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  

  

 
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

 

One champion is replacing another this week in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
Gabby Chaves, who teamed with Ryan Norman in 2020 to win the Touring Car (TCR) class title, is replacing Norman for this week’s Sahlen’s 120 at The Glen while Norman makes his IndyCar Series debut at Mid-Ohio. Chaves will pair with Parker Chase for Friday’s race at Watkins Glen International in the No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR.
 
“It’s great to be back with BHA and Hyundai for two hours around Watkins Glen,” Chaves said. “This is one of my favorite tracks, and I'm looking forward to getting a taste of the new Elantra N TCR and do my part in driving the development forward and get the team and Hyundai a step closer to another championship.”
 
 
A season ago, Chaves and Norman co-drove a Hyundai Veloster N TCR, winning three races and finishing second on two occasions to take the class championship. The Elantra was introduced to competition this year, with BHA running two Elantra models along with operating or supporting six Velosters in the class.
 
After a slow start, Norman and Chase found their groove in the No. 98 Elantra the past two races. They won at Mid-Ohio in May and finished second in Sunday’s four-hour Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 at The Glen.
 
Chaves steps into the No. 98 for his season debut in Pilot Challenge. His only other IMSA activity to date in 2021 was co-driving a Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) car for Forty7 Motorsports in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with Norman among the co-drivers. A former Indy Lights champion who drove all or part of four seasons in the IndyCar Series, Chaves is amped for his chance and the one for Norman this week.
 
“I’m happy to see Ryan get an opportunity he’s always wanted,” Chaves said, “and I'm honored to be able to step in and hopefully pick up right where I left of in 2020 after winning the championship with Bryan (Herta) and the team.”
 
Thirty-six cars are entered this week, 21 in Grand Sport (GS) and 15 in TCR. Friday’s race will mark the halfway point of the 2021 season.
 
Kuno Wittmer leads the GS standings and will team again with Orey Fidani in the No. 13 AWA McLaren 570S GT4. Wittmer is just 50 points up on the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 duo of Bill Auberlen and Dillon Machavern, who finished second in GS on Sunday. Sheena Monk and Spencer Pigot, co-drivers of the No. 3 Motorsports In Action McLaren, finished third on Sunday and are 60 points behind Wittmer.
 
The TCR points battle is just as tight. Ryan Eversley, who paired with team owner Todd Lamb to win the class Sunday in the No. 94 Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic FK7 TCR, is back in the car but will have Scott Smithson as his co-driver. Smithson was initially named to drive with Eversley last week but travel issues prevented him from participating.
 
Eversley leads the TCR standings by a mere 10 points over Michael Lewis and Taylor Hagler, who made a sensational recovery to finish third on Sunday after the No. 77 BHA Veloster went off track and was stuck in a gravel trap early in the race. Lewis and Hagler have three podium finishes this season but have yet to reach the top step.
 
Pilot Challenge has a one-hour practice scheduled for Thursday afternoon ahead of twilight qualifying at 7:55 p.m. ET. The two-hour race starts at 2:35 p.m. Friday and streams live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
By David Phillips
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
The IMSA WeatherTech 240 figures to be, at once, déjà vu all over again and yet something completely different.
 
Déjà vu? It was just a few days ago that the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship staged a real humdinger of a Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Something completely different? Not only is the IMSA WeatherTech 240 a sprint race just under half the length of last weekend’s event, but the green flag is slated to wave at 6:10 p.m. ET, making for the first “evening” race in the history of Watkins Glen International’s fabled 3.4-mile road course.
 
We should probably make that the first “scheduled” evening race in the history of the venerable track, as at least one race in the six decades since Cameron Argetsinger and company constructed a permanent circuit on the hill overlooking Seneca Lake has almost certainly started in the evening owing to unforeseen circumstances.
 
While the easy way out would be to predict a repeat of Sunday’s potboiler, Friday’s race could well bear little resemblance to its immediate predecessor. For openers, Friday’s entry features some notable changes from the Sahlen’s Six Hours. Absent from the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) field is the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R. With the upcoming race not counting toward the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, the GT Le Mans (GTLM) field will be a three-horse race between Sunday’s winning No. 3 Corvette C8.R, its No. 4 sister ‘Vette and the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 – the latter looking to rebound from a fraught Six Hours in which it smote The Glen’s signature baby blue Armco barrier before retiring in the wake of a pit lane fire.
 
Elsewhere, the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) ranks will also feature three entries, including the No. 11 WIN Autosport that captured its first WeatherTech Championship victory last week. The six-car Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) entry list includes the top three finishers from Sunday’s race, namely the Nos. 74 and 91 Riley Motorsports and No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320s.
 
On the other hand, but for a return to a pair of co-drivers up and down pit lane (in contrast to the threesomes employed by several teams last weekend), the GT Daytona (GTD) class is more or less status quo with a baker’s dozen of cars (and eight marques) prepared for a(nother) smack-down at The Glen.
 
