By logging onto the app, fans can access onboards to live stream from the driver's point of view. Cameron Lawrence and Doug Peterson will be streaming the TA2® race. (Download here)
Eidson and Aghakhani Recover to Win Second Race of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Weekend at Road America
Mike Skeen emerged as the winner following a dramatic TA2® Powered by AEM race Saturday afternoon at Road America. The American racer claimed his third victory of the 2020 season following a multi-car incident in the high-speed kink that red-flagged the event with 16 minutes still on the clock. With at least 20 minutes of cleanup required, the race activity was halted.
Despite having lost the position on the unscored final lap, Skeen led all 13 scored laps in the No. 77 Liqui Moly Chevrolet Camaro, and extended his lead in the season championship after four races. Sam Mayer finished second, with Rafa Matos netting the final podium position in a race that included multiple incidents at the high-speed Wisconsin fan favorite track.
“We had good battles early on, and the Stevens-Miller Racing Liqui Moly Chevrolet Camaro was just great, said Skeen. ”We had to fend off the lead with challenges a lot with restarts, more than we want for sure. When we had longer runs, the car was running away from them. It’s a shame that it’s all torn up now, but we will rebuild and come back again.”
Local-favorite Mayer started fifth and drove to a second place result despite being part of a multi-car collision on Lap 14 that saw his No. 96 M1 Racecars Camaro suffer extensive damage. The runner-up finish is the second in as many TA2® Powered by AEM race outings for Mayer, having done the same at Daytona International Speedway in 2019.
“I am feeling ok, I am just a little emotional after that race,” said Mayer. “I am disappointed in how that race ended. The race was a lot of fun. I am happy that I was able to come out ok. I am happy to be here and race with these guys. Hopefully we can come back soon, if our schedule permits, to come back for the win.”
Rafa Matos wound up third in the No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Camaro, taking his third podium of the season. Late for the grid, Matos took the green flag from the back of the field. Running third on a restart at the start of Lap 14, Matos took second in Turn 1 and got past Skeen later on the lap.
However, with numerous cars crashing in the kink to bring out the red flag, the race was brought to an immediate stop, with scoring reverting to the last completed lap by the field per Trans Am racing regulations.
Tyler Kicera, a star of the Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship, took fourth in the No. 4 Carbotech Brakes Ford Mustang in his season debut, while Brad McAllister won the Cool Shirt Cool Move of the Race Award after placing fifth in the No. 24 Portland Implant Dentistry.com Mustang as the Trans Am West Coast Championship driver made his National Trans Am debut.
Rain and lightning earlier in the day resulted in more than a two-hour delay for the race.
The opening laps set the tone for the contest. Pole-sitter Cameron Lawrence was involved in an incident following the green flag and the No. 8 3-Dimensional Services Camaro failed to complete a lap, while Thomas Merrill pitted early in the No. 81 Diehl-Merrill Racing/HP Tuners Ford Mustang and returned to racing only to be involved in the last-lap incident in the kink.
The race went to caution on the fifth and 12th laps for separate incidents before the Lap 13 restart, which became the final result-scoring lap.
Bob Lima was the Masters winner, placing 12th in the No. 63 Lima Company Camaro.
The next scheduled race for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is at the historic Watkins Glen International on September 11-13.
Quebec driver Tagliani had a tough choice to make between running for Kyle Busch Motorsports, or competing in the Sunset Speedway double-header, having won both NASCAR Pinty's races held on the one-third mile oval in 2015 and 2016. Tagliani also became the first driver in Canadian NASCAR Series history to cross the finish line with a lap lead over all his opponents, earning the honour at the inaugural Leland Industries 300.
Last year, Treyten made a name for himself in the Ontario APC Series finishing third in the championship standings. Treyten is the younger brother of 2016 Pinty's Series champion Cayden Lapcevich who won the title at the age of 16. Both drivers are the sons of Jeff Lapcevich, another NASCAR Pinty's veteran and a former driver in the late 1980's Player's/GM Series.
