Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 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  

  

 

Feld Entertainment is excited to continue its partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in their continual effort to raise awareness and combat childhood cancer. This year will mark the fourth year of partnership between Supercross and St. Jude. Over the past three seasons, Supercross fans have raised more than $600,000 for St. Jude and we are eager to continue our support of St. Jude’s mission - Finding Cures. Saving Children. 

This year, our Supercross "text to donate" campaign will have a new and exciting look. The We Won't Stop campaign will once again be a part of St. Jude's national outreach, joining the likes of major country artists and celebrity ambassadors. Supercross will kick off the 2021 text to donate campaign at Round 3 in Houston on Saturday, January 23 that will run throughout the remainder of the season. Fans can join the cause and support the We Won’t Stop campaign by texting SUPER to 785-833. 

 

We Won’t Stop Messaging:

  • Because of your support, St. Jude won’t stop. The doctors and researchers won’t stop and together with St. Jude, Supercross won’t stop fighting until no child dies from cancer. The only way to get the new We Won’t Stop shirt is by becoming a monthly donor now! Text “SUPER” to 785-833 or visitwww.stjude.org/supercross
  • I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have stepped up to ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude so they can focus on their child during this tough time. It’s only 19 dollars a month to become a Partner in Hope and when you sign up, you’ll get the exclusive We Won’t Stop t-shirt.
  • When you support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, you’re helping an organization that has helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent. But together with St. Jude, Supercross won’t stop fighting until NO child dies from cancer.
  • If you haven’t seen the We Won’t Stop shirt, text “SUPER” to 785-833 or visitwww.stjude.org/supercross.
  • You can see how many folks have already joined the movement when you check out the hashtag #StJudeWontStop. We’ve got to keep it going! Join the St. Jude family now and post your picture in your shirt.

 

St. Jude Messaging:

  • St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our mission is clear: Finding Cures. Saving children.
  • Families NEVER RECEIVE A BILL from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food - because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened 50 years ago. We Won’t Stop until no child dies from cancer.
  • St. Jude FREELY SHARES discoveries, so every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
  • St. Jude conducts more clinical trials for childhood cancer than anyone else.
  • St. Jude is where doctors often send their toughest cases, because St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer.
  • St. Jude treats children from ALL 50 STATES and all AROUND THE WORLD. 

 

On Friday, January 22, under a foreboding sky, the 2021 IMSA season got off to a less than rousing start at the World Center of Racing - Daytona International Speedway. Dozens of high tech, high speed racing machines took to the high banks in front of what, at times, seemed like only dozens of fans to knock a few months of offseason rust off, and prepare for what has been argued as the most grueling 24 hours of motorsports in North America - the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

This round the clock extravaganza that pits man and machine against the most unfriendly of obstacles - time - takes on an even bigger challenge in 2021; Covid19! With extra protocols in place, including limited capacity, temperature checks, and more, the teams started their practice rounds knowing that this year was unlike any other. 

Fans were not allowed into the garage area. The traditional cub and boy scouts were no where to be seen. In fact, all tent camping was eliminated for the event. It was a virtual ghost town in the UNOH FanZone, normally a hub of activity at the track.

All was not doom and gloom, however. Racers such as 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, Two-time defending Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Kamui Kobayashi, and even a member of a legendary racing family, Jarrett Andretti, each took their cars to the limit, and beyond. 

Kamui Kobayashi opened the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with the fastest lap Friday during the first day of testing at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. His lap of 1 minute, 35.312 seconds (134.463 mph) around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile DIS road course in the No. 48 Action Express Racing Ally Cadillac DPi V.R was 0.385 seconds faster than the closest competitor.  Two-time DAYTONA 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, returns for his eighth start, driving the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R  alongside 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, two-time defending Rolex 24 winner Kamui Kobayashi and German sports car champion Mike Rockenfeller.
 
On Friday, Jarett Andretti, 28, fired up the No. 18 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 for practice in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 with teammate Tristan Herbert. The team and car carry the influences of John Andretti, and his son is pleased to continue his father’s legacy.
 
