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  

  

 

Today, Nitro Rallycross revealed the bodywork concept for the all-new FC1-X. This revolutionary vehicle, designed specifically to withstand the most punishing tracks in motorsports, will compete in the property’s electric Supercar class starting in 2022. The modern design also takes an aggressive stance with a muscular edge, reflecting the vehicle’s epic performance capabilities.

 

Nitro Rallycross first set a new standard for motorsports in its 2018 debut, thrilling fans and drivers alike with massive jumps and huge banked turns that took risk to the redline. Looking ahead to 2022, NRX will break the paradigm again with the introduction of the FC1-X, a car purpose-built to handle everything that NRX’s monstrous new tracks in North America, Europe and the Middle East will throw at the best drivers in the world. 

 

Following a period of stagnation after the controversial Group B era (the infamous “Killer B’s” that set the Rally world ablaze in the 1980s with boundary-breaking specs before getting banned after a series of deadly crashes), now comes motorsport’s next quantum leap.

 

Armed with 21st Century technology and informed by Nitro Circus’ nearly two decades of experience producing spectacular, limit-pushing events, Nitro Rallycross is picking up the mantle of progression. In that spirit, NRX will name the upcoming electric class Group E in honor of its legendary Group B predecessors.

 

Travis Pastrana, motorsports icon and the mastermind behind Nitro Rallycross, says, “With the FC1-X, our goal was to create the toughest and fastest Rallycross car ever built for competition. A car that will be able to excite the drivers and the fans while withstanding the toughest tracks in motorsport. That’s a tall order, but after having the opportunity to work with the best in the business we’re excited to see the results.” Pastrana adds, “Group B cars were the baddest cars ever rally’d. With that in mind, we are proud to name this new era of car, Group E. With more torque, acceleration and top speed than any current Rallycross Supercar, you have to see it to believe it.”

 

The car has been tuned for peak performance, and since these literally are, in Pastrana’s words, “cars that fly,” FC1-X’s aero package has been precision engineered so that competitors can make minute changes to adapt the vehicle to their individual driving (and flying) styles. 

 

Every aspect of the FC1-X, designed with direct input from teams and key industry stakeholders, has been optimized for mind-bending speed.  The all-electric, all-wheel drive powertrain makes over 1,000 peak horsepower, more than double the power of a Group B vehicle. The vehicle can launch from 0-60mph in under 1.5 seconds, quicker off the starting line than an F1 car. Capable of pushing three g’s, it is not only the fastest vehicle in the history of Rallycross but is also one of the fastest accelerating race cars in the world. 

 

The chassis is also revolutionary. Featuring an ultra-strong space frame construction – another Rallycross first - and over one foot of suspension travel at each corner, it is the most capable Rallycross car ever built.

 

The FC1-X will need to be rugged: the massive 100-foot gap jumps at the inaugural NRX track in 2018 were just the beginning. Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Rallycross team are working on next level track designs that will be permanently built at premier racing grounds around the world.

 

Joe Carr, CEO of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment - parent company of Nitro Rallycross - says, “The overall mission of the FC1-X is to show the world the massive performance potential in electric vehicles by creating the fastest Rallycross car ever seen. The tremendous capabilities of the FC1-X, combined with NRX’s incredible tracks, sets the stage for an entirely new type of racing supercharged with wide open action and high-adrenaline thrills.” 

 

The design released today reflects the baseline NRX bodywork concept. Going forward, keep an eye out as manufacturers release their own crossover SUV-based designs in the future.

 

 

Enders claimed the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series championship last season to deem her the winningest NHRA female champion, with four world titles to her name.
 
With her previous ESPYS Best Driver Award nomination in 2015, Enders joins NHRA greats of John Force (2000-2003, 2011 and 2014), Tony Schumacher (2007-2010) and Greg Anderson (2005 and 2011) with multiple nominations for the prestigious award.
 
“Being nominated for an ESPYS award is a testament to all of my team’s hard work,” said Enders of her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro team. “Last year was a battle to the end and I was so proud of everything we went through. I’m just so thankful to be able to drive this car and work with these guys who make it all possible.”
 
Also on the 2020 ESPYS ballot, is seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon and NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott.
 
Voting for the award is open now. Visit bit.ly/EricaESPY2021 to vote.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service

 

 It’s raining, there’s a lap remaining, and Jan Heylen is inches away from your rear bumper. What do you do?
 
If you’re Bill Auberlen, you gas it.
 
Auberlen, the 52-year-old sports car legend, managed to maintain grip as rain increased during the final laps Friday to win the Sahlen’s 120 at The Glen, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Watkins Glen International.
 
In doing so, Auberlen held off Heylen – “the most treacherous person you could ever drive against,” according to Auberlen – to put Auberlen, co-driver Dillon Machavern and the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 back atop the Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) standings.
 
“It definitely was raining, but there’s a point at which the track still holds grip and you have your hot, slick tires,” Auberlen said. “They’re both working together. Then there’s the point at which the temperatures drop and the layer of water goes up. … I was still pretty good.”
 
Shortly after the 17th Michelin Pilot Challenge victory of his win-heavy career, Auberlen prepared for a fast turnaround to race in Friday evening’s IMSA WeatherTech 240, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
 
During the final laps of the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, Auberlen said he had about 75 to 80 percent of the grip level that he had under dry conditions. The Boot portion of WGI’s 11-turn, 3.4-mile layout proved trickiest.
 
