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  

  

 

 In honor of today, Veteran’s Day, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca announced that they will hold their second annual Military Appreciation Day with FREE general admission to all active military in uniform and veterans with ID who attend the Pirelli World Challenge Saturday, September 12, 2015.

“We are proud and honored to host to the men, women and families who serve our country,” says Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Our facility is a part of the former Fort Ord’s history and has long been a supporter of the Monterey Peninsula military community.”

The Monterey Peninsula’s love affair with world-class racing traces its beginnings to the inaugural running of the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1950. Those sports car events quickly outgrew the public roads of the Del Monte Forest yet the popularity of the races and the financial impact on the community had impressed the military authorities at Fort Ord and they wanted to pick up where Pebble Beach left off. In 1957 the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a group of local businessmen dedicated to keeping sports car racing alive on the Monterey Peninsula, began negotiations with the Army to build a race track on Fort Ord property. Major General W.M. Breckenridge cut the ribbon at the new facility for its first race November 9, 1957.
 
The Pirelli World Challenge boasts a strong paddock of 70 race cars consisting of six classes of vehicles by well-known auto makers including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Cadillac, Mazda, McLaren and Porsche. Races are 50-minutes from start to finish ensuring each driver is giving 100 percent from beginning to end because there are no scheduled pit stops or driver changes. There is the intensity of the final lap, every lap.
 
The Mazda Road to Indy ladder Series – comprised of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires; Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires; and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – will also compete during the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend. These three developmental racing series feature drivers from around the globe competing for the ultimate goal of a career in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
 
Troops can purchase tickets in advance for other races and receive 30% military discount by calling the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca ticket office at 800-327-7322. Tickets for the 2015 season go on sale December 3, with eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round tickets becoming available for sale on January, 16. For more information visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 800-327-7322.

The door is still slightly open for a miraculous comeback for five Top Fuel standouts in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

 

But if Top Fuel points leader Tony Schumacher has his way that door will be slammed shut as quickly as possible at this weekend’s 50th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Spencer Massey, J.R. Todd, reigning world champion Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence are all still mathematically alive heading into the final event of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

 

Schumacher, though, knows any and all equations are eliminated with a first round win in his 10,000-horsepower U.S. Army dragster. He currently leads Massey by 109 points, meaning Schumacher’s seventh world championship – and first since 2009 – is at his fingertips.

 

“I feel great,” Schumacher said. “It’s a good place to be. When you come in with a big lead, you’ve done a great job and your car has done what it has had to do to get this lead. I hope I step up and the car goes as fast as it can, and we win this race and show why we’re the champs. We have to live up to what the Army car is supposed to do.”

 

Langdon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Rickie Jones (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year's winners of the season-ending race that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2.

 

The 50th anniversary of the Auto Club NHRA Finals could be even more memorable for Schumacher if he caps off his spectacular Countdown to the Championship run with a victory in Pomona.

 

The longtime Top Fuel star could have clinched the title in Las Vegas but suffered a surprising first-round upset to Billy Torrence. That has been Schumacher’s only hiccup in a dominant Countdown that has included three of his five 2014 victories. It won’t take a win to claim the championship, but one last resounding performance would leave a sizeable impression on the rest of the class heading into the off-season.

 

“The car is fantastic,” Schumacher said. “The Army car has won a lot of race and championships, and it makes people step up their game. I’m a firm believer in earning it all the way. We obviously have a great lead, so it’s comfortable, but we would like to win the last one.”

 

Massey took the most advantage of Schumacher’s first-round exit in Las Vegas, winning his third event of the season and jumping from seventh all the way to second in the standings. Trailing by more than 100 points doesn’t make for great odds, but Massey simply wants to continue his strong momentum from Las Vegas. But should there be an opening, Massey plans to take advantage.

 

“Obviously anything is possible and we all remember watching Tony do it back in 2006,” Massey said, referencing Schumacher’s memorable final round victory where he also set the national E.T. record to claim the world championship. Drag Racing historians still refer to the improbable feat as “The Run.”

 

“It would be very tough, but it’s still possible,” Massey continued. “Realistically, we want to stay No. 2 and if something happens to Tony and it opens the door for us, we want that championship. We just have to go out and try to win. That’s all you can do.”

 

It might take the seemingly unthinkable, which would be Schumacher not qualifying, for Massey or the other four drivers in contention to have a shot, but if Schumacher loses in the first round, Massey and Todd would still have an opportunity depending on how the qualifying points shake out. That scenario would include each driver winning the race and also setting a national E.T. record, just like Schumacher did in ’06.

