Wednesday, Feb 01
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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  

  

 

 Keeping the momentum, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship format is undergoing a major overhaul in 2023.

 

The new model will be an elimination style format designed to reward the worthiest, battle-tested driver at the end of the season. In addition to the revitalized championship format, more than $470,000 has been added to the championship point fund, bringing the grand total for the Big River Steel Chase for the Championship presented by ARP to just over $1,000,000.

 

Under the new model, the field will be whittled down to a final four drivers through four rounds of eliminations. The remaining four drivers will go into the season finale at Eldora Speedway with an equal chance to win the championship. 

 

After the first round of eliminations, there will be 15 drivers. After the second round, the field will drop to twelve, and following the third round eight drivers will remain. The final round of eliminations will leave only four drivers in championship contention.

 

The four rounds of eliminations are:

  • Round of 15: Sunoco Road to Wheatland: May 27 at Lucas Oil Speedway; 31st Annual Show-Me 100
  • Round of 12: Summit Racing Equipment Super Twelve: July 15 at Lucas Oil Speedway; 17th Annual Diamond Nationals
  • Round of 8: UNOH Great Eight: August 26 at Port Royal Speedway; The Rumble by the River
  • Round of 4: Big River Steel Big Four: September 30 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway; 35th Annual Pittsburgher

 

Following each round of eliminations, the teams advancing to the next round will be awarded the following cash bonuses:

  • Sunoco Road to Wheatland: 1. $2,500, 2. $1,500, 3. $1,500, 4. $1,500, 5. $1,500, 6. $1,000, 7. $1,000, 8. $1,000, 9. $1,000, 10. $1,000, 11. $500, 12. $500, 13. $500, 14. $500, 15. $500 = $16,000
  • Summit Racing Equipment Super Twelve: 1. $5,000, 2. $1,000, 3. $1,000, 4. $1,000, 5. $1,000, 6. $1,000, 7. $1,000, 8. $1,000, 9. $1,000, 10. $1,000, 11. $1,000, 12. $1,000 = $16,000
  • UNOH Great Eight: 1. $7,500, 2. $1,500, 3. $1,500, 4. $1,500, 5. $1,500, 6. $1,500, 7. $1,500, 8. $1,500 = $18,000
  • Big River Steel Big Four: 1. $10,000, 2. $2,000, 3. $2,000, 4. $2,000 = $16,000

 

Drivers will continue to earn points at every event throughout the season based on the traditional championship point structure. At the season finale, points for the Big River Steel Big Four drivers will be consolidated. The first of the four drivers to cross the finish line in the 43rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship will be crowned the 2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion. 

 

2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Point Fund:

1. $200,000

2. $150,000

3. $125,000

4. $100,000

5. $75,000

6. $60,000

7. $50,000

8. $45,000

9. $40,000

10. $35,000

11. $30,000

12. $25,000

Chase Bonuses: $66,000

Point Fund: $935,000

Total: $1,001,000

 

“The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has seen tremendous growth throughout its history,’ said Rick Schwallie, Series Director. “We look forward to crowning our 18th National Champion, Tim McCreadie, on Friday night. As we look ahead to our 19th season, we’re ready for an action-packed season that will culminate in our first ever visit to the historic Eldora Speedway. Only twice in our Series history has the championship been contested at the season finale. The Dirt Track World Championship is an event that is worthy of crowning a Champion. Not only will the crown jewel pay $100,000 to win, but now, the race inside the race is worthy of the persona that is the Dirt Track World Championship. For us to be proud of this program, there were two key factors. First, the event needed to be contested at the speedway that dirt late model racing calls home, Eldora. Second, the four finalists contending for a national title needed to be well compensated for their efforts all season. The unwavering dedication of Lucas Oil, our exclusive broadcast partner FloRacing, and our great marketing partners allow us to strive as the elite dirt late model tour.”