“You don’t know what you’ve got,” Auberlen said. “You stand on the brakes and don’t know if it rained heavy a minute and a half ago or if it was light. You stand on the brakes and you just hope there’s not a big layer of water.”
 
Heylen and co-driver Ryan Hardwick brought the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport home in second place in the GS class and overall, while brothers Matt and Hugh Plumb finished third in the No. 46 TeamTGM Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Noaker, Henderson Win in Wild TCR Finish
 
While Auberlen was sliding around and finishing just 0.615 seconds ahead of Heylen, Robert Noaker was navigating traffic to win a back-and-forth duel for the victory in the Touring Car (TCR) class.
 
With 2 minutes, 15 seconds left in the two-hour race, Jon Morley drove his No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS SEQ past Noaker’s No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic FK7 TCR co-driven with Brian Henderson. Seconds later, Noaker returned the favor.
 
“It was all-out, as fast as you can possibly go,” Noaker said. “There were four cars there trying to get the lead. You’d go from first to third back to first in one lap. It was like, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’”
 
It was the first Michelin Pilot Challenge victory for Noaker and Henderson. It looked like a 1-2 finish for Atlanta Speedwerks until the No. 94 Honda – which won the four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race at The Glen on June 27 – was moved to the rear of the finishing order when it didn’t meet the minimum weight standard in post-race technical inspection.
 
That elevated the No. 61 Audi co-driven by Morley and Gavin Ernstone to second place. Third place went to the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Veloster N TCR shared by Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis after the No. 27 Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR that would have moved up to third also was found to be underweight in post-race tech.
 
The Michelin Pilot Challenge season resumes July 17 with the Lime Rock Park 120 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
IMSA WeatherTech 240: Unofficial Results
 
The IMSA WeatherTech 240 at The Glen was already a sprint race. After a red-flag stoppage for lightning midway through, Antonio Garcia and Jack Hawksworth showed they were the best sprinters in the GT classes.
 
Garcia won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in Friday night’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Watkins Glen International, with Hawksworth taking honors in GT Daytona (GTD), which paid points toward only the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings. Both did so by getting the jump on the competition on a final restart with 28 minutes to go.
 
The total race time was two hours, 40 minutes, but the cars were stopped in pit lane for nearly 45 minutes when lightning struck near the track an hour into the event on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course. Per IMSA rules, the race clock continues during red flags, so green-flag racing resumed with just under 37 minutes to go. After a short full-course caution for debris on the track, the green waved again at the 28-minute mark. That’s when Garcia and Hawksworth took over.
 
Garcia Blows Past Teammate Milner to Win in GT Le Mans
 
Finishing the race that co-driver Jordan Taylor started in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, Garcia ran second to teammate Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette until the last restart.
 
Given a shot of confidence after turning a couple green-flag laps before the red flag, Garcia zoomed around his teammate coming out of the last turn on the restart and pulled steadily away to win by 1.895 seconds over Milner and co-driver Nick Tandy in GTLM. It is the third win in four points-paying races this year for Garcia and Taylor.
 
“I knew before the restart that I could switch on the tire a little better than (Milner), so I was all out,” said Garcia, who now has 25 IMSA wins. “He got caught on the last corner with some (prototype) car and I got past. After that, you just had to close your eyes and trust that the grip would be somehow there.
 
“The first two laps, I knew that would be the main thing of the race. That’s where I pulled out those two seconds and kept the distance from that point on. I just took a little bit more risk than Tommy did and opened up the gap.”
 
Garcia and Taylor made it a sweep of the two Watkins Glen weekends, taking the GTLM pole position and race win in both. Corvette Racing now has 117 wins in IMSA competition.
 
“Just another great day for Corvette Racing with a 1-2 finish,” Taylor said after collecting his 29th career win, “and for us in the No. 3 car to go to back-to-back with the Six Hour last week.”
Hawksworth Overtakes Two on Restart to Win in GT Daytona
 
Like Garcia in GTLM, Hawksworth made his decisive GTD move on the first lap of the last restart – except the Brit launched past two cars in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. Running third when it went green, Hawksworth overtook Jeff Westphal in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 and Vasser Sullivan teammate Zach Veach in the No. 12 Lexus on the same lap.
 
Though Veach harassed his teammate the rest of the way, Hawksworth held fast despite being down on straight-line speed after a piece of left-front bodywork came loose from the car to bring out the final caution that set up his double pass for the lead. Hawksworth won by 0.707 seconds, earning his seventh career win and the fourth for co-driver Aaron Telitz. It’s the first win for the No. 14 and Vasser Sullivan since Mid-Ohio last September.
 
“That race was a roller coaster of emotion,” Hawksworth said. “We obviously had the wrong tire choice in quali yesterday and started eighth. Aaron did a great job to get us to fourth. We had that (bodywork) damage and at one point I thought we were going to be done. Then to win the race is amazing.”
 
Hawksworth attributed the deciding passes to his ability to generate higher temperatures and pressures more quickly in his Michelin tires.
 
“The Lexus generates a lot of tire temperature,” he said. “I made a big lunge into Turn 1, which worked, and then Zach was struggling a little bit on cold tires and I was able to nip him as well.”
 
Veach and Frankie Montecalvo finished second in the No. 12 Lexus, with Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis taking third in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
 
The GTD race counted solely toward the WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings and not the season-long class championship. Gunn and De Angelis unofficially leave The Glen with a 27-point lead over Montecalvo. Hawksworth and Telitz – the defending Sprint Cup champions – advanced to third in the Sprint Cup standings, 142 points behind the leaders.
 
