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.
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Vintage Maserati Race Car Transporter Being Transported Across Country to Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
To support the 100th anniversary celebration of Maserati at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 14-17, noted Italian car collector Lawrence Auriana is sending not only key race and passenger cars to Monterey, but also a vintage 1952 Fiat 642 Maserati race car transporter.
The factory transporter, which was used during the pinnacle of Maserati’s racing efforts in the 1950s, left Stamford, Conn. on August 1 and is due to arrive at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday, August 7 where it will serve as a dramatic addition to the Maserati heritage display in the race paddock.
The big transporter was used by Maserati to bring its sports cars and Formula 1 cars to tracks throughout Europe. Radiating historical significance, it was part of Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1953 and 1957 World Championship Formula 1 seasons with a Maserati 250F. After the 1957 season, the factory sold this transporter to Lance Reventlow for his SCARAB race team. SCARAB was the first post-war American-built Formula 1 car and was used until 1962.
The transporter was left neglected until it sold at auction in 2002 to Lawrence Auriana. At that time, a full restoration was undertaken in Modena, Italy under the supervision of Adolfo Orsi, historian and grandson of Adolfo Orsi, owner of Maserati from 1937 to 1968.
“I am sure the sight of this enormous transporter barreling down the road has caused more than a few heads to turn,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “These types of vehicles add to the overall enjoyment and history to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and we are grateful to Lawrence Auriana for sharing his automotive treasures with our participants and racing fans.”
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will showcase nearly 550 authentic and historic race cars competing in 15 different groups over the four days. Race entries span 81 years, from early pre-war to more modern-day racers.
Advance tickets to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion are still on sale through 4 p.m. PT Monday, August 11. For more information visit MazdaRaceway.com or call the ticketing office at 800-327-7322.
Madison Snow continues to expand his racing résumé this weekend in the Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) IMSA Lites racing machine. The 18-year-old Snow will race the No. 29 Extreme Speed Motorsports Elan DP-02 for rounds 9 and 10 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Snow, a native of Lehi, Utah, earned a spot to pilot the black and lime green Prototype Lites machine by impressing ESM owner Scott Sharp. Snow first competed in the ESM Prototype Lites entry during rounds 5 and 6 held at Watkins Glen International in June. He finished 24th in his first race and vastly improved with a seventh-place finish in the second race.
For rounds 7 and 8 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Snow started a streak of top-10 finishes and earned ninth- and fourth-place finishes, respectively.
“We’ve only run two race weekends with Madison and he’s doing well," added owner/driver Scott Sharp. "We’re looking forward to see how Madison does at Road America since it is such a fast circuit.”
Snow is looking to continue that streak and work his way onto the podium at Road America. Snow will take to the 4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course for two practices, one qualifying session and two races this weekend – Saturday’s 30-minute race and Sunday’s 45-minute race.
Snow and the No. 29 Extreme Speed Motorsports Prototype Lites car is paddocked alongside ESM’s No. 1 and No. 2 Tequila Patrón-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototypes from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series. ESM is competing in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at 1:15 p.m. ET on Sunday.Snow began his racing career at age 5 in go-karts. In 2010, still an avid go-kart racer, Snow transitioned into Mazda Miata race cars and at age 14 finished second overall in the Miller Park Racing Association (MPRA) series at Miller Motorsports Park. The following year, Snow graduated to Porsche race cars.
In his 2011 season, Snow became the youngest driver to win a Porsche Cup race. He finished first in the 2011 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Gold Cup Championship, then second in the 2012 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Platinum Cup Championship.
At the age of 17, Snow made history by winning the 2013 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Platinum Cup Championship – the youngest champion since the series inception in 2005. In his championship year, Snow dominated the field with 12 podium finishes in 14 races, which included six wins, 10 pole positions and three track records.
While chasing the IMSA GT3 championship in 2013, Snow competed in four GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series races and two American Le Mans Series race. At the season finale at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Snow was part of the pole- and race-winning Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3 Cup team.
