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Josef Newgarden’s summer hot streak continued Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The two-time winner at this permanent road course picked up where he left off in the most-recent NTT INDYCAR SERIES race – at Road America – by topping the practice charts here Friday in the only session of the day in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by The All-New 2023 Civic Type R (12:30 p.m. ET, live on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network).
Newgarden drove the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet to a best lap time of 1 minute, 7.0549 seconds on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course.
CLICK IT: Practice Results
Newgarden’s series-leading three race wins have come at Texas Motor Speedway (March 20), on the streets of Long Beach (April 10) and at Road America (June 12). The weekend before Road America he scored the NTT P1 Award for pole at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Newgarden is also the defending winner at Mid-Ohio.
“The car feels really good,” he said. “I think the (temperatures) definitely made the trap speed low, and it felt very difficult to drive the car today to bring it up to temperature.
“I’m relatively happy. I think our car was good off the truck.”
Defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou ended the 75-minute session second on the practice sheet with a best lap time of 1:07.2610 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top three with a best lap time of 1:07.3171 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
The session featured 673 laps turned compared to last year’s first practice (461).
Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson, who finished second in this race in 2021, ended the day fourth in the No. 8 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda at 1:07.3720, and Colton Herta rounded out the top five in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian at 1:07.4998.
David Malukas was the fastest rookie of the session, clocking in eighth with a best lap of 1:07.5361 in the No. 18 HMD Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports. He completed 26 laps in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES session at Mid-Ohio.
“Everything from our end, I think it was very good,” Malukas said. “From start to end of that session it was good. Mid-Ohio is so special, because every time you go out on track, it feels completely different, and track conditions to start the session were very tough to say the least.”
All 27 drivers in the field fought through the summer heat, with several drivers noting how challenging the mid 90-degree day was. Following practice, Newgarden said he has “rarely been this warm in the car.”
While Newgarden, a two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, bested Palou, the reigning series champion, by more than two tenths of a second, the rest of the field was much more compact, with first and 20th separated by just 1 second.
The only incident of the session came with about 40 minutes to go. Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato lost control of the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda in Turn 1 and spun off course and into the gravel trap.
Sato’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR machine sustained no significant damage, and he continued on to pit lane as the track went under red flag conditions.
The only other off-course excursion came with roughly 25 minutes to go in the practice. Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean spun in Turn 12 in the No. 28 ForeverLawn/DHL Honda. He kept the car under power, and no red flag was thrown.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back on track at Mid-Ohio Saturday with Practice 2 at 9:30 a.m. (ET), followed by qualifying for the NTT P1 Award for pole at 2:45 p.m. Both sessions will be live on Peacock Premium and INDYCAR Radio Network.
NTT IndyCar Series PR
Welcome to Stafford Motor Speedway: This weekend the SRX Series makes its way to Stafford Motor Speedway for the third stop of the season on Saturday, July 2. The 12-driver field includes 2021 series champion Tony Stewart, Paul Tracy, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Marco Andretti, Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Bill Elliott, Hailie Deegan, Justin Marks and local racer Matt Hirschman. The race will be broadcast on live CBS from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET and streamed on Paramount+.
Justin Marks Joins SRX for Stafford Motor Speedway: NASCAR Driver and Co-Owner of Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks will join the field this weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway. No stranger to the driver’s seat, Marks has competed in NASCAR’s top three divisions as well as multiple Sports Car Series. As a team owner, in just its second year of competition, Trackhouse Racing has secured three wins with drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, placing both drivers in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Local Ringer Matt Hirschman: This week’s local ringer is Matt Hirschman who won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway to earn his spot in this week’s SRX race. Born into a racing family, Hirschman is a multi-time champion on the modified scene. With his win earlier this year in the Spring Sizzler, he joins his father Tony Hirschman as the only father/son duo to win the marque modified event.
Hailie Deegan – CBS Mornings: To kick off the race weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway, Hailie Deegan visited with CBS Mornings on Friday. If you missed the interview, you can view it here.
