Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
Contact Adam: Email
Polaris Unleashes RZR Factory Racing Program
Today, Polaris Off Road sets a new standard for off-road racing with the launch of the industry’s first comprehensive RZR Factory Racing program and the sport’s first-ever purpose-built race ready UTV. This fully curated program features dedicated Polaris engineers, an elite management team with 12-full time employees that boast over 150 years of combined off-road experience and expertise. Piloting the purpose-built race machine will be three of the sport’s brightest young drivers; Austin Weiland, Brock Heger and Cayden MacCachren.
This truly is an unprecedented program within the industry as typically, the term “factory racing program” has been used loosely to describe OEM-sponsorships and stock vehicle-oriented support for established independent racing programs with pre-existing management teams, crew chiefs and mechanics.
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula One world champion whose versatility as a racecar driver extends well beyond his nearly two-decade F1 career, will continue to diversify his racing resume by running three NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023.
With support from Mobil 1, the world’s leading brand of synthetic motor oil, Button will make his Cup Series debut March 26 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. He will then compete in the inaugural Chicago Street Race on July 2 before culminating his three-race Cup Series slate Aug. 13 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Rick Ware Racing (RWR) will field the No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang that Button will drive in each Cup Series race. Marketing and promotional support is being facilitated by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), Mobil 1’s longtime NASCAR team partner. RWR and SHR collaborated in similar fashion last year for multiple races with a handful of drivers.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Jenson Button as he makes his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series and support him on his journey to making one of his racing dreams a reality,” said Rob Shearer, Director of Global Lubricants Marketing Services, on behalf of Mobil 1. “We’re driven by the love of driving and committed to helping more people get behind the wheel – wherever they may be. Through our partnership, we hope to continue to inspire and serve drivers everywhere – encouraging them to get more out of their drive and reconnect with the adventure of the open road.”
Button won 15 grands prix, including a dominant six-win campaign in 2009 that netted him the F1 title. Upon retiring from F1 in 2017, the British driver has taken on a variety of challenges. It began with sports cars in the Japanese Super GT Series’ GT500 class, where he won the 2018 championship. He then ran a five-race stint in the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship, a drive that included the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Button has even competed in off-road endurance racing, running the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000 in 2019.
Mobil 1 has been there for nearly all of it, with Button’s NASCAR endeavor another chapter in a partnership that began 20 years ago.
“I won the world championship with Mobil 1, and 14 of my 15 wins in Formula One were with Mobil 1, as well as winning the Super GT championship with them. We’ve had a really close relationship over the years and I can’t think of a better partner,” Button said.
“Mobil 1 has been a big part of making these NASCAR races happen for me, so I’m very thankful to them for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working alongside the brand to get the best out of every race weekend.”
Through their shared love of driving and deep history in motorsports, Mobil 1 and Button will connect with the racing community in new and exciting ways – with a focus on delivering exclusive content and uniting driving enthusiasts through activations and experiences.
“Our love for racing at Mobil 1 runs deep, and we’re proud to compete and play a role in so many different series,” said Jei Gort, Global Motorsports and Sponsorships Manager, on behalf of Mobil 1. “This partnership with Jenson intersects two of racing’s most prominent series – NASCAR and F1 – and we’re very excited to be a part of his pursuit for success in NASCAR’s premier division. Through our collaboration, we aim to further celebrate the love of driving and elevate the passion for motorsports.”
Button is one of F1’s most tenured drivers with 306 career starts. His final F1 start was the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix when he subbed for Fernando Alonso, who skipped Monaco to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Button’s last fulltime F1 season was 2016.
“The reason I was able to stay in Formula One for so long was because I always felt I was learning. There was always something new in terms of technologies, or I could still improve my driving or engineering skills within Formula One. When I got to my 17th year in F1, I felt like I lost that hunger a little bit because it wasn’t new anymore. There wasn’t something new to learn,” Button said.
“Stepping away from F1 gave me the opportunity to try different series that excited me. I raced Super GT in Japan. I raced at Le Mans. I raced off-road because it was another skill to learn. You put yourself in a slightly vulnerable position because it’s not your complete skill set, and there’s still more to learn to be as good as the best. I love that challenge of driving new things. It’s slightly out of my comfort zone, and I found that out with off-road trucks.
“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to. It’s a lot heavier with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce. It’s got a sequential gearbox where you need to blip the throttle, so there’s lots of stuff to learn in a very short space of time.