During the season hiatus, Monster Jam® attempted 7 world records and officially set 6 Guinness World Records. Fans tuned in on Saturday, August 8th on Discovery Channel to watch DIESEL BROTHERS: MONSTER JAM® BREAKING WORLD RECORDS.
Our Monster Jam Guinness World Record holders are available for virtual interviews to talk about their never-before-tried feats and what it took to make the history books.
Monster Jam Guinness World Records & Attempts:
· Krysten Anderson, the first and only female driver of Grave Digger®, set the record for the highest ramp jump in a monster truck by getting her back tire in the air 33.8 feet on her first attempt. She beat the previous record, 21.33 feet, by 12.5 feet.
· 12-time Monster Jam World Finals® Champion, Tom Meents, in Max-D™ completed the longest nose wheelie in a monster truck for a total distance of 209 feet on his 4th attempt. His record to beat was 50.85 feet. To set the record, Guinness requires all tires to land on the ground; in his 5th attempt he traveled more than 600 feet, but all tires did not land on the ground, requiring him to submit his 4th attempt.
· Now officially the fastest Monster Jam driver in the world, Bryce Kenny, driving Great Clips Mohawk Warrior®, was able to set a speed record at 100.31, which no one has ever gone over 100 mph in a monster truck. The previous record was 99.1 mph.
· After 4 attempts, the most consecutive donuts (spins) in a monster truck is now 58 and was achieved by Bari Musawwir driving Zombie™ while keeping within a 77-foot circle. The record to beat was 41.
· Bari Musawwir also set a record for the most donuts (spins) in a monster truck in one minute at 44 giving him two Guinness World Records.
· Adam Anderson driving Megalodon ® jumped 8 Monster Jam trucks to earn his Guinness World Record title. The previous record was jumping 7 Monster Jam trucks, held by Colton Eichelberger set at Monster Jam World Finals in 2018.
· Todd LeDuc attempted the first-ever forward momentum double back flip while driving a monster truck, a stunt no one has ever landed before, with 12 practice attempts by two people. As he hit the top of the 20-foot ramp on the first attempt the engine blew, and the crew onsite had to quickly swap a motor for his second attempt that ended up being unsuccessful and the hardest hit in Monster Jam ever.
· Brother and Sister - Adam Anderson and Krysten Anderson from the "First Family of Monster Jam," each set a Guinness World Record.
· Bari Musawwir did more than100 donuts with four attempts before he set his record.
· Bari Musawwir set 2 records within one attempt.
· Todd LeDuc practiced his forward momentum double backflip attempt by landing in a “car pit” which is similar to a foam pit for practicing bike stunts.
· The ramp for attempting the forward momentum double backflip was 20 feet.
· 12-time Monster Jam World Champion, Tom Meents, attempted 3 stoppie/nose wheelies before he needed to let the truck cool down and the fluids balance back out in the truck before finally achieving the record.
· Tom Meents quote of the episode, “A thousand things could go wrong, but only one thing can go right.”
After back-to-back races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Brainerd International Raceway earlier this month, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli drivers spent a weekend off before returning to race action for the double-header Trans Am weekend at Road America. (2019 Highlights)
Racing as part of the NASCAR Xfinity event, Trans Am will showcase two 25-lap (100-mile) contests on Saturday. The first will feature the Trans Am, Xtreme GT, SuperGT and GT classes, followed by the Muscle Car Challenge featuring the TA2® powered by AEM class. (Watch Live)
With a stable Trans Am rules package that delivers close racing, powerful machines that skip the driver aids and put the racing in the drivers hands, and a schedule that includes some of the most iconic race tracks on the continent, the TA2® powered by AEM class has become a popular choice for up-and-coming NASCAR talent.
In effort to accelerate his racing career, reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Sam Mayer debuted in Trans Am last season under the TeamSLR banner in select races. In the very competitive TA2® field, Mayer held his own against seasoned veterans and multi-class champions.
