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.
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your favorite racecar driver compete in a race using only true horsepower? If so, you're in luck, as the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach hosts two days of harness racing “county fair style” this September in the Sunshine Stakes.
The elite equine training facility has reached an agreement with the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) to hold races for two and three-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers on Saturday, September 13 and Saturday, September 20, with rain dates will be on the following Sunday.
“We are very excited that Sunshine Meadows has agreed to host the two days of stakes races,” said FSBOA executive director Joe Pennacchio. “We estimate that there will be in excess of $50,000 in purse money over the two days of racing. It will be exciting as the management team at Sunshine Meadows is committed to making the two race days a county fair type atmosphere centered on the live racing.”
Post time each day for the racing is set at 11:00 am. It is estimated that there will be from 10 to 11 races on each program.
“We are very excited about hosting these races,” said Brandon Mills, general manager at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village. “It is an opportunity to show our great facility to the general public and to have a fun community event for everyone to attend.”
There will be free parking and admission for the races. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as there is no grandstand or seating, only beautifully manicured lawns to watch from.
In addition to the Sunshine Stakes races there will be an exhibition race with Racing Under Saddle (RUS), the Florida Amateur Driving Club will be participating and a local media celebrity race will take place each race day. Possible entrants currently include Mazda Motorsports driver, and South Florida resident Tristan Nunez, as well as former host of Pass Time on SPEED Brett Wagner.
"I will be available on September 13th and I am really looking forward to it," added Nunez. " I would definitely like to have a bit of practice at the track before the big race!"
Parents and grandparents can bring the children as there will be pony rides, face painting and other children activities plus plenty of food vendors, arts and crafts and equine product displays.
“We are working to make this a very special event,” Mills said. “Something that people can look forward to attending every year. So many people drive by and see our signs on 441 but never think to come on in and check us out. We have a great facility here and want to show it off.”
The Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village features a one mile racetrack, a five-eighths mile training track and a half mile Euro strip. The facility has 18 barns that can house more than 650 horses, numerous show and jump rings and turnout paddocks. The facility is the winter home to world-renowned Standardbred trainers Jonas Czernyson, Chuck Sylvester and FrankAntonacci. World class trotters Maven, Spider Blue Chip and D’Orsay trained all winter at Sunshine Meadows. Also stabled at Sunshine Meadows are many riding horse trainers for English, Western and Dressage, who have shown successfully world-wide.
Any vendors wanting to reserve rental space during the two days of Sunshine Stakes racing, businesses wishing to advertise in the race program, sponsor races or host sponsorships can contact the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village by calling 562-281-7659 or emailing email@example.com. Their website is www.sunshinemeadows441.com.
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, two-stepped into back-to-back wins, after finishing Sunday’s race in the top position, in the SCCA Pro Racing MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, in support of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Sebastian Landy, of Great Falls, Virginia, completed the podium.
Colin Thompson completed a sweep of both Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama rounds this weekend at Watkins Glen International, once again using a last-lap pass of championship rival Angel Benitez Jr. for victory Saturday.
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, powered his No. 14 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County 911 GT3 Cup car past Benitez's No. 05 Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport entry exiting Turn 5, completing the decisive pass before both drivers dropped into the famous "Boot" section of the historic circuit. He then sped to the checkered flag .717 of a second ahead of Benitez. His victory completed another charge from the third row of the starting grid by Thompson, who started sixth. He started fifth Friday.
"After qualifying like that and having a transponder failure yesterday, I just never thought we'd be able to work forward like that," Thompson said. "The competition is ridiculous out here. We got it done. My engineer and the team just gave me an unbelievable car. It was a rocket ship!
Thompson navigated traffic with precision Friday to erase a deficit of nearly five seconds in the last five minutes of the race. He passed Benitez in the final corner of the 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course for his first career victory after both drivers split the lapped car of Thompson's Kelly Moss teammate Seth Davidow.
Traffic didn't play as big of a factor in the final-lap showdown Saturday, as Thompson passed Kuhlman with less than three minutes remaining in the 45-minute race. He then set his sights on Benitez, who led by .553 of a second. Thompson pulled to within .331 of a second with one lap remaining, with clear track ahead of both drivers.
