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  

  

 
After nearly a month break, the Pro Stock class returns to action at this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway and that has Dallas Glenn excited. The promising rookie will make his debut at the fan-favorite facility, looking to build on what’s already been a standout year for the first-year Pro Stock driver and return to a track where he raced at in the sportsman classes more than a decade ago.
 
Glenn has already shown his potential, winning in Charlotte in just his fourth career Pro Stock race. It was a great start for Glenn in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro, but he is hopeful more success is coming in a loaded Pro Stock class. Currently seventh in points, the impressive NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series newcomer is eager to make his Pro Stock debut at a track that should allow for impressive runs in front of a massive, energetic crowd this weekend.
 
“I love seeing a big crowd and we’re hoping Sonoma is going to be packed,” Glenn said. “One of the things I love about Sonoma is the weather always seems to be great and it’s such a unique facility. It’s different from any place we go and it’s going to be fun to go down this track in a Pro Stock car. That Friday night run, I think that’s going to be good and qualifying at noon on Saturday, I think that’s going to be fast as well.”
 
Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the 2019 winners of an event that will be televised on FOX, including live final eliminations coverage starting at4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. It is the ninth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and after the class didn’t race in Denver, the teams in Pro Stock are anxious to put on a show on what should be fast conditions in Sonoma.
 
Glenn and the KB Racing team put in plenty of work during the brief gap between races, looking to continue the early season momentum. Glenn has watched veteran Greg Anderson race to the points lead and he remains a win away from tying Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history. But there’s a number of other top competitors as well, including defending world champ Erica Enders, Matt Hartford, Troy Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield and Deric Kramer, so Glenn knows he needs to be on his game this weekend.
 
“We made some good progress in a lot of areas the last few weeks, so we’re definitely ready for Sonoma,” Glenn said. “I feel like we’re in a pretty good spot, and I’m so much more comfortable in the car and able to focus on the things I need to focus on. We’re real close to where we need to be and we just need to keep making good runs. Our guys have a lot of trust in this car.”
 
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec is after his first victory of the 2021 campaign on his Vance & Hines Buell. It’s a new bike for Krawiec and his longtime teammate, Hines, but Krawiec has made consistent progress, including a runner-up finish in Denver to points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith. He’s also set huge career-bests for speed, making a number of 200-mph runs this year, which could bode well for his performance at Sonoma Raceway.
 
Krawiec is also a three-time winner at the track and it’s always been a place he has enjoyed. After missing the first two races of the Pro Stock Motorcycle season, Krawiec’s goal is to get into the top five by the time the Countdown to the Championship arrives, which has him motivated for a big finish in Sonoma. To do so, he’ll have to race past top performers like Matt Smith, Angie Smith, Scotty Pollacheck, Ryan Oehler, Angelle Sampey, Karen Stoffer and Joey Gladstone.
 
“Sonoma has always been one of my favorite tracks and it’s always been a great place for me,” Krawiec said. “I’m going there with the intention of winning. It’s going to be fast and that’s awesome as well. We’ve been making headway and getting our program better, and I know we’ll run really well at sea level. I’m excited to get to Sonoma and I’m confident in the stuff we have. I think we’ll run well and I think we’re in a great position to have a really good weekend.”
 
Three-time defending Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence has been on torrid pace of late and will look to win his fifth race in the past six events this year. Doing so would put him a step closer to sweeping the Western Swing, but he’ll be challenged by top drivers like three-time world champ Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta, Justin Ashley, Leah Pruett, Clay Millican and former world champ Brittany Force.
 
In Funny Car, Hight will look to make three straight wins at the facility. He’s one of six different Funny Car winners in 2021, which means there will be plenty of top challengers in Sonoma, including points leader Bob Tasca III, John Force, Cruz Pedregon, J.R. Todd, who has won in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at the track, Tim Wilkerson, Alexis DeJoria, Denver winner Matt Hagan and Ron Capps.
                            
The event features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series as well, showcasing the future stars of the sport. Before nitro qualifying under the lights on Friday, there will be a special nostalgia cacklefest on the return road that fans at Sonoma Raceway won’t want to miss.
 
As always, fans are granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans a chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds. 
 
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6:30 p.m. PT on Friday, July 23 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 24 at 12 and 3 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 25. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations action at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
 
To purchase tickets, call 800-870-RACE (7223). Tickets also are available online at www.sonomaraceway.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.  

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

When the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli a West Coast Championship returns to Portland International Raceway on July 23-25, it will mark the 28th visit for Trans Am to the historic circuit.
 
While the National Series last raced at Portland in 2009, the Trans Am West Coast Championship competed at the circuit from 2017 through 2019. All three events won by ageless legend Greg Pickett, a Portland Trans Am winner back in 1984. (VIDEO: Full Race- Trans Am at Portland 2001)
 
Tomy Drissi – currently second in the National TA points – won the most recent Portland National Series race in 2009. The Hollywood, Calif., veteran also finished third at Portland in the 2018 West Coast race during his successful run to the championship.
 
