Racing News

 

Racing News

Racing News (3356)

Racing News from around the World

 John Falb entered his first Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season in 2014 brimming with confidence. 

He was a veteran, race-winning driver in regional series on the West Coast and looked to extend that success quickly with ONE Motorsports in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series.

 

But 10th- and 21st-place overall finishes in his first two races, in March at Sebring International Raceway, briefly dented his confidence. But Falb, from Las Vegas, recovered quickly and ended the season in October at Road Atlanta as the Lites 1 Masters Champion.

 

Falb, 43, won the Masters class in three races and finished on the Masters podium at six other rounds. He also finished third overall at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road Atlanta, ending up a strong fourth place overall in the final series standings.

 

"Going into the season last year, I had pretty high hopes and expectations after doing well in other series I had been in," Falb said. "I think those expectations were quickly shifted after a pretty rough Sebring event where I basically crashed in both races and got 10th in one and DNF in the other.

 

"The competition in this series is great, so you can't give up at any point. You've got to keep digging and digging. It was a growth year for me and for the team."

 

Falb took advantage of the break between the season opener in March at Sebring and the next event, in June at Kansas Speedway, to dominate and win in four regional events in other series. That success snapped Falb into a groove that helped him earn his first career Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Masters podium at Kansas despite a furious thrash by the ONE Motorsports team to fix mechanical problems during the race weekend. The result became a launch pad for summer success.

 

After Kansas, Falb finished on the Masters podium in five of the next six races to take control of the class. He never lost that momentum down the stretch, standing on the Masters podium in three of the last four races to clinch the title.

 

That powerful drive to the championship hit top gear as Falb came to grips with the high downforce created by the Élan chassis of the Prototype Lites car. The G-forces placed on the very fit Falb by the car also forced him to intensify his fitness regimen.

 

"I think getting used to the physical nature of how these cars are driven," Falb said. "You really have to muscle them around a lot more while still trying to be smooth. It just requires a lot more physical effort. And it's important to be in the right shape so you don't start to lose focus as the race goes on and keep focus on what you're doing instead of getting tired."

 

It's never easy to top a championship in a debut season. But Falb thinks he carries advantages into the 2015 season that will drive him toward continued success.

 

The first edge is track knowledge. Falb had competed in regional series primarily on the West Coast before coming to Prototype Lites, so learning the circuits was one of his first tasks at every event weekend in 2014.

 

But this year NOLA Motorsports Park - where Falb and many other series drivers participated in an official IMSA test this week - is the only new circuit in the championship in 2015. So that should give Falb an advantage.

 

"I live in Vegas, and most of the tracks (in Prototype Lites) are on the East Coast," Falb said. "They're not tracks I've been going to my whole life, and so there were a lot of tracks to learn.

 

"I feel a lot more confident showing up at a Watkins Glen and knowing some of the little intricacies of the circuits. I think it definitely helps you get up to speed and helps you to work on the other parts of the track that help you to go faster. It makes a big difference."

 

Another difference in 2015 is a second consecutive year in the series with Las Vegas-based ONE Motorsports. Falb and Lites 2 standout Todd Slusher are returning to the team, which also welcomes Masters newcomers Gerhard Watzinger and Dave House this season.

 

"We're coming out here to have fun and do well, and we're all passionate about the sport," Falb said. "Having the same guys around and having fun at the same time we're working hard, it's a great benefit. We're happy we've got two new guys under the tent. It's great to have the continuity. I know these guys well, and we have fun together.

 

"I know I've got a ton to learn and just to try to keep going faster. I'm going into this year eyes a little bit more wide open. We've done a little offseason testing, and I'm just going to keep my head down and keep trying to plug away. Certainly, I would like to finish the season better this year than I did last year."

While the battle at the top of the championship standings in AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, is heating up, so is the fight to earn a position inside the top 10 of the Arenacross Class standings as the Race to the Championship nears. Currently, Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Gavin Faith, an overall winner this season, holds on to possession of the 10th and final spot in the points with five nights of racing remaining until the points reset, but just 14 points separate he and Babbitt's Online Suzuki's Cory Green, in 11th. Faith has never been a part of the Race to the Championship as this is his first full season of AMSOIL Arenacross competition, while Green is a veteran of the sport who finished fifth in the final championship standings just last season. AMSOIL Arenacross caught up with both riders to get their thoughts on the Race to the Championship and how they plan to secure a spot inside the top 10 over the next few weeks.

 

 

AMSOIL Arenacross is filled with ups and downs for every rider because it's so competitive. Talk about some of the adversity you have faced this season and what you think it will take these next few weeks to put yourself into the Race to the Championship?

 

Gavin Faith (GF): Being consistent. AMSOIL Arenacross is really tight, bar-banging racing and anything can happen. I have been a little inconsistent so far this year, with mistakes of my own as well as mechanical. Basically, my plan is to stay in the top 10 now, and once the Race to the Championship begins, eliminate a lot of these mistakes we have been making so we can be right up there!

 

Cory Green (CG): There are a lot of good riders this season. The competition is very tough. I feel as though not only myself, but also a lot of other riders have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time on the track. I feel as though this year my speed and everything is there, I just need to put myself in the right place at the right time moving forward.

 

With only five races left until the cutoff, what are your goals in the next few weeks?

 

GF: My main goal is to secure a top spot inside the top 10, and I'm sitting 10th now. My focus is to get through these next few races clean. I want to be on the box every weekend and I want to go for race wins, but my main focus is to stay consistent and stay off the ground and we should be good to go.

 

CG: My main goal moving forward, not just these next five rounds but the remainder of the season, is to have fun when I am out on the track. I haven't been having too much fun as of yet. If I get back in the zone of having fun out there I think the results will show from that.

 

 

There's obviously very little ground separating you from being in the Race to the Championship and out of it. Do you enter these next few races looking to just beat the riders closest to you in points, or do you attack it like any other race and let the points play out as they will?

 

GF: These next few rounds I am going to go at it like its any other race. You cant really think about who is behind you, I want to go out there and do my best. I want to be on the box and ultimately to win races. I'm not going to go out there just to try and beat the 11th place rider, I'm going to go out there to try to get the win every time.

