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Defending Funny Car World Champ Robert Hight ready to finish the job for second straight year at Auto Club NHRA Finals05 Nov 2018 Written by Adam Sinclair
Thousands of Boy and Girl Scouts from across the Southeast will descend upon Daytona International Speedway for Scout Days, held Jan. 4-6 during the Roar Before the Rolex 24, the three-day annual test session for the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA – North America’s most prestigious sports car race.
Scout Days, which was first held in 2010, has become a tradition during the Roar Before the Rolex 24. In addition to watching the teams from IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge prepare their cars for the season-opening endurance events on the 3.56-mile road course, Scouts will watch the IMSA Prototype Challenge race and participate in many activities including fishing on Lake Lloyd (campers must bring their own fishing rods), scavenger hunts, geocaching and movie night.
Scout Days admission, which is $30 per person if purchased on or before Dec. 15 and $40 per person if purchased afterward, includes:
· Two nights of tent camping (bring your own tents, sleeping bags and firewood – there is a dedicated camping area for Girl Scouts)
· $10 in DAYTONA Dollars, good at any DIS concession stand
· Speedway Tour
· Collectible patch
· Garage access (limited times)
In addition, on Saturday morning, Jan. 5, there will be a tri-oval track walk where Scouts will walk pit road and have the opportunity to sign the start/finish line.
There is also a special offer for the Advance Auto Parts Clash weekend, only available to Scouts, which includes a general admission frontstretch seating ticket for the Advance Auto Parts Clash and DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 10. The package, available for $55 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under, also includes infield access Feb. 8-10 with overnight tent camping in a secure area within the infield and $10 in DAYTONA Dollars.
To purchase admission to Scout Days visitor call 1-877-306-RACE (7223). For more information on the Scouts Advance Auto Parts Clash weekend offer, visit . Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on , , , , and , and by downloading the Daytona International Speedway mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.
Veteran IndyCar driver Marco Andretti will be taking an enhanced role in the No. 98 team’s entry come 2019 as the U.S. Concrete-branded Honda will officially be entered by Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian.
“I’m happy and proud to invest back into the team that I have been with for 13 seasons and counting,” said Marco Andretti. “I truly believe this is the best team out there and I’m looking forward to a fun, competitive future with the U.S. Concrete No. 98 family.”
“I’m proud to see Marco looking beyond the racing seat and taking a vested interest in not just his car entry, but the future of motorsport that can one day take him beyond his driving career,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Marco has many driving years ahead of him and many victories yet to come but is continuing to see the big picture of racing and that will in turn make him a stronger competitor all around.”
The No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian entry will take to the track for the 2019 IndyCar Series season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg March 10. Marco Andretti will join Andretti Autosport teammates Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda) and Zach Veach (No. 26 Group 1001 Honda) for 17 rounds of competition in America’s premiere open-wheel series.
It was a fantastic three days of competition Oct. 19-21 at Sonoma Raceway in California during the 2018 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®. For those who couldn't make it to the track or missed the live online broadcast of races, it's now possible to catch up on all the action with free 2018 Runoffs race videos available for viewing at SCCA.com. Later this year, certain 2018 Runoffs races will also air on CBS Sports Network.
With nearly 500 entries across 28 different car classes, this year's 24 events featured exciting competition, close racing throughout the fields, a handful of surprises and some great storylines. Video coverage, presented by Mazda, was again anchored by Greg Creamer with guests Ryan Myrehn (SportsCar365 writer), Tom O'Gorman (pro driver), Heyward Wagner (pit reporter), Andy Hollis and Larry MacLeod (SCCA Solo Nationals announcers) providing additional insight and commentary.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has evolved into what is now commonly agreed to be the pinnacle of American motorsports. Since 1964, the SCCA has crowned Road Racing's National Champions at the winner-take-all, single race Runoffs format through dozens of separate races over three days. As host of the 55th Runoffs, Sonoma Raceway became only the third California track to host SCCA's National Championship, joining Riverside International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
After a difficult three rounds of Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli competition, points leader Ernie Francis, Jr., and the No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang returned to the top step of the TA class podium in the COTA Trans Am 100 and Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Brothers Ryan and Warren Dexter also claimed Trans Am victories in the the TA3 and TA4 classes, respectively.