Portland first hosted Trans Am in 1972, with a Two-Five Challenge race for sub-compact sedans. Peter Brock Enterprises dominated the series that year with Simonize-sponsored Datsun 510s. Lead driver John Morton won six of the 11 races, including Portland where he beat out popular NASCAR West Coast champion Hershel McGriff, driving Brock’s “guest” car.
 
Legendary Corvette campaigner John Greenwood won the first National Trans Am at Portland in 1975 despite starting 18th.  Greenwood needed 18 laps to take the lead in his 427cc Corvette, and then led all but two of the final 33 circuits. It was Greenwood’s second of three victories that would carry him to the 1975 title.
 
The 1981 Portland race featured a 49-car entry won by Bob Tullius in his Group 44 Jaguar XJS. Tullius edged out the Corvette of Eppie Wietzes by 0.330-seconds, with John Bauer’s Porsche 911 a very close third as three former champions made up the podium.
 
Portland’s Neil DeAtley joined the Trans Am full-time in 1983, winning at his home track with Willy T. Ribbs taking the checkered flag in DeAtley’s Budweiser Camaro – nosing out Pickett’s Corvette by 0.600-seconds. Pickett came back the following year and won in a Jack Roush Mercury Capri – making Pickett the leading money winner in Trans Am history at the time.
 
Wally Dallenbach Jr. won back-to-back in 1985-86, taking races in a Roush Capri and a Protofab Camaro. The next dominant team was Paul Gentilozzi’s Rocketsports, winning five Portland features with five different drivers. West Coast star Darin Brassfield won in 1990 and Irv Hoerr in 1991, both in Oldsmobile Cutlass Supremes. Rocketsports later won the final three TA Nationals at Portland, with Gentilozzi in 2004, Klaus Graf in 2005 and Drissi in 2009, all driving Jaguar XKRs.
 
In between the Rocketsports victories, Ron Fellows ran off three consecutive triumphs from 1993-95, winning two in a Tom Gloy Mercury Capri and the later event in a Buz McCall Camaro.
 
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship will have a full day of testing on Friday to get up to speed before the official race weekend starts on Saturday with and all-class practice starting at 11:40 a.m. Pacific followed by qualifying at 4:20 p.m. Pacific. The drivers will take the green on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific for 51 laps or 75 minutes.
 
Follow Live Timing and Scoring all weekend at www.gotransam.com/livetiming
 

The 2021 Progressive American Flat Track season will resume this weekend in something of an unofficial homecoming round for the paddock with the Port Royal Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson at Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pennsylvania, this upcoming Saturday, July 24.

 

Despite the event making its first-ever appearance on the series’ calendar, its importance was cemented with its announcement due to its location. Pennsylvania is almost inarguably the single greatest producer of elite flat track talent with an outsized percentage of the field claiming home ties of one sort of another to the state.

 

As such, any home-state advantage in the evolving championship chases are largely negated this weekend, particularly in the premier Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle class where the leading trio are all either native or resident Pennsylvanians. And as such, double defending Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), second-ranked Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and multi-time GNC Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) will pick up their battle for supremacy with a bit of extra motivation pushing them forward.

 

Bauman landed the most recent blow with his well-timed Lima triumph, but even so, Robinson remains on fire and Mees comes in with an extra week to heal following last weekend’s weather-related cancellation.

 

Looking a bit deeper, the continued progress of Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) will be of interest as he continues to rack up podium finishes and threatens to turn this into a four-way title fight.

 

Also worth monitoring will be the relative performances of JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), and James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) as the Port Royal Half-Mile marks the first event utilizing the rule changes newly implemented with aims of leveling the playing field between race-only and production-based engines.

 

AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

 

It’s a similar story in AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines where six of the top eight-ranked riders -- including the top two -- will be angling to impress in front of their home-state fans.

 

Title leader Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) has opened up a healthy 39-point advantage that only stacks ever higher with each successive standout performance.

 

Fellow Pennsylvanians Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/Rausch Fuel Kawasaki Ninja 650), Cameron Smith (No. 44 Fredericktown Yamaha/Richie Reynolds Racing MT-07), and Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) will all need to be at their best in hopes of pushing Texter as far down the order as possible in hopes of eroding his championship padding.

 

While that’s obviously easier said than done, it’s worth remembering that Lewis and Varnes did manage to finish ahead of Texter last time out.

 

AFT Singles

 

The AFT Singles class is less of an intra-state affair with the top-ranked Pennsylvanian being Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), who currently sits sixth in the points.

 

Texter-Bauman is more than capable of contributing to a home-state victory sweep, however, considering she’s the winningest rider in class history and opened her ‘21 campaign with a double victory on Volusia Speedway’s similarly clay Half-Mile.

 

The chances for such a sweep improve up considerably if you allow for the inclusion of Australian Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), who makes Pennsylvania his home base during the race season. The championship leader by virtue of the tie-breaker over reigning AFT Singles champion Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), Whale has been in tremendous form as of late, notching up two wins and a runner-up over his last four attempts.

 

The only rider with an argument of being even hotter is Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), who has done the same over his last three attempts.

 

And with Daniels desperate to strike back and the usual assortment of a dozen or so riders with at least an outside chance at stealing away a win, Port Royal should deliver another high-drama AFT Singles Main Event.