 

CG: I want to be in the Race to the Championship but more than anything I'm not going out just to beat this rider or that rider. I'm going out there to win the race and be where I need to be. Not only does it make me feel better about my performance and myself, but it also represents my sponsors in a way they want them to be presented.

 

Is the Race to the Championship on your mind right now? Or are you still trying to take things race-by-race and maximize your results?

 

GF: I am trying to take everything race-by-race. It is going to get pretty intense once the points reset. Luckily the structure is like this in AMSOIL Areancross. With this being my first full year in the series it gives me some time to learn the ropes and get used to the structure with the short lap times and two Main Events. The points will reset and hopefully I have learned enough from the first few rounds. My overall goal is to be consistent and put myself in a good position for the championship.

 

CG: The goal is always race-by-race for me. Yes, I want to look forward and plan for the championship, but the cards have to fall in my favor. I normally try to take everything race-by-race and work on what I need to work on weekend-to-weekend, and ultimately when the gate drops go out and do my best.

 

 

The racing this season is arguably the most competitive its been in history. Talk about your journey to this point in the season and what you have learned along the way that you hope will work to your advantage in securing a spot in the Race to the Championship.

 

GF: There are a lot of fast guys this year, many of which have had at least one Main Event win and one overall win. The championship could be anyone's right now. It's going to come down to who can get out of the gate clean, put themselves in good position and who can throw down for the last six races. Whoever does that will be crowned the next AMSOIL Arenacross Champion.

 

CG: Honestly I haven't learned too much except I've crashed more than I ever could have expected in one season. I know I have gained a lot of progress in certain areas than the previous year. It's just one of those things like I mentioned earlier, the cards have to fall in your favor. I have to let it work itself out and see where it goes from there.

 

Do you feel any added pressure being in the position you're in? Fighting for one of the final spots in the Race to the Championship?

 

GF: No. I came in as the underdog this year. This is my first full season. I don't feel any added pressure. I have a lot of respect for these riders and there should be some good racing coming down to the end of the season.

 

CG: I don't feel any other added pressure than any other night of racing. I am not too worried about it. I am just going to go out there and do what I know and love to do, try my best and leave it at that.

 

 

The seventh round of AMSOIL Arenacross kicks off Saturday, February 28, from Kansas City, Missouri, for the championship's anticipated return to Sprint Center. Racing begins at 7 p.m. 8 p.m. EST /CST /5 p.m. PST.

 

Tickets for each round of AMSOIL Arenacross are on sale now!

 

The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season is now airing on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on Fox Sports 2. Check out the Arenacross.com TV listings for a full schedule.

 

Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2014 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com

What is the points system in ELMS ?

Written by
Published in Racing News
Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:08

The European Le Mans Series will start at the Paul Ricard circuit in three weeks with the annual official test session. Following a look at the four categories that will make up the 2015 ELMS, let's take the opportunity to understand the ELMS point system and what the awards are on offer for the best performing teams and drivers this season.         

The ELMS point system is the same as the one used in the World Endurance Championship and is applied to all the categories in the same way.

Points Scale:

Points for Drivers and Teams classified in each race are awarded according to the following scale:

1st:        25 points

2nd:       18 points

3rd:        15 points

4th:        12 points

5th:        10 points

6th:        8 points

7th:        6 points

8th:        4 points

9th:        2 points

10th:     1 point

Beyond:  A half point (0.5) will be awarded to any car placed beyond 10th place overall.

One (1) additional point will be awarded to the car and the drivers who have achieved pole position in each category.

 

Titles and Trophies: 

At the end of the season, the following titles will be awarded:

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the Team winning the LMP2 class.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the best Driver(s) in LMP2.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the Team winning the GTE class.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the best Driver(s) in GTE.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the Team winning the GTC class.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the best Driver(s) in GTC.

- A Trophy European Le Mans Series given to the Team winning the LMP3 class.

- A European Le Mans Series Trophy given to the best Driver(s) in LMP3.

 

Invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans

An automatic invitation to the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans has been confirmed for each team winning its category, available to five teams entered in the 2015 ELMS season.

- The 1st LMP2 will be invited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016.

- The 1st and 2nd LMGTE will be invited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016.

- The 1st GTC will be invited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 in LMGTE Am.

- The 1st LMP3 will be invited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016 in LMP2. 

It is imperative that more than three cars are entered for the season, and that they have participated in all the races of the 2015 ELMS season.

 

(European Le Mans Series)

"Duel in the Dome" Winner to be Crowned Saturday in Atlanta

Written by
Published in Racing News
Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:02

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will make its ninth stop of the 17-race season with the last stop of back-to-back Saturday night visits at Atlanta's Georgia Dome this weekend. . Additionally, the inaugural "Duel in the Dome" winner will be crowned, with the rider who obtains the most points over the back-to-back Atlanta weekends emerging triumphant.

 

The 450SX Class welcomed its fifth different winner of the 2015 season last weekend as Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports Chad Reed posted a perfect wire-to-wire effort to earn his first win since the third race in Anaheim last season. The win was also the first for Kawasaki since the Las Vegas finale in 2014. Through eight races this season, four different manufacturers - Honda, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki - have earned a Main Event win.

 

In the 450SX Class standings, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey extended his championship lead to 25 points on the heels of a runner-up finish. The Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship intensified between points leader and Red Bull KTM rider, Marvin Musquin, and last week's winner, Jeremy Martin, who sits four points back on his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha.

 

PROGRAM ALERT

**FOX Sports 2 will air the second Atlanta race live at 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST

 

**Coverage from the second Atlanta race will also be available on the authenticated FOX Sports GO app**

 

 

450SX Class

 

Red Bull KTM

 

#5 Ryan Dungey 

 

Current Championship Position: 1st

Atlanta Start: 4th

Atlanta Finish: 2nd (+2)

2015 Average Finish: 2.3

 

Dungey's podium streak now sits at seven races. He also enjoys his most comfortable points lead since following the St. Louis stop of his championship-winning 2010 campaign.