“But I just get excited about that new challenge, and when I throw myself into something, I am 100 percent in. I’m not just doing it for fun in some one-off. I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive, it’s going to take a bit of time. That’s why doing these three races works very well this season.”
Button isn’t totally unfamiliar with a NASCAR Cup Series stock car. He is part of the Garage 56 driver lineup, which is taking a slightly modified Cup Series car to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans June 10-11 at Circuit de la Sarthe.
“The first time I jumped into the Garage 56 car, it was like, ‘What have I done? This is so different,’ and that lasted about four laps. Then it was like, ‘Hang on, it’s still a racecar. It’s got four tires that touch the road. It’s a mechanical racecar, which is even better for learning.’ I’ve really enjoyed the challenge,” said Button, who has now tested the Garage 56 car at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and earlier this week at COTA.
“A Cup car has a lot less downforce and is a lot heavier, but the Garage 56 car has given me an idea of what it will be like along with a direction, which is really useful. I know in my first race I’m not expected to be qualifying right at the front and I’m not expected to be fighting for a victory. I have a lot of respect for the drivers racing in the Cup Series. There’s so much talent there, whether it’s on ovals or road courses.
“Ten years ago, people used to say NASCAR guys can’t drive around a circuit, but I think they’ve proven that they can. Every time an ex-F1 driver gets in a stock car these days, they struggle initially. It takes a while for them to get up to speed, so I don’t expect to be right at the front, straight away. That’s why, for me, doing more than one race is really key so I can get the best out of myself and the best out of the car.”
When it comes to expectations, particularly at COTA where Button made five F1 starts, he has no predictions.
“The most important thing for me is to enjoy it,” Button said. “I want to feel comfortable in the car knowing that I can get as much out of the car in any situation as other people out on track. The result is the result and we’ll see what happens, but I want to get the confidence to brake as late as I’d like, to carry the speed through the high-speed corners, and to be able to race close – wheel-to-wheel with the pack.”
If there is one person who understands the transition Button will face going from open-wheel racecars to stock cars, it is Mobil 1 ambassador Tony Stewart. Before he became a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Stewart was the 1997 IndyCar Series champion. Stewart even has a bit of Formula One experience – he drove Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 championship-winning McLaren MP4-23 on June 14, 2011 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in a seat swap orchestrated by Mobil 1.
“It’s always a challenge to try a new racing discipline, and the best thing you can bring to a new opportunity like this is an open mind,” Stewart said. “Jenson has been doing that his entire career. Those F1 cars evolve every year, and Jenson always found a way to adapt. And when he got out of F1, he jumped into sports cars and won another championship. He’s even done off-road. There’s very little that he hasn’t experienced in a racecar. He’s new to NASCAR, but he’s not new to racing. This is going to be fun for all of us, and we’re very appreciative of Mobil 1 for making it happen.”
Button’s NASCAR Cup Series debut begins on Saturday, March 25 at COTA with practice and qualifying for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. The 68-lap race around the 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course gets underway at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 26 with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Pennsylvania-based, nationwide manufacturer of reflective insulation products, Low-E, has forged a unique partnership with World of Outlaws to sponsor qualifying for the Sprint Car, Late Model and Super DIRTcar Series. Low -E also has partnered to power Shark Racing’s 1A sprint car model with a more efficient use of its fuel. Low-E has equipped Bobby Allen’s 1A World of Outlaws Sprint Car, driven by Jacob Allen (@JacobAllen1a) of Hanover, PA, with its products that reflect heat away from the fuel cell and keep the fuel in the tank from getting too hot prior to racing. This provides cooler fuel which runs superior to hot fuel, resulting in enhanced performance.
“We partnered with World of Outlaws because of the unique opportunity it provided for us to demonstrate, first-hand, the useful innovation of our products. If reflective insulation can increase the performance and efficiency of a Sprint Car, imagine what it can do for a whole home or commercial space,” says Tom Miller, president of Low-E Insulation. “Along with being involved with the series, we wanted to support Jacob Allen and Shark Racing. He is a rising star in the sport, his dad is a legend in racing, and their shop is just down the road from our headquarters. We're extremely excited!”