 

The Port Royal Half-Mile also marks the return of Royal Enfield’s extremely popular BUILD. TRAIN. RACE. program which serves to highlight and celebrate women and motorcycle culture. There will be a special BUILD. TRAIN. RACE. exhibition and Q&A during the Fan Walk, in which fans will be invited to watch as the riders are interviewed about their specific racebike builds and their experiences as developing flat track racers.

 

There will be plenty of additional entertainment off track as well, highlighted by live music courtesy of Chasing Neon, who will bring their high-energy blend of live party music that ranges from country to classic rock and everything in between.

 

Fans looking to upgrade their racing experience are encouraged to reserve an all-day paddock access pass, allowing for free movement in and out of the pit areas for a true behind-the-scenes view of the Progressive AFT action. Limited quantities available.

 

Tickets are available for purchase now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3371#selectTickets. General Admission Infield tickets with open lawn seating are $25 ($65 with the addition of the all-day paddock access upgrade). General Admission Grandstand tickets go for $35 ($75 with paddock access) and Premium Reserved Grandstands are $45 ($85 with paddock access). Kids 12 and under are admitted for free ($40 with paddock access) with the purchase of an adult ticket.

 

The gates will open for fans at 3:00 p.m. ET with Opening Ceremonies set to begin at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

 

The Port Royal Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson will air on NBCSN on Sunday, August 15, at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, featuring exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.

Writing can be, and is, the key to everlasting life!

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!     

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Ryan Schwab-Segoria.

  1. What was your first car?

* My first car was a white 1994 Ford Bronco with red carpet interior. I love that car more than any other car that I’ve owned in the past or now. The speedometer capped out at 85 miles an hour, but on a good day, I could hit 90 before she started to rattle bad enough to shake my teeth. She was a great car, but at somewhere twelve miles to the gallon, it cost more to drive her than I was making.

  1. What do you drive now?

* I drive 2017 Nissan Sentra. It actually has AC and a working radio, so it’s basically NASA to me.

  1. What is your dream car that you wish to own?

* 1977 Blue Volkswagen Bus. It’s been my dream car for as long as I can remember.

  1. Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car?

* Absolutely. Living in California makes you realize just how much money you can drop on gas in a month. My car gets good gas mileage, but I’m still dropping thirty bucks a tank. It adds up fast. Having a battery-operated car would definitely help reduce the amount I spend on travelling.

  1. If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring?

* 11/23/63 by Stephan King. I can read that book a hundred times and still cry at the ending.

  1. What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology?

* I’m a big fan of Elon Musk for the most part. I’m pretty eager to see what SpaceX does next and I’m waiting patiently for the Hyperloop to get finished. I’m also hoping his flamethrowers will return for sale.

 

Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.

Be sure to follow Ryan Schwab-Segoria on social media:

Instagram: ryan_the_american

Twitter: @RyanSegoria

 

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott held off three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart to take the victory in the Camping World SRX Series season finale Saturday night at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

 

Elliott crossed the stripe .439 of a second ahead of Stewart after battling his father, Bill, for much of the 77-lap race around the .596-mile oval in Music City.

 

“I had a ball. I got to race against two of my heroes,” Chase said. “I got to race against Dad there throughout the race and those are moments I will cherish forever. Just super thankful to be here.”

 

Chase started fourth in his No. 94 machine and by lap 32 was second to his father, who led from the start. Chase took the lead from Bill for the first time on lap 53, only for Bill to take it back a lap later.

 

“I don’t know who lit a fire under him,” said Chase about his father. “I had not seen that in him in years. It was amazing and a lot of fun. I thought it was going to be between he and I. I think he just got a little high into one and missed that restart. Other than that, it was so much fun.”

 

As the two continued to race side-by-side, Chase crossed the stripe ahead of Bill on lap 55 and then never relinquished the point. That didn’t mean Chase wasn’t challenged.

 

Stewart, who clinched the Camping World SRX Series championship before the second heat race ended, drove from fifth in the 12-driver field to begin engaging the Elliotts just past the midpoint of the race. Stewart passed Bill for second on lap 61 and promptly set his sights on Chase. While Stewart got close, Chase held onto the lead and held off Stewart.

 

“How could you ask for more than to finish between two Elliotts?” Stewart said. “That’s pretty badass in itself, and we really appreciate NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports for letting Chase come run with us. It means a lot to us, it means a lot to Bill.”

 

Chase’s car number for the race was No. 94, which holds a special place for him and the entire Elliott family.

 

“My late cousin Casey Elliott ran the 94 for years and years,” Chase said. “It’s always special to run that number and glad we could get it into victory lane here at Nashville.”

 

Both Chase and Bill had prior experience at Nashville. Chase raced at the half-mile speedway countless times in a Super Late Model, winning the prestigious All American 400 in 2013. Bill competed in seven NASCAR Cup Series races at the track with a best finish of fifth in the 1983 Marty Robbins 420.

 

“I didn’t need to happen what happened there (on the final restart). I just didn’t get all the stuff off my tires like I needed to. I just rolled up the hill, I was in it, then I got in it, then I was fighting. I was trying to get back to Tony but then I lost my drive up off and I was really having a hard time controlling my wheel spin up off the corner,” said Bill, the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion who won the night’s first heat race by .218 of a second over Chase.