 

"Reed rode a solid race [in Atlanta], getting a great start and holding on out front," said Dungey. "I had some work to do to catch up to him after an OK start. Apart from the start, I'm happy with the way I rode. The way the cards fell, with several guys having big crashes, I'm happy to have been able to extend my points lead in the championship. I'm looking forward to coming back [to Atlanta] again this weekend to hopefully get on the top step of the podium."

 

 

Team Honda HRC

 

#41 Trey Canard

 

Current Championship Position: 2nd (-25 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 10th

Atlanta Finish: 3rd (+7)

2015 Average Finish: 4.4

 

Canard moved into second in the championship for the first time since following the Oakland race of the 2013 season.

 

"Not a bad night at all. I was happy to be on the podium again, and to have moved into second in points, but it was a bummer to get another bad start," said Canard. "I just moved forward and did the best that I could, which is all we can ask for. I was riding really aggressive, but I think you have to when you're that far back. I started to catch them a little when I got into third, but it was basically cat-and-mouse all the way to the end. I think the bike was working great in the Main Event, so hopefully we can keep that going into this week and come out strong."

 

#14 Cole Seely

 

Current Championship Position: 6th (-63 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 5th

Atlanta Finish: 4th (+1)

Average Finish: 7.6

 

Seely is currently enjoying a six-race top-ten streak, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the final Anaheim race. He is just four points out of fourth place in the championship standings.

 

"I got tangled with another rider and went down in the first turn of my Heat Race, and I just had flashbacks of the previous weekend when I had to go through the LCQ," said Seely after the Atlanta race. "I kind of went into panic mode, because I didn't want to let that happen! From there on out, I felt like I turned it up a notch. I got a decent start in the Main Event by sneaking to the inside of everyone in the turn. I came out sixth or seventh and then just tried working my way forward. When Trey [Canard] passed me, I just tried to stay on him to see his lines, and we moved forward together."

 

 

RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John's Factory Suzuki

 

#94 Ken Roczen

 

Current Championship Position: 3rd (-31 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 15th

Atlanta Finish: 18th (-3)

2015 Average Finish: 5.6

 

Roczen carded his worst finish of the 2015 season in Atlanta, following a big crash early in the Main Event.

 

"The whole night, actually the whole day, was kind of gnarly," said Roczen. "I felt like we had the bike figured out pretty good. In the Main, my bike worked really good and I feel like I could have made up a lot of ground. I went in the whoops and caught one of the tuff blocks somehow. It wasn't a problem with the bike or anything like that. Obviously, I just made a mistake. It just happened."

 

#20 Broc Tickle

 

Current Championship Position: 10th (-96 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 11th

Atlanta Finish: 6th (+5)

2015 Average Finish: 10.1 (seven races)

 

Since returning from injury, Tickle has recorded three-straight top-ten finishes.

 

"I'm always stoked to race in Atlanta," commented Tickle. "Last year I set a good tone for myself and I always seem to have a good vibe when we race in the Georgia Dome. I just wanted to have a good weekend. We went through practice and it was okay, and my semi, I just kind of pulled it together. I got my flow down and put some good, solid laps together. That gave me some confidence.

 

"I worked on my starts last week but I didn't have it for the Main. My start ruined me. I think I could have been a little better, results-wise, with a better start. Overall though, I'm pretty pumped with my finish. I think I was 11th or 12th after the start and passed my way all the way up to sixth. I think that's the best I rode all year so I'm stoked about that. My bike was working really, really good. I'm going to go down to Kenny [Roczen's] farm this week and plan to work on my starts some more. I'll work on more of what I practiced last week and see if I can improve."

 

 

GEICO Honda

 

#3 Eli Tomac

 

Current Championship Position: 4th (-59 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 7th

Atlanta Finish: 20th (-13)

2015 Average Finish:  7.9

 

Tomac equaled his season-worst result of 20th in Atlanta after crashing while running fourth.

 

"I had fun getting after it with [Ryan] Dungey in the Heat Race and I was hyped for the Main," said Tomac. "I didn't get the greatest of starts but managed to get past some guys and get up to fourth. I was pushing as hard as I could to close the gap on third so I could be in podium contention and that's when I lost it. Nothing I can do now but try again this week."

 

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory racing

 

#21 Jason Anderson

 

Current Championship Position: 5th (-60 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 6th

Atlanta Finish: 7th (-1)

2015 Average Finish: 7.1

 

Anderson is just one of two riders to finish inside the top-ten in every race this season.

 

"My night was just average, I ended up with a seventh," said Anderson. "I got a good start, which was better, but I went a little wide in the first turn. I've been really consistent but not where I want to be. I want to be in the top-five fighting for podiums every week. I just need to keep plugging away."

 

 

Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports

 

#22 Chad Reed

 

Current Championship Position: 7th (-64 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 1st

Atlanta Finish: 1st (+/-0)

2015 Average Finish: 8.4

 

Reed now has 44 career victories and sits four race wins behind Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time wins list.

 

"It feels awesome, 44 wins," said Reed. "Seems like lately they feel a little better just because they have been a little too far apart [laughs]. Man what a rough year; this one feels nice, just to get a good start and to do something with it, it was fun. This is not my worst stadium, but not my favorite stadium. I've had a lot of great rides [in Atlanta], but man I've had some good competitors there with [James] Stewart and RC [Ricky Carmichael] over the years growing up just down the road in Florida. They were really tough to beat there and I feel like I've always been solid but man they were always tough. They had a feature on Ricky. I watched and it brought back some memories and I just tried to ride how I remember RC riding and it felt good. 

 

"Overall, the guys gave me a great bike and we changed up a few things, but more than anything I think it was a combination of me actually riding good and the boys giving me a good bike. Looking forward to seeing if we can do this again at Atlanta 2."

 

 

Yoshimura Suzuki

 

#4 Blake Baggett

 

Current Championship Position: 8th (-75 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 13th

Atlanta Finish: 8th (+5)

2015 Average Finish: 8.8

 

Baggett has come on strong in recent weeks and now has a six-race top-ten streak.

 

"[In the Main Event], I spun it a little bit coming off the gate and was I think 16th or so coming out of the first turn," Baggett explained. "I plugged away from there and tried to get the tire to the ground and get some traction and work our way forward. The track was really technical. I came away with an eighth, so I'll go back and do a little testing and come back ready for Atlanta 2.