Finally, consider the conditions. Rather than Sunday’s blazing sun and temperatures in the mid-90s, Friday’s race will be run in the gloaming of a rural New York midsummer’s eve, with temperatures slowly falling from the 70s in fading light to actual sunset right about the time of the checkered flag. And did someone mention rain? At last check, the forecast called for an even chance of rain and dry.
 
Also, there’s but one practice session slated for Thursday in the middle of the afternoon, with qualifying set to run from 5:40-7:10 p.m. With four of the five classes each getting their individual 15-minute session and GTD getting two (one for the Motul Pole Award and starting position, the second for qualifying points), teams will have a tantalizing taste of evening race conditions but no more. Thus, chassis and aerodynamic setups, along with tire choices and pressures, will be based as much on educated guesses as real-world experience. So, the cars that set the pace in that first hour of the race may labor to match it once the sun fades ... and vice-versa.
 
So, while at first glance the IMSA WeatherTech 240 would appear to promise a half-sized version of the Sahlen’s Six Hours, looks can be deceiving. Different lineups, different conditions and different race distance all figure to make for a different outcome, not to mention a unique vibe, at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening.

 Miami-based Italian-Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco has his sights set on chasing success this weekend at the Indy Lights venue where Andretti cars and stars have shone brightly in the past – the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In the past three seasons of Indy Lights competition, Andretti-prepared entries have scored five of the six victories and five of the six available pole positions around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in 2019, 18 and 17.

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport driver DeFrancesco, in particular, will lean on the experience of driver coach Oliver Askew who scored the pole, set the fastest lap, led the most laps, and won in both races here in 2019 for Andretti Autosport.

DeFrancesco is no stranger to the podium at Mid-Ohio either, scoring a second-place here last season in Indy Pro 2000 en route to taking the series rookie of the year award and finishing runner-up in the championship.

To prepare for this weekend’s action, the Indy Lights schedule will feature three test sessions (two on Thursday, April 1, and another on Friday morning, April 2) before official practice kicks off on Friday.

 
DeFrancesco aims to turn his impressive qualifying performances from Road America into strong results on his return to the cockpit this week. While he qualified third and fourth in both races in the most recent round – contact in Race 1 in the opening corner damaged his car and forced him to pit lane. He managed to escape Turn 1 without being hit in Race 2 but battled a lack of grip in the most recent round.

DeFrancesco will again fly the flag for lead sponsor PowerTap Hydrogen at Mid-Ohio. The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 rookie of the year’s other Indy Lights supporters include Kimoa – the fashion, clothing, and accessories brand founded by Fernando Alonso; world-class racing simulator manufacturer AIS; Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Simply Mac; software and services company Fyllo and Sol Yoga.

This weekend’s action can be seen on NBC’s Peacock service; on REVTV in Canada; and on The-Race.com’s YouTube channel in all other international markets.

Mid-Ohio Indy Lights Schedule

Thursday, July 1: 

10:00 AM-11:30 AM Test 1
2:00 PM-3:30 PM Test 2

Friday, July 2:
8:10 AM-9:40 AM Test 3
11:25 AM-12:10 PM Practice
3:35 PM-4:05 PM Qualifying 1

Saturday, July 3:
10:05 AM-10:35 AM Qualifying 2
4:30 PM-5:20 PM Race 1

Sunday, July 4:
10:00 AM-10:50 AM  Race 2
 
DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO Q&A

Q: What are your key goals for this weekend at Mid-Ohio?
A:
 “This weekend, it is all about turning that qualifying pace into race results. The first race at Road America could have ended up so differently, if I hadn’t been hit in the opening corner.
“The two guys in front of me also came together so I could have sailed off into the lead.
“But motorsport is full of ifs, buts, and maybes. 
“It was really disappointing because although we had to pit to check what turned out to be a damaged floor, my Andretti Steinbrenner car was super fast.
“We entered Sunday’s race full of confidence, but the grip completely went away despite the fact we hadn’t made any major changes to the car.”

Q: What is the secret to a good lap at Mid-Ohio?
A: 
“Getting a good rhythm here is critically important. From the end of the main straight through Turns 4, 5, and 6 and then through the esses – that is where you really need the car to flow.
“It is the type of place where if you don’t get Turn 4 right, you can end up playing catchup right through the next section.
“Getting the power down out of the Carousel and particularly The Keyhole is also critical – you want to make sure you can launch the car out of The Keyhole for that run down the back straight.”

Q: How much are you looking forward to racing on the 4th of July weekend?
A:
 “It is going to be an incredible weekend for the fans, and Mid-Ohio is a perfect place to celebrate the 4th of July.
“I may have Italian and Canadian passports, but racing in America is a dream come true for me. I have really enjoyed these past two seasons here, and I’m looking forward to racing here for many years to come.
“There is going to be lots of fireworks both on and off-track this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Every so often, momentous shifts happen in auto racing that redefine the sport as a whole. Today is no exception!

Founder Justin Marks announced today that his Nashville-based Trackhouse Entertainment Group has purchased Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operation.