 

"We are passionately committed to our involvement in motorsports and the continued growth of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. We are incredibly excited about the new million-dollar point fund and elimination-style championship format for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series - it elevates the drama, the action, the stories, and the passion that fans like us have for these drivers and teams," said Morgan Lucas, president of Lucas Oil. "Motorsports, and the Late Models series specifically, is in our DNA. Ratcheting up the fan experience and excitement for the sport while celebrating and supporting these tremendous athletes is a win-win. I can't wait to see how this season shakes out."

 

The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship presented by ARP kicks off at Golden Isles Speedway with the Super Bowl of Racing on January 25-28. From there, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is back at Bubba Raceway Park for two nights on January 29-30 before heading to All-Tech Raceway, February 2-4. The 47th Annual Wieland Winternationals will close out Speedweeks, February 5-11, at East Bay Raceway Park.

 

For a complete Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule, please visit www.lucasdirt.com

It was announced at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show (PRI) that Thad Moffitt, grandson of racing legend Richard Petty, will compete full time in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA2 class in 2023. Moffitt and Trans Am president John Clagett unveiled the No. 43 Safety-Kleen Chevrolet Camaro that Moffitt will pilot in his championship effort for TeamSLR. The Petty blue Chevy from constructor M1 Racecars will run out of TeamSLR’s headquarters in St. Augustine, Florida with support from Petty’s Garage in Randleman, North Carolina.
 
Moffitt comes to the longest-running professional road racing series in North America following six seasons in the ARCA Menards Series, earning 10 top fives and 29 top-10 finishes in 49 starts between the National, East and West series. In 2022, Moffitt competed in a part-time effort in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 22-year-old is also the 2016 Southeast Limited Late Model champion.
 
“I can’t wait to join the Trans Am Series in 2023,” said Moffitt. “The TA2 class is one of the most competitive places to race in all of motorsports, and it will be great to have a chance to race against the huge fields that include champions like Rafa Matos, Mike Skeen and Thomas Merrill. The series races at some of the most historic tracks in the country, with high-profile events like the Music City Grand Prix and Detroit Grand Prix; I am so grateful to have this opportunity.”
 
Moffitt’s grandfather Petty drove a Plymouth Barracuda for Team Starfish in the fourth ever Trans Am race in history at VIRginia International Raceway in July of 1966, starting fourth and finishing eighth in the Over 2.0 Liter class. With one title under his belt at the time, Petty is now a seven-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, having amassed 200 race wins, including seven victories in the Daytona 500. Petty was inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 
“I am so proud that Thad is going to be running in the Trans Am Series next year,” said Petty. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for him to drive in such a competitive series and learn road racing. I love that we’re able to bring the No. 43 to Trans Am, and it will be so special to see a member of our family race that Petty blue Camaro. I am very appreciative to Safety-Kleen for helping make this possible through our continued partnership.”
 
Safety-Kleen, the largest re-refiner of used oil and provider of parts cleaning services in North America, has a long history in motorsports and a long-running relationship with Petty. The company has been involved in NASCAR since 1963, and is an official partner of 145 professional racing teams and provides services at 65 race tracks.
 
“We are thrilled to have another member of the Petty family race in the Trans Am Series,” said Clagett. “Our series, particularly in the TA2 class, has seen so much growth in recent years, and it’s because of the talented young drivers like Thad joining us. It’s going to be great to see that iconic No. 43 take the green flag in Sebring.”
 
Moffitt will make his Trans Am debut when the 2023 season kicks off at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on February 23-26. To prepare for that debut, Moffitt will participate in the pre-season test at Sebring Jan. 25-26 under the guidance of father-and-son duo Scott Lagasse and Scott Lagasse, Jr. The TeamSLR co-owners have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks.
 
“We’ve been very impressed with Thad’s work ethic and his desire to compete,” said Scott Lagasse, Jr. “TA2 is a great place to learn race craft, and with more and more NASCAR races on road and street courses, it’s an excellent way for drivers to increase their versatility. You can hustle a TA2 car for an entire race, just like qualifying laps. Trans Am is growing and it gets more competitive each year. There are a lot of great racers and it takes a lot to win each race.”