Points Leader, Ryan Newman: With two races in the 2022 season complete, Ryan Newman is the points leader following a third-place finish in the season opener at Five Flags Speedway and a fourth-place finish at South Boston Speedway. Bobby Labonte trails by four points in second place and Tony Stewart moved up to third in the point standings following his win at South Boston Speedway.
Starting Lineup for Heat 1 at Stafford Motor Speedway:
Race Format: This week’s format will consist of two heat races and the main event is scheduled for 75 laps. Hailie Deegan will lead the field to green for Heat 1 with local ringer Matt Hirschman starting Heat 1 from fourth.
Driver Q&A Sessions: Prior to Saturday’s race at Stafford Motor Speedway, the full field will participate in a Q&A session from 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. The field will be split in to four groups:
- Group 1: Paul Tracy, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip
- Group 2: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte
- Group 3: Justin Marks, Bill Elliott, Matt Hirschman
- Group 4: Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Marco Andretti
Tune-In Information: The third race of the 2022 SRX season will take place on Saturday, July 2, live on CBS Primetime 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET. The race will also be streamed live on Paramount+.
South Boston Speedway Recap: A CBS recap of the race at South Boston Speeday can be viewed here.
Schedule Update: Following the third race of the season, SRX will head to Tennessee to compete at the Nashville Fairgrounds (Nashville, Tenn.) on July 9 followed by I-55 Raceway (Pevely, Mo.) on July 16 and conclude the season at Sharon Speedway (Hartford, Ohio) on July 23. All races will air on CBS Primetime from 8 – 10 p.m. ET.
About SRX Racing:
Announced in July 2020, the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) Series was founded by NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver Tony Stewart, NASCAR Hall of Fame Crew Chief Ray Evernham, George Pyne and Sandy Montag. The series made its debut on June 12, 2021, airing on CBS Primetime. Tony Stewart won the inaugural series championship. The series has seen a plethora of racing talent behind the wheel including Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Helio Castroneves, Ernie Francis Jr., Bill Elliott, Chase Elliott, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Hailie Deegan, Greg Biffle, Doug Colby, and more. The second season kicks off on June 18, 2022.
Taylor Reimer was officially confirmed as the winner of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series event run May 25 at Millbridge Speedway to become the first woman in history to win a national midget racing feature event. She had originally been scored second, but Cannon McIntosh was disqualified due to a tire issue with his final appeal denied Friday.
Reimer, a recent University of Oklahoma graduate, is running her first full season of national midget competition in the BuzzBallz Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Toyota.
“It’s pretty amazing to be the first female to win a national midget feature event,” relayed Reimer. “I could never have done this without the support of BuzzBallz Cocktails, which is a woman-owned business, and the entire KKM team. Ideally, this isn’t the way we wanted to win our first one, but that’s a decision handed down by Xtreme Outlaws. Now we have to get right back to work and win some more races.”
It’s not the first time Reimer’s made history in her brief midget racing career, though. Just three days after her strong run at Millbridge, she earned a third-place finish in POWRi competition at Lake Ozark Speedway in becoming the first woman to earn back-to-back national midget podium (top-three) finishes.
The Bixby, Oklahoma, native also became just the sixth woman in USAC midget history to earn a Fast Qualifier award when she took top honors at Placerville Speedway this past November. She earned her second Fast Qualifier just six races later at Port City Raceway in April. She is one of just three women to earn multiple USAC national midget Fast Qualifiers. In between those events, she joined KKM teammate Kaylee Bryson on the front row for USAC’s biggest event in 2021, the Turkey Night Grand Prix, the first time two women have ever started from the front row together in USAC competition.
Prior to a seven-year layoff to pursue academics and a national championship winning run at the high school and collegiate levels in competitive cheer, Reimer was the winningest female driver ever at Port City Raceway by age 14.