The next WeatherTech Championship race features just the GTLM and GTD classes. The Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut airs live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass and IMSA Radio at 3:10 p.m. ET Saturday, July 17. The NBCSN telecast begins at 5:30 p.m.
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
IMSA WeatherTech 240: Provisional Race Results
 
 Smart strategy and deft fuel saving on a wet track led to the first victory of the season for Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.
 
Their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi V.R took the lead Friday during pit stops shortly after the end of a 46-minute red flag for weather late in the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at The Glen. Nasr then stayed ahead of the field after a late restart to conclude an emotional victory.
 
“It was just awesome,” Nasr said. “That’s what racing is about. It’s hard. When you pull it out, it really amazes you.”
 
The strategy, to which Action Express Racing committed before the race, allowed the team to take fuel only during the final pit stop while others were receiving full service. That let Nasr leap the field and take the lead.
 
One problem. Nasr wasn’t sure if he had enough fuel to reach the end of the race.
 
“Once we got that second yellow after the restart, that helped us a lot,” Nasr said. “But I was still saving fuel. We are so limited on the capacity that we don’t have the luxury to go flat out all the time, but that second yellow helped us out big time.”
 
Nasr crossed the line 1.473 seconds ahead of Renger van der Zande in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi V.R he co-drove with Kevin Magnussen. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura DPi ARX-05 driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor finished third, increasing its lead in the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class to 81 points over the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi and drivers Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis.
The No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 shared by Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen also maintained its points lead in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class with a 21.839-second victory over the No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA co-driven by Tristan Nunez and Steven Thomas.
 
Knowing it was fastest in class, the PR1 Mathiasen team decided to use the pace to their advantage. Instead of saving fuel, Keating and Jensen went as fast as possible.   
 
“We decided to go hard from the beginning and try to build enough of a gap that we could afford to do a stop and keep the lead.” Keating said. “That’s exactly what we did. It worked out really well.”
 
Gabriel Aubry and John Farano were third in LMP2 in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA.
In Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), Felipe Fraga completed a sweep of Watkins Glen’s 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit, adding the WeatherTech 240 to Sunday’s victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hour of The Glen. The win, the fourth for the No. 74 in five LMP3 races this season, extended co-driver Gar Robinson’s lead in the class driver standings.
 
The call by Riley Motorsports to keep the No. 74 Ligier JS P320 on track after the red flag – despite worn tires – was crucial, Fraga said.
 
“We only did one pit stop,” Fraga said. “That put us in front of them because we didn’t stop for fuel and tires, of course. But that was a little bad for the tires because they already had one cycle of temperature before the red flag. It’s not so good when you go hot, cold and then hot again. At the end of my stint, I was suffering a little bit.” 
 
Fraga won by just 0.276 seconds over Dylan Murry in the No. 91 Riley Motorsports Ligier he shared with Jim Cox. Colin Braun and Jon Bennett were third in the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier.
 
In the end, Nasr and Derani were confident in their chances. But, as always is the case in racing, uncertainty reigns.
 
“In those situations, you never really know if it’s going to play out your way,” Derani said. “You’re gambling and possibly adding an extra stop, but it’s better to try to gamble and go for a win than finishing in third or fourth. They did that with a tremendous amount of confidence in the team and the strategy and the drivers.” 
 
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season resumes July 17 with the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. The GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes will be the sole competitors. The DPi, LMP2 and LMP3 classes return to action Aug. 6-8 in the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

A determined Tomy Drissi captured his third Motul Pole Award of the 2021 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Saturday morning in an incident-shortened session at Road America.
 
 
"Some of the other drivers might be upset about not being able to show their full speed, but in my experience I always bank one (lap) in as fast as I can – just in case something like this happens," said Drissi. "We banked one on Lap 2 and got pole. I couldn't be happier for the Burtin boys and Lucas Oil Slick Mist, who makes me wicked slick and wicked quick."

The Lucas SlickMist Camaro driven by Tomy “The Rockin’ Moroccan” Drissi is preparing for another 2021 win in The Trans Am Presented by Pirelli Series.
Not only is Tomy going for the win on Fourth Of July, but if Tomy wins there will be soap on the line.


"If my friend Tomy Drissi gets the win in the Lucas SlickMist Camaro. Anyone in the United States that emails me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or DMs me @doorstopnation to promote my new soap I will send a sample of Joe's Soap absolutely free!" said Joe Laracuente, owner of "Joe's Soap" .

Drissi turned a fast lap of 2:07.475 seconds in the Burtin Racing No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro in the session, which ended eight minutes early due to excessive oil dropped on the track from turns 11 through 15. A Trans Am competitor since 1999 and the 2009 champion, the Hollywood-based driver captured his 10th career pole and second in a row.

"I’m a big fan of the track and the people, some of my best memories are racing at Road America.” Drissi added. “The Lucas SlickMist Camaro is going for the win. So Joe get all the postage ready!  And there isn’t a better track to celebrate the Independence Day weekend than Road America.” 

 
Popular road-racing star and 2021 Road Atlanta winner Boris Said was second, 0.368 seconds back in the No. 2 Weaver Racing Technologies/SRI Dodge Challenger. Said missed Friday practice due to the Pancho Weaver-led team changing engines on his Dodge.
 
"It was like NASCAR single-lap qualifying out there today," commented Said. "The guys did a great job. We lost all of yesterday when we lost a motor, which was unfortunate. The Techniques Prototype Car is really fast. I was a bit ragged out there but there's a lot more speed left in the car.