Following the ALMS and GRAND-AM merger, now the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Snow has split his time between the ESM Prototype Lites car and the family-owned Snow Racing Porsche 911 GT America GTD car. His best finish of this season was a third place at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“I’m still getting used to the handling of the prototype car through the corners since I’m used to a non-downforce car," added Snow. "
Road America is a real fast track with a lot of straightaways but some real high-speed corners with The Carousel and The Kink. It will be fun to see how fast and how hard we can push the car on the track.”
Qualifying for IMSA Prototype Lites prototype cars takes place at 4:05 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug 9.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda race Round 9 race (30 minutes) takes place on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10:40 a.m. The Round 10 race (45 minutes) takes place Sunday, Aug. 10 at 8:05 a.m.
Brothers Bobby and Dom Lagana are from New York. They talk like New Yorkers talk and they act like New Yorkers act. But when you ask either one where their home is on the racetrack, both will point to one place - the tiny town of Martin, Michigan.
For nearly two decades, US 131 Motorsports Park in western Michigan has acted as the official home track of the Lagana brothers, serving as the location of some of the team's greatest motorsports accomplishments. Bobby's first four-second pass and first 300 mph run? Both took place at US 131. Dom's professional drag racing debut? That too took place in Martin.
But of all of the accomplishments the team has enjoyed, perhaps their most noteworthy came at US 131 Motorsports Park just last year.
Seeking their quickest and fastest lap ever as a team, the Lagana brothers traveled to IHRA's annual Northern Nationals in 2013 hoping to make team history. Instead, the team skipped right past team history and right into the stratosphere of IHRA history.
After a couple of noteworthy runs on Friday night at last year's Northern Nationals, Dom and his team kicked things into overdrive and left it all on the track in front of a packed house the following evening, making the single fastest lap in IHRA and US 131 Motorsports history in the "Nitro Ninja" Top Fuel Dragster.
With the header flames burning bright right through the finish line, the numbers popped up on the scoreboard - 4.663 seconds at 330.79 miles per hour. Others had been quicker, others had been faster in the sport, but none had been faster in annals of the International Hot Rod Association, the place where the Lagana brothers cut their teeth and learned the world's fastest sport.
Now the Lagana brothers, and four of IHRA's most exciting professional classes, return to Michigan this Friday and Saturday for the annual IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park.
"Looking back, that was an amazing night. We traveled to Michigan last year hoping to make our quickest pass ever in a Top Fuel car, but what we accomplished was our fastest pass ever and the fastest pass ever in IHRA," Dom said. "It was such a cool feeling to put our names up there with so many legends that we have raced with in IHRA. To be listed with guys like Clay Millican, Bruce Litton, Shirley Muldowney, Doug Herbert - all drag racing legends - is amazing."
Now, just one year removed from that historical pass, Dom and his brother Bobby return to US 131 Motorsports Park for another go at the IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals this Friday and Saturday. And this time, the eldest of the two brothers and one of IHRA's most decorated racers, Bobby, will return to the cockpit of a Top Fuel machine alongside his brother in a Lagana family showdown at over 300 mph.
On the agenda this time - the 4.5 second quarter-mile barrier - one of the toughest obstacles in Top Fuel racing.
"We love going to US 131. We go there a couple times a year and we really enjoy racing on that track. When we get there, we will make some hits and get it dialed in, but if the conditions are right, we will try for the homerun," Bobby said.
If Bobby or Dom Lagana can get it done, it will be among the best passes in IHRA history. The current IHRA quarter-mile Top Fuel record is held by six-time IHRA champion Clay Millican at 4.484 seconds set at Rockingham Dragway in October of 2005. The speed record still stands with Millican at 328.14 mph, as Dom was not able to back up his run last year.
And that might not be the only history made this weekend.
IHRA will also welcome back Mountain Motor Pro Stock to the quarter-mile this weekend at one of the fastest tracks in the country. All season long the Pro Stock teams have pushed the records in the class to new heights, with Missouri native John DeFlorian and the Black Diamond Motorsports team currently holding the record at 6.224 seconds at 226.70 mph set in April. In Martin, DeFlorian will be joined by a season-high car count as nearly a dozen teams look to secure a spot in the eight-car field with only two races remaining in 2014. DeFlorian currently sits second in the standings behind Goforth Racing's Cary Goforth in his bright orange 2014 Chevrolet Camaro.