 MTRSPT1, the live streaming network delivering premium motorsports entertainment to a worldwide audience, has signed a multi-year agreement with SLING TV, the live streaming TV service available on all major streaming devices, smart televisions, tablets, game consoles, computers and smartphones.

MTRSPT1 is the one-stop destination for all motorsports fans. Featuring LIVE races, 40+ series and more than 2,000 hours of content, the channel promises to be a great addition to SLING’s lineup as the only motorsports channel selected to launch on the platform. Now all SLING users can enjoy the two-wheel, four-wheel and other racing action for free, along with magazine and builder shows, documentaries and lifestyle programming, with no payment or credit card required to watch.

“We are committed to making our world-class content accessible to all motorsports fans across all platforms and with SLING TV we continue to deliver on that commitment” said John Duff, MTRSPT1 Chief Operating Officer.

For more information about programming, visit www.MTRSPT1.com.

Formula DRIFT has renewed its partnership with GT Radial for another three-year term to provide tires to teams in the PRO Championship through the 2025 season. Additionally, GT Radial has extended its agreement to remain the Official Tire of PROSPEC for another two years, taking it through the 2024 season. 

Joining PROSPEC in 2021, all drivers will continue to compete on GT Radial Champiro SX2RS tires, which are made at the company’s plant in Chester County, SC.

For the 2023 PROSPEC Championship, the teams will again compete in four rounds, with the first scheduled for May 12-13 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The season finale will again take place at Utah Motorsports Park on September 14-16.

 

2023 FORMULA DRIFT PROSPEC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

VENUE

LOCATION

CHAMPIONSHIP

DATE

Road Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

PROSPEC

May 11-13

Englishtown Raceway Park

Englishtown, NJ

PROSPEC

June 22-24

World Wide Technology Raceway

St Louis, MO

PROSPEC

July 13-15

Utah Motorsports Park

Grantsville, UT

PROSPEC

Sept 14-16

 

In the Formula DRIFT PRO Series, GT Radial clinched second position in the 2022 FD Tire Cup, which awards points to top finishers for each tire brand. After finishing fifth in its first year, GT Radial rose to third last year before securing second at the Final Round of 2022. This was largely thanks to strong performances by drivers such as Jeff Jones, Travis Reeder, Kazuya Taguchi, Chris Forsberg and more.

“Formula DRIFT has proven to be an excellent showcase for our ‘American-engineered, American-produced’ Champiro SX2 RS tires, so we are thrilled to renew our partnership,” said Mike Meeiem, Motorsport Manager for Giti Tire USA. “Team members at our South Carolina plant take great pride in the performance of their tires in the world’s most demanding drift competition, and they had a lot to cheer about this year.”

The series organizers are equally upbeat about the continued partnership: “We’re extremely pleased to have GT Radial commit to another three years with Formula DRIFT and continue to support PROSPEC for at least another two,” said Ryan Sage, President of Formula DRIFT. “As we continue to promote the importance of PROSPEC to ensure a strong contingent of qualified drivers able to be promoted to the FD PRO Championship each year, it’s good to know they’re using some of the best tires available to prepare the drivers for the next step in their careers.” 

WeatherTech Racing will compete in the GTD Pro category for the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicking-off with next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 28-29.

 

Jules Gounon (France) and Daniel Juncadella (Spain) will drive the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the 2023 season. Maro Engel (Germany) will join for the endurance races with Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.) coming onboard for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

 

MacNeil will run a reduced schedule with only the Rolex 24 At Daytona at this time and will take on more of a management role with the team throughout season. The Proton Competition crew, headed by Christian Ried, will once again direct the program.

 

“We are happy to announce that Jules and Dani will be running with us for the full IMSA WeatherTech Championship in 2023,” MacNeil said. “I consider them to be among the best Mercedes-AMG GT drivers in the world. Last year we had a parade of drivers through the car and couldn’t really compete for the championship. Maro will join us for the longer races and adds a wealth of knowledge to the team. With our strong support from Mercedes-AMG, those three guys driving the car, and WeatherTech/Proton Racing spearheading the operation, I like our chances every weekend in the GTD Pro Class. I have won Petit Le Mans three times, Sebring twice, finished on the podium at the 24 hours of Le Mans three times, and a few championships along the way.