 

“Man, I tell you what, it was a lot of fun. I knew the way the tires were on these cars and the way Chase manages his stuff, he was going to be hard to beat. I know he didn’t have the best car, but he knows how to get it to the end.”

 

Nashville marked only the second time Bill and Chase had raced against each other. The first time came on Oct. 20, 2013 in the Alabama Pro 125 Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway, where Chase won and Bill finished fourth.

 

“I’ve raced here before and I kind of had an idea of what I needed, and I think that helped as much as anything,” Bill said. “It was such a cool deal to be able to come here and do this and have a crowd like this.

 

“For me, I finally got what I wanted out of a racecar and I felt good out there. I thought, I’m on Medicare and I’m trying to keep up with these young kids. You’re trying to learn and gain, and every time you get into a racecar you learn something, you learn from your mistakes. Not being in one in a long time and kind of making a mistake in turn one, not cleaning up my tires good, that was it.

 

“To me, it was a great night. My hat’s off to everyone at SRX for what they did and I’m proud of those guys. I just hope that we, as a racing community, can embrace this and learn from it, especially what we saw here tonight at the Nashville Fairgrounds. I haven’t seen a crowd like this here in many, many years.”

 

Stewart won the Camping World SRX Series championship by 45 points over runner-up Ernie Francis Jr. Two feature race wins, June 19 at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway and June 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, propelled Stewart to the championship, as he was the only multi-race winner.

 

“Winning this championship is awesome,” Stewart said. “I really appreciate Marcus Lemonis and everyone at Camping World for stepping up and helping us when we needed to get this thing off the ground, and all of our partners that have come on board. On all of these cars there are different sponsors, so a lot of people made this happen.

 

“Most of all, I’m really proud of this trophy from Cold Hard Art from Indiana that made that thing. To be the last guy to win an IROC championship and the first guy to win a Camping World SRX championship means a lot.”

 

The Camping World SRX Series championship caps an impressive tally of titles for Stewart. He is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (2002, 2005 and 2011), an IROC Series champion (2006), an NTT INDYCAR Series champion (1997), a four-time USAC champion (1994 Midget title and 1995 Triple Crown) and a three-time karting champion (1980, 1983 and 1987). Stewart is the first and only driver to win championships in stock cars, Indy cars and open-wheel Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown cars.

 

“You hate to point race, but at the same time with the two heat races to get points and know there was still the main event, it was very realistic to get this locked up in the heats. That was the focus, to get that done and out of the way to where, then, during the main event we didn’t have to worry about it. If we got wrecked or spun out or whatever, we didn’t have to worry about it,” Stewart said.

 

“This series had every variable that you wanted and looked for. You had good racing, you had different winners, you had awesome crew chiefs, awesome ringers, awesome local track champions. To have heroes and villains in the series, I don’t know how you can ask for more than that.”

 

The race’s 77-lap distance was a nod to country music star and Grand Ole Opry regular Marty Robbins, who raced at the Fairgrounds in the late 1960s driving his iconic purple-and-yellow No. 777 Plymouth Belvedere, primarily in in the Modified and Sportsman classes.

 

“The ghost of Marty Robbins is here somewhere,” said Ray Evernham, co-founder of the Camping World SRX Series and the man who restored Robbins’ racecar. “His number was 777, so we picked 77 laps for the race distance, and then that caution flag with seven laps left, that was for Marty. People ask what all the cautions are for, and I say it’s to close the field up. And they ask when are you going to throw them, and I say whenever I feel like it.”

 

The Camping World SRX Series featured world-class drivers from an array of motorsports backgrounds competing in identically prepared racecars on some of the most iconic short tracks in America. The six-race short-track series culminated at Nashville after opening its season June 12 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. It then visited back-to-back dirt tracks at Knoxville and Eldora before returning to pavement July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis ahead of its penultimate event July 10 at Slinger (Wis.) Speedway.

 

Local all-star Doug Coby won at Stafford. Stewart swept the two dirt-track events. Road-racing specialist Francis scored a breakout win at Lucas Oil Raceway, and NTT INDYCAR Series veteran Marco Andretti won at Slinger to earn his first victory in a racecar featuring a roof and fenders.

 

“The part of it I’m really impressed with is how well this team has adapted, come together, to prepare cars every week and how much fun the drivers have had, which is something I was really hoping for – the drivers have fun and the fans have fun,” Evernham said. “And it has been very humbling the way this has been supported by the fans. We’ve put on a good show. I feel like we’ve done a good thing for some of the short tracks across America, and some of those towns that needed a little bit of an economic boost. You bring national television to a town, that’s good, and just the support that we’re getting from the fans. If they’re telling me it’s good, I’m happy, because it didn’t matter whether or not I thought it was good. And every time you have a good idea, you’re wondering if it’s really a good idea or just that I think it’s a good idea. But the fans like it and that’s been the best thing for me.”

 

All the races were broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and streamed on Paramount+ Premium.

 

Heat Race No. 1 (12 minutes, 25 laps):

Note: Starting lineup determined by random draw.