Rounding out the Northern Nationals professional field will be the nitro classes of Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, along with the US 131 Motorsports Park debut of the Larsen Motorsports all-female jet team.
In Nitro Harley, Canadian Mike Scott leads the bike field in a close, four-rider race. Louisiana native Randal Andras is second, followed by Jay Turner and Mark Cox. In Nitro Altered, Ron Maroney in the "Blind Faith" entry holds a commanding lead over Don Blackshear. Finally, in Jet Dragster Elaine Larsen can close the deal on her first IHRA championship this weekend as she holds a firm lead over Dawn Perdue and Marisha Falk.
The 2014 IHRA Northern Nationals will take place this Friday and Saturday at US 131 Motorsports Park. For more information on the event, visit www.nitrojam.com or call US 131 Motorsports Park at (269) 672-7800.
Every round of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship is important to Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/team owner Jerome Mee, but there's no question the next two rounds of the series, Aug. 9-10 at the legendary Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, have been circled on Mee's calendar since the 2014 schedule was released.
Road America is one of the most challenging circuits in the world, with 14 turns - many of which demand high speed and even higher commitment - over its 4.048-mile layout.
The promoter test Thursday, Aug. 7 will be the first time Mee will step onto the 640-acre, park-like grounds where the famous track is located. He will turn his first laps at the circuit in the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing machine that competes in the Lites 2 class of the series.
"I've been looking forward to racing at Road America the entire season," Mee said. "It's 4 miles, and it's probably the highest-speed track that we'll drive on all year."
Mee appreciates the history of Road America, a course tucked midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay that opened in 1955.
"It's a similar feeling to when I raced at Road Atlanta in the development series for Petit Le Mans," he said. "You have your obvious historic tracks in the United States including Indy (Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Laguna Seca, Sebring, Road America and Road Atlanta. Each is unique, but I think out of them all, Road America is a track that's designed to go fast for this type of car. The track accommodates speed because its design is long and straight. I think about Turns 1 and 2 and all the way to Turn 3, and it's almost a mile. You're flat out for a very long time, and to me that's very cool."
Mee has used virtual preparation for his first weekend at Road America. He has spent countless hours turning laps and learning the circuit's layout on Road America in the Xbox 360 game Forza Motorsport 4 at home in Houston.
"I'm a racing geek," Mee said, laughing. "Every night after my kids go to bed, I run about 20-30 laps on the simulator. It's more for track memory purposes. The Forza 4 game has the PC (Prototype Challenge) car on it, and that's about as close as you're going to get to the car I drive. It helps with the perception of speed and turning.
"Elevation is what you have to learn to adapt to quickly in person because the simulation doesn't give any concept of change of elevation or little nuances of the track."
The green flag will wave for Round 9 of CTPL competition, a 30-minute race, at 10:40 a.m. (CT) Saturday, Aug. 9. Round 10, a 45-minute sprint, takes off at 8:05 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.
They might deny or ignore it, but there's no question the clock is ticking for every driver trying to chase Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Platinum Cup leader Scott Hargrove.
That sound will be amplified at Rounds 7 and 8 of the series, Aug. 9-10 at Trois-Rivières, Quebec, since the stretch run of the season starts on the historic street circuit near the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Just four rounds remain in the 2014 season, including this weekend, and Hargrove leads second-place Chris Green, 116-100.
Two 45-minute races for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series are scheduled on the 11-turn, 1.53-mile (2.46 km) Circuit Trois-Rivières, the only track in Quebec in the championship. Round 7 is set for 3:05 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 9, with Round 8 at 9:20 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.
On-track action starts with practice sessions at 2:20 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, with qualifying at 9:20 a.m. Saturday.
Consistency has been a hallmark of Hargrove's march toward the Platinum Cup (2014 model cars) championship. Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, has led the points after all six rounds of this season in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche. He has finished first or second in all six rounds, including four victories.
Green, from Montreal, also is using consistency to keep Hargrove in sight. He has finished on the podium in five of the six rounds this season in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car.
