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
My Medic To Support American Daredevil Cole Freeman’s Motorcycle Jump Over Main St During Sturgis Closing Ceremony
High-Flying Motorcycle Daredevil fun comes with a risk, and no one understands that risk better than former EMT and firefighter Cole Freeman. My Medic proudly announces support of Freeman during one of the most iconic stunts to take place in Downtown Sturgis during the city's 81st Motorcycle Rally. Freeman will inject adrenaline-fueled thrills and champion support for non-profit group RESPONDER RESCUE as the main event during the Rally's closing ceremonies on Saturday, August 14th, 2021.
The American Daredevil BlockParty will take over the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way, kicking off at 11 am for ticket holders. Freeman will attempt his next death-defying motorcycle jump LIVE- and advocate the importance of why motorcyclists should always carry a first aid kit.
"When seconds matter, it only makes sense to carry a My Medic First Aid Kit on your motorcycle; it can save lives and should be something we all carry. I had personally needed one of these kits after a head-on collision in Sturgis last year claimed two lives. Unfortunately, I was helpless in the fact I had no tools to rescue either victim. I won't ride without a first aid kit again, and neither should you." -Cole Freeman shared.
The crowd will be thrilled by Freeman's exciting motorcycle stunts and his grand finale ramp-to ramp jump. He will also be raffling off a custom-built motorcycle, with proceeds going to Responder Rescue. In addition, audience members will have a chance to score one of many My Medic First Aid Kits!
"When we heard of Cole's determination to help first responders, we knew we wanted to support his efforts. We are proud to support Cole because of his first-hand experience; he understands the importance of always having life-saving first aid items on hand. It's great to watch Cole as he uses his daredevil skills to not only entertain but to help educate people how to be prepared with first aid." David Barlow, CEO of MyMedic™, stated.
INDYCAR and NBC Sports today announced a multiyear extension of their media rights agreement.
NBC Sports will continue to be the exclusive home of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge – “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – and will provide coverage of all NTT INDYCAR SERIES races, qualifying, practices and Indy Lights races across its linear, digital and streaming platforms, including Peacock. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will see a significant increase in network exposure in 2022, with 13 races broadcast on NBC. USA Network and Peacock Premium will show the remaining races. Telemundo Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage of the season-opening race, the Indianapolis 500 and the season finale.
Peacock will stream all races on NBC and USA Network and will continue as the streaming home of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying and practices sessions, Indy Lights races and full-event replays. Peacock will stream two races exclusively, which will be announced at a later date.
“NBC Sports is proud to extend its partnership with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and continue to serve as the exclusive home of the most competitive open-wheel racing series in the world and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Jon Miller, NBC Sports. “We have demonstrated NBCUniversal’s ability to make big events bigger with our presentations of the Indianapolis 500, we have worked closely with Roger Penske, Mark Miles and the entire team to expand INDYCAR’s reach across the U.S, and we are thrilled to build upon our collaborative successes of the past few years.”
Said Mark Miles, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp.: “NBC Sports has been the ideal partner for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, bringing our bold and audacious style of racing to a significantly larger domestic audience and fully leveraging the power and scale of the Indianapolis 500. This new deal represents a significant expansion of our network TV exposure and sets us up for continued growth and success alongside a committed, innovative and world-class broadcast partner.”
The media rights extension comes on the heels of viewership milestones for NBC Sports’ coverage of both the Indianapolis 500 and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC was the most-watched edition of the race since the 100th Running in 2016, and NBC Sports is off to its most-watched NTT INDYCAR SERIES season ever through the first nine races of 2021, with viewership up 30% vs. comparable coverage in 2020.
The partnership between NBC Sports and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES dates back to 2009, when NBCSN (originally VERSUS) became the cable home of the series and televised the majority of its races each season. NBC Sports became the exclusive home of INDYCAR in 2019, which also marked the year of NBC’s inaugural Indianapolis 500 broadcast.
The full 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES coverage schedule on NBC, USA Network and Peacock will be announced in the coming months.
All coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be available on Peacock Premium. Viewers can sign up and learn more here. Peacock is currently available across devices; more details here. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.
The Plan for LMDh and LMH Prototypes to Compete on Equal Footing Globally Is Great News for Everyone Involved
Fresh off a win July 3 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, TeamSLR heads to the next race on the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli schedule this Sunday at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway intent on securing a second straight TA2 victory.
It was Sam Mayer who delivered the win to TeamSLR at Road America with his teammate, Connor Mosack, right in his tire tracks for the majority of the 25-lap race around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course. Mosack started fourth and grabbed third place on the first lap and then took second on lap eight. The 22-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, stayed there until three laps from the finish when a spin on the penultimate corner thwarted his strong drive.