 

“In 2015 we finished second at Daytona, so the Rolex 24 is one of the last events to win on my racing to-do list. I will forever love the sport of racing but after 15 years it is time for me to turn the page and focus on the more important things in life like family and work at our company.”

 

For Gounon he is thankful and ready for 2023. The Frenchman had a very strong 2022 winning the Spa 24 Hour, Bathurst 12 Hour, Kyalami 9 Hour, and the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Championship.

 

“I’m amazed and thankful to Cooper and David MacNeil to trust Dani and myself to take over the No. 79 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the IMSA GTD Pro Class for 2023,” Gounon said. “We will give it our all to get the WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the front and get a big trophy at the end of the year. I think the line-up we have with Dani and Maro is very strong, and we will be very good with Cooper at the Rolex 24 as well. We all complete each other in different areas. We really make a great team. I really enjoy their company and am looking forward to a great year.”

 

Teaming with Gounon in 2022, Juncadella won the Spa 24 Hour, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Championship, Indianapolis 8 Hour, and won the Intercontinental GT World Challenge Championship last weekend.

 

“I am super excited, next year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting chapters of my career,” Juncadella said. “It was a last-minute call for Daytona last year and then it turned into a couple more races with Cooper in the WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 which was fun. It was surprising to me, I discovered IMSA is one of the most exciting championships happening around the globe right now. It is great that we have managed to get our deal together to run the whole season with Jules for 2023 and WeatherTech Racing. On top of that, having Maro in the car for the endurance races and Cooper for the Rolex 24 puts the cherry on top. We start with the big race first the Rolex 24. We were competitive last year; we now have to bring it to the finish line.”

 

The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will start with the traditional Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona International Speedway, January 20-22. The 81st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will take the green January 28.

 

For more information on WeatherTech Racing, including race recaps, photos and team gear, please visit the team site at www.WeatherTechRacing.com

CrowdStrike Racing is taking a competitive step up in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2023 with a new LMP2 effort that will kick off with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 28-29.

 

CrowdStrike Racing with Algarve Pro Racing (APR) will contest the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds for the new season. George Kurtz will be one of the drivers in the No. 4 ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2 entry for the four premier races on the IMSA calendar: the Rolex 24, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans.

 

“This is a big step forward for the growth of CrowdStrike Racing,” Kurtz said. “I really enjoy long-distance endurance racing and the challenges it presents. These races will test the team and drivers on the same track used by some of the top competitors in the world. The team aspect of endurance racing is important to me – for success to be achieved, everyone must do their job. It’s one way the world of business matches the world of racing. I can’t wait to get started with our new team.”

 

For the previous two seasons, Kurtz competed in the LMP3 class with IMSA team champion CORE autosport. Kurtz was part of the driver lineup that recorded a Sebring victory to go along with additional podium finishes. He also drove in the championship-clinching race at Petit Le Mans. Kurtz enters the 2023 season with solid momentum following an overall victory at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in an LMP3 entry from CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports.

 

The lineup for the CrowdStrike Racing by APR entry is very strong. Joining Kurtz for each of the four long-distance races will be drivers Ben Hanley, the Rolex 24 LMP2 winner in 2020, and Matt McMurry, a two-time IMSA champion, LMDh test driver and engineer who won the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with Kurtz. Esteban Gutiérrez, former F1 driver and current ambassador for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, will round out the lineup as the fourth driver for the Rolex 24.

 

The driving roster will share an ORECA closed-top prototype with a minimum weight of 2,050 pounds (930 kg) and power coming from a 4.2-liter Gibson V8 engine that produces in excess of 600hp.  

 

CrowdStrike Renews IMSA Official Partnership

The move to LMP2 coincides with CrowdStrike’s second season as an Official Partner of IMSA and as the presenting sponsor of the WeatherTech Championship’s Endurance, Teamwork and Speed Award for Michelin Endurance Cup events.