1.    Bill Elliott (Started 1st; led laps 1-17, 20-25)

2.    Chase Elliott (Started 2nd; led laps 18-19; completed 25/25 laps)

3.    Bobby Labonte (Started 3rd; completed 25/25 laps)

4.    Marco Andretti (Started 5th; completed 25/25 laps)

5.    Tony Stewart (Started 4th; completed 25/25 laps)

6.    Tony Kanaan (Started 7th; completed 25/25 laps)

7.    Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; completed 25/25 laps)

8.    Paul Tracy (Started 10th; led laps completed 25/25 laps)

9.    Helio Castroneves (Started 9th; completed 25/25 laps)

10.  Hailie Deegan (Started 8th; completed 25/25 laps)

11.  Michael Waltrip (Started 12th; completed 25/25 laps)

12.  Willy T. Ribbs (Started 11th; completed 25/25 laps)

 

Heat Race No. 2 (12 minutes, 24 laps):

Note: Drivers’ finishing positions in Heat Race No. 1 were inverted for start of Heat Race No. 2.

1.    Helio Castroneves (Started 4th; led laps 16-24)

2.    Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; completed 24/24 laps)

3.    Paul Tracy (Started 5th; completed 24/24 laps)

4.    Bobby Labonte (Started 10th; completed 24/24 laps)

5.    Tony Stewart (Started 8th; completed 24/24 laps)

6.    Bill Elliott (Started 12th; completed 24/24 laps)

7.    Tony Kanaan (Started 7th; completed 24/24 laps)

8.    Chase Elliott (Started 11th; completed 24/24 laps)

9.    Michael Waltrip (Started 2nd; led laps 1-5; completed 24/24 laps)

10.  Marco Andretti (Started 9th; completed 24/24 laps)

11.  Hailie Deegan (Started 3rd; completed 24/24 laps)

12.  Willy T. Ribbs (Started 1st; completed 24/24 laps)

 

Feature Results (77 laps):

Note: Starting lineup was based on average finishing positions in Heat Race Nos. 1-2.

1.    Chase Elliott (Started 4th; led laps 53, 55-77)

2.    Tony Stewart (Started 5th; completed 77/77 laps)

3.    Bill Elliott (Started 1st; led laps 1-52, 54; completed 77/77 laps)

4.    Bobby Labonte (Started 2nd; completed 77/77 laps)

5.    Paul Tracy (Started 7th; completed 77/77 laps)

6.    Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 3rd; completed 77/77 laps)

7.    Michael Waltrip (Started 10th; completed 77/77 laps)

8.    Tony Kanaan (Started 8th; completed 77/77 laps)

9.    Helio Castroneves (Started 6th; completed 77/77 laps)

10.  Hailie Deegan (Started 11th; completed 77/77 laps)

11.  Marco Andretti (Started 9th; completed 77/77 laps)

12.  Willy T. Ribbs (Started 12th; completed 56/77 laps)

 

Camping World SRX Series FINAL Championship Standings:

1.    Tony Stewart (237 points)

2.    Ernie Francis Jr. (192 points, -45)

3.    Bobby Labonte (182 points, -55)

4.    Marco Andretti (171 points, -66)

5.    Helio Castroneves (164 points, -73)

6.    Tony Kanaan (162 points, -75)

7.    Paul Tracy (121 points, -116)

8.    Michael Waltrip (111 points, -126)

9.    Bill Elliott (105 points, -132)

10.  Willy T. Ribbs (67 points, -170)

 Note: Points are awarded in both heats and the feature. In each heat, the winner receives a maximum of 12 points. Second place earns 11 points with every position in descending order receiving one fewer point, with the 12th-place finisher earning one point. Points increase in the feature, with the winner receiving 25 points, second place 22 points, third place 20 points, fourth place 18 points, fifth place 16 points, sixth place 14 points, seventh place 12 points, eighth place 10 points, ninth place eight points, 10th place six points, 11th place four points and 12th place two points.

After years of trying, defending world champ Matt Hagan finally picked up his first career victory at Bandimere Speedway, powering to the Funny Car win on Sunday at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the eighth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, as all three defending world champs kicked off the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing with victories.
 
Winning in the challenging mile-high conditions at Bandimere Speedway is something that has always eluded Hagan, but the standout came through on Sunday, going 4.105-seconds at 305.70 mph in his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye to beat Alexis DeJoria in the final round. It capped off an incredibly fulfilling weekend for Hagan at his sponsor’s race, as he won for the first time in 2021 and 37th in his career. After qualifying No. 1, Hagan beat Chris King and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps to reach the final round. He never trailed against DeJoria, also giving DSR its first Funny win of 2021 after the team won every race a year ago.
 
“This mountain has chewed me up and spit me out several years in a row. I’m just so glad to pull this win out,” said Hagan, who jumped to third in points. “I’ve been trying to get this trophy for so long. It’s an important race and it’s one of those things where we finally got it done. I just cannot say enough about my team. I’m so proud of each one of them and those guys love doing what they do. My heart was beating out of my chest there in the finals. 
 
“It felt like I was running for a championship. When you see all these fans in the stands, it gives me chill bumps. We love Denver and we love the fans that are here. I’m glad we got it done in front of them. Every win that you can get, you’re grateful for and I’m just blessed here today.”
 