 

"I'm looking forward to media day and getting the chance to see what changes they make to the track for this week's race. Hopefully they'll be able to get a little moisture in the dirt so we have a little better traction."

 

 

BTO Sports KTM

 

#29 Andrew Short

 

Current Championship Position: 9th (-80 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 8th

Atlanta Finish: 9th (-1)

2015 Average Finish: 9.4

 

 

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class

 

Red Bull KTM

 

#25 Marvin Musquin

 

Current Championship Position: 1st 

Atlanta Start: 4th

Atlanta Finish: 2nd (+2)

2015 Average Finish: 1.5

 

Musquin has 1-2 finishes to start the 2015 Eastern Regional season.

 

"I'm not overly happy with the way I rode [in Atlanta]", explained Musquin. "I let my frustrations from earlier in the day take over in the Main Event and I just didn't ride as smooth and relaxed as I should have. I had a rough Heat Race and I should have been more focused in the Main. But I started to relax more towards the end of the race and still finished in second place. It takes consistency to win a championship, so I'm happy to be on the podium two weeks in-a-row and will make sure I'm back to being 100% focused when we return to Atlanta."

 

 

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha

 

#6 Jeremy Martin

 

Current Championship Position: 2nd (-4 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 6th

Atlanta Finish: 1st (+5)

2015 Average Finish: 2.5

 

Martin has won two of the last three Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Events dating back to last season.

 

"My Saturday night in Atlanta was awesome," exclaimed Martin. "I came in fighting a cold, but I pushed through it and came out with the win in the Main Event! My expectations for Atlanta 2 are to have fun and show everyone how strong my Yamaha YZ250F is this year."    

 

#62 Anthony Rodriquez

 

Current Championship Position: 10th (-26 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 12th

Atlanta Finish: 8th (+4)

2015 Average Finish: 10.5

 

Rodriguez earned his first top-ten finish of the season in Atlanta.

 

"Atlanta had its ups and downs, that's for sure. The day started off a little weird. I didn't have the best practices, but I managed to get better for qualifying," explained Rodriguez. "Then, in the Heat, I got a pretty decent start, about seventh, and then I worked my way up to fifth. Then, when I was in fifth, I had a crash and that put me in, like, 13th. I made a comeback, all the way to tenth, but it wasn't enough to qualify for the Main Event, so I had to go to the LCQ. I was pretty bummed about it, but I got my head straight. I went to the LCQ as prepared as I could be, and I did really well in that race. I got the holeshot, led the whole race, and made it to the Main. Once I was in the Main, I had a pretty bad gate choice, since I was one of the last ones to pick a gate. But, I came from pretty much second-to-last all the way up to eighth place. I was pretty happy to be able come from a dead-last spot to a top-eight finish. I can't wait for Atlanta 2 because I know I'm going to do a lot better. I'm looking forward to it." 

 

 

GEICO Honda

 

#1 Justin Bogle

 

Current Championship Position: 3rd (-5 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 2nd

Atlanta Finish: 3rd (-1)

2015 Average Finish: 2.5

 

En route to a third-place finish, Bogle led his first laps of the 2015 season in Atlanta. Only he and Musquin have finished on the podium in each of the first two races.

 

"I feel comfortable with my training, but my execution during the race is what I need to work on for this weekend," said Bogle. "I feel good on the bike and I'll be ready. I had one good night in Atlanta and I'm ready to get a win the second time around.

 

"I am not a practice champion, so I sometimes struggle in the initial practice sessions, but when it comes time to perform and earn points, I know exactly how to deliver. I don't plan on giving away any more points towards the championship."

 

#80 RJ Hampshire

 

Current Championship Position: 8th (-21 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 11th

Atlanta Finish: 9th (+2)

2015 Average Finish: 8.0

 

Hampshire has finished inside the top-ten in each of his first two career Monster Energy Supercross starts. He is currently battling through an injury.

 

"I know that I need to take it easy, but hopefully I can get some good days of training in this week," said Hampshire. "It's hard to heal in a week's worth of time, but I can't stop now. It's important for me to keep improving every single weekend, so I won't let this injury make things any different.

 

"I think it also helps that we're racing in Atlanta back-to-back weekends. It gives me a little bit more confidence in my road to gaining more experience when we return to a venue that I've been at before."

 

 

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

 

#37 Joey Savatgy

 

Current Championship Position:  4th (-11 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 9th

Atlanta Finish: 5th (+4)

2015 Average Finish: 4.0

 

Savatgy earned his first career Heat Race win in Atlanta before securing his second straight top-five finish.

 

"My start is what kept me off the podium," said Savatgy. "We worked on those this week and I have no reasons to not be up front. My team and my KX250F are second to none."

 

#200 Arnaud Tonus

 

Current Championship Position: 9th (-23 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start:  21st

Atlanta Finish: 10th (+11)

2015 Average Finish: 9.0

 

Tonus overcame a near dead-last start to pass 11 riders and earn a top-ten finish in just his second race on U.S. soil.

 

"I haven't been able to show my potential in the Main Events so far," said Tonus. "I've gone down on the first lap in Dallas and Atlanta, so I'm confident with a good start and a clean opening lap I can be battling for the podium."

 

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

 

#47 Martin Davalos

 

Current Championship Position: 5th (-17 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 1st

Atlanta Finish: 4th (-3)

2015 Average Finish: 6.5

 

Davalos led over half of the laps in the first Atlanta Main Event. The Georgia Dome was the site of his first career Monster Energy Supercross win last season.

 

"After last weekend the team worked really hard during the week testing to get me more comfortable," said Davalos. "Practice went well and the Heat Race win was good. In the Main, I got a great start and then just tightened up. I feel like I lost the race in the dragon back section. I was too worried about setting up my front wheel instead of just driving through. There's certainly room for improvement on myself. I had a great bike last weekend and a great team behind me. I need to put my head down, work on my intensity and come back swinging this weekend."