"(Chris) Dyson is in it for the championship, and I am not," continued Said. "That doesn't matter though, because I am going to race him harder than anyone I've ever raced in my life. We're not here for points. I am here to drive it like I stole it for the win."
 
Chris Dyson enters the race leading Drissi in the standings by 12 points. The three-time 2021 winner will start third, turning a lap of 2:08.026 seconds in the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang. 
 
"I'm chagrined over the qualifying session," said Dyson. "We had a super-fast car, we showed that yesterday. I thought for sure we were going to contend for pole. I was on my fast lap when the session switched to black flag. That was deflating when you have such a hot rod. I think we will have the No. 20 ALTWELL Mustang up front tomorrow. Third is a good starting spot around Road America, getting to turn 1 on the inside is usually a priority because it sets you up for a good entry into turn 3. We have a great shot to back up our win from last year."
 
Simon Gregg – coming off a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio – lost fluid in the No. 59 Peter Gregg Foundation Camaro in the turns approaching Canada Corner early in the session, causing officials to black flag the session for clean up. Before the sessions switched to black, several cars were collected in the corners from the spill. Among the cars going off in the oil were local favorite Cliff Ebben in the Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang, and David Pintaric in the No. 57 Kryderacing Mustang.
 
Cody Ware was also part of the oil spill chaos, but his lone lap of 2:08.639-seconds in the No. 4 Ave Motorsports Corvette stood up for fourth overall.
 
Ware is a third-generation Trans Am driver who is racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. His grandfather John Ware raced Trans Am at Riverside International Raceway in 1970 and 1971, finishing 12th in the latter event. His father, former NASCAR Cup Series driver and current team owner Rick Ware, raced 12 times in the series from 1983 through 1989. His best finish was sixth at Portland in 1987.
 
Qualifying fifth was 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winner Guy Smith, making his Trans Am debut filling in for Humaid Masaood, in the No. 21 Amamos LaVida Tequila Ford Mustang. Smith had an off-course excursion early in qualifying, after getting together with Dyson in Friday’s practice.
 
Defending and seven-time Trans Am champion Ernie Francis Jr. missed qualifying for the second straight weekend due to his commitment for Saturday evening’s SRX race at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis. He will start at the back of the 26-car TA grid. He is currently third in the standings, 29 points behind Dyson.
  
Michael Phillips stunned the SGT field by snaring the pole on his final lap. The New Yorker ran 2:17.888 seconds in the No. 97 F.A.S.T. Auto Racing Corvette. He won his first career pole at Road Atlanta and won the race at Lime Rock.
 
"From the TA round someone laid down oil from the Kink to Canada Corner and I was actually having trouble finding grip from the oil dry," said Phillips. "My coach radioed and said I was pretty far off pace but to try one more lap. I moved the car off line a bit, found some more grip, just enough to inch out the pole. 
 
"For the race tomorrow, my goal is not to over attack, I tend to do that at the start," Phillips continued. "Road America requires a little more finesse, this place really rewards rolling at a big speed. Just trying to be consistent, be smooth and be smart out there."
 
Justin Oakes was second at 2:18.103 seconds in the No. 11 Droneworks Corvette. He was followed by Lee Saunders’ time of 2:18.333 seconds in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper. The 2020 SGT champion, Saunders is making his return after missing the past three races. 
 
In XGT, Erich Joiner earned his fourth-consecutive pole with a lap of 2:13.175 seconds in the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R. That lap was good for eighth overall.
 
"Trans Am is going to bring a great show to all these fans," said Joiner. "Even though we were out first this morning, thousands of fans were already lined down the hills camping and cooking breakfast. America is starting to open up, fans are starting to come back to the track and I am just so happy to be a part of it."
 
The 25-lap race is set to take the green flag at 8 a.m. CT on Sunday. The 38-car TA2® class takes the green today at 4:45 p.m. CT.
 
For updates, photos and videos from the weekend follow Trans Am on social @gotransam. For results and more event information visit www.gotransam.com
 
Provisional Results
 

Sam Mayer scored his first Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® National victory Saturday evening, coming out on top over a star-studded field at his home track, Road America.
 
Competing in the Pro-Am division, Mayer passed defending series champion and pole winner Mike Skeen on the ninth lap and gradually pulled away in the 25-lap contest that ran green start to finish.
 
“It's about time I won a race here at my home track!" said Mayer. "To win here is just huge. I've been trying to win here the last three years, that's like an eighth of my life. I can't thank the TeamSLR guys enough. This is my last Trans Am race of the year, and they rolled the car off the trailer this way, that's how good this team is. This series is just so fun. It's great to win in front of all my friends and family."
 
The second-generation driver from Franklin, Wisc., is the son of former Indy Car driver Scott Mayer, who won a Grand-Am Rolex Series race for Starworks Motorsport in 2013 at Road America.
 
"It is a lot more stressful watching him drive than driving here myself," said Scott Mayer. "What a great day. This kid is unbelievable, he makes me look like garbage, he is that good. He is the man, I am so proud of him."
 
The leader of the TA2® Pro-Am class, Sam Mayer won a Trans Am West Coast Championship race at Sonoma and finished second in the ProAm debut at Charlotte. He finished second at Road America in 2020.
 
Skeen, who started the race from pole, took advantage of Connor Mosack’s misfortune to take second, 5.224 seconds back, in the No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro. (Video: Mike Skeen Qualifies on Pole at Road America)

"The first few laps I thought this was going to be the easiest race of my life, we felt like we had great pace," explained Skeen. "Then all of a sudden TeamSLR turned it up and had tons of speed. I didn't want to battle with them that early so I thought that I would follow along and let them wear down. I was able to do that with Connor (Mosack) but by that time, Sam (Mayer) was already checked out."
 
