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.
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Californian Phillippe Denes solidified his lead in the TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires by scoring yet another virtual victory this evening at the iconic Watkins Glen International road course in upstate New York. Credit also to native New Yorker Andre Castro, who spun out of contention in the opening race, then bounced back magnificently in Race Two, climbing from 16th on the grid to score an unlikely victory for Legacy Autosport.
A succession of incidents during two action-packed 20-minute races led to six different drivers splitting the podium honors. New Zealand’s Hunter McElrea finished second in the first race for Pabst Racing, chased home by Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport). In the nightcap, Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), who hails originally from Warwick, N.Y., had to be content with his second place after a thrilling battle with Castro, while Christian Brooks, from Santa Clarita, Calif., chased them home in third for Exclusive Autosport.
Denes, from Carmel, put all of his iRacing experience to good use in qualifying as the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires contender clinched yet another SimMetric Driver Performance Labs Pole Award. McElrea lined up second on the grid ahead of Castro, with the other chief title protagonist, Eves, from New Albany, Ohio, rounding out the second row of the grid.
The long back straightaway at Watkins Glen affords a tremendous drafting opportunity and virtually assures that the race leader is unable to shake off his pursuers. So it proved this evening. But the fastest part of the 3.37-mile track also leads into one of the trickiest sections – the notorious Inner Loop “bus stop” chicane, which is always a magnet for trouble. Again, so it proved this evening.
Denes narrowly held onto his lead for the first couple of laps before, predictably, the drama reached its crescendo at the Inner Loop. Three cars entered the corner virtually abreast, with Eves somehow emerging in the lead – from fourth place – Denes falling to fifth and Castro spinning all the way to the back of the pack.
McElrea took his turn in the lead next time around, with Eves, Denes, Brooks and Jacob Loomis (BNRacing), from Corinth, Texas, all jockeying for position. An error by Eves at the Inner Loop on Lap Six cost him a few places, while Brooks also fell out of contention when he spun at the same place a couple of laps later.
The final stages saw Denes and McElrea fighting for top honors, with Denes eventually prevailing by just 0.366 of a second.
An even closer battle for third place saw Eves squeak ahead of Loomis on the final lap, with Prescott Campbell (Exclusive Autosport), from Newport Beach, Calif., surviving as best of the rest in fifth.
Singaporean Indy Lights racer Danial Frost (Andretti Autosport) followed in a distant sixth ahead of Max Kaeser (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), from Keystone, Colo., and a steady Nate Aranda (Juncos Racing), from Albuquerque, N.M., who earned his best finish so far in eighth. Irishman Peter Dempsey (Turn 3 Motorsport) ran ninth until the final lap when he lifted off to allow Enders past, thereby ensuring himself a 10th-place finish and the coveted pole position for Race Two.
Another fraught encounter saw Dempsey and Eves exit the fray when neither of them was prepared to give an inch to each other as they fought for the lead of Race Two entering the Inner Loop for the third time. Both were out on the spot.
Enders gratefully took over the lead but it wasn’t long before Denes, who had started 10th, began to fill his mirrors. Castro, too, had taken advantage of a series of incidents to charge through the pack into third.
The decisive moment in the race came after six laps when Denes was assessed a drive-through penalty for his part in an incident a little earlier which caused the unfortunate Kaeser to spin out of the race.
Enders continued in the lead, but Castro soon had him in his sights. The pair then staged a thrilling – and clean – battle in the waning stages. They exchanged positions several times before Castro timed his run to perfection and executed a nice pass into the Inner Loop on the final lap to secure his second win in as many weeks.
Enders backed up his podium finish from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca a couple of weeks ago by finishing a close second, with Brooks a lonely third after Indy Lights racer Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport) lost ground with a quick spin just a few laps from the end. Norman held on for fourth, while Denes overcame his penalty to slip past Dempsey for fifth on the final lap.
Another late change of position saw eSeries debutant Toby Sowery (Belardi Auto Racing), from Cambridge, England, slip past Campbell for seventh, with Flinn Lazier (Lazier Racing) from Vail, Colo., and Aranda completing the top 10.