 

 

JAB Motorsports

 

# 43 Matthew Lemoine

 

Current Championship Position: 6th (-17 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 5th

Atlanta Finish: 7th (-2)

2015 Average Finish: 6.0

 

 

Smartop Motoconcepts

 

#45 Vince Friese

 

Current Championship Position: 7th (-17 points behind leader)

Atlanta Start: 3rd

Atlanta Finish: 6th (-3)

2015 Average Finish: 6.0

 

Headlining the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross television package will be the first-ever live FOX network broadcast from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday, April 25 at 3pm EST. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast 12 races live and FOX Sports 2 will broadcast three races live. Each race will include a next-day re-air on FOX Sports 1. In addition, the authenticated FOX Sports Go app will live stream each race.

 

As a precursor to the live broadcast, catch all of the pre-race coverage with Supercross Race Day Live, which will stream on www.SupercrossLive.com from 12:50 - 4:30 p.m. local race time each Saturday during the season.  Practice, qualifying, behind the scenes features and key rider interviews will all be highlighted on the Supercross Race Day Live webcast.

 

(Monster Energy Supercross)

E.J. Viso won the first SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by Traxxas race of 2015 in convincing fashion as 10 SST Traxxas trucks took the green flag at the Clipsal 500 in Victoria Park on Friday morning.

Veteran Off-Road competitor Robby Gordon from Orange, Calif. finished second while SST newcomer Matt Mingay of Gold Coast, Queensland completed the podium.

Viso, of Caracas, Venezuela, was aggressive from the start and moved past truck after truck from his sixth-place starting position on the first lap, and then capitalized on a mistake by early leader and former V8 Supercar driver Nathan Pretty of Melbourne on lap two of the shorted five-lap event and never looked back.

With most drivers struggling to hit their marks on the fast and technical temporary circuit that makes up the 14-turn 2.012-mile (3.219 km) course built for the V8 SuperCars, Viso and Gordon raced flawlessly as they pulled away from the hornet’s nest of trucks battling for position behind them.

Mingay, who raced with a conservative style from his seventh starting position, stayed close to the charging Traxxas teammates of Crandon, Wisc. native Keegan Kincaid and Alpine, Calif. young gun Sheldon Creed who both started on the last row and made their way through the field with an aggressive attack. The white flag lap would see Kincaid and Creed make contact in turn 13 allowing Mingay to capitalize on the mistake and nab his first SST podium.

Traxxas teammates Kincaid and Creed finished fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Australian first time SST racers Toby Price of Aberglasslyn, New South Wales and Brad Gallard of Renmark, South Australia. Bill Hynes of Nazareth, Penn. took the eighth spot ahead of Pretty who experienced mechanical failure on lap three. Austin, Texas driver Charles Dorrance had an early race accident and was credited with 10th.

The SST trucks will race a second round Saturday in front of an anticipated sell out crowd, immediately preceding the second of two V8 SuperCar Twin 125k races.

What do a U.S. President, one of America’s most renowned broadcasters, and an astronaut who walked on the moon have in common?

They’ve all made annual visits to Sebring International Raceway, part of a long list of celebrities at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, a rite of spring since 1952. 

Prior to becoming Governor of Georgia – and eventually President – Jimmy Carter took his family on an annual pilgrimage to the storied circuit which uses airport runways along with roads from an old military base.

“As soon as I came home from the Navy [in 1953], Rosalynn and I and the children began to drive down to Sebring and went to the 12-hour race there, which was always interesting,” said Carter in a recent interview.

To prepare for the races, Carter would listen to the “Sounds of Sebring” phonograph records, learning to tell the difference between the different engines.

“Rosalynn and I used to listen and would try to turn the other way and see which kind of car was coming,” recalled Carter, who learned to differentiate between the eight-cylinder Maseratis and 12-cylinder Ferraris, that “sounded like a sewing machine, very smooth.”

Eventually, Carter identified a favorite.

“We fell in love with the Chevrolet Corvette,” Carter said. “Corvettes sounded like a John Deere tractor compared to (the foreign cars), but they would hold their own in speed. It was a time of origination of a real car that could compete internationally, where they have the fastest cars.”

Long before interviewing President Carter for the CBS Evening News, broadcasting icon Walter Cronkite was a fixture at Sebring. Filing CBS Radio reports from the event for at least three years, broadcasting icon Cronkite drove in the 1959 Twelve Hours.

Mixing business with pleasure, he filed reports for CBS between stints in a Lancia Appia Zagato. Cronkite finished fifth in class and 40th overall – one position ahead of NASCAR pioneer and inaugural Sprint Cup Series champion Red Byron, who shared a Carroll Shelby-entered Maserati 250s co-driven by Jim Hall and Hap Sharp.

Cronkite also was the unofficial voice of the American space program, which had Charles “Pete” Conrad fly on Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. Less than two years after he became the third man to walk on the moon, Conrad drove in the 1971 race, failing to finish in a Porsche 914/6. He was “grounded” by NASA following the race, fearing to have an active astronaut injured in competition.

Over the years, Sebring has attracted a “who’s who” list of stars.

Steve McQueen – driving with a cast on his left foot from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident – finished second overall in 1970, 23 seconds behind Mario Andretti’s Ferrari 512S. McQueen won his class in a Porsche 908 co-driving with Peter Revson.

Comedian Dick Smothers was serious about his racing, winning his class twice. He finished eighth overall in a Porsche 906E in 1969, and came back two years later to place seventh in a Corvette co-driven by John Greenwood. Paul Newman ran in the 1977 Twelve Hours, joining a list of actors that included James Brolin, Gene Hackman, Bobby Carradine, Craig T. Nelson, Lorenzo Lamas, and Patrick Dempsey, who is expected to compete again in this year’s race.

The star-studded list is impressive – and continues to grow. As Cronkite would say in his signature sign off, “And that’s the way it is.”

To watch a video of President Carter talking about his affection for Sebring, click HERE.

The International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA) is proud to announce its Master and Advanced Jr. Dragster classes have been added to the annual Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL - held during the World Finals in Memphis, Tennessee - and will be will be sponsored by longtime series partner Summit Racing Equipment.

 

"The JR Race Car Jr. Dragster racers are the future of our sport and this announcement is exciting news for them," said IHRA President Scott Gardner. "We would like to thank Summit Racing Equipment, our valued and longtime partner, for adding their support to this class by including them in the Summit Tournament of Champions and posting a most generous purse."