Mosack aims to take that speed to Brainerd, where he tested last week in preparation for Sunday’s race on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn road course located 130 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It marked one of the rare instances this season where Mosack has been able to sample a track before racing there, as 2021 is his first full season of TA2 competition, meaning that Mosack is seeing most of the tracks on this year’s calendar for the first time.
Mosack will be joined at Brainerd by a true first-timer in 20-year-old Jack Wood, who is looking to burnish his racing resume with some road-course experience via the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
Wood is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who made his debut in that division on May 22 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Wood described the road-course race as an “eye-opener” as his only prior road-course experience came in go-karts and in a lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in 2019. The Loomis, California-native’s next Truck Series race takes place on a road course – Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International – making this weekend’s TA2 experience at Brainerd all the more valuable.
Mosack and Wood will be coached by the father-and-son duo of Scott Lagasse and Scott Lagasse, Jr. They have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks.
It’s all a part of TeamSLR’s comprehensive driver development program, which includes car-building capabilities. TeamSLR is the exclusive representative of M1 Racecars, an official TA2 constructor. It builds rolling chassis and complete Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers for Trans Am competition.
Mosack and Wood will wheel their M1 Racecars-built Chevrolet Camaros around Brainerd in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s 30th visit to the storied track where the legendary Parnelli Jones scored the first win back in 1969.
Connor Mosack, driver No. 28 Nic Tailor Custom Fit Underwear/Interstate Foam & Supply Chevrolet Camaro:
Jack Wood, driver No. 96 M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro:
Scott Lagasse, Jr., owner of TeamSLR and driver coach:
“Connor did a really good job at Road America. He learned the track really quickly and was able to run up front all weekend. I believe his performance will carry over to this weekend at Brainerd.
“In regard to Jack, we’ll work with him like we do all of our drivers. We’ll study film, data and talk as a team to help get the best out of all of our drivers. This brings the best results.
“The Trans Am Series is a great place for drivers to hone their road-racing skills. We have seen the influx of NASCAR races at road courses over the last few years, so I think it’s really important for drivers to have the knowledge and understanding of road racing. It only makes them more valuable.”
TeamSLR competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in a multifaceted effort that includes dedicated entries in the TA2 division, customer programs, driver coaching and car construction. Its history dates back to 1985 and covers a wide spectrum of motorsports, including NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, ARCA and ASA. TeamSLR is a family-owned organization run by Scott Lagasse Sr., and Scott Lagasse Jr., The father-and-son duo have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks. For more information, please visit us online at www.TeamSLR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.
Trans-Am Legends George Follmer and Parnelli Jones Scheduled to be Co-Grand Marshals of Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
(Courtesy of WeatherTech raceway)
Following the successful debut of the new drift arena in Englishtown, NJ for Round 3 of the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, the teams relocated to another new track for Round 4: Borderlands, which would be hosted by Lake Erie Speedway in North East, PA.
The 3/8-mile oval track is popular with local drift racers but was totally new to the majority of FD PRO drivers, who would also need to contend with rain for Friday’s inaugural Knockout Qualifying Format (KQF) to decide the positions for Saturday’s competition heats.
To ensure high-speed action, Formula DRIFT created a new course layout for the teams, providing three sweeping Outside Zones that rewarded smoothness while encouraging proximity for the large crowd to enjoy during the tandem competition runs.
The combination of a new track, heavy rain and a sprinkling of technical problems catapulted some different names to the top of the qualifying positions. Among them was fan-favorite Adam LZ (USA) who qualified first in his LZ S15. Having joined the PRO Championship as a rookie in 2020, FD Erie represents the peak of his extraordinary career and indicated there’s plenty more to come.
Second place was secured by 2015 FD Champion Fredric Aasbo (Norway) driving the Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra. Sitting third in the 2021 driver’s Championship, the Norwegian is always a threat and looked strong in the rain.
Third place went to 2013 FD Champion Michael Essa (USA) who proved he can still hustle the FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3 when the mechanical gremlins have been abated.
With a new name at the top of the qualification table, there was an unusual one at the bottom: 2011 FD Champion Daijiro Yoshihara (Japan) was in 29th; his lowest qualifying position since he joined FD in 2004. Unfortunately, Dai continues to have a challenging 2021 season in the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ.
Two places above him in 27th was three-time FD Champion Chris Forsberg (USA) in the NOS Energy / GT Radial Nissan 370Z. He was a beneficiary of the new Knockout Qualifying Format, which gave him a second run after a technical problem dictated he abort the first.