DeJoria advanced to her second final round this season after picking up round wins against Jack Wyatt, points leader Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson.
 
There was no stopping Top Fuel’s Torrence in Denver, as the three-time defending champ ended Joey Haas’ upset bid by going 3.860 at 320.36 in the final round in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. Haas made his first career finals appearance, but Torrence’s consistency ruled the day as he earned his fourth win in the past five races, fifth this season, and 45th in his career. 
 
Torrence, who had round wins against Rob Passey and Mike Salinas, extended his massive points lead on the strength of four runs in the mid-3.80s on Sunday, no easy feat in the rigorous conditions on Thunder Mountain.
 
“This is one of the most difficult places to race because everything is so much different than everywhere else we go,” Torrence said. “To have the consistency, that’s just a testament to the experience and the way (crew chiefs) Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana race. They race really smart. Hats off to Joey Haas and that team, they did an unbelievable job today. To have the success we’ve had, it’s just a blessing. This car goes A to B, and it gives you call the confidence in the world, and it goes back to all the work these guys put in at the shop.”
 
Haas reached the finals for the first time thanks to victories against Alex Laughlin, who was making his Top Fuel debut, Leah Pruett, and Clay Millican.
 
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith capped off a completely dominant weekend on Thunder Mountain by going 7.118 at 189.04 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR to beat Eddie Krawiec in the final round. Smith qualified No. 1 and made one stellar run after another, rolling to his second straight win, third in 2021, and 29th in his career. The defending world champ knocked off Cory Reed and Andrew Hines en route to the final round and rode past Krawiec in the finals to strengthen his points lead.
 
“This place is hard to run at, but I love this racetrack and I was successful here in the early part of my career,” said Smith, who made the quickest run in all three qualifying sessions and three of the four rounds of eliminations this weekend. “What an awesome facility and I’m so glad to get to come out here. My bike was fast all weekend and it was just super impressive. We’ve got a tough field, so it’s always going to be tough, but this bike is on kill right now.”
 
To reach his first final round of the year and the 86th in his career, Krawiec knocked off Jerry Savoie, Steve Johnson, and Angie Smith.
 
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action next weekend with the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

 

 

There was plenty of passing in Sunday’s Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli combined feature race at Brainerd International Raceway. 
 
Future Star Ernie Francis Jr. drove from the back of the grid to take the overall victory in the Ryan Companies US presents the Jed Copham Tribute Weekend, while Rafa Matos rebounded from an incident to capture the TA2® triumph.
 
Francis started 24th in the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang. He quickly moved through traffic, needing only six laps to take third. From that point, he bided his time through a pair of restarts and passed Chris Dyson on the inside on Lap 19 to take the overall and TA lead – earning him the Chill-Out Systems Quantum Cooler Move of the race. (Video: Ernie Francis Jr. Drives from Last to First in Trans Am at Brainerd-Race Recap)
 
“We really had a dominant car out there today,” said the 23-year-old seven-time champion. “The car was dominant all weekend. The car felt like it was on rails the whole race. We got up to the leaders and worked our way by them. I was able to run a nice, steady pace and pull away from them. Hopefully, we can take the momentum to the next one at Watkins Glen.”
 
Incredibly, it was Francis’ first victory of the season in seven attempts. That upped his career total to 24 wins in TA – and his 47th including his 23 class triumphs.
 
“It’s been so tough – we’ve been waiting so long for this win,” Francis said. “We’ve been struggling all year long. We had so many opportunities earlier in the season, but it just didn’t go our way. I’m so happy we could go from the back to win this. It’s been a great weekend so far. I finished off the SRX season last night and got second in the championship.”
 
Fast qualifier Tomy Drissi led the opening 17 laps in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet before being passed on a restart by Dyson and Francis. Drissi held on to take second, 19.219 seconds behind Francis.
 
"It was a great race," said Drissi. "It was an unusual day, we set up our car to come in sooner. Ernie (Francis Jr). was just the class of the field today. It was a lot of work to gain just two points on (Chris) Dyson."
 
Dyson passed Drissi to lead a lap before losing the position to Francis. He was running second in the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang directly behind Francis when he spun off on lap 24, dropping to 15th in the combined field. Dyson then worked his way back to finish third overall, 53.585 seconds behind Francis.
 
"Ernie (Francis Jr.) had a better car today," said Dyson. "I thought I could have kept Tomy (Drissi) at bay, but I kind of just handed it to him today. We have some problems we need to work on with the car, and hopefully get it right for the upcoming races. But, at the end of the day the responsibility lies with me. We paid the penalty for not racing here last year, so we were just playing catch up all weekend. I am happy to salvage a third-place result and more points toward the championship."
 
Ken Thwaits started on the pole in the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Ford Mustang. He survived a spin to finish sixth overall and fourth in TA. He was the top Masters competitor in the TA category.
 
Amy Ruman joined Francis at the back of the grid for the start due to missing qualifying after a broken driveshaft in the No. 23 McNichols Company Corvette. Without a replacement (they had the part on back order), Ruman’s weekend was saved when the Copham family stepped up and sold her the driveshaft from former TA competitor Jed Copham’s car. With her weekend saved, she worked her way up to place 10th overall and fifth in TA.
 