Starting at the back of the grid after failing post-qualifying technical inspection, Rafa Matos electrified the crowd by charging from 36th to finish third in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Ford Mustang.
 
"We were so disappointed after the issues we had in yesterday’s qualifying," Matos said. "I promised my guys we would have a good day today. We went from the back to the front last year (when he also finished third). We were hoping for a double yellow at the end so we could try to pass the two guys ahead of me. It's my first Trans Am race in a long time that went full green, so I was surprised when the yellow never came. It was a good day for points and with how the day started, we are happy to be on the podium."
 
Scott Borchetta took a career-best fourth in the No. 48 Big Machine Vodka Ford Mustang. The drive earned Borchetta the ChillOut Move of the Race. 
 
"Everyone is so aggressive on the start so we wanted to make sure we had a clean start, getting through turn 1 and 2," said Borchetta. "Then it was just working on our race pace, hanging with Sam (Mayer) and Connor (Mosack), then of course Mike (Skeen) and (Thomas) Merrill. I just wanted to keep putting consistent laps in. I am just so proud of the team, there's so much work that goes into getting these cars out on the race track every week."
 
Borchetta was followed by NASCAR Cup Series regular and 2018 Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon, making his Trans Am debut in TeamSLR K&L Ready Mix Camaro, and TA2® newcomer Adrian Wlostowski in the No. 3 Hawk Performance F.A.S.T. Auto Chevrolet Camaro.
 
NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Newman finished 10th in his Trans Am debut, with the 2008 Daytona 500 winner driving the No. 26 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang.
 
The heartbreak of the race was suffered by Connor Mosack, as he looked to better last week’s career-best third place finish. Running second with only four laps remaining, Mosack went off and hit the wall in the No. 28 NicTailor/FS M1-SLR/Fields Camaro, putting him out of the race.

Championship contender Thomas Merrill ran third on the opening lap, but his new engine began overheating and he parked the No. 81 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Racing Mustang on the fifth lap.
 
Others falling out included NASCAR drivers Ty Gibbs – who ran fourth in the early laps – and Christopher Bell.
 
Doug Peterson took the Masters Award with a 14th-place finish.
 
Bruce Nesbitt marked his 50th anniversary in Trans Am competition, placing 26th in the No. 50 BrakeOMeter Ford Mustang. It was the 99th career start for the Chicago businessman/driver.
 
The TA/XGT/SGT race is set to start at 8 a.m. CT on Sunday. The next TA2® race will be at Brainerd International Raceway on Sunday, July 18.

Full Results

 Ernie Francis Jr., scored an emphatic victory in the Camping World SRX Series race Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway, beating NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte in a two-lap shootout to the finish.

 

Francis, a seven-time Trans Am Series champion who won his first open-wheel race last Sunday in the Formula Regional Americas championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, led the final 65 laps in the 76-lap race around the .686-mile, paved oval near Indianapolis.

 

“Man, I’m totally speechless, this is incredible,” said Francis, who beat Labonte by .649 of a second. “Those last 10-15 laps felt like they were taking forever. It felt like an eternity out there, all the cautions. I was just trying to focus on a good restart.

 

“Me and Scott Speed went at it for a few laps there, side-to-side, and I didn’t know how that was going to end up. I ended up with a few donuts on the car, but man, couldn’t be happier with it, super incredible. I want to thank everybody from SRX, Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart for giving me this opportunity.”

 

The win moved Francis into second in the Camping World SRX Series championship standings, 30 points behind series leader Stewart.

 

“I was playing around with gearing trying to see what would work,” Francis said. “Second gear was spinning off of turn four as I tried to roll through third, and that last restart I got really sideways, but I stayed in it. I didn’t want to lift there. And I thought, man, when I saw that I cleared Labonte there – that was a good feeling knowing I just had to get through a few turns cleanly and I just ran my race and took it home. This is going to make that drive back to Road America a lot better.”

 

Francis will race again at 9 a.m. EDT on Sunday in the Trans Am race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

Unlike the majority of the competitors in the Camping World SRX Series, Labonte came into the race with practical experience at Lucas Oil Raceway. The 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion and 1991 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion made three Xfinity starts at Lucas Oil Raceway, winning in 1991 while driving for his family-owned race team.

 

“All night, my car was really good,” Labonte said. “I got a little too tight at the end, and then Scott and Ernie got together and I was having to decide whether to go high or go low. I thought they were going to wreck, and then I was three-wide. Scott was sideways, somewhere, and we might have touched, and I got by him. We ran well from there. He was always dogging me off the bottom of (turn) four and he always seemed to be right there on my left rear. And then, that last green-white-checkered when it was just me and Ernie, my car was just too tight and I didn’t want to get into him too hard – just needed to keep it together and bring it home.”

 

Speed, the former Formula One driver who transitioned to NASCAR and then Rallycross, finished third after leading the first 11 laps.

 

“Man, we had such a good battle, me and Francis,” said Speed, who won the first heat race. “We were definitely the best two cars and we were playing cat-and-mouse with our tires, saving them. And then, with 10 to go, it was ‘game on.’ We were both going to charge and we had such an awesome side-by-side race. I just got a little bit too loose underneath him with a couple laps to go and fell back, lost a couple of spots. But it was a great race. I had so much fun.