 

The honor recognizes the team in each IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship class that demonstrates the unique qualities needed to be successful in long and grueling IMSA endurance races. Earning this award requires the powerful combination of performance on the racetrack and on pitlane by demonstrating:

  • Endurance: Running at the finish of the race;
  • Teamwork: The most efficient time on pitlane, putting a premium on efforts by the driver and crew;
  • Speed: A car’s best qualifying time and fastest race lap.

 

The philosophies within the Endurance, Teamwork and Speed Award mirror how CrowdStrike approaches its role as one of the world’s leading providers of cybersecurity services. In racing, as in cybersecurity, success comes from delivering superior performance, having a relentless, team-based focus on execution, and understanding that the clock doesn’t lie — speed matters.

 

In addition to sponsoring the Endurance, Teamwork and Speed Award, CrowdStrike’s IMSA partnership will also include on-track signage at the Michelin Endurance Cup tracks such as Daytona International Speedway. CrowdStrike will also host exclusive IMSA VIP experiences for CrowdStrike VIPs and guests at select WeatherTech Championship races throughout the season.

 

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is scheduled for Jan. 28-29 from Daytona International Raceway. The race will stream live on Peacock with coverage on NBC and USA throughout the weekend.

 

BEN HANLEY – NO. 4 CROWDSTRIKE ORECA 07-GIBSON LMP2: “First off, I’m very excited to be part of a new program like this with CrowdStrike Racing and APR. All the drivers have good experience in endurance racing. These test days are really important to get to know one another and to have the team, the drivers and everyone to start working together. The biggest thing is knowing what one another likes in the car and achieving that balance that everyone is happy with. It’ll be important to get George a lot of laps and a lot of time in the car so he can be as comfortable as possible before we get to Daytona.”

 

ESTEBAN GUTIÉRREZ – NO. 4 CROWDSTRIKE ORECA 07-GIBSON LMP2: “My experience in endurance racing has been great from all aspects and I’m very excited to add another milestone by competing at the emblematic 24 Hours of Daytona. George and I have been friends for a few years now and it will be a real pleasure racing alongside him. I feel very grateful for him and CrowdStrike for this opportunity. Let’s go for the win!"  

 

MATT MCMURRY – NO. 4 CROWDSTRIKE ORECA 07-GIBSON LMP2: “CrowdStrike Racing and George have a championship history in global motorsports, so it’s a massive honor to be invited to join a team with this kind of history and level of expectation. We’re 1 for 1 together with the win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill recently and I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got to keep that pace going.”

 

For more information, visit CrowdStrikeRacing.com. Follow #CrowdStrikeRacing on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates.

 

By Holly Cain

IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The photos on social media are intriguing, the construction videos a play-by-play appreciated throughout the racing community. Two of the sport’s iconic venues – Wisconsin’s Road America and California’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – are being repaved after providing decades of history-making racing.

 

And race fans can’t seem to get enough of the process.

 

“It was a lot of fun actually,’’ John Ewert, Road America’s director of communications, said of installing real-time cameras to show the work being done at the track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

“We realized a lot of people had interest in watching not only the live cams but the other stuff we did on Facebook Live. There were more than 40,000 minutes viewed of people watching the track be paved. We noticed the attention and interest, so we just kept (providing live feeds),” Ewert added with a laugh.

 

No need for purists to worry. The repaving is more akin to a fine facelift on these historic facilities. The character and historic quality remain intact. But the racing potential gets an injection of new excitement.

 

This is only the second full-course repave for the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America since it opened in September 1955. The last came in 1995.

Similarly, it’s the first complete repave since 2007 for the 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which opened on California’s Monterey Peninsula in 1957. 

 

Not only is the WeatherTech Raceway surface getting some care, but the overall facility is receiving updates, too. The famous 50-year-old walkover bridge crossing the start-finish line was removed last week to “kick off” the project and will be replaced by a modern structure better facilitating the varied traffic the iconic venue sees.

 

“All these projects will benefit the racer and the fan,’’ track president and general manager John Narigi said. “We are very excited as it is a commitment to the future of WeatherTech Raceway and Laguna Seca.’’