"Today's finish was all about teamwork and perseverance," Ruman said. "I can't thank my team enough for how hard they worked overnight to get us to the start of the race and a full finish today. We had to modify a driveshaft that we received from the Copham family from Jed's old Trans Am car. They were nice enough to let us buy that off them. We cut that down and modified it to fit for this race. It wasn't a perfect fit but we are just happy to take home a solid fifth-place finish in the McNichols No. 23."

Matos Remains Unrattled in TA2® Comeback 

In TA2®, Matos pulled away to lead the early laps in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang. But while Francis was challenging Dyson for the TA lead, Matos slipped from first to sixth in TA2® after contact from Michael Self on a Lap 18 restart. The Brazilian needed nine laps to come back, passing Thomas Merrill in Turn 6 to regain the class lead – with his pass earning ChillOut honors.
 
The victory marked Matos’ third of the season – and 13th of his career – while expanding his lead in the TA2® points race. (VIDEO: Matos Unrattled in TA2 Comeback- Race Recap)
 
“Man, it was a hot one,” Matos said. “I thought we were done for a moment after I got hit from Michael Self – he made a mistake on the restart, missed his braking point and hit my door. That was pretty bad, but luckily the car wasn’t damaged. I thought I had some damage for a lap or two. The car started overheating, but somehow, the temperature started getting lower and it was back to normal. Just an amazing day for us. I had high expectations for this weekend. Again, the 3-Dimensional Services guys did an awesome job. Extending the points lead, this couldn’t be a better weekend for us.”
 
Mike Skeen was also involved in Matos’ incident with Self, sustaining major right-front bodywork damage. Undeterred, he held on and finished second in the No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro, 4.512 seconds back.
 
“I didn’t know the extent of the damage,” said Skeen. “At first, I thought we were going to get away with it when I saw Self move over and make contact [with Matos]. I thought I could sneak through to the left but there was a huge cloud of dirt and I couldn’t see anything. Then I saw Self coming back over and we just collected him. Frustrating for sure, but I don’t think any of us had anything for Rafa today. His car was hauling the mail. There was nothing we could do, but that restart made it interesting. This was about the best we could have done today, I’m glad I was able to bring it home.”
 
Merrill passed Matos to take the TA2® lead following the contact on the restart. He managed to lead nine laps before encountering brake problems on the No. 81 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang that eventually put him out of the race.
 
Tyler Kicera completed the TA2® podium in the No. 75 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro, followed by Connor Mosack in the No. 28 NicTailor/IFS M1-SLR Camaro and Adrian Wlostowski in the No. 3 Hawk Performance/F.A.S.T. Auto Camaro.
 
"These races are all about staying on track and being there at the end, and that held true for us today," said Kicera. "I picked my way through the field, and was able to get a gap. I started to fall off there at the end so it was all about maintaining. Huge thank you to Maurice and Laura Hull for the opportunity."
 

Doug Peterson earned TA2® Masters honors by placing ninth in the No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro.

 
Next up for the Trans Am is the Music City Grand Prix, featuring the TA2® class, joining the IndyCar Series in Nashville, Tenn., on August 6-8.
 
The next race for the combined TA/TA2/XGT/SGT and GT classes will be a doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen International on Sept. 11-12.
 
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship will travel to Portland International Raceway next weekend (July 23-25) with the Portland SpeedTour. 
 
Watch the full race replay on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App: https://bit.ly/34qQfCG

Top 10 Overall Results

  1. TA  Ernie Francis Jr No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang
  2. TA Tomy Drissi No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro     
  3. TA Chris Dyson No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang                                       
  4. TA2 Rafa Matos No. 88 3 Dimensional Services Ford Mustang                             
  5. TA2 Mike Skeen No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn14Distribution Chevrolet Camaro
  6. TA  Ken Thwaits No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Ford Mustang   
  7. TA2 Tyler Kicera No. 75 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro
  8. TA2  Connor Mosack No. 28 NicTailor/IFS M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro
  9. TA2 Adrian Wlostowski No. 3 Hawk Performance/F.A.S.T. Auto Chevrolet Camaro
  10. TA  Amy Ruman No. 23  McNicholsCo/CornerTechCNCSolut Chevrolet Corvette


Full Race Results

 Jose Gonzalez continued his standout season in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, beating back-to-back world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the final round at Bandimere Speedway.
 
The race was the fifth event of the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season, and Gonzalez picked up his second straight victory and third of the season. It was the first time the NHRA Pro Mod Series raced on Thunder Mountain and Gonzalez was the last man standing.
 
In the finals, Gonzalez went 5.972-seconds at 236.51 mph in his ProCharger-powered Q80 Camaro to slip past Jackson. It also gave Gonzalez his fifth career win as he extended his points lead in the class.
 
“This car couldn’t be running better,” Gonzalez said. “This team has got this car on rails and I couldn’t ask for a better car. It’s really tough going against all these great drivers and even qualifying is just a blessing.”
 
Gonzalez was the only driver to make a five-second run on Sunday, doing so in the final three rounds, capped off by the quickest run of his weekend in the final round.
 