Spencer Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, kept his title hopes alive with his first win of the season July 20 in Toronto in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports Porsche. He is third in the standings with 82 points.
|Etienne Borgeat is among the Quebec-based drivers and teams in the spotlight this weekend.|
It appeared Pigot might gain significant ground on Hargrove and Green during his victory in Toronto. Hargrove collided with Green on the first lap of the race, with Green's car spinning and suffering damage and Hargrove forced to the pits to serve a penalty for the contact.
But Hargrove and Green both produced arguably their most inspired drives of the season to bob and weave through the field and salvage podium finishes, with Hargrove placing second and Green third.
Marco Cirone, from Toronto, is fourth overall in the Platinum Cup points and leads the Platinum Masters (age 45 and older) class in the No. 88 Mark Motors Racing Porsche. But his gap in Platinum Masters closed to 12 points over Carlos de Quesada after 2013 Gold Cup champion de Quesada won the Platinum Masters class round July 20 at Toronto in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports entry for his first victory of the season.
2011 Platinum Cup champion Perry Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, and Andre Belzile, from Drummondville, Quebec, also are staying close in the Platinum Masters chase. Bortolotti is third with 98 points in the No. 84 Mark Motors Racing Porsche, and Belzile is fourth with 92 in the No. 93 GT Racing entry.
The best championship race in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin is raging in the Gold Cup (2010-13 model cars) class. Just 14 points separate the five regular drivers in the series. It's truly anyone's title to win - or lose.
Jerimy Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, leads the Gold Cup with 104 points in his rookie season in the family-owned No. 75 TRC Porsche. Daniel swept both Gold Cup rounds July 19-20 at Toronto to lift his victory total to four this season.
Tim Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, is right behind Daniel with 102 points. Sanderson has finished on the podium in five of six rounds this season in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports entry.
|Quebec resident Martin Harvey is in contention for the Gold Cup championship.|
2011 Gold Cup champion Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, is third with 94 points in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing 911 GT3 Cup car. Tied for fourth at 90 points are Ilker Starck, from Toronto, in the No. 48 SCB Racing/Downtown Porsche entry and Martin Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc. Porsche.
An Alegra intra-team duel will continue for Silver Cup honors between Masters competitors Keith Bass and Chuck Harris of Tampa, Florida. Silver Cup competitors race in 2005 ½ to 2009 GT3 Cup cars. Harris has swept all six Silver Cup rounds to take a commanding lead in the championship.
There will be equal amounts of pride and pressure this weekend for the five drivers and three teams based in Quebec since this is the only round of the series in the French-Canadian province. Quebec drivers include Platinum Cup competitors Green and Etienne Borgeat of Montreal and Belzile of Drummondville, and Gold Cup racers Daniel of Candiac and Harvey of Berthierville.
GT Racing, based in Mirabel, will field the Platinum Cup cars for Borgeat and Belzile. The team worked tirelessly over the last three weeks to repair and prepare the No. 93 Porsche driven by Belzile, which suffered heavy damage in a crash July 20 in Round 6 at Toronto.
TRC Racing, based in Candiac, fields Daniel's car, while Harvey's Wingho Racing Inc. is based in Berthierville.
For more information on the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin, visit www.imsa.com and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN. Live commentary for both races will be provided on Twitter at @IMSALive.
On the eve of their 26th Induction Class, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America announced an ambitious $7.5M campaign to build a new, permanent home at Daytona International Speedway. The move coincides with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the Speedway’s $400 million renovation project currently underway.
“The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America celebrates every form of American motorsports," stated John Doonan, Chairman for the Board of Directors. "This is racing’s Cooperstown. And like Cooperstown, we will now have a permanent facility in which to showcase all of the special personalities that we have honored through time and to give this sport and its immortals the recognition they deserve.”
Once it’s completed, the Hall of Fame will be one of the main stops on every track tour – welcoming and enthralling hundreds of thousands of visitors per year.
“Daytona is the perfect home for the Hall of Fame,” said MSHF President Ron Watson, “because it is home or near home to all the forms of motorsports the Hall of Fame honors. The biggest stock car race, the biggest sports car race, the biggest motorcycle race, as well as an area known for great achievements in drag racing, powerboating and aviation.”