The transfer of all of CGR’s NASCAR assets to Trackhouse Racing will be completed immediately following the final NASCAR Cup Series race on Nov. 7, 2021. Trackhouse Racing will field two full-time NASCAR Cup Series entries in 2022. 

"This is a landmark moment for Trackhouse Racing," stated Marks. "It is humbling to know we have secured our position in NASCAR for the next decade. These are never decisions made without a lot of thorough consideration and deep reflection by both parties. This process took several weeks and I want to thank Chip for being so open and candid with me every step of the journey. Chip has built an iconic motorsports empire and the Ganassi brand is globally recognized as a winner in the auto racing industry. It is truly an honor that we can build from that foundation. This acquisition provides Trackhouse a platform for years to come, enabling us to field multiple teams, elevate our on-track performance, deliver great value for our sponsors and partners, build lasting community impact programs and continue to grow our brand beyond the sports conversation."

Daniel Suárez, the current driver of Trackhouse Racing’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro, will continue with the organization. The second driver will be named at a later date.

Trackhouse Racing, a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group, was founded in 2020 by Justin Marks, who established the company’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. In October of 2020, Trackhouse announced it would field the No. 99 in the NASCAR Cup Series with driver Daniel Suárez. Trackhouse Racing formed an Operational Alliance with legendary Richard Childress Racing and the team operates out of Welcome, North Carolina. In January of 2021, Trackhouse announced Armando Christian Perez (a.k.a. Pitbull) as a co-owner and transcendent ambassador.  

“I think this is a great day for NASCAR as it seems like there are so many people that are wanting to get into the sport as owners – Michael Jordan, Pitbull, Denny and plenty of others," Ganassi added. "They are bringing new perspective, vision and insight which is great for the sport. NASCAR has been building momentum over the last few years and I am confident that it will continue to do so. Also, I can honestly say that my NASCAR team was not for sale. Justin simply came to me with a great offer and an even better vision. As everyone knows, I care deeply for my employees so selling to someone like Justin, who is part of the CGR family, made the reality of selling much easier. He knows our organization and the people. That gives me comfort. Everyone needs to know that I am still completely dedicated to the motorsports industry and will continue to run my other teams in INDYCAR, IMSA and Extreme E with the same enthusiasm that I always have."  

Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for nearly 40 years beginning with his qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 in 1982. Today his teams include four cars in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and two cars in the NASCAR Cup Series, one in IMSA and another in Extreme E. Overall, his teams have 19 championships and more than 230 victories including four in 2021. His win total also includes four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, eight Rolex 24 At Daytonas, the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis, and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh.

 

Humor and horror go hand in hand, but humor and patriotism is priceless!

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!    

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Jeffrey Martin.

What was your first car? 1989 Fiat TS-R7

What do you drive now?  2015 Grand Cherokee
 
What is your dream car that you wish to own?  Mercedes 520 SE
 
 Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car?  Maybe, if the battery car is Hummer
 
 If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring? Digital books on Kindle of John Sandford’s Pray series.
 
What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology? Go Space Force 2.0
 
 
Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.
 
Be sure to follow Jeffrey Martin on social media:
 
Twitter: LCALLING
Instagram: Jeffrey Martin Jr- Author
Facebook:Jeffrey Martin Jr
LinkedIN-Jeffrey Martin

In a world filled with bumps in the road, oftentimes it's important to know that you aren't the only one along for the ride!

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!    

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Ellen Weisberg, Author of 'Angel Rock Leap'

 

What was your first car? Dodge Colt
What do you drive now? Subaru Legacy
What is your dream car that you wish to own? Subaru Legacy (I'm a creature of habit)
Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car? Not really
If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring? Haunted New England
What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology?Impressive
 
 
Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.
 
Be sure to follow Ellen Weisberg on social media:

Web: www.weisberg-yoffe.org

Instagram:
face_paint_wy_
weisberg_yoffe

Facebook:

International non-profit Facepaint, raising social and cancer awareness
https://www.facebook.com/facepaintkenellen/

Weisberg-Yoffe Books and Film: Supporting Social Awareness
https://www.facebook.com/AngelRockLeap/

Ellen Weisberg (@SiggieUlfDots) | Twitter

Weisberg-Yoffe books (@Voice11280648) | Twitter

Ellen Weisberg YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8rCr0oplbDL4Ik-uhGxdjg

 Rafa Matos followed up Friday’s Motul Pole Award with a flag-to-flag Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday afternoon, taking a giant step toward a second career championship when his closest rival suffered a DNF.
 
It was shades of 2018, with Matos taking his second Trans Am victory of the season and 12th of his career in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Ford Mustang. He also won at Mid-Ohio three years ago, when he went on to claim the TA2® championship.
 
“This was the best Trans Am car that I’ve ever driven in my life,” Matos said. “The Peterson 3-Dimensional team did a great job preparing the car, and it was a pleasure to drive. It was very predictable, and that’s what helped us win this race. I couldn’t be more proud of my team right now.” 
 
Matos entered the weekend leading Mike Skeen by only one point. However, the driver of the No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro had a mechanical failure and went off deep into a gravel trap on the 13th circuit.
 