 

It’s something that might be possible after Massey’s strong performance in Las Vegas at the controls of his Red Fuel by Schumacher dragster. Perhaps more than anything, though, Massey feels strongly about what his dragster is capable of to finish this season and on into 2015 as well.

 

“We ran a 3.75 in Vegas so anything is possible,” Massey said. “The new car is running extremely well and if the door is open we’ll try to take advantage. I am extremely happy with how the car is running and I feel like we have a car that can win in Pomona and compete for a championship in 2015.”

 

Schumacher will be as prepared as he has been all season to finish the job in Pomona, even if it means going against an ultra-talented Top Fuel field that also includes two-time Finals winner Antron Brown, four-time season runner-up Brittany Force, Indy winner Richie Crampton and Winternationals winner Khalid alBalooshi.

 

“Everyone who has anything to do with our performance on the racetrack is going to go all out and work to finish the job we have ahead of us at Pomona,” Schumacher said.

 

In Funny Car, Hagan took home the Auto Club NHRA Finals victory last season, but lost out on a championship to 16-time and reigning champ John Force. Hagan enters the final stretch with a 21-point lead over Force and is primed to make a run for a second world championship crown. Force's daughter Courtney is also a longshot contender for the championship, but the list of potential event winners in Funny Car is deep, and includes three-time season winner Alexis DeJoria, Tommy Johnson Jr., five-time season winner Robert Hight, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Del Worsham, who won in Las Vegas, and Cruz Pedregon.

 

In Pro Stock, one of the most intense playoff battles could be settled at Pomona. History-chaser Erica Enders-Stevens leads the pack in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro. A five-time winner this season, she is trying to become the first female to win an NHRA world championship title in Pro Stock. Hot on her heels is two-time world champ Jason Line, driver of the Summit Racing Camaro, who trails by 17 points. Dave Connolly is 84 points back in third place and still in contention for the title.

             

The 2014 world championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle is coming down to Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Andrew Hines and Krawiec, the winner of this event last season. Hines currently holds the points lead over Krawiec, but the pair have gone back and forth during the season. Hines pulled ahead by 92 points following his recent victory in Las Vegas and seems poised to add a fourth championship title to his resume.

             

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, NHRA will feature many of the sport's greatest legends and those drivers will share some of their favorite memories from 50 years of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. "The King of Speed" Kenny Bernstein, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, "TV" Tommy Ivo, Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen, Ed "The Ace" McCulloch, Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme will be featured during the event and participate in a series of special NHRA Legends Chats and a special autograph session on Saturday afternoon in the popular Hot Rod Junction.

 

The NHRA Legends Chats will run from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday and the special legends autograph session will take place between Saturday's pro qualifying sessions. Fans can attend the Legends Chats and autograph session by obtaining a special commemorative 50th Anniversary NHRA Legends Card, which will be available on a first come, first served basis at the Hot Rod Junction.

 

NHRA fans also will play an important role in the 50th anniversary celebration as they will help decide the most iconic moments in the history of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Fans will vote for their favorite moments from the event via interactive pages set up on NHRA.com and NHRA’s Facebook page.

 

Special celebrations throughout the weekend are scheduled to highlight this significant milestone event. In addition to the NHRA Legends Chats and special autograph session featuring the legends, there will be several NHRA-exclusive Cacklefests showcasing the vintage dragsters of the sport's early days, a special car corral in the Hot Rod Junction featuring a wide variety of vintage dragsters and classic race cars and The SealMaster Track Walk, where fans can walk on the famed Auto Club Raceway at Pomona track prior to Sunday's final eliminations. The SealMaster Track Walk also will feature several of the sports legends.

 

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they're granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

 

Fans also will want to visit NHRA's popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

 

The event also will feature thrilling competition and world championship finishes in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

 

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Nov. 14, with sessions at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Nov. 15, at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16.

 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRAtix.com.

In honor of Veteran's Day, MX Sports Pro Racing and the National Promoter's Group (NPG) are proud to announce the continuation of an initiative with the Veteran Tickets Foundation, where active and retired military veterans will once again have the opportunity to attend any round of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, at no cost. 

For 2015, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross has donated 50 General Admission tickets for each of the 12 rounds of the Nationals to the Vet Tix foundation. Tickets will be available to all military veterans two weeks prior to each event through VetTix.org.