 

“We came out of turn four and I got into Helio (Castroneves) a little bit. I didn’t do it on purpose. I’m having a good time here regardless of where I finish. But I’m happy for a guy like Ernie because for a kid like that, we’ve all had our careers in motor racing, but stuff like this can help him establish himself and that’s the big picture here.”

 

Stewart, winner of the last two Camping World SRX Series races, finished seventh.

 

“I was happy after the heat races and we just tried something in the main,” said Stewart, who made his USAC Silver Crown debut at Lucas Oil Raceway on June 27, 1992. “I was tight in the center (of the corner) and was a little loose off and I didn’t figure we could fix the center, so we tried to fix the exit and tried something air pressure-wise and it did not work. It was a bad call on my part on what I thought the change needed to be and dialed myself right out.

 

“We’ve just got to stay focused from here. No matter how good the point lead seems right now, you can throw it away in two weeks and lose the thing. We’ve just got to throw this night out and go back and get ready for Slinger next week – a place I’ve never been to. I don’t think any of us have, actually. So we’ll just have to focus and try and do a better job than we did here.

 

“Ernie had a hell of a night. That kid has learned so much in such a short amount of time. He’s been one of the most consistent guys out there and, literally from the first night of practice on, he’s gained time and gained speed and gotten better and better. There’s a reason he’s here. He deserves to be here.”

 

Bobby Santos III was the local all-star at Lucas Oil Raceway who has racked up an impressive resume at the Indiana short track. The versatile Santos is a four-time winner of the A.J. Foyt Championship (2006, 2011, 2017 and 2020), which is awarded to the driver with the season-best points tally at Lucas Oil Raceway in USAC’s top-three series – Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget.

 

“It was fun. These guys are awesome. It’s a great group of drivers,” said Santos, who finished fifth. “I really appreciate what Ray and Tony and this whole group did to put this deal together and to allow a short-track racer to be involved. It’s an absolutely great opportunity, I just wish I did a little better job. I’m grateful for it and everything that these guys did was awesome.”

 

Taking it all in was Ray Evernham, the co-founder of the Camping World SRX Series.

 

“I always like to look at the race, but I don’t always get to see it from pit road, but I could tell by the fans’ reaction that they got what they wanted,” Evernham said. “Watching Ernie and Scott Speed and Bobby Labonte race like that was amazing. And then, all the way back in the pack, I saw the complete sides of cars coming down the front straightaway. Guys were so sideways and just working one another over.

 

“If it’s a good TV show and the fans love it, I’m happy. You look at these full grandstands and you look at the time people are having, I think the guys are getting some pretty good recognition on television but, more importantly, I think we’re bringing a lot back to grassroots racing, and that’s really important. If we can keep doing that, I’m going to be really happy.”

 

The penultimate event of the six-race short-track series is July 10 at Slinger (Wis.) Speedway. Joining the Camping World SRX Series regulars at the quarter-mile, high-banked asphalt oval 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee will be the winner of Tuesday’s night’s Slinger Nationals – a staple of short-track racing and a proving ground for the best of the best among Super Late Model drivers. Past winners include NASCAR Hall of Famers Alan Kulwicki (1981) and Mark Martin (1984) and NASCAR Cup Series champions Matt Kenseth (1994, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2019) and Kyle Busch (2011).

 

Returning to the Camping World SRX Series at Slinger is Hailie Deegan. The 19-year-old racer from Temecula, California, finished second in her SRX debut June 19 at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. Deegan is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and a three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, where she was the first female to win a race in that series.

 

Every Camping World SRX Series race is broadcast live at 8 p.m. EDT on the CBS Television Network with streaming live on Paramount+ Premium.

 

Heat Race No. 1 (12 minutes, 23 laps):

Note: Starting lineup determined by random draw.

1.     Scott Speed (Started 1st; led laps 1-23; completed 23/23 laps)

2.     Tony Kanaan (Started 3rd; completed 23/23 laps)

3.     Michael Waltrip (Started 2nd; completed 23/23 laps)

4.     Tony Stewart (Started 5th; completed 23/23 laps)

5.     Bobby Santos III (Started 4th; completed 23/23 laps)

6.     Bobby Labonte (Started 6th; completed 23/23 laps)

7.     Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 10th; completed 23/23 laps)

8.     Marco Andretti (Started 12th; completed 23/23 laps)

9.     Helio Castroneves (Started 11th; completed 23/23 laps)

10.   Bill Elliott (Started 8th; completed 23/23 laps)

11.   Paul Tracy (Started 7th; completed 23/23 laps)

12.   Willy T. Ribbs (Started 9th; completed 23/23 laps)

 

Heat Race No. 2 (12 minutes, 21 laps):

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

1.     Helio Castroneves (Started 4th; led laps 5-21; completed 21/21 laps)

2.     Bobby Labonte (Started 7th; completed 21/21 laps)

3.     Tony Stewart (Started 9th; completed 21/21 laps)

4.     Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; completed 21/21 laps)

5.     Marco Andretti (Started 5th; completed 21/21 laps)

6.     Paul Tracy (Started 2nd; led laps 1-4; completed 21/21 laps)

7.     Scott Speed (Started 12th; completed 21/21 laps)

8.     Michael Waltrip (Started 10th; completed 21/21 laps)

9.     Bobby Santos III (Started 8th; completed 21/21 laps)

10.   Tony Kanaan (Started 11th; completed 21/21 laps)

11.   Willy T. Ribbs (Started 1st; completed 21/21 laps)

12.   Bill Elliott (Started 3rd; completed 21/21 laps)

 