Benitez and Thompson charged into Turn 1 and up through the narrow Esses turn complex and the back straightaway. Thompson looked to pass entering the Bus Stop chicane, but Venezuelan driver Benitez parried. Then Thompson made his move exiting the Bus Stop and drove past Benitez before the two drivers entered The Boot.
Benitez was upset after Thompson's victory Friday, inferring that lapped cars impeded his progress and helped Thompson catch him. But Benitez praised Thompson's inspired final lap today.
"I'm glad I got second after what happened yesterday," Benitez said. "I'm happy just to be on the podium. I guess he deserved this one. He drove really good, so it was a good victory for him."
Thompson expanded his championship lead to four points, 116-112, over Benitez with the weekend sweep. He and Benitez entered this event tied atop the standings with 76 points.
David Calvert-Jones was the second finisher behind Kuhlman among Platinum Masters competitors in the No. 12 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry. David Baker completed the Platinum Masters podium in the No. 56 Topp Racing car.
"Today was great," Calvert-Jones stated. "I really had a bad day yesterday. A couple of issues yesterday morning, which got my mind totally off balance. I had a bad qualifying and a terrible race. It was just absolutely hopeless, and today I felt really good. Today was really great. Started P10, I think. Moved up to P8 with some fast people behind me. But I stuck with them. It was great."
Thompson wasn't the only driver to pull off a class sweep. Masters driver Michael Levitas, from Baltimore, earned his second victory of the weekend in the Gold Cup (2010-2013 model cars) in the No. 35 TPC Racing Porsche.
Fred Poordad rounded out the Gold Masters podium in the No. 02 Competition Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car.
"Compared to yesterday, much better," added Poordad. "The car was great. The car was great yesterday. Had a mishap on the first lap yesterday that put me down. I started P7 today and ended up P5, so I'm happy with that. A few more laps, and I could have moved up the field. But we had a couple of long yellows today, and ironically, not yesterday. When I needed them, we didn't have them, and today I didn't want them and we had them. I thought it was a good race. Everyone was clean out there and worked really hard. So I'm happy with that performance. Competition Motorsports did a great job putting an awesome car underneath me."
Gold Masters competitor Oscar Arroyo won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award by climbing five spots from his starting position in the No. 89 JDX Racing Porsche.
"I am very happy with this race," Arroyo concluded. "I made a lot of effort to advance and advance. Next time, I am going to try to do even better. We want to be back and give a shout to our great people."
Rounds 9 and 10 of the season are scheduled for July 10-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, the only rounds of the series in Canada.
For more information about Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visitwww.gt3cupchallengeusa.com, follow hashtag #GT3USA @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook. For live updates of on-track action during the season, follow @IMSALive on Twitter.
Rapp slides back into title contention with Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series win at Barber Motorsports Park29 Jun 2014
The 2014 title defense of reigning AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series king Steve Rapp could not have gotten off to a more nightmarish start following the season's opening rounds, but the champion's prospects suddenly look quite a bit brighter now. The Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson ace won pole at the Daytona International Speedway opener and looked to be the fastest man on track at Road America, but misfortune and mistake relegated Rapp to last place finishes in both outings. With just four rounds remaining, Rapp's hopes for a championship repeat seemed all but extinguished when he left Wisconsin.
However, the post-Elkhart Lake announcement of the inclusion of two additional late-season races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a thoroughly dominant performance at the Triumph SuperBike Classic at Barber Motorsports Park may have just reignited Rapp's 2014 title run in a major way.
While in Alabama, Rapp established a new lap record and upped his Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson career pole and race win tallies to nine apiece - extending his all-time lead in both categories.
He broke the challenge of his rivals on the race's opening lap and never looked back; he stretched out a massive lead en route to the checkered flag and snatched up 30 desperately-needed points for his efforts.
Rapp is now seventh in the standings and 34 points out of first. While he still faces an uphill climb to retain the No. 1 plate, Rapp's Barber Motorsports Park clinic reminded the paddock that he remains the man to beat in any given Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson race. And with five races yet in play, he should not be counted out just yet.
"I've been racing for a long time and I have a lot of experience setting up the bikes," said Rapp. "The bike is pretty good and I don't change it too much through the weekend. I'm just really comfortable on it and my guys build the best bike out there for sure. They are meticulously maintained and perfect all the time so that helps a lot and gives me a lot of confidence. I really like this track and I've done well here in the past so I came here feeling good."