 

The $100,000 Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL debuted in 2009 and is the sport's first nationwide head-to-head tournament to determine the champions in each of the premier sportsman classes in IHRA competition. This revolutionary format not only reduces costs financially for IHRA racers, but it rewards all drivers who have had a successful year with a level playing field where location and finances are not a factor in determining the world champions.

 

The Summit Tournament of Champions has grown exponentially over the past few years and with the recent expansion of the partnership with performance mail order giant Summit Racing Equipment and AMSOIL, the Summit Tournament of Champions continues to grow at a rapid rate and hold its place as the nation's premier sportsman event.

 

The JR Race Car IHRA Jr. Dragsters will compete in the Summit Pro-Am Tour in Divisions 2, 4, 6 and 9 this season. 

 

To qualify for the year-end Summit Tournament of Champions, Master and Advanced Summit Pro-Am Jr. Dragster racers must finish in the top two in points in their respective division.  Once there, all qualified Jr. Dragster drivers will compete in one class in head-to-head competition for the Summit TOC Junior World Championship.

 

Jr. Dragster drivers cannot race the same car in the Summit Super Series and Tournament of Champions should they qualify for both.

 

Junior participants in the Tournament of Champions will compete for the following awards - a total of $4,800 in cash and $1,400 in gift cards -- provided by Summit Racing Equipment:

 

1. $2,000

2. $1,000

3. $700

4. $600

5. $500

6. $400 gift card

7. $300 gift card

8. $300 gift card

9. $200 gift card

10. $200 gift card

 

For more information on the IHRA, please call (419) 663-6666(419) 663-6666 or visit www.IHRA.com. Follow @IHRA on Twitter and Instagram.  Follow us on Facebook

NOLAsport Preparing For Home Cooking In April In New Orleans

Written by
Published in Racing News
Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:11

In 1986, John Crosby and Jon Scheurich brought a Porsche 944 to the Classic Motorsports Mitty event at Road Atlanta, driving it around the famous circuit with street cars.

 

Crosby worked in the New Orleans area, and Scheurich was a 19-year-old college student. They had met around New Orleans, forming a quick friendship over their love of the iconic German cars.

 

Scheurich eventually formed NOLAsport, a successful New Orleans company that specialized in Porsche street car service. Crosby grew his real estate development company, Crosby Development, and competed at Porsche club racing events around the country with Scheurich.

 

Their friendship of nearly 30 years will reach a new level April 10-12 when NOLAsport fields a Platinum Cup Porsche for Crosby to drive in the two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama rounds during the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana Verizon IndyCar Series event at their home track, NOLA Motorsports Park.

 

NOLAsport tested on the 2.74-mile circuit at NOLA Motorsports Park this week along with many other drivers and teams from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned Porsche Single-Make Series.

 

"I told my wife when I got home last night. I've worked with other teams before for these type of events, Daytona, Sebring and stuff like that, and yesterday being on the pit lane with all the equipment and the crews and all the Cup cars out there, it was like a reality check," Scheurich said. "It was like: 'Wow, this is here now. Here at our home track.'"

 

NOLA Motorsports Park, located 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans in Avondale, Louisiana, is more than just a home track for NOLAsport. It's also one of the two home bases for the business.

 

The New Orleans location specializes in servicing Porsche street cars, doing some Porsche race car preparation in the past for club racing customers. But Scheurich, with help from Crosby, jumped at the opportunity about a year ago to expand his race preparation business in a large shop located about 200 yards inside the entrance of NOLA Motorsports Park.

 

"Taking over this facility has allowed us to grow it and try to grow the market and continue the effort," Scheurich said.

 

Crosby, from nearby Mandeville, Louisiana, has a fleet of racing Porsches in NOLAsport's shop at NOLA Motorsports Park. The newest car in the collection is the 911 GT3 Cup car he will drive in as many as four Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama weekends this season as he makes the leap from club racing to semi-professional competition.

 

NOLAsport and Crosby plan to race in the season-opening rounds March 18-20 at Sebring International Raceway, the next two rounds April 10-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park, the two rounds Aug. 21-23 at VIRginia International Raceway and possibly the season finale during Porsche Rennsport Reunion V on Sept. 25-27 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

Crosby and Scheurich realized it made sense to compete in more than just their home race after buying the new car. But they also admit there's no question the addition of the two series rounds at NOLA Motorsports Park prompted them to make the initial financial and mental commitment to race in the series.

 

"We bought this car because the race came to New Orleans," Crosby said. "If the race wasn't here, this wouldn't be happening with this car.

 

"We'll go to Sebring and see how it is with these guys. We did the test, and that was nice, but it's not race traffic. And then come here and do a couple more after."

 

Scheurich has a close relationship with track owners Laney and Ruth Chouest and track president Kristen Engeron. They kept Scheurich abreast of the possible support races for the debut Verizon IndyCar Series race in April 2015 at NOLA, including the prospects of Porsche competition.

 

Once a deal was signed with IMSA to bring Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama to NOLA, it was go time for Scheurich, Crosby and NOLAsport.

 

"We worked with the track," Scheurich said. "They've been telling us along the way it was a possibility, so we've been prepared and ready to go once we knew it was a committed deal."

 

Crosby also has insider knowledge - of the fast, flowing, flat circuit designed by Alan Wilson, whose other layouts include Miller Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park. Crosby estimates he has turned around 3,000 laps on the circuit during its three years of operation.

 

But that home track advantage won't be as helpful as anticipated April 10-12 because the circuit configuration for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana weekend will be slightly different than that used for Porsche club events and track days in which Crosby has participated.

 

"A lot of the track is the same, but a lot is different," Crosby said. "You learn to do this particular turn one way, and it's different. You have habits ingrained so much that you almost have to unlearn what you did. I had a little trouble with that yesterday.

 

"Plus these guys are all good, and they're quick learners. That (home track) advantage lasts about one session, maybe two sessions. And after that, it's all the same."

 

Crosby said he won't change his driving style -- a steady approach to building speed and confidence - during the two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races at NOLA. But he and Scheurich admit to great anticipation and pride about finally being able to compete in a major event in their backyard.