 

"The donation of free tickets has dramatically widened the range of ways that veterans can relax, enjoy themselves, share smiles with their families and loved ones, and for some, be re-integrated into civilian life," said CEO and Founder of Vet Tix Michael Focareto.

 

Major sports franchises from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, National Football League, and National Hockey League have also partnered with Vet Tix, as have World Wrestling Entertainment and Professional Bull Riders. Lucas Oil Pro Motocross was one of the first prominent motorsports properties in the country to offer this one-of-a-kind service to all veterans of the armed services and is proud to enter its fourth year of partnership with the nonprofit organization.

 

 

Vet Tix, based in Phoenix, is a national nonprofit organization that provides free tickets to veterans and active-duty members of the military and their families. The concept of Vet Tix was developed in 2008 by U.S. Navy veteran Michael Focareto. Since then, the organization has given away more almost 1.2 million tickets to veterans nationwide.

 

All active and retired military veterans can create an account on VetTix.org to receive emails and reminders about when Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tickets become available. More information about Vet Tix can be found at VetTix.org. 

 

The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicks off Saturday, May 16, with the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, California. The world's best riders will compete over the course of 12 rounds of action on the most renowned motocross tracks in the country. Tickets will go on sale series-wide beginning on Monday, November 24. Stay tuned for special promotions and discounts throughout the holiday season. 

 

For additional information, please visit our new URL ProMotocross.com and LIKE the Pro Motocross Facebook page and follow @ProMotocross on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and additional information on the latest Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship news.

 

The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will celebrate Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week(SCIAW) in Florida from November 10-16, 2014. In 2006, the foundation successfully lobbied for and with a resolution passed by the Florida Legislature, created Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week to generate awareness of spinal cord injuries and educate the public on ways to prevent them. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation's mission is to SUPPORT people with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries.

"We are looking forward to highlighting our statewide spinal cord injury prevention efforts though Florida Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week," said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, co-founder of the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. "With the support of community leaders such as Senator Rene Garcia, Miami-Dade School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman and Broward School Board Member Laurie Rich Levinson, we are able to fulfill our mission of the prevention of injuries in our youth as well as improving the quality of life of those afflicted with paralysis though various wheelchair donations through the week."

Auto Accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in Florida. A Public Service Announcement (PSA) urging drivers not to text & drive, drink & drive and always wear their seatbelt starring NASCAR Star Tony Stewart and NHRA Hall of Famer Darrell Gwynn will air on television and radio throughout the state of Florida during SCIAW. NASCAR will also support the week with drivers sporting the SCIAW Decal on their racecars during Ford Championship Weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

During SCIAW, on behalf of its donors and supporters, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation will donate two state-of-the-art custom power wheelchairs to deserving Floridians. The donations are being made through the foundation's national Wheelchair Donation Program which donates custom power wheelchairs to individuals facing medical and financial hardships. The donations will take place and several major events in Florida including a Miami Dolphins game, the Ford 400 Championship and the Hot Rods & Reels Charity Fishing Tournament with NASCAR Drivers.

The Darrell Gwynn Foundation's Education & Prevention Program will also address students at several high schoolsin Florida during the month of November. The program sends speakers in wheelchairs to share their stories of how a poor decision changed their lives forever and educate students on the dangers of texting & driving, drinking & driving, not wearing seatbelts, diving in unknown waters, playing with guns and engaging in reckless activities that can ultimately lead to spinal cord injuries.

Finally, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation will make a gift to the Speediatrics Unit at Homestead Hospital through its Patient Assistance Fund duringSpinal Cord Injury Awareness Week.

The week culminates during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway when NASCAR drivers bring attention to spinal cord injuries as they race by sporting special decals on their cars in observance of SCIAW. In addition, approximately 20 drivers, team owners and celebrities, including Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Richard Childress, Clint Bowyer, Darrell Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Joey Coulter and Martin Truex and many more will take part in the Hot Rods & Reels™ Charity Fishing Tournament at the speedway's infield lake on November 15 at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation's mission.

For more information on SCIAW and the Darrell Gwynn Foundation please visit darrellgwynnfoundation.org.

Give the Gift of Mobility: https://darrellgwynnfoundation.org/the-gift-of-mobility.php                                            

 

     
         
   
The Proton Competition Porsche is currently in third place in the FIA Endurance Trophy for Teams, lying 26 points behind the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage.  We caught up with Khaled Al Qubaisi ahead of his home race, the 6 Hours of Bahrain.    
 