While Rapp disappeared out front, a biker bar brawl broke out for the runner-up spot. Former champion Danny Eslick of Ruthless Racing traded haymakers with Road America race winner Kyle Wyman and his KWR/Millennium Technologies machine, points leader and Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson's Tyler O'Hara, 2012 New Jersey Motorsports Park race winner Shane Narbonne of Six-Four Motorsports and Rapp's Suburban teammate, Ben Carlson.
Wyman's race ended on the ground on lap 6 out of 11.
"It was a shame because I got off to a really great start," Wyman said. "I was having way too much fun out there and maybe got a little anxious with the throttle. I made a couple mistakes that I wasn't too happy about, so I look forward to getting back out at the next one for some more redemption."
Eslick held on for second while Carlson claimed a second-consecutive third-place result. Just as importantly, Carlson knocked O'Hara off the podium altogether for the second straight weekend, improving his own title hopes as well as those of his teammate.
"It's a challenge riding these XR1200s but it's a lot of fun," Eslick said. "I don't think they're meant to go around a racetrack as fast as Steve's getting it around there, and I don't think it's supposed to go as fast as I was either. Hats off to Steve and the Suburban guys; they did their homework and really hauled the mail. We were pretty much racing for second, but it was a good one - it felt like a race for the win."
Two-time AMA Supermoto Unlimited national champ Carlson was happy with his third place run.
"We had a good race. We got off to a fairly decent start but I was kind of at the back of the chain there," Carlson said. "I just realized that in this XR1200 races, I always seem to get beat in the last two laps, getting fourth or fifth place. I just put my head down and thought, 'Hey, I'm not going to keep losing to those guys.' I was just bonsai-ing some passes and they were sticking. That's what they've done to me at other races so I'm going to keep doing it to them. It was all safe and fun racing, but we've got to get on the podium. I feel like we can be up in the championship again and I feel this year I'm finally not chasing O'Hara and those guys - I can run with them and beat them, so I'm ecstatic."
Narbonne rounded out the day's top five, crossing the stripe less than a half-second back of O'Hara in fourth.
Despite missing the podium again, O'Hara still leads the championship fight. However, he's now only one point up on Eslick (66-65) with Carlson right there in third with 60 points.
Folsom Harley-Davidson's Gage McAllister kept himself in the hunt as well, edging third Suburban Motors runner Nick Hansen for sixth at Barber Motorsports Park by a scant 0.003 seconds. As a result, McAllister is fourth in the points race, ten back of leader O'Hara.
Trev Deeley Motorcycles' Darren James, Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson's Josh Chisum and James Gang/Hoban Brothers Racing's Eric Stump completed the BMP top ten.
The stars of AMA Pro Road Racing will share the spotlight with world-class company as the GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is up next. The joint AMA Pro-FIM event will take place on July 11-13 in Monterey, California.
The Red Bull Tennessee National, Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, produced a wild afternoon of competition on Saturday, June 28 from one of the newest tracks in the series at Muddy Creek Raceway. Needing a win in the final 450 Class moto, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen did just that to ensure his third overall win in just five career starts in the premier division while in the 250 Class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb broke through for his first career win to become the 75th different winner in the history of the division.
Last year's 250 Class title winner, GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, made his anticipated 450 Class debut at Muddy Creek following a lengthy recovery from a broken collarbone. He made his presence felt immediately by setting the fastest lap of practice, and then carried that momentum into the opening moto by grabbing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award. As Tomac and Roczen positioned themselves out front, a huge first turn pileup included most recent winner James Stewart and his Team Yoshimura Suzuki in addition to Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed, and Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX's Josh Grant.
Roczen made a pass on Tomac for the lead on the opening lap only to go down the next time around and fall to fourth. Tomac seized the opportunity to lead his first ever 450 Class moto, impressively holding off Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard and a hard-charging Dungey for over half the race. Dungey made his way by Canard and set his sights on Tomac out front, closing in lap-by-lap and eventually making the pass on Lap 9. Roczen rebounded from his early trouble to follow Dungey past Tomac and into second, pitting the teammates in a battle for the win. Dungey maintained his advantage throughout the remainder of the race to take the moto win, his first since the opening round, while Roczen followed in second. Tomac finished third with Canard fourth, while Stewart passed nearly the entire field to finish fifth.