 

"It's a big deal," Crosby said. "It's fun to be part of it and be here. As far as the way I'm going to drive the car, I'm not going to change. I'm going to be fairly conservative. I've got to pay all my own bills, so that part is not going to be much difference. But just being part of it is pretty exciting."

 

Said Scheurich: "This is an awesome thing for us because we've known each other for 20 some-odd years racing Porsches. That's how we met, when I was in college. Two guys who have just as much zest for it in a town that's never really had the opportunity."

Entering her third season in Top Fuel on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit, Brittany Force is still aiming to track down her first career victory.

 

That fact says more about the impressive competition in the Top Fuel class than it does about Force’s young career, which already includes a growing number of accolades. The 2013 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner, Force has advanced to four final founds and also racked up three No. 1 qualifiers.

 

But that first victory has eluded her thus far, something Force hopes to change at the 46th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, March 12-15. It marks the third of 24 races in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and the tradition-rich drag race would mark an ideal location for Force to break into the win column in her 10,000-horsepower John Force Racing dragster.

 

“I am pumped and ready to get to the next race,” Force said. “I am proud of my entire team. We had two pretty good runs (in Phoenix) and got to the second round. We stepped it up in the second round so that was nice to see that performance improvement on race day. Going into Gainesville we will start all over again. Our plan will be to make some good runs and get a good qualifying spot.”

 

The traditional East Coast opener on the Mello Yello Series circuit will feature the biggest stars in the NHRA. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised on ESPN2.

 

Force certainly qualifies as one of the biggest stars in the NHRA as she tries to climb the star-studded Top Fuel ranks headed by reigning world champion Tony Schumacher, who won the most recent event in Phoenix. Other standouts include Kalitta, Antron Brown, Spencer Massey, 2014 rookie of the year Richie Crampton, three-time world champ Larry Dixon, Amalie Motor Oil fan-favorite Terry McMillen, category newcomer Dave Connolly, last year’s series runner-up J.R. Todd and determined Texan Steve Torrence.

 

But Force continues to find her way, making steady improvement. That included her first appearance in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship a season ago, but Force’s mindset is only on the present and that means improving at Gainesville.

 

“I try not to focus too much on last year,” Force said. “I have to focus on today and right now. It is tough out here. I know this team will put everything they can into this dragster and I will do my best job driving, and hopefully we’ll get that first win soon. I am just trying to get back into the groove of driving this Top Fuel dragster.”

 

That’s no easy task and Force doesn’t consider herself a veteran in that department by any stretch. After a first-round loss to start the 2015 season in Pomona, Force picked up her first round win of the year in Phoenix, knocking off Torrence before falling to Kalitta in the quarterfinals.

 

Despite a talented team, led by crew chiefs Todd Smith and Ronnie Thompson, Force knows how vital seat time is for long-term success.

 

“Even going into my third season seat time is so important,” Force said. “I have been out of the seat for a while so now that we are getting the season started I am getting back in the groove. It takes a little while until you are 100 percent comfortable in the seat.”

 

That day is coming soon and Force will work diligently to get that to happen. She knows the potential is there, as evidenced by an extremely successful test session in Phoenix before the season started. The next step is putting those performances together on a consistent basis.

 

“We have a new team and some new guys, but I am excited,” Force said. “We jumped back into it and got off to a tough start but we got it turned around. You just want to get back in that groove, and you want to get comfortable and in the zone as quickly as possible.”

 

Robert Hight was the hero of Funny Car at Gainesville in 2014 defeating team owner John Force in the final. Courtney Force will try to become the first female Funny Car winner at the Gatornationals but reigning world champ Matt Hagan has been red hot, winning the first two events of the year. Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., Del Worsham, three-time national event winner Alexis DeJoria and two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon are all expected to be competitive in Gainesville as well.

              

Allen Johnson, the 2012 Pro Stock world champ, got the best of eventual world champ Erica Enders-Stevens in the final at Gainesville last season. Enders-Stevens is looking for her first Gainesville victory while other top challengers include Winternationals winner and four-time Gatornationals winner Line, Shane Gray, Greg Anderson, Vincent Nobile, Phoenix winner Roger Brogdon, rookie sensation Drew Skillman, Chris McGaha and Jonathan Gray.

 

The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals is the first of 16 events for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. Riders will be looking to knock reigning series and four-time champion Andrew Hines off his title perch. Last year, Hines and his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec dominated the series by combining to win 11 of the 16 events. Others to watch in the two-wheel category include defending Gators winner Johnson, father and son duo Hector Arana Jr. and Hector Arana Sr., three-time world champ Angelle Sampey, and the husband and wife duo of Matt and Angie Smith.

 

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful motorsports attraction on the planet. While visiting the pits, interactive NHRA Nitro Alley and the NHRA Manufacturers Midway, fans will also want to check out NHRA’s popular Hot Rod Junction presented by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum that offers a spectacular display of many nostalgic dragsters, race cars and hot rods on display, including vintage machines that were driven by ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits, K.S. Pittman, Big John Mazmanian and Bruce Larson, among others. There will also be several NHRA Legends of Drag Racing autograph sessions, allowing fans the rare opportunity to meet drag racing stars of the past.

   

Pro qualifying begins on Friday, March 13, with sessions at noon and 3 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, March 14, also at noon and 3 p.m. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 15.

 

The 2015 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series as well as the season-opener in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, log on to www.NHRA.com/tickets or call the NHRA Ticket Sales Center, (800) 884-NHRA (6472). General admission tickets for children 12 and younger are free with any paid adult ticket. Fans can save by purchasing their tickets in advance. For more information about NHRA, log on to www.NHRA.com.

 

NHRA's four-wide racing returns to the ZMax Dragway in March

Written by
Published in Racing News
Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:46

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to the prestigious zMAX Dragway for one of the most exceptional events in the sport of drag racing, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, March 27-29, the fourth of 24 events during the 2015 season.

 

The event, the only one of its kind which gives fans an opportunity to see the world’s best drag racers power their 10,000-horsepower nitro machines side by side by side by side in a four-wide configuration. It’s an experience unlike anything else in drag racing.