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America represents the diversity of motorized competition including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats. The 2014 class that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 6 include Ole Bardahl, Raymond Beadle, John Bishop, Ricky Graham, Arie Luyendyk, Marshall Teague and Rusty Wallace.
“Motorsports is the intersection of people, technology, and sport," commented Al Speyer, Chairman for the Board of Trustees. "Thousands of companies, drivers, mechanics, and teams have contributed to this history. This campaign will allow us to take 26 years of proven success from a sport that dates back to the 19th century. Now is the ideal time for everyone who has participated and prospered from motorsports to join us in charting a fitting future for so many who deserve to be recognized.”
Plans call for a new 10,000 sq. ft. Hall of Fame exhibit area, featuring interactive displays, vehicles, images, artwork, stories and bronze sculptures of 216 icons of American motorsports. The $7.5 million will be used to develop displays that tell both the people and technology stories within motorsports.
“This new space elevates all aspects of our sport," added Elliott Forbes-Robinson, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee/Board Member. "As an inductee it is thrilling to think about sharing space with such a diverse, yet select group of racers. This is an incredibly exciting time as we prepare to put our story in front of hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.”
The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc.
Winning the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals is on the bucket list of every NHRA competitor. Besides winning a Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship, a victory in the most prestigious drag race on Earth can separate the all-time legends from the rest of the pack. For Top Fuel drivers Tony Schumacher and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden, their domination of the event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis is what makes them “Indy’s Winningest Drivers”.
Seven Top Fuel world championships and a record 74 career victories are enough to cement Tony Schumacher as the greatest dragster driver ever but it’s his nine Indianapolis wins that really separate the U.S. Army dragster pilot from the rest of the field. His inaugural win at the hallowed dragstrip that sits in the heart of Indiana came a year after his first world championship and he has gone on to win eight more times including four in a row from 2006-2009.
“Every driver has certain tracks that they’re good at,” Schumacher said. “I am extremely fortunate that mine is Indy.”
Schumacher’s record of nine Indianapolis victories is tied by only one man, Bob Glidden in Pro Stock. Glidden, a native of nearby Whiteland, Ind., won the event nine times in 15 final-round appearances. His name became legend at the dragstrip following a run of 13 consecutive final-round appearances at the event, a feat that is unlikely to ever be matched.
“Indy was a very special place for us over the years,” Glidden said. “It was our home, we tested there and we had a lot of success there. It just seemed like when we raced there special things would happen.”
No name in drag racing is bigger than “Big Daddy” Garlits and he cemented his Indy legacy with his performances in Top Fuel dragster from 1964-1986. Garlits drove his Swamp Rat dragster to three consecutive victories during his comeback in the mid-1980’s, securing his spot in the NHRA history books.
"It means everything," Garlits said of the national event in Indianapolis where he claimed eight career victories. "It defines a driver's career."
During the weeks leading up to the running of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, NHRA is unveiling six of the most iconic moments in the history of the event that will remember the very heroes who made them. NHRA will conduct official presentations to honor each of the moments – including a ceremony honoring Schumacher, Glidden and Garlits, Indy’s Winningest Drivers, – in the Hot Rod Junction on Friday-Sunday of the Indy race weekend.
This is the sixth iconic moment that NHRA has announced it will celebrate during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Earlier NHRA announced that on Sunday of race weekend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits will reenact his famous beard shaving scene that followed his triumphant 1967 victory; on Saturday Kenny Bernstein will be honored for becoming the first double-up winner at Indy; on Friday the harrowing 1970 Top Fuel final between Jim Nicoll and Don Prudhomme will be remembered; and on Saturday the 1978 Funny Car final where Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen defeated Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will be remembered.
The “Indy’s Winningest Drivers” presentation will also take place on Sunday of race weekend.
The most historic and tradition-rich event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals has been contested annually since 1955.
The milestone 60th installment of the Labor Day weekend drag racing spectacular will feature more than 1,000 competitors in 12 categories during the event. The 18th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is also the final event in the regular season. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Mike Edwards (Pro Stock); and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the race that will once again be televised by ESPN2 in more than 10 hours of coverage.