Knowing he needed a good start in order to have a shot at his second overall win of the season, Dungey raced to the Motosport.com Holeshot Award in Moto 2, only to be passed by Roczen on the opening lap. The KTM riders proceeded to consistently pull away from the field from that point on, meaning the win would be decided between the teammates. Tomac slotted into third off the start and maintained control of the podium spot despite pressure from Canard. Out front, Dungey closed in on Roczen as they approached lappers in the late stages of the race but was unable to mount a serious challenge, which allowed Roczen to steal the overall win. Tomac followed in third.
Both Dungey and Roczen finished the afternoon with identical moto results, but Roczen's better second moto finish gave him the edge in the tiebreaker.
"All in all it was a good day," said Dungey. "I pushed it that whole second moto. I tried [to close in on Roczen] and got fortunate with the lappers coming in there, but then they came my way and it kind of averaged out. We gave it all we had and that was all I can do."
It marked the third time this season that the KTM duo has finished 1-2 overall. Tomac's pair of solid third-place finishes guaranteed a spot on overall podium in his 450 Class debut, with Canard fourth (4-4) and BTO Sports KTM's Andrew Short fifth (6-8). Stewart endured even more misfortune in the second moto to soldier home with an 11th-place finish and land eighth overall (5-11), one round after his dominant win.
With no points being exchanged between Roczen and Dungey, 16 markers still separate the pair at the top of the championship standings. Stewart's challenging day dropped him to 43 points out of the lead in third, with just one point separating he and Canard in fourth.
Coming into Muddy Creek, every moto win and overall victory in the 250 Class was split between two riders - Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett. The former series champion Baggett entered the day with back-to-back wins at the previous two rounds, while Martin controlled the championship points lead.
As the gate dropped on the first moto, Frenchman Christophe Pourcel put his Valli Motorsports Yamaha out front for the Motosport.com Holeshot Award, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Justin Hill hot on his rear fender. Behind them, Martin found himself on the ground in the first corner following a multi-rider incident and started at the rear of the field.
As Pourcel and Hill did battle out front, GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle and Webb closed in. Both Bogle and Webb moved past Hill before Webb then took over second place from Bogle just a couple laps later. Baggett started inside the top five and also began a surge to the front, and before long it became a three-rider battle for the lead between Pourcel, Webb and Baggett. On Lap 11 Webb took control of the moto from Pourcel and brought Baggett with him. The pair pulled away in the closing laps, which allowed Baggett to make a desperate move in the final corner and somehow pass Webb on the outside to edge him out at the line by .080 seconds. Pourcel finished third, with Bogle fourth and Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin fifth. Martin fought his way through the field to finish 10th.
With a four moto winning streak in his favor, Baggett sought to claim three-straight overall victories for the first time in his career but had to overcome a slew of riders at the start of the second moto. Bogle earned the Motosport.com Holeshot Award but was pushed by Pourcel and Webb early, with each rider making the pass to set the tone out front. Webb wasted little time in putting himself in control, passing Pourcel for the lead before the conclusion of the opening lap.
Once out front, Webb was able to maintain his advantage even though Baggett made his way from another top five start to come within bike lengths of Webb with just a handful of laps remaining. After several pass attempts, Baggett made a slight bobble that opened some space between he and Webb. Shortly thereafter, Baggett made contact with a lapped rider that forced him to the ground, allowing Bogle to assume second and causing Pourcel to crash as well. Webb raced on knowing the win was his and capped off a career day by winning his first career moto and securing his first overall victory in the process. Bogle finished second with Baggett coming back to finish third.
"I'm on cloud nine, I'm not going to lie. I was beating myself up when I got passed in the last turn [in Moto 1], but I was able to come back and get the job done," said Webb, who hails from North Carolina and considers Muddy Creek to be his home race. "To do this at my home race, I could hear these guys [the fans] every single lap. Baggett was on me the whole moto, but I told myself I wasn't going to let him by. I'm so pumped."
Webb had earned five runner-up finishes in nine motos prior to the win, including two second place overall finishes. Baggett's 1-3 results placed him second overall, while Bogle's runner-up finish in the second moto helped move him to third overall (4-2). Pourcel was fourth (3-4) while Musquin rounded out the top five (5-5).
Martin was never a factor in either moto after difficult starts and ultimately finished a season-worst seventh overall after posting 10-6 moto scores. Despite that, he still sits atop the 250 Class standings albeit by just eight points over his teammate Webb. Baggett closed in to within 17 points of the lead in third.