With her first victory under her belt, Reimer’s confident that women will continue to excel at the national level in midget car racing, “I think that you’re going to keep seeing women excel as we saw with Jade Avedisian last week. Now that women have won back-to-back races in the Xtreme Series, it’s going to take some of the pressure, as well as the constant spotlight, off female drivers and you’re going to see more women winning races in the future.”
Reimer and the KKM team are back in action next Friday night in USAC competition at Huset’s Speedway.
Taylor Reimer PR
It was a good day to be a rookie in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires as a quartet of drivers new to the series in 2022, led by Hunter McElrea, took the top four spots in Friday’s only practice session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
McElrea put the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car at the top of the speed chart with a best lap of 1 minute, 13.6126 seconds in preparation for Sunday’s Indy Lights at Mid-Ohio (10:35 a.m. ET, live on Peacock Premium).
CLICK IT: Practice Results
“Really good start to the weekend,” said the 22-year-old New Zealand racer. “The car feels great like I was expecting it to be honestly. Andretti Autosport is always strong here, so looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It should be a good one!”
McElrea’s rookie Andretti Autosport teammate Christian Rasmussen, the most recent winner in the series two weeks ago at Road America, followed in second with a best lap time of 1:13.9189 in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car.
Third was rookie Kyffin Simpson at 1:13.9679 in the No. 21 TJ Speed Motorsports car, and rookie Jacob Abel was fourth at 1:13.9751 in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon.
The most senior driver in the field, 28-year-old Matthew Brabham, followed his younger competition and rounded out the top five at 1:14.1474 in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport car.
Championship leader Linus Lundqvist found himself in the back half of the field, coming in eighth quickest of the 13 cars in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car with a best lap time of 1:14.2309.
The only incident of the day came late in the session. Abel went off course in Turn 1, making contact with the tire barrier. Abel was seen and released from the infield car center, and his incident ended the practice early.
Indy Lights is back in action from the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course Saturday, first with practice at 8:35 a.m. (ET), followed by qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Both sessions can be streamed on INDYCAR Live! and listened to on the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Indy Lights PR
Joe Graf Jr Pr
Dr. Dick Berggren, Shirley Muldowney, Scott Pruett, and Frank Kimmel have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
As required by the organization's bylaws, all four members received more than 65% of the votes cast by NMPA members. Biographies of the new inductees are below.
Berggren and Muldowney led the voting, receiving 84% of the votes cast. Pruett was elected with 71% of the votes cast, while Kimmel received 68%.
All four individuals are not only standouts in their chosen professions but are well respected in the motor sports community. They will be honored during the NMPA Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the annual NMPA convention in late January 2023. Additional details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date.
The NMPA Hall of Fame, which highlights all inductees and other award honorees, is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. It has been in operation since 1965.
NMPA Hall of Fame Class of 2023
Dr. Dick Berggren - From driver to legendary announcer, Berggren began his motor sports career that spanned more than four decades in 1967, racing Super Modifieds, Modifieds, stock and Sprint cars while also serving as the public address announcer at Arundel Speedway in Maine. Berggren’s love of racing led him to writing about the sport for various newspapers as well as Stock Car Racing magazine of which he became the editor. Berggren won 26 races before leaving his driving behind in 1981 when he began his run of more than two decades as a fixture on NASCAR telecasts. Berggren became familiar to viewers on ESPN while also appearing on CBS, TBS and TNN before closing his career with a 12-year stint as the lead pit reporter for Fox Sports’ NASCAR telecasts. Before retiring from his television career, Berggren founded Speedway Illustrated.
Shirley Muldowney - Known as the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” Muldowney went from street racing to becoming the first woman to earn a Top Fuel dragster license. She not only was the first woman to win a NHRA world championship, but the first person to win two and then three Top Fuel titles – 1977, 1980, 1982. Muldowney obtained her NHRA pro license in 1965, the first woman to be granted one, and claimed her first major event in 1971. Overall, she has 18 NHRA national series event victories. She also earned a IHRA championship in 1981. Upon retiring, Muldowney began operating “Shirley’s Kids,” which helps children in need in cities where drag racing is part of the community.