From there, Matos survived three restarts, going on to win by 3.661 seconds ahead of new teammate Adam Andretti, who had a one-race drive in the No. 86 3-Dimensional Mustang.
 
Andretti had to come back to take second from a determined Connor Mosack, who settled for third in the No. 28 Nic Tailor/FS M1-SLR /Fields Chevrolet Camaro. Mosack passed Andretti for second with five laps remaining. Andretti dove to the inside in Turn 4 two laps later and made the move stick, beating Mosack to the stripe by a mere 0.710 seconds to earn the Chill-Out Move of the Race.
 
“I almost forgotten what a war it is, just lap after lap after lap of battling,” said Andretti. “It’s so much fun and so rewarding. (On Mosac) “That kid’s good. The fans at home will be watching Connor Mosack for a long, long time. He’s an incredible talent and an awesome racer, racing side by side like we were with all the give and take.”
 
Mosack was running his ninth TA2® race, finishing fourth at both Road Atlanta and Lime Rock for TeamSLR.
 
“I was just trying to bide our time, because I knew we had a car to get to the front,” said Mosack after a career-best finish. “But I used it up a little more than I wanted to trying to get by the No. 86. It’s nice to finally get a podium. It would have been nice to be second and see what we had for Rafa, but we’ll do it next time.”
 
The top five were separated by 5.130 seconds. Tyler Kicera took fourth with nine laps remaining in the No. 5 Silver Hare Racing Ford Mustang, while Adrian Wlostowski was fifth in the No. 3 Hawk Performance/F.A.S.T. Auto Chevrolet Camaro.
 
It was a podium sweep for 3-Dimensional, as team owner Doug Peterson placed 18th in the No. 87 Mustang and was the Masters class winner.
 
“Our three-car team started Monday,” Peterson said. “I knew Adam was available, and we were able to get him a car. All good!”
 
The complexion of the race changed dramatically on the 13th lap when Skeen went off in Turn 4, bringing out a full-course caution. Starting fourth, Skeen needed only two laps to get up to second. He was battling with Andretti for second on lap eight, when Skeen went wide and slipped back to sixth. He was running seventh when he went off.
 
“We had a really good start and got up to second,” Skeen said. “Then we had some kind of trouble. The car just wasn’t handling, and we were fighting. I was all by myself. I was trying to hold on, but then I had some kind of failure going down into China Beach. Unfortunately, we lose a lot of points, but we’re going to fight to the end.”
 
Racing went back to green for lap 18. Matos had a good restart ahead of teammate Andretti and Mosack, but three laps later, the event went back to caution for the stopped No. 48 Big Machine Vodka Ford Mustang of Scott Borchetta – who was running in the top 10.
 

Matos maintained the lead on the restart with 36:34 remaining, but caution returned only one lap later when Bruce Raymond came to a stop in the No. 54 Raymond’s Performance Mustang after getting together with Curt Vogt in the No. 23 Cobra Automotive Mustang.

Tony Stewart made it back-to-back victories in the Camping World SRX Series by winning the third race of the six-race short-track series Saturday night at Eldora Speedway.

 

Stewart put on a show at the track that he owns, starting from last in the 12-driver field to lead twice for six laps – all in the last seven laps of the 50-lap feature race at the half-mile, high-banked clay oval.

 

“Jack Hewitt was probably the best I’ve ever seen here at Eldora and I learned a couple of things watching him win the 4-Crown one year where he won all four divisions, and I used that line a lot early in the race here today and it helped out a lot,” said Stewart, referring to sprint car and midget racer Hewitt’s sweep of the 1998 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora.

 

Stewart won the previous Camping World SRX Series event at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway on June 19, taking his first SRX win and the series’ first on a dirt track. Eldora marked the second and final dirt track race on the SRX schedule and Stewart showcased his versatility by holding off local all-star Kody Swanson by .481 of a second.

 

“Kody found the bottom. I couldn’t roll the bottom as good as he could. I was real dependent on being up on the top. I just think that’s what Eldora does – the complexion of the track changes during the race,” Stewart said.

 

“I thought the top was good in the beginning in the main and then Kody got just crushing everybody on the bottom and got rolling through there. But the good thing was when he went by, everybody else followed him down there like they were in a parade and left the top open. And the longer we went, I finally got the momentum going on the top to get back by him.”

 

Swanson, the five-time USAC Silver Crown champion who leads the division in wins (30) and poles (31), nearly pulled off another victory for the local all-stars, emulating Doug Coby’s win in the Camping World SRX Series season opener on June 12 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.

 

“I felt like we had a really strong car through the middle of the race,” said Swanson, who was forced into a backup car for the feature race after sustaining damage to his primary car in the second heat race. “I really appreciate everybody with SRX and the guys on the crews. They built 16 cars to come out and put this on in a short amount of time and I appreciate them letting me have a chance in a backup car. I hate to tear up their equipment and I hate to lose.

