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
Ira’s No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra GSR was billowing smoke as it crossed the finish line, averaging 78.189 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course.
The IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals kicked off on Friday with one round of Nitro Jam professional qualifying and one round of eliminations for most sportsman classes until Mother Nature took over on a soggy evening at Memphis International Raceway.
Before the rains, however, Michigan native Shawn Bowen, in the "Violator" '77 Firebird was able to get in a great lap to top IHRA's AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car class, joining fellow No. 1 qualifiers John DeFlorian (Pro Stock), Randal Andras (Nitro Harley), Don Blackshear (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster).
In sportsman competition, racers got in two rounds of qualifying and the first round of eliminations for most classes as the IHRA prepares to crown its world champions during the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL and the Summit SuperSeries presented by AMSOIL competitions. Both sportsman tournaments will continue on Saturday.
Bowen led Friday's action with a solid lap that placed him on top of the Funny Car charts by a narrow margin over Peter Gallen. Bowen put down a 5.822-second lap at 251.20 mph during the opening session of Nitro Jam qualifying, just beating out Gallen's 5.848 at 242.50 in the "Poverty Stricken" '77 Monza.
Mark Sanders, in the "Mr. Explosive" Mustang, was third with a 5.883 at 250.60, followed by Mike McIntire Jr. (5.886, 239.91) and Tim Boychuk (5.953, 234.25). Of the 11 drivers that made a hit on Friday, three drivers currently in the top five in points - Bruce Litton, John Hale and 2014 IHRA Funny Car World Champion Jason Rupert - currently sit outside of the field.
In Pro Stock John DeFlorian, driver of the AMSOIL-sponsored Black Diamond Motorsports 2012 Camaro, placed his machine in first on a tricky track with a 7.482-second lap at 142.42 mph. His teammate Kevin Bealko was second with an 8.295 at 118.16.
Cary Goforth, driver of the Goforth Racing entry, was Friday's other big storyline, flying from Richmond, Virginia - where he wrapped up the PDRA championship earlier in the day - to qualify for the IHRA Summit World Finals in his attempt to wrap up two separate championships in one weekend. Goforth currently has a 99-point lead over DeFlorian.
In another class still to decide its champion, Randal Andras jumped to the top of the Nitro Harley qualifying charts on Friday with a solid 6.297 at 207.70. Jay Turner was second. Mike Scott, who currently trails Andras by just six points in the championship standings, qualified seventh while fellow championship contender Mark Cox qualified eighth.
Wrapping up the evening were Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster. Don Blackshear, driving the "Bullet Bob" '23 Roadster, was quickest in Nitro Altered with a 6.143 at 219.47, while Elaine Larsen, in the Miller Welding jet-powered dragster, topped the Jet Dragster category with a 5.840 at 273.00.
Racing will continue on Saturday with the continuation of sportsman eliminations beginning at 10 a.m. followed by one additional round of Nitro Jam qualifying at 3 p.m. Nitro Jam eliminations are set for 6 p.m.
Millington, Tenn. - Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway
Nitro Funny Car - 1. Shawn Bowen 5.822, 251.20; 2. Peter Gallen 5.848, 242.50; 3. Mark Sanders 5.883, 250.60; 4. Mike McIntire Jr. 5.886, 239.91; 5. Tim Boychuk 5.953, 234.25; 6. John Crimmins 6.034, 235.35; 7. Ronny Young 6.114, 237.63; 8. Greg Jacobsmeyer 6.307, 232.95; 9. Bruce Litton 8.043, 115.81; 10. Jason Rupert 9.870, 24.35; 11. John Hale 12.788, 62.31
Pro Stock - 1. John DeFlorian 7.482, 142.42; 2. Kevin Bealko 8.295, 118.16; 3. Cary Goforth 9.852, 91.30; 4. Brad Waddle 10.844, 81.20; 5. John Konigshofer 10.961, 101.17; 6. Scott Hintz 16.410, 59.83
Nitro Harley - 1. Randal Andras 6.297, 201.70; 2. Jay Turner 6.298, 251.16; 3. Larry Brancaccio 6.457, 220.26; 4. Mike Pelrine 6.543, 224.32; 5. Alvin Kobernusz 6.859, 180.69; 6. Julian Seaman 7.305, 173.01; 7. Mike Scott 8.585, 128.21; 8. Mark Cox 12.959, 69.55
Nitro Altered - 1. Don Blackshear 6.143, 219.47; 2. Ron Maroney 6.228, 221.92; 3. Mike Hilsabeck 6.564, 205.22; 4. Ron Hope 6.661, 209.43; 5. Kyle Hough 6.986, 186.92; 6. Shane Harter 8.378, 116.86
Jet Dragster - 1. Elaine Larsen 5.840, 273.00; 2. Kat Moller 5.868, 270.43; 3. Marisha Falk 5.927, 277.54; 4. Allison West 6.678, 197.62
After defending American Sedan Champion John Heinricy, of Clarkston, Michigan, blew an engine early in the race, promoting Olsen to third, it appeared his No. 13 Shock Shop/Correct Car SUV/Nutter Ford Mustang would be fighting for second with Aaron Bailey, of Shasta Lake, California, for the duration of the race. After all, Tire Rack polesitter Andy McDermid had already amassed a lead of nearly 10 seconds.