Scott Pruett - Pruett started his racing career at age 8, competing in karts and eventually winning 10 professional karting titles, including the Professional Karting Association World Championship in 1981. In his first full season in IMSA GTO (1986), he won the series championship and claimed it again in 1988. He also earned SCCA Trans-Am titles in 1987, 1994 and 2003. Pruett competed in 145 CART races between 1988 and 1999, recording two victories. After a brief foray in NASCAR, Pruett returned to sports car racing where he amassed 60 victories and 11 championships. Those victories include a record five 24 Hours of Daytona overall wins, a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Frank Kimmel - Kimmel made his mark in the ARCA Menards Series. He is the only 10-time champion in series history, winning a remarkable eight consecutive titles from 2000 to 2007. After claiming his first victory at Toledo Speedway in 1994, two years after earning the series rookie title, Kimmel amassed a record 80 career victories and 44 poles. He was the first ARCA driver selected to compete in the International Race of Champions in 2006.
JTG Daugherty Racing is pleased to have VELVEETA® return to the No. 47 Camaro ZL1 with Pick ‘n Save on the hood for the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at Road America this weekend.
“We’re looking forward to having a bold presence on the No. 47 Kroger Racing Camaro with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Road America,” said Matthew Reusing, Senior Manager. Omni Shopper Marketing (Kroger) for The Kraft Heinz Company. “Velveeta is all about living ‘La Dolce Velveeta, and living your biggest, boldest most unrestrained life, always putting pleasure first.’ We are excited to bring back our bold VELVEETA® vibes to racing for friends and family to enjoy.”
VELVEETA® is known for its rich, creamy texture and is bringing the cheesy, melty goodness to the NASCAR Cup Series who has a vast number of racetracks on the schedule. The premier series transitions from the 1.33-concrete oval of Nashville Superspeedway to the four-mile (4.048), 14-turn road circuit of Road America located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
“We’re proud to have VELVEETA® on our No. 47 Camaro again,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “VELVEETA® is a household name that we’ve all grown up with that satisfies cravings. We’re fresh off of racing at Nashville Speedway (16th) and are looking for even better results at Road America with VELVEETA®.”
Stenhouse Jr. finished 12th at Road America during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and knows there is still a lot to learn with the new car.
“We had a good finish there last year, but with the new car we’re still learning like everybody else is this year,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We know we still have a lot of work to do on our cars for road courses, but we’re hoping we can strike a good balance for this weekend with our No. 47 Pick ‘n Save / VELVEETA® Camaro.”
Live coverage from Road America of the 62-lap event on Sunday, July 3rd starts at 3 PM ET and is live on USA, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
JTG Racing PR
Shannon Babb won his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature in 1999 at the dawn of his legendary racing career. Fast forward 23 years later, he now stands alone atop the mountain as the winningest driver in Hell Tour history.
It couldn’t have been more fitting for the four-time champion, breaking through for his 101st career Summer Nationals Feature win in front of his legion of fans, friends and family at Fayette County Speedway – the same place he won his first-ever Feature as a young up-and-comer.
Last year’s celebration of a milestone 100 Summer Nationals wins was sweet, but 101 means even more.
“It knocks it out of the park, really,” said Babb, of Moweaqua, IL. “It means a ton also because we’re right here at a favorite racetrack of mine. My wife and my girls are here tonight, my in-laws and everybody was here.”
A multi-decade veteran of the sport, Babb recalls the days of battling tooth-and-nail for every spot on the track, every win, and every championship against another on of Dirt Late Model racing’s all-time greats, Billy Moyer. With the win Thursday night, he now surpasses the six-time champ for most wins in tour history.
“It blows my mind thinking about all these races,” Babb said. “We might’ve won 101, but there’s probably been 500 of them that we didn’t win that we just got our asses beat at.”