Fielding the No. 96 M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro, Mayer rejoins the TeamSLR crew running beside teammate Scott Lagasse Jr. TeamSLR, in partnership with Fields Racing, provides a competitive opportunity for drivers like Mayer to hone their road racing skills in top equipment combined with proven road racing driving techniques in preparation to compete with the best in NASCAR. With years of experience in NASCAR and Trans Am, Lagasse Jr. serves as the perfect mentor for the 17-year-old Mayer.
“I am lucky to have the opportunity to race with Scott Lagasse and TeamSLR,” said Mayer. “Scott has taught me a lot about braking and the minute things that add up to make a better lap. The TA2® cars are a similar drive on road courses to the ARCA cars, and getting this extra seat time with a driver like Scott is invaluable.”
As a Wisconsin native, Mayer considers Road America his home track, even though he’s never competed on the legendary circuit. Pressed up against the fence line watching his dad, Scott Mayer, wheel laps around the legendary circuit, Mayer has several fond memories there, including his dad’s Grand-Am Rolex Series win in 2013.
“The first time I ever watched my dad live was at Road America and he won (Grand-Am 2013),” Mayer recalled. “Road America is my dad’s favorite track. He told me to not underestimate The Kink.”
Another force driving young talent to TA2® is Mike Cope Race Cars. This season Mike Cope Race Cars partnered with championship-winning NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing. The Florida-based team will once again field a stable of cars filled with up-and-coming NASCAR stars including Ty Gibbs, Riley Herbst and Harrison Burton.
Combining the prowess of a purpose-built racing platform, relevant manufacturer power plants and a rules package that focuses on excellent cost containment, the TA2® class represents an outstanding value platform in racing. With engines capable of lasting an entire season and cost control measures that allow drivers to fully focus on racing, not the financing of it, while showcasing their talents and skill.
“We firmly believe that the TA2® powered by AEM class is not only a tremendous value for the competitors, but it is also an outstanding platform from the competition side,” said Trans Am President John Clagett. “We’ve attracted a lot of different kinds of racers to this class, and it is a testament to the structure of the class that some of the next guard of NASCAR racers are coming here as part of their development.”
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli field will participate in a test day on Thursday. Friday kicks off with a pair practice sessions in the morning, followed by split back-to-back qualifying sessions in the afternoon.
The weekend ends with the TA/XGT/SGT/GT 100-mile feature starting at 8:00 a.m. Central, followed by TA2® powered by AEM Muscle Car Challenge starting at 2:15 p.m. Central.
An exclusive opportunity for fans with the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App will be available for the Road America weekend. Fans with the app will be able to choose from five different on-board cameras to watch the race from a driver’s perspective. (Download here)
For live timing and scoring, event photos and post-race recap videos visit GoTransAm.com. For live race updates follow @GoTransAm on Twitter.
Trans Am Class Year
2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
By Jim McIlvaine
The fourth stop in OPTIMA's 2020 Search for the Ultimate Street Car series, presented by Advance Auto Parts, took competitors to Atlanta Motorsports Park, just outside Dawsonville, Georgia. Often confused with nearby Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motorspeedway, this club track is nestled on a mountaintop just outside Bill Elliott's boyhood home of Dawsonville, Georgia. The track was designed by famed Formula One track architect, Hermann Tilke, who also designed Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
The road course circuit in Dawsonville features 16 turns and 98 feet of elevation changes, with cars almost constantly either heading uphill or downhill at nearly every point on the track. In addition to hosting the Falken Tire Road Course time trail, a portion of the 2-mile track was also coned off for use on the QA1 Autocross, while the keyhole skidpad was utilized for the PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge. The Lucas Oil Road Rally took competitors past the legendary Dawsonville Pool Room to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
The Dawsonville event marked the first of the year East of the Rocky Mountains, essentially serving as the season-opener for many competitors on that side of the country. With three West coast events already having been run, the bar has been set in many classes, where a competitor's best three finishes count toward their season-long point totals.