On the racetrack, the 60th anniversary Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will feature intense side-by-side racing at more than 320 mph, as drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle compete for their share of the $2 million purse and battle for important world championship points. The race is the final regular season stop for the circuit and will establish the top 10 fields for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Perhaps more importantly, drivers will compete to earn a permanent spot in NHRA history, as a Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner.
The race will also showcase the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, where the top drivers in Top Fuel and Funny Car will race for $100,000 bonuses, as well as the annual Mopar HEMI Challenge for Super Stock cars and thrilling competition in both the Lucas Oil Series and Pro Mod Series.
In addition, the event will feature fan-favorite Cacklefests, vintage racecars on display in the Hot Rod Junction, autograph sessions with many of the legends of the sport, a Monday edition of the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk, fireworks displays, and much more.
To purchase tickets for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, fans can contact NHRA’s Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or get their tickets online at www.NHRATIX.com.
During the month break from GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama racing, Nielsen returned to Europe for her first European Le Mans Series race at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
"Racing in Europe again was great, and it is very cool to say that I've driven an actual Le Mans car now," Nielsen said. "The competition in the GTE class is always high."
Nielsen's Porsche 911 GT3 RSR car qualified 10th and climbed all the way to second before an on-track incident thwarted its progress.
"Unfortunately we had to retire before the race was over because I had a hit with an Aston Martin," Nielsen said. "I overtook, and as I was on the inside of him through the apex, he turned into the side of my front."
Nielsen's car sustained a broken steering rod, forcing an early retirement.
"Event though we struggled, there were a lot of positive elements to take away for the future," she said.
According to Nielsen, one major benefit of adding European Le Mans Series races to her schedule is more track time.
"I'm a driver who is still in the development phase, so more seat time is always a bonus," she said. "I will need a bit of time when I switch cars to get used to them, but it's always good to practice one's ability to adjust."
Nielsen made her first appearance at Road America on Aug. 1-3 for a National Auto Sport Association Midwest Region event, providing her with additional track time before her Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races.
This will be a busier weekend than normal, as the series conducts three races - two scheduled for Road America and a make-up from Round 6 rained out in late May at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
GT3 Cup Challenge practice at Road America starts at 10:25 a.m. (CT) and 2:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8. Three 45-minute timed races are scheduled, for 6:05 p.m. Saturday, and 9:50 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit FansChoice.TV to watch the races streamed live and get live race details on Twitter at @IMSALive.
Intensifying 450 Class Title Fight Resumes as Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Travels to Legendary Unadilla
After its final off week of the 2014 season the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, prepares for its stretch run to the respective titles in the 450 and 250 Classes. While Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen (450 Class) and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin (250 Class) continue to lead the way atop the standings, their challengers and the rest of the field in the series will look to close the gap at the Red Bull Unadilla National. Legendary Unadilla in New Berlin, New York, will host the 10th stop of the 12-round season this Saturday, August 9, and will also serve as the final round in 2014 to be featured on national network television on NBC.
Live broadcast coverage from Unadilla begins Saturday at 1 p.m. ET with the first motos of the 450 and 250 Classes on MAVTV, followed by a broadcast of the final 450 Class moto on NBC at 3 p.m. ET. The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will bookend an action-packed afternoon with live coverage of the final 250 Class moto at 4 p.m. ET.
At the previous stop of the championship from Washougal MX Park in the Pacific Northwest two weeks ago, the momentum in the 450 Class title fight took a major swing into Red Bull KTM Ryan Dungey's favor as he looks to continue to close his deficit to teammate Roczen. Dungey raced to his third win of the summer and his second triumphant effort in the last three rounds, but more importantly his dominant 1-1 outing resulted in a 10-point gain on Roczen, who had arguably one of his worst races of the season with a pair of third-place moto finishes. Now just 14 points separate the KTM duo with six motos remaining.