Q: What does it mean to you to have a race of the FIA World Endurance Championship in the Middle East? 
 
"It's really great to be able to race somewhere we can closely call a "home race".  The WEC is a great Championship and the pinnacle of GT Endurance, so therefore a race in our region is really important for us and our supporters and can help us raise awareness about Endurance and sportscar racing." 
 
Q: While Formula One is well established in Abu Dhabi and in Bahrain, how is sportscar and endurance racing viewed by the people in the Middle East?
 
"It's a bit different, there is a lot of promotion that goes towards F1 and it's the top end of motor Racing and attracts everyone if those who aren't really motorsports fans. Endurance and sports car racing is quite different, those who attend are usually more hardcore and those kind of fans take time to build but we are already seeing them growing as evidenced in the Dubai 24 Hours and now the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. It will come, slowly but surely, this region has a great future in motorsports."
 
Q: What has been the highlight of your season so far in the FIA WEC?
 
"My highlight was definitely finishing second at Le Mans! But my stint in Austin during the rain came very close! Getting in the car in 4th and out with a 2 lap lead, I overtook a pro car too; a great feeling."
 
Q: What is the goal for the 6 Hours of Bahrain for you and the Proton Competition team?
 
"The goal is to stay out of trouble and extend our 3rd position in the championship. A podium will be nice too."
 
(FIA WEC PR)

With the revised Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship having determined the four drivers who have a chance to win what will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for each, ESPN SportsCenter will follow the four contenders all week as they prepare for Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the season.

 

The four finalists are Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman. Though all drive for multi-car race teams, the four finalists represent four different race teams and three different manufacturers. The driver among the four who finishes highest in Sunday’s race, no matter where he finishes overall in the 43-car field for the event, will be the new champion.

 

ESPN reporters will be embedded with the championship contenders early this week, with SportsCenter airing multiple live reports from the four contending race shops between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET each day on Monday and Tuesday. The 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. editions of SportsCenter will air larger all-access features from each team, summarizing what the teams did on those days to prepare for the championship race.

 

The Wednesday night editions of SportsCenter will air interviews and reports from that evening’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship contender’s press conference in Miami, including the four drivers and their team owners, while Thursday’s SportsCenter reports will follow work back at the race shops and what the drivers are doing in South Florida before on-track action begins Friday. 

 

Dave Burns will follow Logano from the Penske Racing headquarters, while Ryan McGee will report on Hamlin from Joe Gibbs Racing. Mike Massaro will report on Newman from Richard Childress Racing and Marty Smith will be with Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing.

 

ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven will appear on SportsCenter frequently throughout race weekend, including during extended post-race coverage Sunday that will feature an interview with the new NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

 

Sunday’s 400-mile race airs live on ESPN. A special two-hour edition of NASCAR Countdown at 1 p.m. will lead up to the 3:16 p.m. green flag. All four championship contenders will appear live on Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio, and the program also will include extended “the week that was” features on all four.

 

The champion will visit ESPN on Wednesday, Nov. 19, and appear on a variety of ESPN programs and platforms.

 

(ESPN)

 The chance for a repeat title for reigning Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon is very slim and will be totally negated if series leader Tony Schumacher qualifies for eliminations at the 50th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals next weekend.

 

But Langdon, who is fourth in the standings and trails the seven-time champ by 134 points, can still finish the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season strong by racing to a victory at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, which is about as good of a finish that Langdon could ask for. Things haven’t always gone as planned in Langdon’s attempt at a title defense, but the driver of the 10,000-horsepower Al-Anabi Racing dragster knows the importance of finishing strong.

 

“In every sense you want to end the season on a good note,” Langdon said. “At this point we simply want to get our racecar back and finish strong. We’ve struggled a little bit to get a handle on the car and you really want to finish up and end the season with a positive. We really just need to get the car back to where it was running a year ago, where it was consistent and it was consistently fast.”

 

Langdon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Rickie Jones (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year's winners of the tradition-rich season-ending race that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2.

 

The Auto Club NHRA Finals is one of drag racing's most revered events and the win last year to finish off Langdon’s championship season stands out as a major accomplishment in his banner 2013 season. Things haven’t fallen into place quite the same way this season, and especially during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, but a good deal of those struggles could be erased with a strong performance at Pomona.