Feature Results (76 laps):

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

1.     Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; led laps 12-76; completed 76/76 laps)

2.     Bobby Labonte (Started 3rd; completed 76/76 laps)

3.     Scott Speed (Started 2nd; led laps 1-22; completed 76/76 laps)

4.     Marco Andretti (Started 8th; completed 76/76 laps)

5.     Bobby Santos III (Started 9th; completed 76/76 laps)

6.     Michael Waltrip (Started 5th; completed 76/76 laps)

7.     Tony Stewart (Started 1st; completed 76/76 laps)

8.     Paul Tracy (Started 10th; completed 76/76 laps)

9.     Helio Castroneves (Started 4th; completed 76/76 laps)

10.   Tony Kanaan (Started 7th; completed 76/76 laps)

11.   Willy T. Ribbs (Started 12th; completed 76/76 laps)

12.   Bill Elliott (Started 11th; completed 76/76 laps)

 

Camping World SRX Series Championship Standings (after Round 4 of 6):

1.     Tony Stewart (160 points)

2.     Ernie Francis Jr. (130 points, -30)

3.     Helio Castroneves (120 points, -40)

4.     Bobby Labonte (115 points, -45)

5.     Marco Andretti (111 points, -49)

6.     Michael Waltrip (86 points, -74)

7.     Paul Tracy (83 points, -77)

8.     Tony Kanaan (65 points, -95)

9.     Bill Elliott (52 points, -108)

10.   Willy T. Ribbs (45 points, -115)

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

 

Michael d’Orlando this morning won his second out of three races which comprised this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. The 19-year-old’s third win of the season for Cape Motorsports moved him into serious contention for this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. With Brazilian title rival Kiko Porto finishing fourth, despite starting from the pole position, d’Orlando, from Hartsdale, N.Y., now trails Porto by only 19 points with five races remaining on the schedule.
 
Simon Sikes, from Augusta, Ga., capped a tremendous weekend for Legacy Autosport with a second-place finish, matching his career best from the previous event at Road America. Yuven Sundaramoorthy, from Delafield, Wis., rounded out the podium for Pabst Racing following a one-position penalty for blocking assessed on Exclusive Autosport’s Matt Round-Garrido, from Stourbridge, England.
 
 
For the third day in a row, Porto started from the pole position, courtesy of his fine performance during the lone qualifying session on Friday. The Brazilian capitalized on his sixth Cooper Tires Pole Award of the year by leading from the start, although as was the case on Friday, the first few laps were completed under caution following a couple of incidents further down the field.
 
At the restart, d’Orlando piled the pressure on Porto through the first few corners before leaving his braking as late as possible on the outside line at the end of the long back straightaway. Porto was wise to that maneuver, so d’Orlando tried on the outside again at Turn Four, which immediately assured him of the preferred inside line for Turn Six, where he completed the pass to take over the lead.
 
Another couple of brief caution periods proved even more costly for Porto, who slipped behind not only Sikes but also Round-Garrido, who somehow had managed to leap from 10th on the grid to fourth on the opening lap. Porto then proceeded to lose two more positions to Pabst Racing teammates Jace Denmark, a rookie from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sundaramoorthy, the former championship points leader who had started way back in 13th.
 
While d’Orlando made his escape and Sikes chased him home in second, the main focus of attention instead was on the battle for third, with Round-Garrido working hard to hold off the Pabst pair in his mirrors. A moment with two laps remaining cost Denmark a couple of positions, but Sundaramoorthy was charging hard. The 18-year-old claimed a valuable championship point for establishing the fastest lap of the race on the 20th and final lap, and later was awarded the final podium position after Round-Garrido was adjudged to have exceeded the limits of defensive driving. Sundaramoorthy also claimed the Tilton Hard Charger Award.
 
Round-Garrido instead was credited with fourth ahead of Porto, Christian Brooks (Exclusive Autosport), from Santa Clarita, Calif., who fought his way from 16th on the grid, and Denmark.
 
New Zealand rookie Peter Vodanovich earned the best finish of his rookie season to date for Jay Howard Driver Development as fellow rookies and Cape Motorsports teammates Thomas Nepveu, from Oka, Que., Canada, and Spike Kohlbecker, from St. Louis, Mo., completed the top 10.
 
Brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape took home yet another PFC Award as the winning car owners. Cape Motorsports also closed the gap to DEForce Racing to just seven points with Pabst Racing only an additional seven points further adrift in the Team Championship.
 
Just two race weekends and five races remain on the 2021 USF2000 schedule, which will continue with a triple-header at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., on August 28-29.
 
Provisional championship points after 13 of 18 races:
1. Kiko Porto, 297
2. Michael d’Orlando, 278
3. Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 243
4. Josh Pierson, 224
5. Christian Brooks, 220
6. Spike Kohlbecker, 175
7. Thomas Nepveu, 174
8. Josh Green, 166
9. Prescott Campbell, 160
10. Jace Denmark, 158
 
Michael d’Orlando (#4 Focused Project Management/DB Collaborative-Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17): “That was amazing. It’s so cool to have an American win – and an all-American podium – on July Fourth. This is incredible. Kiko was so fast, I had to really work to get by. After the restart, I made my move – he knew I was going to try it on the outside and he broke a little later, and I knew that would mess up his exit. It was a complete setup and a perfect move and I’m so pleased with the way that turned out. For the rest of the race, it was about staying in the rhythm and being consistent, but Simon was there the whole way and wouldn’t let go so that kept me on my toes. The Capes really had it this weekend. Obviously, they have a ton of experience here and we had a great car. The points are tighter now, so with five races to go anything can happen.”
 