 

“I felt like we were really good in the middle of the race and the bottom just kind of gave up a little bit and I got the top of (turns) one and two working. But once Tony had track position, it was hard to get back by him. I felt like I had a chance there but I just didn’t hit the bottom perfect and he got back around. It’s awful hard to beat him here at Eldora.”

 

Four-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves acquitted himself well at Eldora, finishing a stout third and rising to second in the Camping World SRX Series championship standings, 33 points behind Stewart.

 

“It was crazy, especially on the restarts with PT. My goodness, I didn’t have anywhere to go except the wall and I kept hitting the wall,” said Castroneves, with his reference to P.T. being fellow driver Paul Tracy. “After that, something happened. It was really difficult – my car was really loose. So in the end, I said I’ve got to go to the bottom because I saw some of the guys go to the bottom – that’s the only way for my car to have a shot. The long runs were terrible for me. Restarts were the best. So, I kept it relatively clean, but man, I can’t believe it’s my first podium on the dirt. That is awesome.”

 

The most talked-about driver was Tracy. The 2003 NTT INDYCAR Series champion led the first 25 laps of the 50-lap feature and used the bumper and fenders of his purpose-built SRX racecar prodigiously to protect that lead and then defend his position as Swanson, Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Bobby Labonte surged toward the front.

 

“I know I’m going to have some Bobby Labonte fans after me because he’s super pissed at me, and rightly so,” Tracy said. “He got by me on the restart. I was running on top and I decided I was going to cut to the bottom like Tony did and I just got it all wrong. He turned in a little earlier than I thought he would and I tagged him and that was it. So that was my bad and I went over to apologize to him he was having none of it.

 

“The SRX cars put on a great show. I felt really good on this track. This is a wonderful track that Tony has and I couldn’t be happier with how we ran overall tonight. We picked up a lot of points and hopefully made some new fans. I’m sure we made some enemies because those Bobby Labonte fans probably hate me.”

 

The fender-banging and door-slamming proved entertaining and crowd-pleasing, but the repercussions left a lot of work for Camping World SRX Series co-founder Ray Evernham and his team of mechanics.

 

“I think we had another good show tonight but, as race director, I’ve got a couple of phone calls to make to some people this week where I’ll have to say, ‘Look, this is for fun.’ We’ve got a lot of torn-up cars, but it sounds like the fans like it,” Evernham said.

 

“We should’ve put Kody in that practice car to begin with. It looked like he liked it better than his original car. I knew when both of them got to the front, when Kody was on the bottom and Tony was on the top, I knew it was going to be pretty exciting. I thought Kody had it won on the last lap because I thought he was rolling the bottom good enough to slide up in front of Tony.

 

“I thought it was great, but I’ve got to wait what and see the fans think.”

 

After two straight dirt-track races at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and Eldora, the Camping World SRX Series returns to pavement for its fourth race July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana. Bobby Santos III is the local all-star who will join the Camping World SRX Series regulars at the .686-mile asphalt oval near Indianapolis.

 

Santos is from Franklin, Massachusetts, and is best known for his success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Nicknamed “Bobby New England,” Santos has 149 career Modified Tour starts with 19 victories, 54 top-five finishes and 18 pole positions to go along with his 2010 series championship. Additionally, Santos has excelled in USAC, scoring 10 career Silver Crown wins, including four at Lucas Oil Raceway. Two of his seven career National Sprint Car victories have come at Lucas Oil Raceway, as well as one of his 11 career victories in the Champion Midget category. 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.

 

Returning to the Camping World SRX Series for a second straight week is Scott Speed. The Manteca, California-native finished sixth on the dirt at Eldora and now he will test his mettle on asphalt.

 

Speed is one of the most versatile drivers in motorsports. His career began with his climb up the American open-wheel ladder and it took him all the way to Formula One in 2006 and 2007, after which he turned his attention to American stock car racing, where Speed rose to the elite NASCAR Cup Series as a driver for Team Red Bull. Over the last decade, Speed has made his mark on the worldwide Rallycross stage, winning three Summer X Games gold medals from 2013 through 2015 for Team USA and five consecutive Rallycross championships from 2013 through 2017 for Andretti Autosport.

 

After Lucas Oil Raceway, the Camping World SRX Series ventures north to Slinger (Wis.) Speedway on July 10 before its season finale July 17 at the Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway.

 

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

 

Heat Race No. 1 (12 minutes, 24 laps):

Note: Starting lineup determined by random draw.

