Racing News (9505)
Racing News from around the World
Officials from the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) announce the addition of a “Sportsman” class to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program beginning in 2019.
The Sportsman class is open to door cars only (12.00 & slower in the ¼-mile and 7.50 & slower in the 1/8-mile). The use of trans brakes, two steps, and delay boxes are prohibited in the Sportsman class.
Sportsman racers who win Summit SuperSeries track championships or Summit Team Finals events will be invited to compete at the Summit SuperSeries World Finals October 17-19 at Memphis International Raceway for their chance to win the first ever Sportsman National Champions and a $5,000 payout.
“The Sportsman class was added after receiving a lot of feedback from our dedicated members about forming no electronics class,” IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco said. “We are excited to have these competitors running for a spot in the Summit SuperSeries World Finals in 2019 and making the 18th season of the Summit SuperSeries one for the record books by crowning our first Sportsman World Champion in October.”
American Flat Track has finalized its 2019 schedule and prepares to launch ticket sales in time for the holidays.
The 2019 running of the New York Short Track at Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, NY has been moved back one week to July 13, 2019. Race fans can plan on an entire weekend of excitement, as AFT Events will once again throw a pre-race kickoff party with food, live music, entertainment and rider meet & greet session.
AFT's season finale returns to the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment at the famed MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ for a second running of the Meadowlands Mile. The race is set for September 28, 2019 - one week earlier than its 2018 date. This venue provided showstopping race action in 2018 and has already become one of the most highly-anticipated events of the upcoming season.
“Now that we have finalized our 2019 schedule, we can hit the ground running,” said Cameron Gray, COO of AFT Events. “We've got new venues, freshly-built and redesigned racetracks and are planning some major improvements to overall fan experience for the coming season. AFT fans can look forward to the most exciting season of American Flat Track to date.”
American Flat Track will kick off its 2019 season with its bar-banging DAYTONA TT in appropriate fashion - during the wild Bike Week festivities in Daytona Beach. The 2019 DAYTONA TT happens Thursday, March 14 once again under the lights of the iconic Daytona International Speedway. Tickets will be available soon at https://www.americanflattrack.com.
2019 American Flat Track Schedule:
- March 14: DAYTONA TT - Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
- March 23: Atlanta Short Track - Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA
- April 20: Texas Half-Mile - Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX
- April 27: Wild Horse TT - Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ
- May 11: Perris Half-Mile - Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA
- May 18: Sacramento Mile - Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA
- May 26: Springfield Mile I - Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
(AFT Singles Springfield TT same weekend)
- June 1: Red Mile - Red Mile, Lexington, KY
- June 15: Laconia Short Track – New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
- June 29: Lima Half-Mile - Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH
- July 13: New York Short Track - Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY
- August 4: Buffalo Chip TT - Buffalo Chip, Sturgis, SD
- August 6: Black Hills Half-Mile - Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD
- August 17: Peoria TT - Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL
- September 1: Springfield Mile II - Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
(AFT Singles Springfield Short Track same weekend)
- September 7: Williams Grove Half-Mile - Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA
- September 21: Minnesota Mile - Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN
- September 28: Meadowlands Mile - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, East Rutherford, NJ
How to Watch:
NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2018 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT's digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.
Ruben Garcia Jr. is getting to be an old hand at NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, but the native of Mexico City says “there is always more you can learn” when it comes to racing.
“Like with the K&N Series moving to radial tires, the exact same tires as Xfinity and the (Camping World) Truck Series, I think that helped me a lot this (past) season,” Garcia said Thursday during the unveiling of the 2019 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Development Program driver lineup.
Garcia Jr., 23, is one of six Drive for Diversity participants who will be competing for Rev Racing next season. He’ll be joined by fellow returnees Ernie Francis Jr. of Southwest Ranches, Fla., Chase Cabre of Tampa, Fla., and Nick Sanchez of Homestead, Fla. New to the lineup this season will be Brooke Storer (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) and Gracie Trotter (Denver, N.C.).
“I am always open to learning new things,” Garcia said. “Even running the Mexico Series, I already won (the title) twice but I still learn stuff every year.”
A three-year veteran with the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, Garcia finished 10th in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points standings in 2016 and fifth in ’17.