 

The race has always held a significant amount of prestige and this year’s 50th anniversary celebration during the race weekend will add to that. Racing at Auto Club Raceway also holds extra importance to Langdon, a Southern California native whose first passes in drag racing came at the historic track.

 

“I love Pomona and every time I go there I get butterflies,” Langdon said. “To me, it’s the biggest event of the year. All my friends and family will be there and it’s always special for me to race there. I grew up watching the Top Fuel cars go down the track there and it’s where I started my career. Pomona is where it all began and that makes it special every time we race there.”

 

A second straight Auto Club NHRA Finals victory would provide a big boost to a team that has just one victory a year after Langdon racked up seven wins en route to the series crown. In addition to his lone win in 2014, he also posted five runner-up finishes and three No. 1 qualifying positions. All good stats, but pretty normal compared to his team’s frenetic pace last year.

 

“Our car has gone through a lot of changes,” Langdon said. “Ending on a good note is always good, but I know the Al-Anabi team is going to put in an A-plus effort at all times. We’re trying to progress the car and the tune-up and it’s been tough at times this year. We’ve run into bumps and have some struggles, but it’s all for the sake of progress and there’s no denying the effort the team has put in the entire season.”

 

The perfect example of the up and down season came at the last three events in the Countdown. Langdon, who has nine career victories, advanced to the final round in St. Louis to jump to second in points and put the possibility of a repeat title within view.

 

But Langdon stumbled to a first-round loss in Reading, dropping the Al-Anabi Racing driver to fourth and 148 points behind the surging Schumacher. He was presented with a chance to get back in the title mix in Las Vegas when Schumacher was upset in the opening round, but ultimately couldn’t take advantage and fell to Spencer Massey in the second round.

 

“We had a chance; it was a great feeling to know that with Tony (Schumacher) and Doug (Kalitta) going out in the first round, we had a chance to make up a lot of ground in the point standings, but we couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity,” Langdon said. “We’ve had one of those years. It’s been tough fighting through the tune-up bugs this season, but we continue to just try to get our car running well again.”

 

Schumacher is 109 points ahead of second place Massey and J.R. Todd made a late rally in his Optima Batteries dragster to move to third in points. Kalitta and Steve Torrence are fifth and sixth in the standings, and like Langdon, also still mathematically alive for the championship.

 

Several other Top Fuel drivers will be in the hunt for a race win, despite being out of the Countdown title race. Two-time Finals winner Antron Brown heads that list, and is followed by Winternationals winner and Langdon's Al-Anabi teammate Khalid alBalooshi, four-time season runner-up Brittany Force and Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner and Auto Club Road to the Future award candidate Richie Crampton.

 

In Funny Car, Hagan took home the Auto Club NHRA Finals victory last season, but was disappointed his win didn’t include a world championship trophy as well. Following his recent win in Pennsylvania and semifinal finish in Las Vegas, Hagan enters the last race with a 21-point lead over John Force. Force earned his 16th world championship title last season and this year his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang has been one of the quickest and fastest cars on the circuit. However, he's going to need to be on his game with new crew chief John Medlen if he's to record a 17th world championship.

              

Force’s daughter Courtney earned back-to-back playoff victories at Dallas and St. Louis and sits third in points at the controls of her Traxxas Mustang, however 121 points back, she is a longshot for the title. She still has had a great season, becoming the first female to post four wins in a season in Funny Car and the first woman to win back-to-back races in Funny Car. The 26-year-old racer also earned the 100th win by a female driver in the Mello Yello Series and passed her sister Ashley as NHRA’s winningest female Funny Car driver.

              

In addition to the trio of championship challengers, the list of potential event winners in Funny Car is deep, and includes three-time season winner Alexis DeJoria, Bristol winner Tommy Johnson Jr., five-time season winner Robert Hight, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Del Worsham and Cruz Pedregon.

 

In Pro Stock, one of the most intense playoff battles could be settled at Pomona. History-chaser Erica Enders-Stevens leads the pack in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro. A five-time winner this season, she is trying to become the first female to win an NHRA world championship title in Pro Stock. Hot on her heels is two-time world champ Jason Line, driver of the Summit Racing Camaro, who trails by 17 points. Dave Connolly is 84 points back in third place and still in contention for the title.

              

The 2014 world championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle is coming down to Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Andrew Hines and Krawiec, the winner of this event last season. Hines currently holds the points lead over Krawiec, but the pair have gone back and forth during the season. Hines pulled ahead by 92 points following his recent victory in Las Vegas and seems poised to add a fourth championship title to his resume.