1.    Tony Stewart (Started 4th; led laps 13-17, 19-21, 23-24)

2.    Helio Castroneves (Started 3rd; led laps 18, 22; completed 24/24 laps)

3.    Paul Tracy (Started 9th; completed 24/24 laps)

4.    Marco Andretti (Started 8th; completed 24/24 laps)

5.    Bobby Labonte (Started 7th; completed 24/24 laps)

6.    Kody Swanson (Started 2nd; completed 24/24 laps)

7.    Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 10th; completed 24/24 laps)

8.    Bill Elliott (Started 6th; led laps completed 24/24laps)

9.    Michael Waltrip (Started 11th; led laps completed 24/24 laps)

10.  Scott Speed (Started 12th; led laps completed 24/24 laps)

11.  Tony Kanaan (Started 1st; led laps 1-12; completed 24/24 laps)

12.  Willy T. Ribbs (Started 5th; led laps completed 24/24 laps)

 

Heat Race No. 2 (12 minutes, 11 laps):

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

1.    Marco Andretti (Started 9th; led laps 4-11)

2.    Paul Tracy (Started 10th; completed 11/11 laps)

3.    Tony Stewart (Started 12th; completed 11/11 laps)

4.    Scott Speed (Started 3rd; completed 11/11 laps)

5.    Bobby Labonte (Started 8th; completed 11/11 laps)

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

7.    Bill Elliott (Started 5th; led laps completed 11/11 laps)

8.    Tony Kanaan (Started 2nd; led laps completed 11/11 laps)

9.    Willy T. Ribbs (Started 1st; led laps 1-3; completed 11/11 laps)

10.  Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 6th; completed 3/11 laps)

11.  Michael Waltrip (Started 4th; completed 3/11 laps)

12.  Kody Swanson (Started 7th; completed 3/11 laps)

 

Feature Results (50 laps):

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

1.    Tony Stewart (Started 1st, but went to back after pace laps; led laps 44-45, 47-50)

2.    Kody Swanson (Started 9th; led laps 26-33, 34-35, 46; completed 50/50 laps)

3.    Helio Castroneves (Started 4th; completed 50/50 laps)

4.    Marco Andretti (Started 3rd; completed 50/50 laps)

5.    Paul Tracy (Started 2nd; led laps 1-25, 34-35; completed 50/50 laps)

6.    Scott Speed (Started 6th; completed 50/50 laps)

7.    Tony Kanaan (Started 10th; completed 50/50 laps)

8.    Ernie Francis Jr. (Started 8th; completed 50/50 laps)

9.    Willy T. Ribbs (Started 12th; completed 50/50 laps)

10.  Michael Waltrip (Started 11th; completed 50/50 laps)

11.  Bobby Labonte (Started 5th; completed 45/50 laps)

12.  Bill Elliott (Started 7th; completed 45/50 laps)

 

Camping World SRX Series Championship Standings (after Round 3 of 6):

1.    Tony Stewart (129 points)

2.    Helio Castroneves (96 points, -33)

3.    Ernie Francis Jr. (90 points, -39)

4.    Marco Andretti (80 points, -49)

5.    Bobby Labonte (75 points, -54)

6.    Paul Tracy (64 points, -65)

7.    Michael Waltrip (57 points, -72)

8.    Bill Elliott (46 points, -83)

9.    Tony Kanaan (45 points, -84)

10.  Willy T. Ribbs (38 points, -91)

 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.

 

About Camping World SRX Series:

The Camping World SRX Series was created by a team consisting of Sandy Montag and The Montag Group, George Pyne, NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham, and legendary driver Tony Stewart. The Montag Group leads business operations and Evernham oversees all racing operations. Pyne is a member of the Board and serves as an advisor. For more information, please visit us online at www.SRXracing.com, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

Defending Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) scored arguably the most critical victory yet of the 2021 Progressive American Flat Track season following an epic showdown with Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) in Saturday evening’s Johnny K’s Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile powered by Drag Specialties at Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio.

 

While Bauman controlled the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle points coming in, Robinson threatened to seize control of the momentum with another impressive performance. Robinson entered the Main Event as the clear favorite, soundly defeating Bauman in their shared Semi before adding his fourth Mission Challenge win with relative ease as well.

 

In the Main, Robinson squared up teammate Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) on the opening lap and immediately looked to check out yet again. A motivated Bauman didn’t allow that to happen, however, overhauling Vanderkooi with maximum expediency before trading haymakers with Robinson over the lead.

 

That heavyweight fight went right down the final lap, with Robinson attempting one final desperation overtake in the race’s final corner before Bauman cut back underneath to secure his second victory of the season.

 

“What a battle,” Bauman said. “This was an incredible event… I didn’t really think we had anything for Brandon there today -- he was so fast all day. He smoked us in the heat race and smoked us in the dash. But Dave (Zanotti) got dialed in for the Main Event, so I’m really, really happy with that one.

 

“It was an incredible event. I’m so happy we were able to do that for this big of a crowd. There are so many people all the way around this facility. Lima is probably the best track on the circuit. And to actually have a battle and not let Brandon just  check out like we kinda planned on him doing, it means a lot to me and a lot to my team.”

 

Behind, Vanderkooi outdueled Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) to grab his third podium on the season as the Mission Roof Systems squad locked down spots 2-3-4 on the evening.

 

Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) continued his recent run of form to finish fifth, marking the third consecutive race in which he was the highest-placed among the non-Indian riders.

 

Meanwhile, the widely expected victory challenge of race promoter and multi-time Lima Half-Mile winner Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) failed to materialize. Mees was simply not his usual self, suffering from the ill effects of his still mending knee. As a result, he was stuck down near the bottom of the order from start to finish, ultimately finishing an uncharacteristic eighth.