This past season, he finished third in points and scored his first and second victories in the series, winning at Memphis (Tenn.) and Dover (Del.).
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I feel like these three years have gotten me ready to move up,” Garcia said. “... I think that everybody in the program helped me to grow as a driver inside the car and outside the track. The progress I’ve done in the K&N Series has been pretty important for me.
“The only thing next is to go race for the championship. I think that’s the least I could do for the team this coming season. It has to be the year where I take that next step to start running in the (NASCAR) national series.”
Garcia hopes to join the likes of current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competitors Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace who used the Drive for Diversity program as a springboard to further their racing careers.
For 2019, Garcia will again compete fulltime in the K&N Pro Series East and, if scheduling allows, run in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, where he’s a two-time champion, as well.
“It helped me a lot to have that seat time (in the Mexico Series) the last couple of years so if I can fill every weekend with a race, I will do it,” he said.
Francis, at 20, won his fifth consecutive Trans-Am championship this past season. He made two KNPSE starts for Rev Racing, with a best finish of second at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He will compete in Late Model events as well as select K&N races for the organization in ’19.
Cabre, 21, will return to KNPSE competition where he finished sixth and seventh in points in 2016-17.
Sanchez wrapped up his rookie campaign this past year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The 17-year-old will race in a Rev Racing-fielded Late Model for ’19.
First-timers Stoner and Trotter have similar racing backgrounds. Storer is the 2018 sportsman track champ at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla., while Trotter spent the past season running CARS Tour and PASS Series events at tracks across the Carolinas and Virginia.
“The Drive for Diversity program continues to evolve,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operation and event management. “Everything from the way the combine is run each year to what we look for from the participants.
“I’ve seen improvements (across the board) and I think the program will only continue to get better.”
Rev Racing has been involved in NASCAR’s driver development program since 2010 and its KNPSE drivers have collected 19 victories, 88 top-five and 199 top-10 finishes during that time.
NASCAR, Race Team Alliance and 704Games announced today a collaboration that will create the first-ever NASCAR esports league on consoles, eNASCAR Heat Pro League. The newly formed esports league will feature up to 16 race teams and 32 drivers, each owned and operated by prominent NASCAR race teams.
Beginning today, fans across the nation owning NASCAR Heat 3 can begin to qualify for the first-ever eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft, scheduled to take place early next year. Following the Draft, the esports league will feature a 16-race season beginning in spring 2019 and culminating during the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs. All eNASCAR Heat Pro League races will be live streamed online at NASCAR.com and Motorsport.com.
“We look forward to taking this first step with our teams to introduce NASCAR-style racing to the massive esports audience on consoles,” said Craig Neeb, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Development, NASCAR. “Our partners at 704Games have delivered an incredible product and we are enthusiastic about engaging gamers to create new fans and grow our sport.”
Many of NASCAR’s most successful teams are participating in the new esports venture, including: Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. Each of the participating teams will field two drivers, one competing on Xbox One and the other on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.
“This is an exciting moment in NASCAR history,” stated Jonathan S. Marshall, Executive Director of the Race Team Alliance. “The race teams are taking this new league very seriously and will be looking for the best competitors in the nation to represent their respective teams. We expect the competition level will be high and we challenge these new esports drivers to become the best of the best.”
704Games, NASCAR’s exclusive esports partner for simulation-style video games, released NASCAR Heat 3 in September 2018. Shortly after, 704Games launched a NASCAR esports tournament on consoles that culminated at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, 704Games, aided by an investment from international media and technology company Motorsport Network, whose platforms represent the largest audience of motorsport and auto enthusiasts in the world, looks to expand NASCAR’s presence in the growing popularity of esports.
“This partnership creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for NASCAR Heat 3 players to work with a NASCAR race team and represent their team on a global esports platform” said Paul Brooks, CEO of 704Games. “We’re excited to bring competitive online console racing to NASCAR and promote a greater engagement between fans and gamers with the eNASCAR Heat Pro League.”
For more information and to register for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft, players can visit eNASCARHeatProLeague.com. Additional details about the eNASCAR Heat Pro League including sponsors, broadcast partners, and league rules will be announced in early 2019.
NASCAR/704 Games PR