Denes continued to display his mastery by claiming the TSOLadder.com Fastest Race Lap Awards in both races. Consequently, Denes now holds a commanding 34-point advantage over Eves heading into next week’s concluding pair of races at the Iowa Speedway oval in Newton, Iowa.
Provisional championship points after eight of 10 races:
1. Philippe Denes, 191
2. Braden Eves, 157
3. Andre Castro, 134
4. Max Kaeser, 121
5. Hunter McElrea, 110
6. Danial Frost, 103
7. Jacob Loomis, 85
8. Flinn Lazier, 81
9. Kory Enders, 73
10. Michael Myers, 69
Today, Hyundai announced its high-performance N Brand will be the title sponsor of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) race weekend at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Sept. 4 – 6, 2020. This year’s IMSA Labor Day Race Weekend will be the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship. Hyundai will provide N Brand experiences to fans throughout the weekend. The title sponsorship enhances Hyundai’s growing N and N Line portfolio of vehicles that includes: the Veloster N, Elantra N Line and Sonata N Line. Hyundai also will be the broadcast title sponsor when the race airs on NBCSN.
Hyundai’s N Brand is a perfect match for the IMSA series and Laguna Seca’s 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course that includes the famous Corkscrew turn. Hyundai sees this partnership as a great opportunity to showcase the high-performance N Brand to fans of sports car racing and automotive enthusiasts.
“Seeing Hyundai and their N performance brand combine with one of my all-time favorite venues is fantastic news,” said Bryan Herta, co-owner of Bryan Herta Autosport.
Hyundai will be mounting an all-out assault to win the 2020 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca race and the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship with three Veloster N TCR cars and six drivers. Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis who co-drove the #98 Veloster N TCR to the 2019 IMPC Drivers championship will be split up for 2020. Michael Lewis will remain in the #98, now with Mason Filippi and Mark Wilkins will co-drive with Harry Gottsacker in the #21. The new third entry, the #33 Veloster N TCR, will be driven by open wheel standouts Gabby Chaves and Ryan Norman.
“Hyundai is proving to be a terrific partner in the rebranded Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, and their on-track presence continues to impress us,” said John Narigi, president and general manager of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “We look forward to working with their skilled team on the Hyundai N Brand experience to provide even more exciting engagement opportunities for guests and fans who join us for the Labor Day race weekend.”
IMSA President John Doonan, added that IMSA is pleased that Hyundai has become the title sponsor of its annual visit to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “Hyundai is a valued partner of ours and they have shown great success on the track in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in a short period of time. The combination of their planned activations and the scenic, iconic circuit in the hills of Monterey will make this an unforgettable weekend for everyone involved,” said Doonan.
In addition to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race featuring the Hyundai Veloster N TCR race cars, the other series that will race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca include:
- The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
- IMSA Prototype Challenge
- Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America
- Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA
Tickets are on sale now for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. A Weekend General Admission ticket is available for $75. Paddock access is free to get up close to the cars and drivers. Children 15 and under always receive free general admission at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Visit WeatherTechRaceway.com or call 831-242-8200 to purchase tickets or for more information. Follow the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Supercross athletes have little to no contact as riders race solo against other competitors and wear several protective elements – full-face helmets that cover the mouth, goggles, gloves, jerseys and pants that leave little to no skin exposed, plus fully secured knee-high boots.
*Supercross Racing Resumes - Sunday, May 31 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET on NBCSN then it switches over from 4:00 – 6:00pm ET on NBC. The final round will be on June 21st.
Round 11 Sunday, May 31 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm MDT
Round 12 Wednesday, June 3 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm MDT
Round 13 Sunday, June 7 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm MDT
Round 14 Wednesday, June 10 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Round 15 Sunday, June 14 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Round 16 Wednesday, June 17 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Round 17 Sunday, June 21 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm MDT
The regular rotation between oval tracks and road courses continues tomorrow, May 27, for the TireRack.com Road to Indy iRacing eSeries Presented by Cooper Tires with a visit to a virtual copy of Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. Watkins Glen is an iconic natural terrain course situated among the woodlands and rolling hills overlooking Seneca Lake. It includes 11 turns, plenty of elevation change over its 3.37 miles, and will provide an exhilarating challenge for the full field of drivers representing all three levels of the acclaimed open-wheel racing development ladder – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.