 

AFT Singles

 

Last weekend’s AFT Singles winners, Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), picked up right where they left off in Saturday’s rematch.

 

Wiles, in particular, showed off his rediscovered vintage form, moving his way to the front early and opening up more than two seconds of padding. The race still wasn’t over at that point, however, as Whale put his head down after overhauling Wiles’ teammate, Trevor Brunner (No. 21 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) to slash away at that gap.

 

Whale did well to reduce the margin to around a half-second at one point, but Wiles ultimately proved too strong in the end.

 

After opening his season in disappointing 17-5-5-11 fashion, the 450cc legend has firmly put himself back in title contention with consecutive finishes of 1-2-1. Aussie Whale is in even better shape as he’s now tied with Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) atop the points order while holding the tiebreaker with two wins to Daniels’ one.

 

“I think I’ve used about every line at this track besides the low line that I was running today,” Wiles said. “I’ve really just relied on the whole Turner Racing crew powered by Progressive Insurance. My suspension guy, Tim (Bennet) at TCD racing, made a phenomenal call and we actually changed shocks for the Main Event. It was a pretty ballsy move. We were just so confident in it and I’m glad we made the choice.

 

“I’ve got to thank the whole crew. It wasn’t me -- it was the bike. All I could do was ride the wheels off of it, and I tried to do that and be as smart as I could all day. I’m glad we could execute and get the job down again.”

 

Despite no claims as a cushion specialist, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) charged his way up through the field to round out the podium. Second American Honda runner Brunner held on to claim fourth, while defending champion Daniels salvaged fifth after dropping as low as seventh at mid-distance.

 

An unlucky Brandon Kitchen (No. 105 Husqvarna Motorcycles/Vance & Hines Husqvarna FC450) was forced to retire with a mechanical issue while running fourth. Fellow future stars Kody Kopp (No. 143 Smartop/Jones Honda/Latus Motors CRF450R) and Dustin Brown (No. 191 Jones Racing Honda CRF450R) came home sixth and seventh, respectively.

 

AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

 

Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) sat out last weekend’s OKC Mile doubleheader in order to best position himself and his factory Royal Enfield race bike for success in the AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines class at the Lima Half-Mile. It worked.

 

To the surprise of no one, despite getting the third pick on Row 1, title leader Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) scored yet another holeshot. Despite the rapid start, however, he had nothing for the streaking Lewis, who drove underneath Texter less than a minute into the Main, blasted him with the roost, and immediately opened up a sizable advantage.

 

Second qualifier Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) then worked his way into a scrap with Texter over second as Lewis continued to escape at the front.

 

That battle came to a momentary half when the red flag flew due to a downed rider with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. In fact, Lowe and Texter both beat Lewis off the line at the restart, but the Royal Enfield pilot easily powered around the outside of both to reclaim his spot at the front.

 

The real drama came courtesy of Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650), who seemingly found another gear in the second leg.

 

Varnes, who found himself near the bottom of the top ten early, somehow put himself in podium contention late. Over the final few laps of the Main, he zapped both Lowe and Texter, and actually managed to close down on Lewis just as the checkered flag flew. But in the end, Lewis held on for the win by 0.153 seconds.

 

“I just cannot give Woody Kyle and David Lloyd enough credit for what they’ve been able to accomplish,” Lewis said. “Going into the first race this year, we had a pretty slow motorcycle. Every weekend it’s more work, more work. David and Woody just do not stop. It’s amazing to have these guys on my team. I cannot thank them enough. It was a fun Lima.”

 

The results marked the first podiums of the year for 2020 race winners Lewis and Varnes, while third-place finisher Texter added his sixth. Fourth-place finisher Lowe, meanwhile, was left still seeking his first.

 

OKC podium finisher Cameron Smith (No. 44 Mike Butler Racing/Cornerstone Masonry Group Honda CRF450R) closed out the top five.

 

The Johnny K’s Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile powered by Drag Specialties will air on NBCSN on Saturday, July 3, at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT, featuring exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage.

 

Next Up:

The “Magic Mile” is back! Progressive American Flat Track will return to the incredibly fast DuQuoin Mile at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, on Saturday, July 17. Tickets are now available for purchase at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3377#selectTickets. For those viewing from home, live coverage will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

 

For more information, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.

With high heat, multiple restarts, a front to back charge to the field that came to naught, and a recovery drive to the podium from a championship contender, the Trans Am presented by Pirelli visit to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course had a little bit of everything on Sunday. 
 
Chris Dyson took the lead shortly after the midway point and pulled away to record his third Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli victory of the season at Mid-Ohio.
 
The New Yorker was visibly upset after qualifying third on Saturday in the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang. Sunday, he chased pole winner Tomy Drissi from the start while holding off back-of-the-grid starter Ernie Francis Jr.  But on lap 25, Francis went through the grass and needed to pit, with Dyson getting by Drissi at start/finish to take the lead. And that was all she wrote, with Dyson leading the rest of the way for the ninth Trans Am victory of his career, building his lead in the standings.
 