Simon Sikes (#19 Metalloid/Sturgis Finishing-Legacy Autosport Tatuus USF-17): “I can’t believe it. We struggled a bit to start the season and it wasn’t looking good but starting at Road America we got things figured out, and the momentum has rolled into this weekend. This is my best weekend in the series, to get a podium in all three races, I can’t thank the team enough. They’ve done such a great job getting that car ready to race. We just went out there and did our jobs. Michael was tough to catch but we got to second and I couldn’t be happier. It was an excellent race. Huge thanks to Fred Edwards and the entire Metalloid family for making this happen.”
 
Yuven Sundaramoorthy (#22 S Team Motorsports-Pabst Racing Tatuus USF-17): “That was a crazy race. I thought the cautions would mess us up because it would mean less race laps, but we were able to just pick cars off one by one. In the end, I was able to come home in third and I’m happy about that. It’s good points. The car was incredible even though our results this weekend don’t show it. I’m hoping this shows what kind of job the Pabst team did. Starting P13 was tough but they gave me a car that could work its way through traffic, so huge thanks to the team.”
Hunter McElrea has endured a disappointing sequence of results with the Pabst Racing team since scoring a win during the opening weekend of the season at Barber Motorsports Park, although any negative thoughts were put firmly in the rear-view mirror this morning as the New Zealander scored a clear victory in the second leg of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.
 
Artem Petrov, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, once again finished second for Exclusive Autosport as Kyffin Simpson, from Grand Cayman Island, completed the podium in third for Juncos Racing.
 
 
Despite finishing a distant fourth yesterday afternoon, McElrea was already secure in the knowledge that he had snagged the pole position for today’s 12th round of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires following a separate qualifying session earlier in the day.
 
McElrea was bound and determined to take full advantage of his second Cooper Tires Pole Award of the season, and did so with an exemplary start to fend off an early attack from outside front row qualifier Petrov.
 
Simpson also made a good start, slipping past championship leader Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development) with a strong move under heavy braking around the outside at the Keyhole, Turn Two. Simpson then latched onto Petrov’s tail, where he remained throughout the 25-lap race.
 
The pressure on Petrov enabled McElrea to build a small but appreciable advantage which he had no difficulty in defending, even though the final margin of victory was only 0.7498 of a second. McElrea’s effort also earned a second PFC Award for Augie Pabst as the winning car owner.
 
Petrov had to be content with his fourth runner-up finish of the season, to accompany his lone victory at the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit in May, while Simpson finished close behind in third and with the additional credit of securing The Ticket Clinic Fastest Lap Award.
 
Some distance farther back in fourth, Simpson’s Juncos Racing teammate and fellow rookie Reece Gold, from Miami, Fla., had to work extremely hard to fend off Rasmussen, whom he had overtaken impressively with a bold move around the outside of Turn Four before completing the pass at Turn Five. Gold also took home his first Tilton Hard Charger Award of the year.
 
Rasmussen wisely settled for an uncharacteristically mellow fifth, although even that was enough to extend his championship lead to 39 points over Ohio native Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), whose disappointing weekend was capped with a ninth-place finish.
 
Next on the agenda for the Indy Pro 2000 competitors represents an entirely different challenge with a visit to World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., on August 21 for the second of two oval track races on the 2021 schedule.
 
Provisional championship points after 12 of 18 rounds:
1. Christian Rasmussen, 306
2. Braden Eves, 267
3. Reece Gold, 254
4. Artem Petrov, 250
5. Hunter McElrea, 231
6. Manuel Sulaiman, 193
7. Jacob Abel, 187
8. Kyffin Simpson, 177
9. James Roe, 127
10. Wyatt Brichacek, 127
 
Hunter McElrea (#18 Giltrap Group/Doric NZ/Miles Advisory Partners/Bell-Pabst Racing Tatuus PM-18): “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s been a wild year so to put it on pole and control the race was great. It was about controlling the gap the whole time. I knew I was fast and I just drove as fast as I had to in order to stay out front, make no mistakes, stay in control and bring it home. But it’s such a relief. I knew I could do it, I knew the team could do it, but so many things that have been out of our control have hurt us this season – but it’s not about the setbacks, it’s about how you come back from them. And this is how you come back! Hats off to everyone who’s been in my corner, helping me to keep my head down and keep me going. I know we’re back now. We have to keep doing this, keep getting the race wins and keep pushing and see what happens.”
 
Artem Petrov (#42 Road To Success/Bell/226ers-Exclusive Autosport Tatuus PM-18): “My goal has been to improve in qualifying and I did that this weekend, losing out on pole to Hunter by just a few hundredths. I really gave it my all today. I tried again to overtake in Turn Four but it didn’t work. I focused on driving with no mistakes and put down good laps. The car wasn’t as good as it was in the first race so we’ll look at the data and find improvement for the remaining races – but I’m the only driver with a double podium this weekend, so that’s good for me, for the team and for the championship.”
 
Kyffin Simpson (#21 Simpson Race Products/GoPro/SpY-Juncos Racing Tatuus PM-18): “It was a tough race. Luckily we were able to get by Christian at the start, battling him for much of that first lap. I was able to get a gap to him and I could see my teammate (Reece Gold) catching me but he fell off near the end. I was able to keep putting down the laps and stay with Artem and Hunter but I wasn’t able to make a move. We’re happy to get these podiums and it’s given me a lot of confidence, so we’re looking for that first win sometime soon.”