Jacob Allen will race in more than 80 races throughout the year. Eight of these races will be in the special Low-E 1A Sprint Car, with six taking place as part of the “Low-E Reflective Insulation Spring Showdown” in March. The Spring Showdown is already underway, with upcoming races planned for:
Friday, March 10 - Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown @ the Speed Palace
Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, PA
Saturday, March 11 - Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown @ the Speed Palace
Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, PA
Friday, March 17- Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown @ The Grove
Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA
Saturday, March 18 - Low-E Insulation Spring Showdown @ Pigeon Hills
Lincoln Speedway (PA), Abbottstown, PA
Fans can see the car and interact with the racing team by attending the races in person. Every World of Outlaws and Super DIRTcar Series race can also be viewed live on DIRTVision. Jacob will race the Low-E Reflective Insulation car at two additional races during Knoxville Nationals in August.
“We love the passion of Sprint Car fans that can be found here in Central PA and across the country,” adds Miller. “We got involved with the World of Outlaws because such a wide cross-section of the country is represented in this sport, allowing us to showcase the power of our products in almost any application. Internal, external, metal or post frame buildings, new construction or retro-fit, we have products for all of it!”
Which NASCAR Manufacturer Has The Edge At Phoenix Raceway?
Statistically, Phoenix Raceway is Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick’s best track, and after announcing that his retirement will be at the end of the season, he has just two chances left to become the sixth different driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win 10 or more races at a single track.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick, returns to Phoenix Raceway as the series leader in wins at the 1-mile track with nine victories (2006 sweep, 2012 Playoff race, 2013 Playoff race, 2014 sweep, 2015 Spring race, 2016 Spring race, 2018 Spring race). Now, the 47-year-old veteran has the opportunity join an elite list of drivers with 10 or more wins at a single track - Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt. NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most tracks with 10 or more wins at five different tracks – Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Richmond, Rockingham and Daytona.
Catch all the action at 3:30pm Eastern. The race is available on your local FOX station. It can also be heard on MRS, as well as SiriusXM Radio.
Toyota GR Supra Launches as NHRA Jr Roadster
Toyota continues to make its mark on the NHRA after more than 20 years competing professionally in the series with the collaboration effort to unveil the new Jr. Roadster. In support of NHRA, Half Scale and Antron Brown to establish this new class, Toyota and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) engineers developed the GR Supra Jr. Roadster as the first of its kind. The addition to the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League hopes to encourage families interested in getting their kids involved in drag racing at a young age to look at this as an additional option to the popular Jr. Dragster class.
“The motivation behind developing the GR Supra Jr. Roadster nearly two years ago was primarily around the concept of giving families an alternative to the already-popular Jr. Dragster class within NHRA,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager, Toyota Racing. “With the Jr. Roadster, it has a shorter wheelbase compared to the dragster and therefore can ideally fit in the bed of a Tundra and taken to the racetrack. Our TRD engineers have worked closely with Antron Brown, who fields Jr. Dragsters, to ensure that the new Jr. Roadster is ready for a class of its own and we hope that our other OEM partners in NHRA will design their own bodies for the cars and we can see them all competing very soon.”
The GR Supra body was unveiled in November 2021 for the Funny Cars of J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria. Both competed with the new body for the 2022 season and were joined by Ron Capps who went on to win the championship. Using the GR Supra as the look for the new Jr. Roadster was only logical based on the excitement and fan reaction that’s been seen since the GR Supra Funny Car took to the track. The GR Supra Jr. Roadster body was built by Riggeal Fiberglass in Pennsylvania.
“It’s truly thrilling to see a new vision like the GR Supra Jr. Roadster from Toyota and have that be a future option for young racers,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “The GR Supra delivered an impressively innovative body style into the Funny Car ranks last year, and for our young competitors in the Jr. Dragster ranks to have the chance to match their favorite racers is a great opportunity. Toyota continues to show its strong commitment to drag racing and the importance of providing exciting options to our young racers and the future of NHRA drag racing.”
NHRA’s Jr. Dragster class started in 1992 and has proven a popular launching point for young racers looking to start their careers in drag racing. The class currently competes at over 130 NHRA member tracks across the country on any given week. Some current Toyota Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers got their start behind the wheel of a Jr. Dragster including J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon and Justin Ashley. With the new Jr. Roadster class, the hope will be that future generations can have yet another option to compete on the drag strip.
“The Jr. Dragster class has really been a pivotal piece of NHRA since its inception,” said Antron Brown, Toyota Top Fuel driver. “My kids have raced them and several of my competitors got their start racing them or have kids or family members of their own competing. The addition of the Jr. Roadster class is important for so many reasons, but the primary objective for all of us that have been involved in its development was to give families an option that doesn’t require a trailer or additional costs to bring the car to the track and these will give them that opportunity.”
There is currently no designated time frame from NHRA as to when the Jr. Roadster class will begin competing, but GR Supra Jr. Roadsters will be available for purchase through Half Scale (HalfScale.com).