"The only thing I'm concerned about is getting a good week of practice and coming out strong at RedBud," said Martin, who also earned his first career win earlier this season. "I rode as hard as I could today and gave it everything I had, so I can walk away knowing I did everything I could. We'll just come back stronger."
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will reach the halfway point next weekend with its annual 4th of July tradition at the Red Bull RedBud National. RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan, will host the sixth round of the season on Saturday, July 5. Action begins at 1 p.m. ET.
For most of the AMA Pro SuperSport field, the Barber Motorsports Park rounds of the series were about catching points leader Corey Alexander. The Celtic/HVMC Racing Suzuki rider had won three out of four races to kick off the year, only finishing second once this season to TOBC Racing's Hayden Gillim.
Last year's East champion dominated the first two rounds of the series and looked to be a cut above the competition, until the Alabama round where some of his rivals returned the favor. Gillim and Houston Superbikes' Dustin Dominguez earned wins in Birmingham while Alexander struggled.
Dominguez and Gillim have a solid history in the class, so followers of AMA Pro SuperSport had to figure these two would be able to turn the tables on Alexander at some point in 2014. After all, this duo was responsible for 11 class wins before the stop at Barber.
Gillim had a tough season opener at Daytona but had been gathering steam since then. In Race 2 in Wisconsin, he finally got a win but it took what he called a "miracle" to pass Alexander at the line for it. The Kentuckian came into Barber motivated to perform in the heat and in the new two-day format. Gillim got a great start in Race 1 and moved away to take a quick lead. He worked clean laps while the group behind him struggled to break the 1:30 mark with their times.
Like he had done before at other races in Utah and New Orleans in previous years, Gillim was able to get away and run clean laps to earn a win.
"I got a great start from second on the grid and led into turn one," said Gillim. "From there I put my head down and focused on staying consistent and making little to no mistakes. The first time around track I had already opened up a second gap over second place and it only got bigger. There isn't much to say about Race 1, other than the fact that the bike and I were feeling it. I ended up taking a comfortable victory."
Dominguez was riding out a string of tough luck in 2014. He had shown speed and had been eighth or better each time out, but the Texan always seemed to be facing something that kept him from victory. In Wisconsin, he had to charge up from last after a red flag to earn eighth. He proved that he was ready as the weekend began and won pole for the race. Saturday's contest saw him 5.987 seconds behind Gillim.
Dominguez wasn't able to take advantage of his pole and got away third. It took him two laps to move past Alexander, and by that time, Gillim had a three second lead - one that turned out to be insurmountable after the abuse Dominguez's tire took early on.
Kaleb De Keyrel caught Dominguez and passed him, but the more experienced pilot grabbed second back on the last lap with a snazzy move at the end of the back straight.
On Sunday, Dominguez, Gillim and De Keyrel jockeyed for position through the first part of the race. On lap four, they crossed the line three-wide. Dominguez looked the strongest, though, and by the time the trio hit lapped traffic, he had pulled away by a slight margin. He won the race by 1.178 seconds.
"I can't thank the team and the sponsors enough for giving me a bike that could win," said Dominguez. "It's the first time I nailed the start all year and that's what I needed. I do a lot of club racing and endurance racing so I knew I had to get around (the lapped riders) to get a little gap."
Barber marked Kaleb De Keyrel's arrival at the front. The 17-year-old De Keyrel Racing pilot had done well in his first calendar year on the tour, but at Barber he was able to race extensively with Alexander, Dominguez and Gillim. The valuable learning experience was as notable as the accolades that come from a double podium.
"I was thinking if I could get with the front group that broke away I could stay there," said De Keyrel, confident after his performances. "This team is a real family effort. Two thirds is really good going into Laguna where I will race DSB."
Alexander crashed in Charlotte's Web on Saturday while duking it out with De Keyrel, but re-mounted and finished 13th. He took fourth on Sunday to remain tied atop the points. In the end, the twisty nature of Barber Motorsports Park was tougher on his injured shoulder than the expanses of Road America.
"This weekend definitely didn't go as planned," said Alexander. "We made the most out of some bad luck, and the Celtic/HVMC Suzuki team worked so hard to make the bike better, but I couldn't get the job done. Unfortunately we lost our lead in the championship and it's all tied up but I'm confident we can get back to the front and do what we have to do as a team to take home this championship."