Francis’ difficult stretch dates back to a practice session at Road America where the No. 98 found oil and made a heavy impact into a barrier. Francis would salvage points in a loaned car later that weekend, the first of three consecutive finishes well outside the top ten with the No. 98 struggling to get up to its customary speed following repairs.
However, the month between Trans Am competitions gave the Breathless Pro Racing team time to regroup and get the No. 98 back up to speed, efforts that paid dividends in the 102.81-mile contest, 30 laps around the 3.427-mile, 20-turn circuit with the No. 98 starting in first position and leading every lap. Francis would cross the finish line just over two seconds ahead of runner-up Chris Dyson, in the No. 20 Plaid Enterprises/ CD Racing Ford Mustang.
“We definitely needed this result,” said Francis. “It’s been a tough couple races for us, and we were all kind of in a low spell. To get a good result and a win, really a dominant win, out there, it will boost the moral of the whole team. We’re ready to go Daytona, finish it off and bring home this championship.”
“The effort from the team has been unbelievable,” said Francis. “Mark Meissen pretty much rebuilt the whole car after the issue at Road America. That was followed by issues at Watkins Glen and VIR—the car just wasn’t working the way we needed it to. Finally, we were able to get the car back down to Fort Lauderdale and our team, so we could do some testing and get it where it needs to be. A big thank you to our sponsors Frameless Shower Doors and Baldwin Richards Foods for their support.”
Francis’ second consecutive TA class victory at COTA was his fifth of the season and also saw the No. 98 turn a new track record 2:09.486, breaking his own mark set last year. Now Francis and the Breathless Racing team will head south to their home state of Florida for the Trans Am Season finale next weekend at a track they know very well, Daytona International Raceway.
“We’re pretty confident,” said Francis. “Daytona is a big power track; and even though that’s where we we are usually lacking, last year we were able to start on pole and bring home the win last year. I think if we can get our setup down and get this car trimmed out real nice for the banking we’ll be pretty good out there. We have one thing on our minds though, just win; that’s what we’re going to go out and do.”
For Dyson the podium finish marked his fifth of the season and first since Road America. Tomy Drissi, in the No. 8 The Grinch Chevrolet Camaro, who had started in fourth position completed the TA class podium.
Finishing fourth in class was Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, celebrating her 100th career Trans Am start. Ruman’s Trans Am career began in Cleveland in 2005 and since that mark she and the Ruman Racing team have amassed 16 victories and captured two championships while setting historic marks. Ruman became the first woman to win a Trans Am race in 2011 at Road Atlanta and the first female professional road racing champion in North America in 2015, a mark she repeated in 2016.
The TA class top five was completed by David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Cadillac CTS-V, after battling back from tenth position on lap three. Championship challenger Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 2 Pennzoil/ ETE/ GOShare Chevrolet Camaro, saw his title hopes dealt a heavy blow early on in the race, entering the pits with only three laps complete due to motor issues. Loshak and the No. 2 were unable to re-enter the contest and now head to Daytona 22 points behind Francis.
In TA3 it was Trans Am debutant Ryan Dexter, in the No. 62 Joe’s Hand Cleaner / Dexter Racing Ginetta G55, who captured the class victory by way of a 23rd lap pass of Jason Daskalos, in the No. 27 Vintage Four Twenty-Three Dodge Viper, after a race-long pursuit.
“We recently picked up two new Ginettas,” said Ryan Dexter. “So we decided I’d take a shot and see how I do. In the race, I just had to hold on. I knew the Vipers would eventually have their tires fall off towards the end. So I just tried to be consistent and hit my marks, and towards the end I was able to make my way by.”
Dexter would also set the fast lap for the class, a 2:18.401 while his pass for the lead was named the COOLSHIRT Systems “cool move” of the race. Daskalos would finish second for his second podium finish in as many appearances this season, while Marko Radisic, in the No. 22 Precision Driving BMW M4 GT4, finished third, tying a career best set earlier this season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
In TA4, class champion Warren Dexter, the elder brother of Ryan, secured his sixth win of the season in the No. 60 Joe’s Hand Cleaner/ Dexter Racing Ginetta G55. Dexter would finish the final stages of the race unopposed in class, following Shane Lewis and the No. 72 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro’s retirement due to differential issues on the 26th lap; however, he would run amongst the TA3 class leaders, finishing just behind Daskalos. Warren Dexter would also set a TA4 class track record with a 2:19.078.