Ryan Shehan Wins Season-Opening Race 1 at NOLA
Ryan Shehan won the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) season opener at NOLA Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon. The 18-year-old returned to America just a few weeks ago after spending the winter in New Zealand to race in the Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
With a strong weekend so far, Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) paced opening practice before taking the pole position in Saturday morning’s qualifying session. A quick jump at lights out placed him in control of the race before the field even reached Turn 1.
Nick Persing (No. 29 OPI Commercial Builders Inc. Ligier JS F3) held the pressure during the early laps of the race, but fatigue started to kick in for the driver who had already completed three track sessions in the 80-degree temperatures, including two Radical Cup North America races. By lap 8, Shehan finally opened up a 1.117-second lead, which he steadily grew lap after lap.
Meanwhile, as the laps ticked down, Persing found himself feeling the pressure of a closing Cooper Becklin (No. 19 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3). Once separated by over a second, Becklin had closed the gap to just a few car lengths with less than three minutes left in the race. In an intense battle, both drivers took turns locking their brakes before Becklin finally pulled side-by-side with Persing heading into Turn 1 while racing toward the white flag. With Persing in the better line, Becklin was unable to complete the pass, leaving Persing to claim the second position.
As they crossed the line, it was Shehan, followed by Persing, and then Becklin, to each claim their first podium finish of the 2023 season.
“I saw Nick in my mirrors for a good chunk of the race and then he just kind of disappeared,” said Shehan from the podium. “I couldn’t tell how close he was, so I just kept going. I knew that if I backed off there was a chance that he could catch back up. I kept pushing until I took the white flag, and I’m just so thankful to take this win. I have to thank the whole team at Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport. The fact that we can come out here and be competitive in our first race shows how good of a team they are, and how good their preparation is.”
READ MORE: Race 1 Provisional Results
FR Americas returns to the track tomorrow for Race 2 at 10:55 a.m. CT, followed by Race 3 at 2:45 p.m. CT. Follow the championship on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or watch Race Monitor for live timing and scoring. This weekend’s races are streaming free at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.
WATCH THE STREAM: FR Americas Race 1
About Formula Regional Americas Championship & Formula 4 United States Championship, Powered by Honda: The FIA-certified Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.) & Formula Regional Americas Championship (FR Americas) are designed as entry-level open-wheel racing series offering young talent the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on an international platform while keeping affordability and safety as key elements. The Championships align with the global FIA development ladder philosophy of using common components to provide a cost-efficient, reliable and powerful racing structure as drivers ascend through the levels on their way to U.S. or global racing success. The F4 U.S. Champion is awarded a scholarship to compete the following season in FR Americas, while the FR Americas Champion is awarded a Super Formula Scholarship from Honda Performance Development and Honda Racing Corporation.
Carl Bennett secured his first Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) win in the season-opening race at NOLA Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon. Kicking off his second season in F4 U.S., the result marked Bennett’s first-career podium finish in the series.
“This is my first win with formula cars, and that was just amazing,” said Bennett from the podium. “That was quite the battle that I had on the last lap. I’m still a little breathless right now. Just an amazing day.”
Michael Costello (No. 19 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4) left the starting grid from the first position, but an incident on first lap relegated him to the seventh position by the time the field came back around to complete lap 1. Meanwhile, Daniel Cara (No. 10 Tenuta Foppa & AmbrosiLigier JS F4) rolled off from the seventh position, but he quickly climbed his way up to second with a strong start off the line. By lap 3, Cara took over the lead and paced the field for three laps before contact and a spin in Turn 2 took him out of contention.
Through all of the chaos, Bennett drove a steady race in his No. 9 Gonella Racing Ligier JS F4. After starting third, the driver climbed to second by the third lap, before passing Frankie Mossman (No. 6 JHDD / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4) on a restart to overtake the lead on lap 9. With pressure from both Patrick Woods-Toth (No. 27 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) in second and Titus Sherlock (No. 31 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) in third, Bennett continued to hit his marks to lead the trio across the finish line.
READ MORE: Race 1 Official Results
F4 U.S. returns to the track tomorrow for Race 2 at 9:05 a.m. CT, followed by Race 3 at 1:50 p.m. CT. Follow the championship on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or use Race Monitor to follow live timing and scoring. This weekend’s races are streaming free at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.