In his two previous races, Drennan’s best Runoffs finish was 11th place, at Road America, in 2013. At this year’s, Drennan started by taking the Tire Rack Pole Award then ran to a 1.734-second victory. Driving the No. 10 NoWifeNoKids/TFB/Riverbed Mazda Miata, Drennan led wire to wire in the 20-lap race that averaged 75.896 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. He is now eligible for the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy Club Racer Shootout, and a $75,000 ride in the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
Lamborghini, IMSA Extend Partnership Through 2018; 2015 Blancpain Super Trofeo North America Schedule Released
Automobili Lamborghini and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have extended their partnership for the next four years, with the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America championship being contested under IMSA sanction through the 2018 season.
As part of the extended partnership, the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event calendar was unveiled. The schedule features 10 rounds at five venues at some of the most iconic, exciting circuits in the United States. Races will take place in conjunction with IMSA's top sports car series, the most prestigious in the U.S.
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America competitors also will race in the World Final, which features top drivers and teams from the three global Blancpain Super Trofeo Series - Europe, Asia and North America. The location of the 2015 World Final will be announced this November.
Each Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event will feature two rounds. The season will open May 1-3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The next round will take place June 26-28 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, followed by Aug. 21-23 at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia.
The season will continue Sept. 17-19 with the series' first visit to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, with the next event Oct. 1-3 during Petit Le Mans week at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America championship debuted in 2013, with drivers competing in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo car, powered by a 570-horsepower V10 engine and featuring permanent four-wheel drive.
The series ran in conjunction with IMSA events starting with its second season in 2014 and enjoyed tremendous growth, with grid sizes increasing 50 percent through the season.
Motorsport will become an even more strategic, exciting asset for Lamborghini in 2015 with the debut of the incredible, all-new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo car.
The Huracán Super Trofeo marks a new benchmark for the race series. The car was built with a clear racing concept, with every feature engineered for sophisticated high performance and compliance with the strictest motorsport safety standards.
There is increased power in the Huracán Super Trofeo, which boasts a 620-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive.
The Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo and Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo cars will share the grid in the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America, with separate standings.
Competitors and their guests will continue to enjoy the complete Lamborghini experience at Blancpain Super Trofeo North America events in 2015, including exclusive amenities and world-class hospitality in the Lamborghini Village.
Lamborghini also plans to expand its racing program in North America by participating in GT Daytona (GTD) class sports car competition with the Huracán GT3 starting in 2016.
Driving his No. 32 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Performance Ford Mustang, Aquilante survived an opening lap incident at the start, which collected Tire Rack polesitter William Brinkop, to capture is fourth SCCA National Championship. Once taking the lead on the opening lap, Aquilante stayed at the front of the pack for the 20-lap race that averaged 85.153 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course.
Following the race weekend at Silverstone Circuit the RoadRace Factory team has had to make some tough decisions.
Jake Gagne's incident while qualifying in the wet has reactivated his shoulder injury that he sustained in the final round of AMA racing from New Jersey Motorsports Park. After initial consultation from medical staff onsite at Silverstone and a follow up from local medial professionals near our temporary base of operations, it has been decided that Jake should be sent home for immediate medical attention. He has already been flown home to California and has been received by his home physician.
This leaves the team with AMA Daytona Sportbike Rookie of the Year, Tomas Puerta, as it's sole rider for the final round of the British Supersport Series to be held at Brands Hatch.
Everyone wishes Jake a speedy recovery and the team expects to have him back on a bike soon.