               

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, NHRA will feature many of the sport's greatest legends and those drivers will share some of their favorite memories from 50 years of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. "The King of Speed" Kenny Bernstein, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, "TV" Tommy Ivo, Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen, Ed "The Ace" McCulloch, Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme will be featured during the event and participate in a series of special NHRA Legends Chats and a special autograph session on Saturday afternoon in the popular Hot Rod Junction.

 

The NHRA Legends Chats will run from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday and the special legends autograph session will take place between Saturday's pro qualifying sessions. Fans can attend the Legends Chats and autograph session by obtaining a special commemorative 50th Anniversary NHRA Legends Card, which will be available on a first come, first served basis at the Hot Rod Junction.

 

NHRA fans also will play an important role in the 50th anniversary celebration as they will help decide the most iconic moments in the history of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Fans will vote for their favorite moments from the event via interactive pages set up on NHRA.com and NHRA’s Facebook page.

 

Special celebrations throughout the weekend are scheduled to highlight this significant milestone event. In addition to the NHRA Legends Chats and special autograph session featuring the legends, there will be several NHRA-exclusive Cacklefests showcasing the vintage dragsters of the sport's early days, a special car corral in the Hot Rod Junction featuring a wide variety of vintage dragsters and classic race cars and The SealMaster Track Walk, where fans can walk on the famed Auto Club Raceway at Pomona track prior to Sunday's final eliminations. The SealMaster Track Walk also will feature several of the sports legends.

 

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they're granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

 

Fans also will want to visit NHRA's popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

 

The event also will feature thrilling competition and world championship finishes in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

 

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Nov. 14, with sessions at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Nov. 15, at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16.

 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRAtix.com.

Josh "White Lightning" White has always had the endless drive to succeed and with the help of his new partner, Walters Web Design & Racing News Network, some new achievements have been made.

” I am astonished by the job that Shane Walters and his company has done with our website, it is professional, engaging, and up to my level. I have always been the one to do and want things to be different, and to also be different than my competition. With the help of my friends at Walters Web Design and Racing News Network that has all been made possible. I am excited for 2015, I am excited for JWR and all of its partners” Josh White said.

Josh White and his team are excited to debut their new website design, please log on at http://www.JoshWhiteRacingLLC.com to browse the ARCA Racing Series Driver Website, or visit the JWR official store for Official JWR merchandise.

Josh White Racing has gone through some really tough times in the previous two years; with the help of his Press Representatives,  his new web development team, and his outstanding knowledge of motorsports marketing all things can be made possible in such a tough industry. As we all know, Josh never stops and something is bound to happen.

White said in a statement today “things around here are about to get really interesting, and if we don’t accomplish what we want to, it will happen in time. This is what I do, this is who I am, and I will do everything I can to get behind the wheel of a race car to not only make myself happy, but to bring entertainment to my amazing fans and to grow my partners through motorsports.”

Josh is still in need of sponsors for 2015, and is bringing on board several. We will be able to release to the public when JWR gets its press conference scheduled to announce its plans for 2015 and answer any questions from the press. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities with Josh White Racing, please go to the teams contact page. They would be happy to go into detail on how motorsports marketing can significantly grow your business.

Everyone knew Jason Rupert would be good. After all, he is a former world champion and national record holder in the nostalgia Nitro Funny Car ranks with a knack for putting down some very fast, very consistent laps.

They just didn't know he would be this good.

Rupert dominated the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series in 2014, compiling four wins, six final round appearances, six No. 1 qualifiers and set a new IHRA elapsed time record to easily cruise to the IHRA's Nitro Funny Car championship over rookie Mike McIntire Jr. this season. Rupert was a model of consistency throughout much of the year, allowing the Yorba Linda, California native and driver of the Bays and Rupert "Black Plague" 1969 Camaro to lock up the championship one race early as he laid claim to the very first Funny Car championship under IHRA's new "return to racing" competition rules.

"It feels great to win this championship. Everyone out here tries so hard and all of these guys are such great drivers," Rupert said. "With such great cars and tuners out here doing their thing, it is truly an honor to be the champion of this group."

Rupert's run to the championship was made possible by an absolutely overwhelming assault on the class through the first half of the season. Rupert visited the final round five times in the first six races of the year, winning four times. His wins included the season-opening Southwestern Nationals at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, along with wins at the San Antonio Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, Spring Nationals in Rockingham, North Carolina and Mopar Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario.