Forsberg reported a repeat of his drive-by-wire throttle problems, which had caused him not only to qualify 31st at Round 3, but would lead him to concede to Matt Field (USA) in the Final.
With the team continuing to work on the throttle body, trying to prevent it shutting of its own accord, they were hopefully the 370Z would be stronger for the first heat against Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis (Lithuania) who held second in the 2021 FD PRO Championship driving the Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15.
Other teams facing problems included Federico Sceriffo (Italy). He advanced to the Top 16 for the very first time at FD NJ in the FFF Drifting Department Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorella. However, he didn’t travel to FD Erie after a team member was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Unfortunately, Ryan Litteral (USA) was again a no-show in the Powerstop Brakes Nissan S15, and Justin Pawlak (USA) blew an engine during practice in his Falken Tire Ford Mustang and was forced to withdraw.
With 29 drivers remaining for the Top 32 heats, the three top qualifiers would all get bye runs into the Top 16 heats.
With his bye run promoting LZ into the Top 16, an expectant crowd saw him position the LZ S15 alongside Chelsea DeNofa (USA) in the BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D. With more horsepower and experience, DeNofa is always a major threat and after a good lead run, LZ knew he needed to pressure DeNofa from the chase position. Unfortunately, this resulted in a meeting with the wall in Turn 1 shortly after initiating. The impact created a gap between the two drivers and was enough to send LZ back to his trailer to prepare for Round 5.
For DeNofa, his LZ victory was the second heat in his march to the Final – his first in the Top 32 had been against Jhonnattan Castro (Dominican Republic). His Gerdau Metaldom / Mobil1 / Nexen Tires Toyota 86 TRD span out of contention in Outside Zone 3 while trying to maintain proximity with DeNofa.
Moving into the Top 8, DeNofa’s next rival was Kazuya Taguchi (Japan) driving the Upgarage / ISR Performance / GT Radial / Jerry Yang Racing Toyota 86. There was little to separate the two after their tandem runs but the judges favored DeNofa’s lead run and awarded him the win.
DeNofa’s opponent in the Final 4 was FD PRO Championship points leader, Matt Field, who had an early scare when he damaged his car in pre-event practice. Happening shortly before the competition heats, Field chose to use his 5min Competition Time Out (CTO) to replace the steering rack. Possibly sensing weakness, DeNofa pushed Field hard on the first run, achieving incredible proximity throughout the course. With the pressure on Field to drive equally aggressively, he made a mistake and surged forward into Outside Zone 2, forcing him to correct. As he straightened and appeared to get lost in DeNofa’s smoke, Field ran off-track and his day was done.
The second Semi-Final was between DeNofa’s teammate, Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA) in the Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D, and Fredric Aasbo (Norway) driving the Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra. With three FD PRO Championship titles between them, thrills are guaranteed and FD Erie didn’t disappoint.
On the first run, Aasbo set an incredible pace, filling the three Outside Zones with precision. Gittin was slow to initiate but caught up quickly and the pair finished together to cheers from the appreciative crowd. But then things got crazy on the second run.
With the gauntlet thrown, Gittin made a blistering start and Aasbo was similarly slow to initiate. The Norwegian seemed to struggle with the transition into Outside Zone 2 and was forced to abort his drift. It happened fractionally after Gittin had over-rotated in Outside Zone 3 and was also forced to lift and straighten. The judges assessed Gittin’s run incomplete, awarding the win to Aasbo.
The only hitch was Aasbo’s broken rear suspension, which the team was given 7min to repair. As the clock ticked down, the team segued in its 5min Competition Time Out. However, it wasn’t sufficient for such extensive repairs and Aasbo had to concede the Final to DeNofa.
As the first driver to win two rounds this year, DeNofa jumped from fourth in the FD PRO Championship to second behind Field, who hangs on with a narrow 19-point lead.
“I’d actually been here about 13 years ago, so it was cool to see the track layout from behind the wheel of an insanely well set-up car,“ DeNofa told us after the podium ceremony. “I didn’t know what to expect but the fans were amazing, packed in, tuned-in to everything – they were pumped to have us here and we were pumped to be at the track.
“Unfortunately, we had some rain yesterday, so I didn’t get many practice runs. And I only had one chase before going into the heats, so we were learning as we went along – but it was a level playing field because most teams were in the same position,” he continued.
“I have to admit, I deliberately qualified poorly because I prefer to chase first. That worked out and we were able to chip away in the heats. We took it all the way to the podium and while it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to run against Fredric, I did get to do a Victory Lap, which I’ve never done before. I was pumped to run at 150% without caring what happens because as soon as you run, you’ve won.