               

The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will once again try to tame the one-of-a-kind thrill show at the world’s only four-lane dragstrip. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jimmy Alund (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (PSM) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised on ESPN and ESPN2. Due to ESPN’s live eliminations coverage on Sunday, Mello Yello Series racing will begin at 1 p.m. (ET), an hour later than originally scheduled.

 

Celebrating its sixth running, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals has thrilled fans with never before seen sights in professional drag racing. In most drag racing scenarios, the only things standing in the way of a win light are the Christmas Tree and the competitor in the other lane. In the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, drivers have to contend with those issues times three, with the addition of two more competitors lined up alongside them. For fans, watching four racecars simultaneously accelerate to more than 300 mph is certainly quadruple the fun.

               

In Top Fuel, Brown piloted his Matco Tools dragster to his first career Four-Wide Nationals win last season and claimed six victories on the season, a season best in the category. Brown, the 2012 Top Fuel world champion, has had a strong opening to the 2015 season, claiming a runner-up finish at the season-opening event in Pomona and a semifinal appearance in Phoenix. With a new paint scheme in 2015 dedicated to individual Matco distributors around the country, Brown will be eager to get his new racecar to victory lane in the Tar Heel state.

 

Spencer Massey, Brown’s DSR teammate, has dominated the Charlotte Spring race the last few years, going back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. Fresh off a third place points finish in 2014, Massey will be looking for a third victory in four years in his Red Fuel dragster. Reigning world champ Tony Schumacher has two victories at zMAX Dragway, but is looking for his first in the unique four-lane format. Kalitta Motorsports drivers Doug Kalitta and J.R. Todd, three-time world champ Larry Dixon, reigning rookie of the year Richie Crampton, Brittany Force, Steve Torrence and Leah Pritchett will all be major contenders in Top Fuel.

 

In Funny Car, Robert Hight scored a victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2014, his first of three straight victories on the season. Hight dominated the first half of the regular season before finishing fifth in Funny Car points. The winningest driver in NHRA history at zMAX Dragway with four victories, Hight will bring his new look Auto Club Chevy Camaro SS to the state of the art facility as the only two-time Funny Car winner of the event. Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champ, also won the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2012.

 

Reigning world champ Matt Hagan is a three-time winner at Charlotte including a victory at the four-lane race in 2013. Hagan started his title defense strong by sweeping the season-opening events in Pomona and Phoenix. Hagan, driver of the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T, holds the track speed record with a 322.27 mph pass in September 2011. John Force, the 16-time world champ and winner of the 2010 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, will give his Charlotte fans their first look at his new PEAK Chevy Camaro SS. Funny Car’s winningest female driver Courtney Force, three-time national event winner Alexis DeJoria, 2011 Top Fuel world champ Del Worsham, two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon, 2012 world champ Jack Beckman, third place points finisher Tommy Johnson Jr. and Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps are some of the other Funny Car competitors who are expected to compete for the coveted Wally.

               

Jimmy Alund surprised everyone in Charlotte when he won the event in Pro Stock last season. Substituting for four-time world champ Greg Anderson, who had off-season heart surgery, Alund ran the first five races and struck gold in his final round appearance of 2014. Alund returns to Charlotte with different circumstances this time around, racing one of Anderson’s old Pontiac GXPs. Anderson, a two-time winner of the event, is looking for his first race win since Englishtown in 2012. Summit Racing teammate Jason Line was the runner-up in points last season and opened 2015 with a win at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals.

 

Others to watch in the parity-filled factory hot road category include reigning world champ Erica Enders-Stevens, 2012 world champ Allen Johnson, Phoenix winner Rodger Brogdon, rookie sensation and Pomona runner-up Drew Skillman, Gray Motorsports drivers Shane Gray and Jonathan Gray, Vincent Nobile and V. Gaines.

               

Hines and Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec dominated the Pro Stock Motorcycle season, combining to win 11 of the 16 events in 2014. Hines claimed his first win of the year in Charlotte and claimed five more titles en route to his fourth career world championship, which puts him second on the all-time series champ list in the class. Krawiec, twice a winner at the Charlotte fall event, 2009 world champ Hector Arana Sr., 2013 event winner Hector Arana Jr.; two-time world champ Matt Smith, 2014 Epping winner Angie Smith and former Charlotte winner Steve Johnson will all be competitive in the two-wheeled category.

               

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time with their favorite NHRA drivers.

               

Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

 

NHRA’s new campaign, “Baptism by Nitro” will be making its first appearance at Charlotte in 2015. Inspired by the popular phrase “Baptism by Fire”, a commonly used phrase to describe when an individual is thrust into a new situation, experience or environment, “Baptism by Nitro” is NHRA’s call to encourage long-time fans to introduce a family member or friend to the heart-pounding atmosphere of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

 

Throughout the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, NHRA fans are encouraged to share first-time “Baptism by Nitro” fan experiences on social media. Prizes will be given away all year to the best nitro rookie reactions captured in the pits or in the grandstands and posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All posts should include the hashtag #BaptismbyNitro and tag @NHRA.

 

Prior to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, fans are encouraged to go online and nominate a nitro rookie and explain why their designated candidate deserves a VIP “Baptism by Nitro” experience. The winning entry will receive four tickets to the 2015 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, VIP “Inside the Ropes” access for a nitro warm-up and starting line access where each new fan will be truly baptized by nitro. Fans can log on to www.NHRA.com or visit NHRA’s Facebook page for their chance to win this VIP experience starting February 24. An exciting visual preview of the campaign can be seen and shared at http://bit.ly/BBNitroVid.  

 

Mello Yello Series qualifying begins Friday, March 27, with sessions at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, March 28, also at 1:15 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 29.

 

The 2015 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

 

Be a part of the action all weekend with a Three-Day Pass to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals starting at $99.  Tickets for children 13 and under are free with any paid adult ticket; to purchase general admission or reserved seats please visit www.zMAXDragway.com or call the box office at (800) 455-FANS (3267). For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.

 

Before the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series arrives in North Carolina for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the series will make a stop in Florida for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15, at historic Auto-Club Raceway at Gainesville. Keep up with all the action on ESPN2.

Page 1 of 240