“What more can you ask for than coming out of one weekend with two victories,” said Warren Dexter. “It was fun and awesome that I was close enough towards the end to watch Ryan make his pass for the lead. We’re super happy with how the car has been running this year and the way the Trans Am Series has worked with us; their hospitality is really second to none. We’re super excited about this year and looking forward to more in the future.”
The race underwent a single full-course caution to retrieve the No. 71 of Dave Ricci stranded just off course in turn 11, that spanned from lap 12 to the completion of lap 15. Starting positions for the race were based on official practice times, per Trans Am Rule Book Article 6.2.8, after track delays and daylight issues saw qualifying canceled on Saturday.
Previously in the weekend, the Trans Am Series held the COTA Muscle Car Challenge, an equidistant competition, that saw Gar Robinson victorious. Full details and results of the contest can be found at gotransam.com.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will now head to Daytona International Speedway for the 2018 Trans Am Series Finale, with the multi-class TA, TA2, TA3 and TA4 class contest to be held on Saturday, November 10th.
Trans Am featured on the Circuit of The Americas weekend alongside the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association holding the US Vintage Racing National Championship.
Fans can keep up with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at www.gotransam.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gotransam and on Twitter at @gotransam.
he Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires enters its 10th year in 2019 and continues to set the standard as one of the most successful driver development programs in the world, providing a scholarship-funded path to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500. Andersen Promotions today confirmed the champion’s prize packages for each of the three series – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – as the globally recognized platform prepares for the new season.
When Andersen Promotions took over operations of Indy Lights in 2014, it set in place an unprecedented prize – its champion would be guaranteed a three-race IndyCar Series program. This tradition will continue in 2019 with an increased champion’s purse of $1.1 million built on a three-race IndyCar program including the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2020.
In Pro Mazda, a vital step in the career path of many drivers including James Hinchcliffe, Spencer Pigot and Graham Rahal, the champion’s purse is valued at $596,700, which includes a $500,000 scholarship to advance to Indy Lights the following year and $96,700 in Cooper tires and entry fees towards the champion’s next step on the ladder.
USF2000, which has a rich history dating back to 1990, will provide its 2019 champion with a prize package valued at $305,600, which includes a $250,000 scholarship to graduate to Pro Mazda and $55,600 in Cooper tires and entry fees for the following season.
The full per-race prize money structure and end-of-season prize money and awards list, including second/third place finishers payouts, Rookie of the Year, team champions and other year-end prizes, is being finalized and will be publicized in the coming weeks.
“We are pleased to announce the continuation of the highly regarded Road to Indy scholarship program for all three of our champions each year,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Our goal has always been to advance the careers of talented drivers to the IndyCar ranks, and these awards will help pave the way for even more Road to Indy stars to race in future Indy 500s. There are no driver development programs in the world with as much on offer.”
The vast majority of the 2019 IndyCar Series grid will be comprised of drivers who have come through the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. Among them will be reigning Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward and vice champion Colton Herta, driving for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, and newly announced Chip Ganassi Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist, who turned heads in a partial season of Indy Lights two years ago claiming three wins in 10 starts. Rosenqvist initially impressed the Ganassi team after being invited to test at Mid-Ohio both in 2016 and 2017 as part of an initiative supported by INDYCAR with the intention of promoting the talents of Indy Lights drivers.
The 2019 Road to Indy season will kick off on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., in support of the IndyCar Series’ season-opening race. The highly popular event is held on a temporary circuit downtown overlooking Tampa Bay and the St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina on March 8-10.
The Road to Indy will close out the year with an Open Test at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course in Homestead, Fla., on December 3/4. The test provides new drivers the opportunity to test the waters, and returning drivers and teams the chance to jumpstart their 2019 campaigns. Six test sessions totaling four hours of on-track time are on deck for each series.
Three days after Homestead, the focus will shift to Phoenix, Ariz., where the third annual Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout will see 20 champions of junior open-wheel and karting series vie for a scholarship to USF2000 in 2019. Drivers from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa will undergo two days of competition at the Bondurant Racing School on December 8/9.