The action will begin tomorrow at 6:45 pm EDT with an intense qualifying session to determine which 28 of 38 at-home drivers will be fast enough to contest the pair of 20-minute simulated races. Race One will start at 7:00 pm. The finishing order will determine the starting grid for Race Two, albeit with the top 10 positions inverted.
The 10-race series is nearing its conclusion with a pair of 21-year-old American Indy Pro 2000 racers, Phillippe Denes and Braden Eves, separated by just six points – 140-134 – at the top of the table after six events. Denes, from Carmel, Calif., represents Italian-based RP Motorsport USA, while Eves, from New Albany, Ohio, by virtue of winning last year’s USF2000 championship, carries the striking blue-and-white Road to Indy Scholarship colors for Canadian-based Exclusive Autosport.
Max Kaeser (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports) and Andre Castro (Legacy Autosport) lie third and fourth in the points table after securing breakthrough victories last week at the Lucas Oil Raceway oval.
Both USF2000 racers have been a factor throughout the sim racing season. After finishing on the podium in the oval openers at World Wide Technology Raceway, Kaeser, 17, from Keystone, Colo., bounced back from a disappointing day at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca road course to score a dominant Race Two win last week at LOR.
Andre Castro, from New York, N.Y., who is balancing his time with studying economics at the University of Chicago, finally banished a sequence of misfortunes to the rear-view mirror when he took the checkered flag in the LOR opener.
“It was really good to get that first win last week,” said Castro. “I knew I would have a good chance on the oval – since it was less about the draft, I knew I could control my own destiny. I’m really looking forward to this week’s race as well, especially since the track is so big that lapped traffic shouldn’t be an issue. I have more sim laps at Watkins Glen than any other track. I’ve been playing racing video games since I was 7 years old, like the NASCAR game, and Watkins Glen was one of the two road courses, so I played it a lot.
“It’s my favorite track. It’s so beautiful, and I hope to race there in real life someday. I’ve done iRacing at Watkins Glen in so many cars, from stock cars to sports cars to Indy cars. It’s really easy for me to pick it up and be near the pace. That said, it’s not easy to compete with Phil and Braden so I’m definitely going to have to put in some practice time this week.”
Fellow New Yorker Yuven Sundaramoorthy also has high expectations after breaking through at Lucas Oil Raceway with a brace of top-six finishes for Pabst Racing. Sundaramoorthy, from Guilderland, N.Y., is one of only a few Road to Indy drivers who have relevant experience at Watkins Glen, having earned his first F1600 Championship Series victory there in 2018.
“Watkins Glen has a few elements that are different from other road courses – like the banking in the heel and the toe of the Boot,” said Sundaramoorthy. “Those are definitely difficult to get into, because if you miss it by just a bit, you push out into the wall. That was a big challenge to get used to in F1600 because it was very ‘slidey’ as well. The Inner Loop ‘bus stop’ is difficult to judge as well: I sometimes come in too fast and it would push me out so I couldn’t make the second half.
“I’ve had trouble with consistency at Watkins Glen, but that’s one of the things I’ve been working on in iRacing. I’m working on holding my position during races, being a bit more aggressive and on improving in qualifying.”
Thirty points are up for grabs in each of the two 20-minute races, plus additional bonus markers for the SimMetric Driver Performance Labs Pole Award, leading most laps and the TSOLadder.com Fastest Race Lap.
All competitors once again will be racing for a cause as all registration fees to enter will be donated into a fund to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
Fans can follow the weekly action on a series of outlets including the Cooper Tire Facebook page, the TireRack.com website (TireRack.com/roadtoindy), the Road to Indy TV website and App, ApexRacingTV’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, the iRacing eSports Network and the series’ respective Facebook platforms. In addition, live coverage will be carried by MAVTV Canada, which will be airing all Indy Lights races live in 2020 when the series returns to action as well as Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship highlight shows.