“I really want to continue the momentum that’s given us two wins out of four this year. Going into Seattle, I typically don’t do well there but I’m local so have recently driven it a few times and learned a few things. Now the team has a list of things we want to improve to continue evolving the car and keep progressing because anybody in the top ten still has a chance to win the title.”
With Aasbo finishing second, he held onto third place in the FD PRO Championship, while Bakchis dropped to fourth. Top Rookie finisher was Josh Reynolds (USA) who put his Drift Force / Nexen Tire F22 Eurofighter BMW into 19th place.
Before hitting the hotel mini-bar we tracked down Formula DRIFT President, Jim Liaw: “We’re very happy to have added this amazing facility in the Great Lakes area to the 2021 Formula DRIFT schedule. The crowd came from across the mid-west and eastern seaboard, and we’re hoping to see Canadian visitors once the borders open up. We’ve built a great foundation here for years to come in terms of the close competition we can expect and engagement with the fans. I really hope they enjoyed the inaugural Formula DRIFT event at Lake Erie Speedway – it certainly looked as if they did – and we have tremendous opportunities to grow from here. So, we’ll evaluate how everything went and see how we can make the 2022 event even stronger!”
For the first time since 2015, Progressive American Flat Track is back at the famously fast DuQuoin Mile presented by Black Diamond Harley-Davidson at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, this Saturday, July 17.
To this day, flat track fans are still talking about the series’ most recent stop at the “Magic Mile” in ‘15, when Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley/Howerton Motorsports Indian FTR750), Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), and multi-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth took the checkered flag three wide in a photo finish officially separated by an impossibly close 0.00-second margin.
“Mile Master” Smith was determined to be the victor that evening, and he’ll be back competing for Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle honors this weekend in hopes of adding another win in DuQuoin to his vast collection of Mile victories.
Though he’s coming off an uncharacteristic performance at his home race in Lima, the still-mending Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) was healthy enough to win OKC Mile II a week before that. Considering his peerless form on the bigger tracks over the past few seasons, Mees is well poised to rebound in style in DuQuoin.
And even in retirement, Coolbeth might just get his revenge this weekend. While the series sorely misses the injured Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), the Cooleth-Nila Racing team comes armed with a substitute rider who may be the only racer on the planet with the skills to go from the couch to the top of the podium in Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750). Further fueled by the support of his home-state fans, Carver is certain to add an element of excitement on Saturday night.
Of course, there’s the two top-ranked riders on the tour to consider in double defending Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and the streaking Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750). Throw in the likes of Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), and Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and the potential is there for another classic.
The factory-backed KTM, Yamaha, and Honda teams led by Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) have battled it out at the front throughout the 2021 AFT Singles. That’s a trend expected to continue this weekend.
Even after finishing as the class runner-up in 2020, Australian Whale has been something of a revelation this season, showcasing the speed and consistency to take the fight to a dominant defending champion in Daniels, who more often than not looked to be in a class of his own a year ago.
Meanwhile, Wiles has strung together two wins and a runner-up in his most recent three races, demonstrating the tools that made him the most successful 450cc rider in premier-class history.
With 14 podiums since his last (and to date, only) AFT Singles win, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) is more than due to earn another checkered flag.
Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) could use another win too; since opening her ‘21 campaign in sensational double-winning fashion, Texter-Bauman is yet to finish better than 10th, including 10th- and 12th-place results at the OKC Mile. She cannot be overlooked, however, considering she’s taken eight-career Mile wins -- more than twice as many as any other rider in AFT Singles history.
AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
The story remains the same in AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines where everyone is scrambling to keep pace with 2019 class king Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07). Texter has recorded four wins and six podiums in seven attempts, allowing him to stretch out an early 39-point advantage.
There’s a great deal of talent in the class behind him, including Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/Rausch Fuel Kawasaki Ninja 650). Any number of them have the potential to string together a series of top results and make this championship race a fight yet.
The day’s events will have a slightly different sound in DuQuoin; four-time GNC Main Event winner and Illinois native Johnny Murphree will provide color commentary in the booth alongside series announcer Scottie Deubler. Murphree is filling in for 2013 Grand National Champion Brad Baker, who is away getting married this weekend.
Tickets are available for purchase now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3377#selectTickets. General Admission tickets situated on the front stretch grandstand are $35 in advance ($65 with paddock access). Kids 12 and under are admitted for free ($20 with paddock access) with the purchase of an adult GA ticket. Prices increase on event day, so fans are encouraged to reserve all seats in advance.
The gates will open for fans at 3:00 p.m. local time with Opening Ceremonies set to begin at 7:20 p.m. ET/4:20 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 DuQuoin Mile presented by Black Diamond Harley-Davidson will air on NBCSN on Sunday, August 8, at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 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.