“I couldn’t be happier, we really turned it around after yesterday,” Dyson said. “I knew we had a pole car, and we just didn’t get to show it yesterday. We showed it today. I had some great battles out there. Great, clean racing with Ernie early on, and it’s always an absolute battle to go up against Drissi. It was hot; it was physical; and we had some beasts to tame here. But that’s what Trans Am racing is all about.”
 
Drissi finished second after seeming to be driving a ticking time bomb throughout the race. Fire came from the rear of the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro on lap 3; the fire went out, but nine laps later he reported a mushy gearbox; shortly afterwards, he reportedly lost his taillights.
 
It was the third podium finish of the season for Drissi, who was the winner at Laguna Seca.
 
"First my rear deck lid caught fire, and I was about to pull in for the team to extinguish it, but it went out," explained Drissi. "Then traffic caught me in the Carousel. I couldn't go wide, otherwise I would hit (Chris) Dyson. That put me about three or four seconds behind, so after that, it was just maintaining pace so we could secure second."
 
However, Drissi lost out in the drama department to Francis Jr. The 23-year-old saw his seven-year-old Mid-Ohio winning streak come to an end, but not for want of trying. Missing qualifying due to his SRX commitment at Eldora, Francis Jr. started at the tail end of the 20-car grid in the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang. Up to seventh on lap 1, Francis needed only an additional three circuits to catch Drissi and Dyson. On lap 23, Drissi went wide in the Carrousel, with Dyson and Francis going off briefly; Francis went through the grass, necessitating a pit stop to clear his grill.
 
Back on track, Francis was seventh, 40-seconds behind Dyson – who had just taken the lead from Drissi. He came back to challenge Simon Gregg for third. Suddenly, with six minutes remaining, Francis lost his gearing and pulled off, bringing out a race-ending caution flag. He finished ninth in TA.
 
"We got a really strong vibration in the car," said Breathless Racing Team Owner Ernie Francis Sr. "And we lost all forward gears. We are going to keep pushing hard. This team never quits. We always do the best we can, and we are going to come back strong for Road America."
 
Gregg placed third in the No. 59 Peter Gregg Foundation Camaro, completing a solid weekend that saw him qualify second – nearly winning the pole. It was the 34th podium in a career that dates back to 1997, and first since Brainerd last season.
 
“The race was fun but very hot with all the restarts,” said Gregg. “Glad to be back on the podium representing Burtin Racing.”
 
Gregg was followed by Ohio favorite Amy Ruman in the No. 23 McNichols Company/Corner Tech CNC Solutions Corvette.
 
"I couldn't be happier with our finish today," said Ruman, who resides in Stow. "I wish we had a chance at the restart at the end but we had a really good start. I passed three cars at the start, fell right in and I was with the lead pack. Unfortunately, our grip fell off a little bit so we faded. We made headway back and worked back to fourth. I am just happy that we had a good solid finish. That's just what we needed in front of our hometown crowd."
 
The first of two cautions waved on lap 8 when Ken Thwaits lost his brakes in Turn 4 and went through the gravel on China Beach, impacting the wall with the front end of his No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro.
 
Erich Joiner led all the way for his third-consecutive XGT victory, the sixth of his career. Driving the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R., he found himself battling the TA class drivers throughout the event, starting and finishing fifth overall.
 
“At the green flag, every one of the TA cars that I out-qualified went by me,” Joiner said. “It felt like I was swimming with sharks. It seemed I had to start setting up a pass in Turn 4 all the way back in the Carrousel. They have so much horsepower, and those things will bite you. Scary, but it was really fun. I had a great race with Amy. She’s a world-class driver and she didn’t make any mistakes.”
 
Kerry Hitt finish seventh overall, first in the Masters Class, driving the No. 19 AdvancedCompositeProductsInc Cadillac CTS-V.
 
Justin Oakes won his third race of the season in SGT, and fourth of his career, leading all the way in the No. 11 Droneworks Corvette.
 
“The race was great, and the car performed perfectly,” Joiner said. “I had a blast. We put a pretty big gap on second place, and then we went into preserve mode to save the car for next week. This was my first time at Mid-Ohio, and it was like a big roller-coaster. I loved it!”
 
Billy Griffin finished second in the No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehans Towing Ford Mustang GT4, followed by Trans Am debutant Seth Lucas, a 15-year-old Columbus resident driving the No. 04 Audi R8 for Tony Ave.
 
"I was a little intimidated today, it was my first Trans Am race, and honestly I got a bit anxious," Lucas admitted. "My whole family was here to support me. My goal is to race in Trans Am full time because this is the place to be for American Road Racing.”
 
While Lucas completed his first Trans Am race today on the other end of the spectrum was SGT Masters Class Winner Milton Grant who marked a Trans Am career milestone today with his 500th motorsport career start, 47th start for Trans Am.  
 
Next weekend, the Trans Am Series with Pirelli continues at Road America to support the NASCAR Cup Series. For event information visit www.GoTransAm.com. 

Race Results