Roczen versus Dungey is heating up at the right time.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
While Dungey appears to be hitting his stride at the season's most critical point, a defining trait that has helped him become the second-winningest rider in the history of the sport, Roczen appears to be looking to get back into the groove that saw him win four of the first six races and six motos in that span. No doubt Dungey's vast championship experience in the premier class will give him an edge over the rookie Roczen, who is still in search of his first national title on U.S. soil, but it's been the German who's been the most consistent rider in the entire series this season. With three rounds remaining, Roczen's average finish is still an incredible 1.8, while Dungey has dropped his to 2.2 and continues to close. Additionally, Dungey has two Unadilla wins on his resume.
While the lead pair continues to duke it out, GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac has fully embraced the role of spoiler. The other highly touted rookie in the 450 Class has only been racing since the fifth round of the season, but he's been in the thick of the fight between Dungey and Roczen since making his premier class debut. After breaking through for his first career win at Spring Creek two rounds ago, Tomac knows the feeling of winning at the sport's highest level and wants nothing more than to experience that as often as he can during the final few rounds. If either of the KTM riders are a casualty of this, as each have at moments already this season, so be it. As a result, Tomac plays arguably the biggest role in the outcome of the championship battle despite not being in contention for it. Despite that, Tomac has still had an impressive climb of his own in the standings, already sitting inside the top 10.
With his success, Tomac has been a thorn in the side of both KTM teammates.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
As the drama builds in the 450 Class, Martin still looks comfortably in control of the 250 Class despite having virtually no championship experience in his second year of competition. At Washougal he rode patiently, keeping himself out of trouble and not forcing the issue but still serving as a fixture up front en route to third overall. When all was said and done, what could be considered a conservative effort by Martin saw him lose just two points in the standings to his closest rivals, his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett.
Even with the field breathing down his neck, Martin (19) continues to ride with speed and patience.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
As the season enters its final stage, Martin carries a 43-point margin over Webb and a 54-point lead over Baggett. Very few points have been traded between this trio throughout the bulk of the season, but Martin's incredible 5-0 start in motos, combined with some ups and downs by both Webb and Baggett, have put the Minnesota native into a comfortable position. Martin is in full control of his own destiny, as evidenced by his Washougal effort. He can afford to give up some ground to his contenders and still be in an enviable position heading into the final weekend of the season.
Although Martin's advantage makes for an incredible challenge for Webb and Baggett to surmount, the sport of motocross still boasts an element of unpredictability that is hard to match in the sporting world. All three of these riders have found themselves on the ground at some point this summer and another instance of that could have a major impact in how this championship plays out. Martin may be in control, but both Webb and Baggett know they need to give it everything they have all the way until the final checkered flag falls.
Webb needs more wins to close the gap on his fellow sophomore teammate.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Unadilla is arguably the most globally recognizable track in all of motocross. Its European style layout combined with American flair has made for some of the sport's most iconic moments and it remains one of the country's most prominent symbols of American motocross. While the track doesn't feature any major changes this season, its sprawling nature nestled in the rolling hills of Central New York means high speed, big air and rough conditions. It's a challenge unlike anywhere else in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
Baggett has been Martin's biggest challenger this season, but hard luck has hurt his title hopes.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Last year at Unadilla, Ryan Villopoto put himself in a position to clinch the 450 Class title by sweeping the day's motos and earning his sixth win of the season. In the 250 Class, Tomac went 1-1 for his fifth win of the year and also moved into clinching position for that title.
Joining the fold in the 250 Class this weekend will be graduates of the Rocky Mountain AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn's, which took place last week in Tennessee. Many of the sport's most promising young talent will make their professional debuts in hopes of making an impact and getting their careers off to a flying start. Leading this contingent will be AMA Horizon Award Winner RJ Hampshire, who won all six of the motos he entered en route to a pair of AMA National Championships. He will join the contingent of GEICO Honda riders. Another rider joining the professional ranks at Unadilla is two-time AMA National Champion Luke Renzland, who will ride under the CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha tent.
Marvin Musquin became the fourth different 250 Class winner this season at Washougal.