Miles Thornton bounced back strong in Alabama. The D&D Cycles Triumph pilot earned fourth and seventh in the race and is now back in the top ten in points.
Fourth place points man Wyatt Farris struggled to get up to pace during the trip to Alabama, but took solid finishes of seventh and 12th.
"For one reason or another, I struggled a great deal this weekend," said the Californian. "The entire Celtic/HVMC Suzuki crew worked their butts off for me, and we were making steps in the right direction. I made a mistake in Sunday's race that allowed five or six riders to get by me with just a handful of laps to go. I'm happy to get this weekend behind me, it's time to turn our focus to Ohio and get back to where we belong at the front."
The stars of AMA Pro Road Racing will share the spotlight with world-class company as the GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is up next. The joint AMA Pro-FIM event will take place on July 11-13 in Monterey, California.
Canadian David Ostella qualified sixth in the Prototype Challenge class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Saturday at famed Watkins Glen International. Ostella posted his quickest lap time of 1:41.897 for the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen in the final minutes of the session, an improvement of 1.169 seconds over his fastest practice time of the weekend.
"The biggest difference during qualifying was having fresh tires," Ostella said. "The clear track also helped a lot. We were really focused today on getting the car the way we wanted, and it was definitely setup right for that qualifying session. I am really happy. The Performance Tech team really got it right and the car is great."
Lap times for the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 car improved on every lap but one during the session.
"In the one lap that I didn't improve on, I went wide in the Turn 1 exit and messed that lap up a bit," Ostella said. "The biggest focus for me was just being consistent and doing what I had to do to get our time down as quickly as possible. The biggest thing was Turns 7, 8, and 9; the Boot. That's where I was struggling the most during practice. So I was just focused on getting through there as best as possible."
While Ostella's time was 1.335 seconds short of the qualifying lap record set by Colin Braun during the session, he still feels confident in his team's ability to be competitive in the six-hour endurance event.
"We weren't that far off the pole speed really," Ostella said. "The race will definitely be better for us. I am more of a racer than a qualifier, so I am really looking forward to the race."
Ostella pairs up with teammate Mike Hedlund, as part of a 55-car field. The Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen live broadcast begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 29 on FOX Sports 1.
Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) approached Watkins Glen International with a new confidence following its mid-May test. The confidence continued this week as ESM qualified fifth and seventh for Sunday’s race: the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the sixth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Both Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) machines spent time at the top of the timing sheets during the three practice sessions. Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel left Watkins Glen International following Friday’s lone session with the No. 1 machine atop the charts. Dalziel, Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek led the field at separate times on Saturday during the two practice sessions.
The No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) team of Sharp and Dalziel qualified fifth with a best lap of 1:39.005 (123.630 mph), which places the team on the inside of the third row. Sharp, the qualifying driver, is slated to drive the opening stint of the six-hour event.
“It was a good run," stated owner/driver Scott Sharp. "For me, it was the best I’ve run all weekend. I thought if we run a 1:39.0, we’d be in the top two or three, obviously (Alex) Brundle (No. 42) did an unbelievable lap to set the pole, but I still thought we would have been second or third. We’re fifth instead and that’s okay. This is a six-hour race and we have a really solid Honda HPD. We’re starting on the inside, which is good. We’ll go get them in the race and make it to the end.
The sister No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) is starting in the seventh position. Van Overbeek lapped the 11-turn, 3.37-mile road course in 1:39.143 (123.458 mph) and will start Sunday on the inside of the fourth row, directly behind the No. 1 machine. Ed Brown is scheduled to drive the opening stint, followed by Anthony Lazzaro and then van Overbeek.
“I’m a little bit disappointed because we caught traffic on both our quick laps," van Overbeek added. "I know the Honda HPD had more in it. We could have been in the top-five and we’re not. Tomorrow is a long race and anything can happen. We have our plan - execute it well, stay clean and have a good result."
The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen is the sixth race of 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and third race of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. Green flag is 11:15 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Television coverage of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen starts at 11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Performance Tech Motorsports' weekend at Watkins Glen International finished just as exciting as it started in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda competition, with young Hayden Duerson landed on podium for the first time this season in Round 6 Saturday, finishing third. Robert Alon also stood on the podium Friday, finishing second in Round 5.