After a lackluster performance at Pike's Peak, Jonathan Blevins wasn't taking any chances and came all the way from Oklahoma in search of a better third score in the GT Class. His '08 Shelby GT500 Mustang found it, with a season-best 471-point finish. That extended his point lead over Dennis Healy's '15 Ford Mustang from 25 points to 70 points.
Chris Smith's '70 Camaro is based out of Ohio, but as he saw CB Ramey's C4 Corvette building a formidable points lead in the Classic Car Liquidators GTV Class, he decided to do something about it and made the trip out to Pike's Peak. Ramey covered Smith by 20 points out there, but Smith followed that up with a 476-point class win at AMP. That brought him into sixth place in the standings after having run just two events and if he can post a 472-point performance at his next event, he'll pass Ramey for the lead...if Ramey doesn't bump up his total.
Austin Barnes' incredible 15-event GTS Class win streak came to an end at Atlanta Motorsports Park, as braking issues prevented him from making a clean lap on the Falken Tire Road Course time trial. That opened the door for Ryan Mathews' '02 Corvette to take home the class win, but Barnes' '09 Corvette still has a stranglehold on points in the class.
John Laughlin's 2019 Tesla Model 3 is the defending GTE Class champion for electic vehicles and he made his season debut in commanding fashion, grabbing a class-record 475 points that seems unlikely to be challenged for the rest of the season.
Eric Fleming has long been one of the top drivers in the series and he proved it again at AMP, taking home the Outlaw Class win in his '06 Corvette. However, a trip to Las Vegas later this year isn't in the cards for Fleming, so the SEMA invitation was accepted by the Outlaw runner-up, Adam Ulrich and his '01 Corvette.
Jake Rozelle's '03 Corvette captured the first three wins of the season in the Holley EFI GTL Class, but it was parked back in California when Robert DeuPree's '13 Lamborghini Gallardo took home the win in Georgia. DeuPree reeled in Rozelle's point lead somewhat in Georgia, but he'll still need at least two more strong finishes to pass him in the points.
The largest field of the season turned out for the GTC Class, but defending class champion, Brian Johns reaffirmed his position as top dog. There was hope that Doug Wind's 700-horsepower Dodge Neon might make an appearance and challenge Johns for a class win, but the SRT4 never materialized, so we'll have to see if it makes an appearance later this season and challenge Johns for the class championship.
It's a quick turnaround for the series, as it visits Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for a mid-week showdown on August 13 & 14th. Learn more about the series and how you can get involved with your street car at www.DriveOPTIMA.com
GT Class (post-1989, 3,200+ pounds, 2wd sedans, 4-seater coupes, trucks, etc...)
1. Jonathan Blevins, 2008 Shelby GT500
2. Kong Chang, 2017 Shelby GT350
3. Luke Vigneault, 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T
Classic Car Liquidators GTV Class (pre-1990, 3200+ pounds)
1. Chris Smith, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
2. Cody Puckett, 1970 Chevrolet Camaro
3. Bret Voelkel, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
GTS Class (post-1989, 3200+ pounds, two-seaters & awd vehicles)
1. Ryan Mathews, 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
2. Mike Gallagher, 2016 Ford Focus RS
3. Nate Mckeever, 2003 Chevrolet Corvette
GTE Class (Electric vehicles)
1. John Laughlin, 2019 Tesla Model 3
Holley EFI GTL Class (non-compacts under 3200 pounds)
1. Robert DeuPree, 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo
2. Paul Curley, 2003 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6
3. Garry Walsh, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6
GTC Class (two-wheel drive compacts, 107-inch wheelbase or less)
1. Brian Johns, 1993 Mazda RX-7
2. Darren Garvin, 1973 Datsun 240Z
3. Dayton de la Houssaye, 2016 Mazda MX-5
Outlaw Class (relaxed aero rules, pro drivers allowed)
1. Eric Fleming, 2006 Chevrolet Corvette
2. Adam Ulrich, 2001 Chevrolet Corvette
3. Corrin Tyson, 2009 Honda Civic
Spirit of the Event Award:
Charles Davis, 1973 Chevrolet Camaro
2020 OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car Schedule
Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 14-15
Willow Springs International Raceway May 29-30
Pike's Peak International Raceway July 11-12
Atlanta Motorsports Park July 25-26
Road America August 13-14
NOLA Motorsports Park September 19-20
NCM Motorsports Park October 10-11
OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational November 7-8
Can anyone beat Christian Rasmussen? The 20-year-old Dane swept all three races that comprised the USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders over the past two days at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Jay Howard Driver Development. Added to his pair of wins at Road America earlier this month, Rasmussen now has won the opening five races of the season – a feat previously unmatched since the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship was reintroduced following a four-year hiatus in 2010.