MAVTV, the only cable television network in the U.S. dedicated solely to motorsports, is thrilled to announce the return of LIVE racing beginning with coverage of the opening rounds for MotoAmerica’s Supersport series from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The LIVE broadcasts are scheduled to air at 3 pm ET on Saturday, May 30th and Sunday, May 31st. MAVTV’s LIVE broadcasts will feature one-hour programmingof the rising stars competing in the hotly-contested Supersport class.
"MAVTV has a rich history with two-wheel racing and we are proud to offer America’s premier road racing series in our May broadcast schedule,” said John Duff, Head of Content, MAVTV Motorsports Network. "While racing without fans isn’t ideal, the ability to hold a live race is still a big win for the industry and its fans, and we’re excited to broadcast these live events to motorsports enthusiasts.”
With last year’s top three finishers switching classes, Sean Kelly and Richie Escalante, who finished 4th and 5th in the 2019 standings, are itching to get to Supersport racing as they look to capitalize off their strong finishes last season and break into the top three for 2020. The action takes place at the 4.048 mile, 14-turn race track near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that has hosted some of the greatest names in automotive racing and now North America’s top supersport racers.
MAVTV is now available through 220 providers across cable, satellite, telco, and digital broadcast platforms.With partners includingAT&T U-verse, Charter/Spectrum, DIRECTV, Fios by Verizon, FuboTV, Google, Mediacom, and many more, the country’s premier motorsports network is seen in more than 30-million households.
For more information regarding showtimes and re-runs or to begin watching premium motorsports content on MAVTV, please reference your digital and TV channel guides.
Never miss a LIVE event! Set your reminder now: https://lucasoil.roktcalendar.com/
Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today affirmed June dates at both Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The agreement with Road America is a new date after a postponement from the original May 15 -17 Vintage Festival. Fathers’ Day June 18 – 21 weekend became available with the postponement of the Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and changes to the Indy car date originally planned at Road America at that time. Mid-Ohio will take place on its previously announced date, June 25 – 28.
SVRA will share the Road America race weekend with Blue Marble Radical Cup’s unique form of sports car racing. The SpeedTour Festival formula will return at Mid-Ohio, featuring SVRA and Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli.
The Mid-Ohio races will be live-streamed. Fans around the globe can enjoy the competition through free streaming media to their phones, tablets, and computers. Free downloads are available for both Apple and Android. There are separate apps for SVRA and Trans Am.
“Road America and Mid-Ohio are important venues for our sport and as the economy opens, we are able to move forward with responsible precautions,” said Tony Parella, SVRA President and CEO and majority owner of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. “Our goal is to make SVRA and SpeedTour racing safer than going to the grocery store.”
“Vintage racing is important to Road America and we are delighted to keep SVRA on our schedule this season,” said Road America President and General Manager, Michael Kertscher. “I am proud that everyone in motorsports is pitching in to make the best of a situation we absolutely did not want and could not have planned for. This was a perfect opportunity to get SVRA back and give all our fans another reason to take in Father’s Day at America’s National Park of Speed. Fans will also have the opportunity to watch the Blue Marble Radical Cup during the SVRA Vintage Weekend.”
As part of its commitment to honoring America's heroes, Road America will also provide FREE admission to all active, reserve-duty military and veterans with ID during the SVRA Vintage Festival Weekend, June 18-21, at Road America. Gates will open to the public each day at 7 a.m.
Anyone 16-years-old and under are always FREE with a paying adult at the gate. All races will run rain or shine. A tentative event schedule for each event will be posted at www.roadamerica.com.
Fans are encouraged to follow safe practices at Road America, such as social distancing (maintaining six feet from others), frequent hand washing, or using one of the many new sanitizer stations located throughout the facility. Cloth face coverings are encouraged in areas where social distancing is difficult. For additional details on Road America’s Active Measures Against COVID-19, fans are encouraged to check out its website at www.roadamerica.com/covid-19
Car owner registrations for both race weekends are open at www.svra.com. Owners who filed entries for Road America’s original date are welcome to register at no additional fee if they wish.