During that stretch, he also added 20 bonus points to his totals by setting a brand new elapsed time record in the class at Rockingham Dragway in May, putting down a blistering 5.684-second pass on the historical quarter-mile.

"The car had a lot of consistency and speed to start out the year and that helped us find some wins early on," Rupert said. "Thankfully, we were able to ride that momentum right up to the end and win the championship. It is such an amazing feeling to win another championship in this class. I am really proud of my guys and everything they were able to accomplish this season."

While Rupert's historical start left many wondering if anybody could challenge the veteran racer in IHRA's most popular class, the door was cracked open just a bit in the late stages of the season when the team ran into some unexpected troubles.

The first sign of vulnerability for the "Black Plague" team came during the only race through the first six that Rupert failed to make the final round. In that race, the return of the President's Cup Nationals to Maryland International Raceway, not only did Rupert fail to make the final round, his team actually did not qualify, leaving the door open to those teams still in the hunt.

Rupert would bounce back from the first of his two DNQs one week later by winning in Grand Bend, but he wouldn't see another Ironman the rest of the year. He reached the finals one more time in an epic showdown with Shawn Bowen at the Summer Nationals in July, but after that the team would return to their struggles in qualifying. Rupert finished the year with a first-round exit in the Pittsburgh Nationals followed by his second DNQ of the season at the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway.

"It certainly wasn't the way we wanted to finish the year, but it was still an amazing season overall for the team," Rupert said.

Thankfully for Rupert, other teams in contention for the title ran into some late-season struggles of their own. And when "Mr. Explosive" Mark Sanders failed to qualify for the Pittsburgh Nationals in August, Rupert formally locked up the championship off of the merits of his early season dominance.

"I truly thought it would be a fight to the finish when we started struggling there at the end. I was actually a little nervous to tell you the truth. This car goes down just about anything and we couldn't find it at some of these tracks," Rupert said. "After it was all over and we found out we had won it, it was a bit of a relief for me. We have had our peaks and valleys this year, but overall we have had a really good season."

With a class-leading four wins, Rupert finished the season with 803 points. Rookie Mike McIntire Jr. who took over for his father in the "McAttack" Camaro this season, finished second with 684 points. McIntire's two victories, including a thrilling victory over Peter Gallen in the rain-delayed Pittsburgh Nationals makeup race at Memphis International Raceway to close out the year, helped propel him into second in the standings.

Sanders, in the "Mr. Explosive" Mustang, finished third in the championship standings. Tim Boychuk and Bruce Litton rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth place respectively.

More than two dozen different race teams made a start in the Nitro Funny Car class this season with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, with seven drivers visiting a final round. In addition to the wins by Rupert and McIntire, John Hale, Shawn Bowen and Peter Gallen each had a win this season.

While Rupert acknowledges the rarity of a season like this, he also was quick to dismiss any talks of continued domination in the near future. After all, he knows that it can all change in an instant and he does not take for granted all he and his team accomplished this year.

"I have a lot of heroes in drag racing, but the guy I really look at is Frank Manzo. He has won so many championships and he is so humble about it and I now understand why," Rupert said. "Success is not going to last forever, and knowing that makes this mean so much more. When you are chasing others you have nothing to lose, but when you are being chased you have everything to lose. All of these guys are great drivers, this was just our year. Next year, it could be someone else's turn in the spotlight."

The road course at Kansas Speedway was announced today as an addition to the Sports Car Club of America’s U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States calendar, leaving just one open hole remaining in the 2015 schedule. The doubleheader weekend will be June 20-21, 2015.

 
The 2.37-mile road course was opened in 2012 and incorporates an infield section and the progressive banking of the oval.
 
“The addition of Kansas Speedway to the 2015 Mid-States schedule is a welcome one in the build up to the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Daytona,” Lisa Noble, SCCA President/CEO, said. “This event gives Mid-States drivers that plan to race for a National Championship at the end of the season an opportunity to run on high-speed banking within their home Conference.”
 
One additional event, anticipated to come from within the Southwest Division, will be added to the 2015 Mid-States schedule.
 
2015 SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States Schedule
March 7-8 – NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, La. (With Southeast)
April 11-12 - Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, Jennings, Okla.
June 20-21 – Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
July 4-5 - High Plains Raceway, Byers, Colo.
July 25-26 – Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo, Colo.
TBA - One additional event will be added