Another piece of history was made this morning as, for the first time, a pair of 15-year-olds, Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports), from Miami, Fla., and Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Palo Alto, Calif., shared the podium in the opening race of the day. Gold also finished third in this afternoon’s second race behind teammate Michael d’Orlando, from Hartsdale, N.Y.
A busy day of action for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship teams and drivers began at 8:00 a.m. with a qualifying session to set the starting grid for the first of two 20-lap races. Once again Rasmussen was in control, snagging his third Cooper Tires Pole Award of the season. Gold and Siegel started second and third.
Rasmussen was untroubled throughout the first race, leading from start to finish and barely blinking an eye even when a hard-earned advantage of 2.5 seconds was nullified after 12 laps by a full-course caution due to a single-car incident at Turn Nine.
Gold was similarly untroubled in second, taking full advantage of the fact that Siegel was far more concerned about defending his third position than challenging for second.
Rookie Christian Brooks (Exclusive Autosport), from Santa Clarita, Calif., kept the pressure on Siegel during the early stages until he, too, began to focus his attentions on keeping determined Englishman Matt Round-Garrido (Pabst Racing) at bay. At half distance, Brooks’ increasingly defensive tactics eventually caught the eye of the race stewards, who, during the caution period, instructed Brooks to cede the position.
Rasmussen again pulled away after the restart, finally taking the checkered flags 2.2147 seconds ahead of Gold. He in turn finished well clear of Siegel, who barely kept Round-Garrido in his mirrors. Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), from Guilderland, N.Y., also was in close contention.
Another intense battle immediately behind saw Kyle Dupell, from Portland, Ore., edge out Cape Motorsports teammate Josh Green, from Mount Kisco, N.Y. for seventh. Both were chased by Australian Cameron Shields (Legacy Autosport), d’Orlando, who claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting a lowly 16th, and yesterday’s second-place finisher Eduardo Barrichello, who struggled to an 11th-place finish for Pabst Racing.
After an early stoppage to retrieve two cars that had encountered problems before the start of Race 3, Rasmussen maintained his unbeaten streak with another flag-to-flag win this afternoon to continue his perfect season and earn car owner Jay Howard his fifth straight PFC Award.
Behind, all eyes were centered on the scrap for second between teammates Gold and d’Orlando, who muscled past soon after the restart and narrowly held onto his position throughout the 20-lap race. They were separated by less than a half-second at the finish line.
Brooks displayed his increasing confidence by holding onto the two Cape cars and once again finishing as the top rookie in fourth.
A little farther back in fifth, Jack William Miller, 17, from Carmel, Ind., finally translated his occasional strong pace into by far his best finish, fifth, for the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports team. Miller drove beautifully to fend off the attentions of Barrichello and Green, who worked his way purposefully from 11th on the grid.
Dupell finished eighth ahead of Sundaramoorthy, Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Atherton, Calif., and Brazilian Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), who claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting 18th.
The USF2000 contingent will return to Mid-Ohio for another three races to be held in conjunction with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on the weekend of August 8/9.