 

The WeatherTech Raceway repaving project will start after the new year, with the goal of unveiling the new look in time for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend, the Motul Course De Monterey from May 12-14.

 

The work at Road America is already done – amazingly completed in a month’s time from removal of the old surface (requiring 800 dump truck loads totaling more than 8.5 tons of the old surface) on Oct. 3 to the ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 commemorating the project’s conclusion. 

 

The storied facility has already received a thumbs-up on the improvements from a veteran IMSA driver.

 

“Road America is one of the best tracks to race at, period,’’ Andy Lally said. “So, if there’s a little grip, a lot of grip, rain or dry, it’s set up and laid out as one of the best tracks on this planet to actually have a really good battle. I’ve driven there in prototypes, GT cars, NASCAR, touring cars, just about everything, and it’s never not an exciting race. So, looking forward to that.

 

“When you get four miles of new asphalt, it’s certainly going to be quick and there will absolutely be more track records there. And hearing from a couple people who have looked at the asphalt in Wisconsin, they’ve done a really nice job. … When the LMDh cars go there, I think we’re going to see some pretty amazing lap times.’’

 

Ewert said Road America listened to driver and fan feedback to keep the track’s same nuances.

 

“The most fascinating thing we had feedback-wise from competitors and fans was ‘don’t change it,’ so we made sure and put it back exactly the way they found it,’’ he said.

“It’s just kind of where they placed it in 1955 is where it’s been, and the feedback from the drivers from pretty much every series is they love the idea of the rolling hillsides, the elevation changes, the off-camber turns, how it emulates road racing from how it began. 

 

“We wanted to make sure everything sort of stays the same so people will still have that element of what they remember it being, and also anyone who is new will still have an exciting experience when they come and race it. … It’s a nice problem to have when everybody just loves the place.’’

 

The careful planning and intricate work involved was impressive. From drone camera shots to topographical surveys, to preserving the parabolic crown in the middle of the track, to finding just the right asphalt mix that provides improved drainage and stands up to the harsh Wisconsin winters.

 

“They did topographical surveys and laser surveys and they put in all these grade points to make sure the curbing location, camber angles and width – all that – was within a tenth of an inch (of the original surface),” Ewert said.

 

Meanwhile at WeatherTech Raceway, the track repaving is part of a $14.9 million project approved by the County of Monterey Board of Supervisors that oversees the facility owned by the county. It follows previous undertakings to enhance the overall fan experience.

 

“Our intent is to provide experiences that can be enjoyed by non-race fans as well,” track president Narigi said. “We began this year by dramatically upgrading the Champions Club and Legends Club with popular local caterers to provide a more refined dining experience. Expanding the Kids Zone with games, activities, a Ferris wheel and go-karts proved popular for families, and we will continue to refine and improve the guest experience for all ages in 2023 to heighten the experience.”

 

(Photos courtesy of Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca)

The road to a second world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series included a little bit of everything for Top Fuel star Brittany Force. From a hot start to memorable victories, record-breaking runs at nearly every stop on the tour and a clutch performance in Las Vegas, Force was spectacular from start to finish during her memorable 2022 campaign.

 

Her championship resumé was finished off with a first-round victory at last weekend’s NHRA Finals in Pomona, a culmination of the most complete year in her career. The record-breaking standout won five races in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster, enjoyed 10 No. 1 qualifiers and the fastest run in Top Fuel history, rising above a loaded Top Fuel field to taste championship glory once again.

 

“This season has been outstanding for us,” Force said. “Coming into the season, I said this was going to be one of the toughest seasons yet with the competition that’s out there. We did really well all season and carried that No. 1 pretty much all year, and then in the Countdown, we started to lose our footing. It was like this championship we were so close to, we were starting to lose it, but we recovered the last two races. I’m still in the excitement of it all. It’s a very surreal moment.”

 

Force picked up early-season victories at Las Vegas, Houston and Virginia, adding another two months later in Sonoma where she made the quickest run in track history and then set the track speed record on three consecutive runs to pick up one of her most memorable victories. Against one of the best Top Fuel fields in recent memory, a track record was a consistent theme for Force throughout 2022, as she decimated marks at nearly every event.