Photo: Simon Cudby / Racer X
Action for the Red Bull Unadilla National on Saturday, August 9, begins at 8:30 a.m. ET with timed practice. Opening ceremonies get underway at 12:25 p.m. ET, with the first gate drop scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Previous Round Results
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Motosport.com Washougal National
Washougal MX Park - Washougal, Washington
July 26, 2014
Round 9 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
450 Class Championship Standings
250 Class (Moto Finish)
250 Class Championship Standings
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Kelly Moss Motorsports is gearing up for what could be a pivotal weekend for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship, and they are doing it in a big way. Kelly Moss is taking a 14-point Team and Platinum Cup Driver Championship lead Aug. 8-10 to its home circuit, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with the opportunity to break away from the pack with the weekend due to three rounds of race action.
The team won't have to go far. The Kelly Moss trailers will travel only 108 miles from team headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, to Road America, the Disneyland of road courses. That is equivalent to just 27 laps around the 14-turn, four-mile road course.
"It's our home track, and we have a lot of laps here," Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. "We've had five days on the course already and that gives us the home-court advantage. Extra confidence for our team only helps as we push for more points and look to extend our championship lead."
After having a smaller-than-usual lineup last month at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Kelly Moss will come to Road America with six entrants for the home race. The weekend will feature Rounds 6, 11 and 12 of the series, with Round 6 rescheduled after being rained out in May at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
"There's going to be a little more pressure on everybody with three races this weekend," Stone said. "That's 60 points at stake all at one place. More track time equals more risk but also more reward, and that's what we're looking for."
All six Kelly Moss drivers must pay attention to detail on the high-speed track, especially in the many fast corners. But the team also has its fair share of wins at Road America and feels ready to master the course.
"We've had a mix of bad luck here in the past," Stone said. "We've won a lot of races, but we've also had some bad luck, a few pretty bad incidents. But we hope we have that monkey off our back.
"The key is handling the high-speed parts of the track. Turn 1 is just high speed, and Turn 5 has some of the most intense braking we will see all season. The Carousel is it's own animal, and then, of course, you have the Kink. You have to have the setup to handle it and be able to coach your drivers through it, and we feel like we're ready for that."
Leading the charge is Colin Thompson, Platinum Cup driver points leader. Thompson increased his Driver Championship lead to 14 points, 152-138, over rival Angel Benitez Jr. with two hard-earned second place finishes at CTMP in the No. 14 car, with seven rounds remaining in the season. Thompson and Gold Cup/Gold Masters competitor William Peluchiwski were the lone Kelly Moss drivers in their respective categories at CTMP.
Joining Thompson in the Platinum Cup will be Dan Weyland, entered in the Platinum and Platinum Masters Championship. He is returning to the track for the first time since racing in late June at Watkins Glen International.
Peluchiwski will be back in his No. 74 Kelly Moss/Porsche of Bucks County Porsche to make a run for the top of the Gold Masters Championship standings. With 105 points, he is sitting in fourth place, only 19 points from third.
Also in the Gold Cup category will be teammates David Ducote, Wayne Ducote and Seth Davidow. Like Weyland, the three drivers will resume the series, racing their Porsche GT3 Cup cars for the first time since the Watkins Glen weekend.
That large group of drivers for Kelly Moss this weekend has a significant advantage as a hometown team: The shop is close if needed.
"It's good to be close for us," Stone said. "There have been times that we've had incidents, and without our shop being that close we may not have been able to continue. We've even helped other competitors. Last year Craig Duerson with NGT banged up his car. We got it to the shop, fixed it up, and he got the win the next day. This weekend everybody at Kelly Moss is on call and pulling double-duty to make it a success. It's all part of the job."
Kelly Moss will kick off the weekend by hosting an Open House Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 6-9 p.m. at its immaculate headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. The shop will be open to give a rare glimpse inside the impressive facilities. Championship winning driver Andrew Davis will be in attendance as well as other members of the Kelly Moss team.
Track action for the team will begin Friday, Aug. 8 with two practices. Qualifying for the GT3 Cup will take place at 8 a.m. (CT) Saturday, Aug. 9, followed by Race 1 later in the day at 6:05 p.m. There will be two more 45-minute sprint races Sunday, with the first at 9:50 a.m. and the second at 5 p.m.