"It was very good race," added Duerson. "Starting 12th, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. We had a very fast car going into the day, and I knew that we would have a good race. I wanted to be patient; I just wanted to take my time picking them off one at a time. At the restart, I had a good opportunity, and I was able to pick off fourth and fifth. From there I got a big gap and paced myself trying to catch Andrew (Novich). I just really wanted to get to podium for Performance Tech."
Alon's bid for a second podium finish of the weekend ended Saturday when he finished ninth after being hit by the No. 2 car of Christian Potolicchio.
"Me and Hayden were running up front, I think three and four," commented Alon. One of the guys wasn't happy with the pass I made on him and tried to put me out of the race. But the car felt really good today, and I was able to put down some fast laps and gain some points for the team championship."
On Saturday, Jon Brownson was pushing hard around the 3.4-mile circuit when he spun after going too deep into a corner. Craig Duerson once again faced mechanical issues that ended his race early Saturday. Duerson started third, climbing to second before the mechanical. Joel Janco finished a solid 10th after running a clean race.
"Another exciting race at Watkins Glen," Brownson said. "Another classic track in our schedule. I thought that it was starting to move the right direction, caught a little too much curb and spun myself around, and that was that. Close but no cigar."
Team Principal Brent O'Neill looked past the difficulties of the weekend and focused on the accomplishments of his team.
"We saw two more of our guys on podium this weekend," O'Neill said. "I think it shows that we're all starting to jell, and I think everything's coming together for us. Hopefully, we can cover the podium at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park).
Up next for the Performance Tech's fast five is Canada's crown jewel of racecourses, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The weekend runs July 10-13, with the first practice session for Prototype Lites at 9 a.m. (ET) Thursday, July 10.
Kevin Conway takes the victory in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America race at Watkins Glen29 Jun 2014
Kevin Conway picked up his second win of the 2014 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America series in Round 6 Saturday at Watkins Glen International. He earned the top spot in his No. 29 Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Carolinas and fielded by Change Racing with a victory by .916 of a second over teammate Victor Gonzales in the No. 99 Lamborghini.
"One of the fun things about the Blancpain Super Trofeo series is that you have to manage the race and manage your tires," Conway said. "Our Change Racing team gave us a great pit stop and got us back to the top. Just a solid day all around."
"I set out with a goal of just being smooth and consistent, staying out of trouble and just running my own race and not worrying about everybody around me," Ware added. "In the end, it paid off for me. I had to just watch my surroundings with everything happening on the track so I could avoid everything before it happened and prepare myself for what might happen. It was a fantastic weekend, and I couldn't have asked for anything better starting off in this series and can't wait to come back for Toronto."
Round 5 winner John Farano led the race from the start until the mandatory pit stop halfway through the race, with Conway trailing by less than a second.
Each car is required to pit for at least two minutes to allow for the cars with multiple drivers to make the switch.
After the field filtered through the pits, Farano fell to ninth place due to a drive-through penalty assessed for speeding on pit lane. Conway took over the lead for the remainder of the race.
The No. 81 Lamborghini Chicago entry driven by Mark Boden and fielded by Fall-Line Motorsport finished second in the Amateur class, followed by co-drivers Lee Carpentier and Dillon Machavernin the No. 24 Lamborghini Palm Beach Gallardo fielded by Mitchum Motorsports.
"We had a pretty bad race yesterday," stated Boden. "We got our diffuser torn off in the first couple of laps, and we ended up getting black-flagged and had to come in. We didn't get a good lap time and started further back today than we would have liked. I had a good start and picked off a few positions and then a few more. I think I worked somewhere up to sixth or so. On the restart at the full-course caution, I had another great start and picked up a few more spots. I was lucky enough to get back to the lead pack, and it was a dogfight with those top four positions. Real big thanks to Lamborghini Gold Coast in Chicago and all my guys at Fall-Line. The Pirelli tires held up great, especially with such a warm day. My first race for Fall-Line in the Trofeo cup was wonderful. It has a lot of potential."
This was Conway's first victory since Round 2 in March at Sebring International Raceway. The series travels to Canada for the next two rounds, July 11-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
In Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo - Europe competition this weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard, Milos Pavlovic won Race 1 in the No. 3 Bonaldi Motorsport and Jeroen Mul picked up the victory in Race 2 in the No. 22 Automobili Lamborghini RT Germany. The next round of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe is July 25-26 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.