Jackson picked up round wins against Robert Costa and Jim Whiteley to reach the final round for the third time this season and the 20th time in his career. 
 
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service returns to action Aug. 18-22 as part of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway at Brainerd, Minn. 
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
 
Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer David Higgins has signed with JB15 Group for athlete representation and management. JB15 will represent and support the 10-time United States stage rally champion across multiple avenues.
 
Higgins is a rallying champion on three separate continents, having won overall championships in the United States and Great Britain, and teams’ championships in China. He earned his first American titles in back-to-back years in 2002 and 2003, converted a one-off entry in the British championship into a title-winning season the next year, and won every round of the Chinese season in 2007 as part of four teams’ championships on the continent.
 
From 2011 to 2019, Higgins had some of his most prominent successes as a part of Subaru’s factory motorsports program, winning eight of nine championships across two sanctioning bodies in that time alongside co-driver Craig Drew. Headlined by a dominant 2015 season in which he went a perfect eight-for-eight, Higgins would go on to be just the second rally inductee in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame four years later.
 
Higgins’ successes have not been limited to stage rally. He also set a new record in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race in 2011 and broke it once again in 2014, is an X Games medalist in Rally Car Racing, and added two podium finishes in Global Rallycross events across parts of multiple seasons.
In addition, JB15 will support the efforts of Higgins’ son Matthew, who is the reigning 2020 British Kart Champion in the Junior Rotax Max division, and has represented Great Britain internationally in the karting ranks.
 
“I’ve known the Higgins family for the better part of a decade,” stated JB15’s Jim Beaver. “David is a true professional and one of the most accomplished stage rally drivers in the world over the past decade. We are very excited to be able to work with David on the next stage of his career and help guide Matthew as his career is just getting started. It’s very humbling for our small company to be working with such a world class driver such as David, and I look forward to unveiling some big announcements very soon.” 
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
Those of us of a certain age never sat in a child safety seat. We never wore helmets while riding a bicycle. Evel Knievel was our damaged hero – every broken bone of him – and we have the scars of wannabe-ism to prove it.
 
We didn’t come home until the streetlights came on. We drank directly from a garden hose, possibly after touching frogs and snakes, and we didn’t think twice about playing outside during a thunderstorm. 
 
We weren’t a terribly bright bunch, but it's possible that our behavior was responsible for some changes in modern safety precautions, including the decision Saturday by IMSA officials to end the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park because of lightning.
 
That in mind, here are three takeaways from the weekend:
 
Weather-related postponements
 
IMSA’s lightning safety procedure in 2021 is similar to that followed by most organizers of outdoor events: If lightning is detected within a certain radius – in this case, within eight miles of the venue – activity is halted and all on the premises are strongly encouraged to take cover for 30 minutes. If no other strike is detected, activity resumes.
 
If, as was the case at Lime Rock, lightning continues after the initial strike, the delay continues. In this case, it ended the race short of its intended two-hour, 40-minute time frame.
 
It was a difficult decision to accept, but it was the correct decision. Last year, 17 people were killed by lightning in the U.S. As of June 8, nobody had been killed by lightning in the U.S. in 2021.
 
That’s a remarkable statistic that underlies the importance of an abundance of safety. To some, the eight-mile/30-minute rule seems overly cautious. To those who left Lime Rock Park safely on Saturday, it’s appropriate.
 
Beautiful Bullring
 
Lime Rock Park is the third oldest continuously operating road course in the U.S., but it may sometimes get overlooked beyond racing enthusiasts in the Northeast.
 
The knocks on Lime Rock are it’s: a) too short, and b) too narrow. 
 
Those aren’t drawbacks. Those are strengths.
 
Much like oval tracks, road courses need variety. A road course referred to as a bullring is variety. At 1.474 miles in its configuration for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge uses a slightly longer, 1.478-mile layout), Lime Rock is roughly one-third the size of Road America, the next stop on the 2021 IMSA calendar.
 
It’s ridiculously fast, highly entertaining and worth the visit. Lime Rock Park defines scenic, with the Berkshire Mountains looming in the distance, and the compact layout combined with the hilly terrain provides fans in attendance with plenty of great viewing options to enjoy throughout each race.
 
Long live Lime Rock.
 
Some love for the No. 4
 
Imagine having the same resources, the same equipment, the same driving skills and the same engineering minds as your teammates. You’re effectively equal entries on the same team, with one small detail.
 
Your teammates have won four of the first five races this season. You have not won any paying full points.
 
That’s the situation inside Corvette Racing. The team’s No. 3 Corvette C8.R co-driven by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor has won four of the first five GT Le Mans (GTLM) races in the WeatherTech Championship, while Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner in the sister No. 4 car won the not-for-points Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit and the qualifying-points-paying Motul Pole Award 100 that set the field for January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.
 
After another victory Saturday at Lime Rock, Taylor said something telling: “Just as easily, we could have lost all of those wins.”
 
He’s right. Sometimes success is as much about circumstance as it is about resources, equipment, skill and brains. Sometimes you hit red on the roulette wheel four times in a row. The smart player bets black on the fifth spin because it’s bound to change at some point.
 
Bet the No. 4. It’s bound to change at some point.