To do it, Babb first had to go through Moyer’s son, Billy Moyer Jr., sneaking past the Batesville, AR-native on the bottom as he got caught-up in lapped traffic on Lap 14 of the 50-lap main event.
From there, Babb played strong defense the rest of the race, holding off players like Moyer, Tanner English and Brian Shirley through multiple restarts and lapped traffic.
“When I got to the lapped cars, the bottom of Turns 1-2 was really good and 3-4 was a little iffy,” Babb said. “You really just don’t know where to go, and I resorted to just staying on the gas, trying to bounce off the cushion and go forward as much as I could. Use the bank a little bit.”
His biggest challenge came on the final restart with three-to-go, when English got a great launch out of Turn 4 and nearly pulled even with Babb into Turn 1. But the Moweaqua Missile held strong on the top, ripping the lip around the quarter-mile to stay ahead of English’s Riggs Motorsports #81E and secure the victory.
“I thought it was a fantastic race,” Babb said. “Tanner, little Billy [Moyer Jr.] and them guys were all over me. We were just fortunate to get to the front early and be able to hold them off.”
English finished second, less than a second behind Babb at the line, while Bobby Pierce completed a remarkable drive from the tail after blowing a tire early to finish third. Trevor Gundaker matched his season-best finish with the Hell Tour in fourth; Moyer Jr. held onto fifth.
The Summer Nationals returns to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY, for another $10,000-to-win showdown. If you can’t be at the track, stream it live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 50 Laps | 00:23:17.752
1. 18-Shannon Babb; 2. 81E-Tanner English; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce; 4. 11T-Trevor Gundaker; 5. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley; 7. 17X-Michael Kloos; 8. 25-Jason Feger; 9. 14G-Joe Godsey; 10. F1-Payton Freeman; 11. 15-Christian Hanger; 12. 26M-Brent McKinnon; 13. T4-Adam Tischauser; 14. 30-Mark Voigt; 15. 16-Rusty Griffaw; 16. 23NZ-Mick Quin; 17. 14R-Jeff Roth; 18. 10-Daryn Klein; 19. 14-Paul Kuper; 20. 4D-Doug Tye; 21. 10J-Jordan Bauer; 22. 15F-Richard Frost
HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Hoffman Tops Harrison at Fayette County for Ninth Win of Season
They met once already this season in DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature action, and Thursday night’s clash of Nick Hoffman and Mike Harrison at Fayette County Speedway was another one for the record books.
The two multi-time champions won their Heat Races and rolled to the track for the Feature on the front row. At the drop of the green, Hoffman got the jump into the lead and began playing defense against Harrison’s big run on the top.
Hoffman stuck mostly to the bottom lane in the 25-lap event, taking heed from the Late Model race before the Modified Feature.
“Just watching that Late Model Feature, I judge a lot of what I do off of what those guys end up doing,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said. “The Late Model race was won on the bottom, so I did the same.”
Though Harrison gave it everything the car had on the top, he was unable to catch Hoffman in the end. Hoffman cruised across the stripe for his 66th career Summit Modified victory and ninth of the season in 11 starts.
“I was more worried about Kelly Kovski and those Elite [Chassis] guys that could roll around the infield pretty well,” Hoffman said. “Kelly ended up third, Kyle [Steffens] ended up fourth, so it was a good night for us.”
The Summit Modifieds return to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY. If you can’t be at the track, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 25 Laps | 00:11:09.356
1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 24H-Mike Harrison; 3. 10K-Kelly Kovski; 4. 8-Kyle Steffens; 5. 87Z-Zeb Moake; 6. 63-Bret Eilerman; 7. 33S-Steve Stevenson; 8. 7-Willie Gammill; 9. 88-Chris Bolyard; 10. 4M-Clint Martin; 11. 26- Anthony Carter; 12. 27-Keith Harre; 13. 71-Rayce Baker; 14. 51-Phil Bible; 15. 36-Kenny Wallace; 16. 0- Damian Kiefer; 17. 21M-Willy Myers
DIRTcar Series PR