Tim Fuller of Watertown, NY won the battle and Matt Sheppard won the war. With just a handful of laps the 2018 Mohawk International Speedway Champion tracked Sheppard down and made the pass for the World of Outlaws World Finals Presented by Cam-Am 40-lap Feature win. Matt Sheppard crossed the finish line second as the newly crowned 2018 Super DIRTcar Series Champion. The Franklinville Flyer Billy Decker was a threat at the front of the field, but had to settle for third. That rounds out the final chapter in the 2018 Super DIRTcar Series season.
Tim Fuller’s 2018 season started out with a run of bad luck, but he finished with three Super DIRTcar Series wins including “The Jack” at Fonda Speedway, a Series win at his home track Mohawk International Speedway, and now the World Finals. “This one was pretty sweet. Matt [Sheppard] is on top of his game and he’s been showing that for the last four or five years. This is great to go into the Winter with. We’re pretty fortunate to have owners like Mike and Barb Maresca of St. Lawrence Radiology.”
Matt Sheppard has added yet another layer to his legacy as arguably the greatest Big-Block Modified driver in the history of the sport. He is now second in all-time Super DIRTcar Series Championships, just one shy Brett Hearn’s whopping eight Series Championships. “Brett [Hearn] is the best that’s ever sat in Big-Block Modified and being as close as we are to the Championship record, it’s definitely in the back of my mind.”
This year the MSM team ran into some bad luck with flat tires, in particular while leading races. “Last season, everything went right for us. We couldn’t do anything wrong. It was really a dream season. This year was one of those years that we still had the speed but didn’t have the luck we had in the past year. Hopefully we got it out of our system, and we were still able to pull the Championship out. We’ll be working hard and getting ready for next season,” said Sheppard.
Sheppard started on the pole and choose the outside lane to begin his 40-lap quest for the Series Championship. The no. 9s jumped out to the front and kept the Matt Sheppard Motorsports machine right around the outside to build his lead. Sheppard worked his way through lapped traffic but had difficult time getting around Yan Bussiere and Pat Ward. That’s when Tim Fuller closed in.
Late in the race Tim Fuller got to Matt Sheppard’s rear bumper and went wheel-to-wheel with the no. 9s. Fuller then swept by Sheppard around the outside to make the final race-winning pass of 2018. After a stellar year Erick Rudolph came up short at the World Finals and posted a twentieth-place finish to end the season.
Billy Decker ended his 2018 season with the final spot on the World Finals podium. Decker was also set up for the outside and looked like a threat for the lead, but was held up in the lapped traffic Fuller and Sheppard left in their wake. “We were pretty good right out of the box. We missed it a little bit this afternoon but Mike and the guys made some adjustments. We were pretty doggone close in this last race here tonight. I was just a little bit too free to dice it out for the win, but had a lot of fun nonetheless.”
World of Outlaws World Finals Presented by Can-Am Saturday Feature (40 Laps)
1. 19-Tim Fuller ; 2. 9s-Matt Sheppard ; 3. 91-Billy Decker ; 4. 20-Brett Hearn ; 5. 111-Demetrois Drellos ; 6. 39-Tim McCreadie ; 7. 6h-Max McLaughlin ; 8. 21a-Peter Britten ; 9. 66-Matt Williamson ; 10. 43-Keith Flach ; 11. 98h-Jimmy Phelps ; 12. 96-Steve Bernard ; 13. 19w-Justin Wright ; 14. 7m-Michael Maresca ; 15. 25-Stewart Friesen ; 16. 19m-Jessy Mueller ; 17. 88-Mike Mahaney ; 18. 3-Justin Haers ; 19. O7-Tim Kerr ; 20. 25r-Erick Rudolph ; 21. 5st-Tyler Siri ; 22. 21b-Yan Bussiere ; 23. 42p-Pat Ward ; 24. 8-Rich Scagliotta ; 25. 63-Adam Roberts ; 26. 25J-Chad Jeseo ; 27. 48T-Dave Rauscher ; 28. 21J-Danny Johnson ; 29. 18Jr-Louie Jackson ; 30. 66x-Carey Terrence ; 31. 28z-Gary Lindberg 
DirtCAR Super Series PR