WATCH THE STREAM: F4 U.S. Race 1 at NOLA
Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) kicked off his 2023 Progressive American Flat Track championship campaign in near-perfect fashion, completing the second half of the season-opening double win with another sensational ride in Saturday night’s DAYTONA Short Track II presented by Daytona Dodge at the Flat Track at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Daniels was already a legitimate title contender as a rookie a year ago. Early indications suggest he’s that much stronger now with a year’s Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle experience under his belt.
The Estenson Racing Yamaha ace got away off the line in third, running in close quarters behind early leader Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Indian FTR750) and Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750), with Thursday runner-up Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) right in his tracks.
Robinson made an early exit from the fight for the win, getting into the airfence and losing several positions in the process. Daniels slipped up the inside of Mees a little less than three minutes into the ten-minute-plus-two-lap Main to take over second, just as Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) closed in to make it four-rider fight at the front again.
Daniels then spent the next four minutes stalking Vanderkooi, looking up the inside and around outside, while generally applying the sort of pressure that might just open a door straight through. He finally found the gap he was looking for with 3:30 minutes remaining on the clock, striking up the inside as the leaders encountered a wave of lapped riders.
Daniels met little resistance once into the lead, stretching out an advantage that finalized as a 2.069-second margin of victory in the end.
“It was tough – Jarod was running a really good race,” Daniels said. “He was being patient – he was really easy on the throttle and wasn’t making any mistakes. I had to search. I wanted to sit there for a little bit. After I got off the line, I was all right with where I was, and I was paying attention to everything. I wanted to stalk him for a while, but then it was time to go.
“A double at Daytona is crazy. It’s unbelievable. A big thanks to the whole Estenson Monster Energy Yamaha team. We had a great year last year, and to start off the year with two wins in Daytona is insane.”
Shortly after Daniels took over the lead, Fisher slashed his way past Mees to complete the “new guard” podium line-up in third, joining winner Daniels and second-placed Vanderkooi.
Reigning champ Mees came away with his second fourth of the double-opener – a marked upgrade over how his prospects may have looked earlier in the week. Meanwhile, Daniels’ teammate, JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), logged a second fifth.
Robinson recovered well enough from his early drama to finish in sixth, one spot ahead of Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 890 Duke), who was forced to claw his way up to seventh from outside the top ten.
Four-time DAYTONA ST winner Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Martin Trucking/Castrol Yamaha MT-07), privateer Kayl Kolkman (No 98 B&L Plumbing/Rod Lake Yamaha MT-07), and Royal Enfield factory man Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) completed the top ten.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Defending Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) doubled up in Daytona, delivering a second dose of domination on Saturday night.
Clearly in a class of his own at the venue, Kopp pulled off another sweep, repeating his Thursday trick of topping practice, qualifying, his Heat, the Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Challenge, and most importantly, the Main Event.
Kopp successfully weaved his way through the opening lap chaos to secure the lead three turns into the race. And while Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) did everything in his power to cling onto Kopp’s rear wheel, a little more than a minute in, the race for victory was effectively over.
Kopp ultimately worked his advantage up to over five seconds before taking a drama-free checkered flag.
“It’s just two for 18,” Kopp said. “We’ve got 16 more rounds, so there’s a lot more work to do. You can’t judge a season off two races at a track that really suits my style. I grew up riding a lot of indoors in the Pacific Northwest, and this was kinda like that. Thanks to my whole Red Bull KTM crew – this is a dream way to start the season for sure.”
After losing touch with the leader, Saathoff was gradually reeled in by ‘22 championship runner-up Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F), who first had to fight his way past Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) and Justin Jones (No. 91 NRC Racing/Elder Trucking KTM 450 SX-F) to slide into third.
Gauthier and Saathoff then swapped the second spot back and forth, squaring one another up in quick succession before the charging Gauthier finally stole the position away for good.
Saathoff held on for the final spot on the box by a scant 0.084 seconds despite having to fend off a late challenge from new Turner Honda teammate Lowe.
Kopp’s teammate, Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), battled past the impressive Jones to complete the top five.
The world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series makes its first-ever trip to Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia, for the inaugural Yamaha Senoia Short Track on Saturday, March 25. Visit https://www.tixr.com/promoters/americanflattrack to secure your tickets today.
For those that can’t catch the live action from the circuit, FansChoice.tv is the live streaming home of Progressive AFT. Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action starting with Practice & Qualifying and ending with the Victory Podium at the end of the night at https://www.fanschoice.tv.
FOX Sports coverage, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 from the DAYTONA Short Track I on March 18 at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT) and DAYTONA Short Track II on March 19 at 12:30 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. PT).
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
Garg Earns First IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Win