 

In all, Force set 16 track records this season, including making the fastest run in track history at 12 different facilities, including a monster run at the prestigious U.S. Nationals and the fastest run in Top Fuel history at the finale in Pomona. Force broke her own national speed record in St. Louis but then topped it in Pomona with an incredible pass of 338.94 mph to set a championship tone at the NHRA Finals, giving her the top 10 fastest runs in NHRA history.

 

The records were certainly a thrill, but to have it lead to a championship, the first for most of her team, including standout crew chief David Grubnic, was the ultimate reward.

 

“It was such a strong season from start to finish. The records we set, track records, wins, it was just incredible,” said Force, who now owns 25 track records, and both ends of the national record. “This was the first championship for them, and it was so cool to share it with them. It was such a surreal moment.”

Beyond the records, Force faced incredible competition, so much so that her championship dream nearly fell apart during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Nine different drivers won in 2022 in Top Fuel, including first-timer Tripp Tatum in Gainesville, while Mike Salinas, who won four races this year, and Justin Ashley, a three-time race winner in 2022, both led the points at different points of the season.

 

Steve Torrence saw his reign of four straight titles come to an end, but the Texan won a pair of races, as well as the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout in Indy, while first-year team owner Antron Brown, who finished second in points, won three times late in the year, including at the U.S. Nationals. Perhaps nobody was hotter in the Countdown to the Championship than Force’s teammate, Austin Prock, as the young standout picked up wins in Reading and Pomona to catapult him all the way to third.

 

Leah Pruett and Tony Schumacher also registered wins during a thrilling year in Top Fuel, but the season ultimately belonged to Force, who also had to ward off challenges from the likes of Josh Hart, Clay Millican, Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon. Facing an 82-point deficit heading into Las Vegas after falling in the second round at the first four playoff races, Force and her team delivered big when it counted, winning Vegas and vaulting into the points lead.

 

She kept rolling in Pomona, qualifying No. 1 and winning in the first round, while all the other championship contenders fell by the wayside in the opening stanza. It was a wild string of events, but Force’s calm demeanor and clutch performance – including a holeshot win in the finals in Vegas – proved key in a championship journey she won’t soon forget.

 

“Vegas until Pomona was the longest time in my life. This weekend couldn’t have gotten here quick enough. When we got here and warmed up the car, it was just this calm feeling,” Force said after clinching.

 

“(But) first round is always the toughest. Once you get in the mix and get going, you’re ready and motivated, but something about first round is so tough. But we turned a win light on and then we watched it all go down. I can’t believe how it all unfolded, but it worked in our favor.”

 

The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season begins March 9-12 with the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway. For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.

 

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

 Charge Cars will continue to take the US by storm when its ’67 goes on display to the public at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. Running from 18-27 November 2022, the show will give performance enthusiasts and classic car fans a chance to see the iconic lines of the ’67 by Charge Cars. 

The British car maker will showcase its stunning Satin Kaynite Blue model at the LA Auto Show after it received a very positive reception when it was revealed to the media last month. Located in the atrium of the West Hall at the LA Convention Center, the ’67 by Charge Cars will be one of the “must see” attractions at this year’s show.

Production of the ‘67 is limited to 499 vehicles, hand-built in London by the Charge Cars team who carefully assemble the lightweight carbon fiber body panels over the brand new steel body shell. The shell accommodates advanced electrification that provides 1120 lb-ft of torque and propels the ’67 from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The electronics allow advanced 4iWD torque vectoring technology as well as a number of important driver aids. There is also a fully-connected driver interface as part of the brand new interior design, which includes keyless access and a premium, immersive sound system.

The London-based team at Charge Cars consists of experienced automotive designers and engineers who bring experience across multiple sectors to develop and assemble the first cars using core components from technology partner Elements Auto, a division of Arrival. Members of the team will be available to discuss aspects of the ’67 by Charge Cars with show visitors.

“We are excited to continue our US tour with a display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which begins later this week. It will give enthusiasts and potential customers an opportunity to see the ’67 by Charge Cars in the flesh and get a proper insight into the technology we’ve packaged in the iconic vehicle,” said Vadim Shagaleev, CEO of Charge Cars. 

 

SPECIFICATION AND FEATURES 

’67 BY CHARGE CARS 

Electric Motors: 

  • 4x PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors) 

Drive: 

  • 4iWD (4 independent Wheel Drive) 

Battery: 

  • 63 kWh 

Total Peak Power: 

  • 400 kW 

Total Motor Torque: 

  • 1520 Nm 

Range: 

  • 200 miles (322 km)* 

Acceleration: 

  • 3.9 seconds (0-60 mph) 

Charging: 

  • DC Peak Power: 50 kW 
  • DC Charging Speed: 1 hour (0-80%) 
  • AC Peak Power: 
  • 22 kW (Europe) 
  • 14 kW (US) 

 

Exterior: 

  • Wheels: 
  • 18x8" - Front 
  • 18x10" - Rear 
  • Tires: 
  • 235/40 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S - Front 
  • 285/40 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S - Rear 

 

Interior: 

  • Two-seat configuration 
  • Electrically adjustable and heated seats with lumbar support 
  • Rear luggage deck 
  • Wireless phone charging 

 

Comfort & Convenience: 

  • Bespoke LED headlights with daytime running lights and automatic activation 
  • Bespoke signature LED tail lights 
  • Electric windows 
  • Electrically adjustable heated and folding door mirrors 
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror 
  • Automatic climate control 
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls 
  • Electric power-assisted steering 
  • Tilt adjustable steering wheel 
  • Soft-close door latches 
  • Heated front and rear glass 

 

Safety: 

  • Anti-theft alarm system 
  • Anti-lock braking system 
  • Traction control 
  • Tire pressure monitoring system 

 

Drivetrain: 

  • Single-speed transmission 
  • McPherson strut front suspension 
  • Double-wishbone rear suspension 
  • Performance four-piston brake calipers front and rear 
  • Electronic parking brake 
  • Adjustable driving modes 
  • Regenerative braking 

 

Technology: 

  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Reversing camera 
  • Rain and lighting sensors 
  • Phone app integration 
  • Over-the-air updates 

 

In-car Experience: 

  • 12.3” driver display 
  • 12.8” central display 
  • Eight speakers plus subwoofer for an immersive sound experience 
  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Navigation system 

* Vehicle range may vary depending on conditions, driving style, terrain, temperature, and more

 

Progressive American Flat Track is thrilled to confirm a season of record-breaking viewership numbers. The sport reached an all-time high of 3,377,919 total viewers throughout the remarkable 2022 campaign, with 2,861,000 P02+ viewers tuning in to the sport’s debut season on FOX Sports alone. 

  

The 2022 Progressive AFT season saw the series join forces with FOX Sports in a blockbuster new multi-year agreement, in addition to relaunching the popular FansChoice.tv livestreaming hub halfway through the year.   

 

“We are thrilled by the response to this year’s coverage on FOX Sports and appreciate their commitment to helping us grow the sport,” said Gene Crouch, COO of AMA Pro Racing. “On the heels of this successful debut season on FOX Sports, combined with the relaunch of FansChoice.tv and next season’s action-packed schedule, Progressive AFT is well positioned for another year of strong growth in 2023.” 

 

FOX Sports provided 150 hours of linear television coverage for the sport in 2022. FS1 showcased the sport to a hungry audience of fans, both old and new, in highly desirable time slots for each round's televised premiere and followed that up with 133 re-airs on FS1 and FS2. As a result, the 2.9MM P02+ viewers tuning in to AFT on FOX Sports delivered the highest linear television viewership for the series to date. 

 

Viewership totals for the 2022 Progressive AFT season: 

  • FOX Sports Viewers: 2,861,000 P02+ (an increase of 1MM viewers over last season)
  • Television Exposure: 150 hours on linear television (up from just 23 hours in 2021)
  • Total Viewership: 3,377,919 (all-time high) 

For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com. To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com

 

How to Watch 

 

FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice

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