For more photos of Friday's action, check out the Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder Facebook page.
 
The Roar schedule finds WeatherTech Championship test sessions at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Live timing and scoring is available for each session on IMSA.com.
 
Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 and streams live on IMSA.com. Following a 10 a.m. warmup on Sunday, Jan. 24, the Motul Pole Award 100 wraps up the weekend starting at 2:05 p.m. that afternoon.

The Algarve International Circuit in Portimão, Portugal, will replace the 1000 Miles of Sebring as the season-opener for this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. Round 1 of FIA WEC Season 9, the 8 Hours of Portimão, will take place from 2-4 April 2021. 

Due to the rapid evolution of coronavirus, as well as various changing directives from Governments in different countries including travel restrictions, the WEC did not want to take any unnecessary risks. With freight due to be sent to the USA imminently, a decision needed to be made early to help teams prepare for the 2021 season. 

With this in mind and the majority of the championship’s teams being based in Europe, after consulting IMSA, Sebring International Raceway and the FIA, a decision was made to hold the first race of the year on the continent. 

Located in the south of Portugal, the Algarve International Circuit will also host the Prologue, the WEC’s official pre-season test from 30-31 March. Constructed in 2008, Portimão has been used to host a round of the European Le Mans Series [ELMS] since 2017 and provides a mix of fast and slow-speed corners, as well as dramatic gradient changes. 

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause issues worldwide and the decision to cancel Sebring and replace it with a race in Portimão was made following consultation with the FIA, IMSA and management at Sebring. We are saddened not to see our American friends and can’t wait for the day when we can return to the USA to race alongside IMSA for Super Sebring. We remain focused on continuing to build our long-term relationship with both IMSA and the Sebring International Raceway and the intention will be to return to Sebring in the future.”

Richard Mille, FIA Endurance Commission President: “While calendar changes are certainly not ideal, going into 2021 we all understood that they can occur at some point over the course of the season. For many reasons 2021 is an important year for endurance racing and the priority is to safeguard not only this season but also the longer-term future of the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the best interest of all parties involved in mind. I’m looking forward to April’s curtain-raiser and beyond, and I hope 2021 will be a good year for the sport.”

Frédéric Lequien, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship: “Over the past few months we have seen that the pandemic is extremely unpredictable and after several discussions with key parties, the decision was made for the beginning of the season to remain in Europe where most of our teams are based. The consequences of a last-minute cancellation would have economic implications for the entire WEC family, so we took a responsible decision. Portimão has provided some extremely close racing in ELMS and has excellent facilities, we are very much looking forward to getting our new season underway with an 8 hour race there in April.”

The intention of the promoter and organisers is to retain the remainder of the calendar unchanged, with Spa-Francorchamps set to host round two at the beginning of May followed by the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Monza will host an inaugural WEC race in July while the championship is set to return to Fuji in Japan in September. WEC Season 9 will conclude in Bahrain in November.

By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 As Jarett Andretti worked his way through the sprint-car ranks, he jokingly referred to his dad, John, as his brother. The two were always together, working, planning, traveling and racing, side-by-side and fully engaged in their adventure.  
 
“I called him my roommate,” Jarett Andretti said. “For six months out of the year, he lived with me. We’d spend 12 hours a day together. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We talked constantly. For the longest time, I didn’t have an alarm clock. He would just come into my room in the morning and say, ‘OK, time to get up. Let’s go to work.’”
 
John Andretti died last year at 56 after a long struggle with colon cancer. In the final years of his life, though, he laid the foundation for something significant – something his son is proud to show everyone this weekend at Daytona International Speedway in the Scouts of America 145.
 
IMSA Prototype Challenge: Scouts of America 145 entry list
 
On Friday, Jarett Andretti, 28, will fire up the No. 18 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 for practice in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 with teammate Tristan Herbert. The team and car carry the influences of John Andretti, and his son is pleased to continue his father’s legacy.
 
It’s not just his father’s memory going into the effort, either. Aldo Andretti, Jarett’s grandfather and twin brother of racing legend Mario Andretti, died Dec. 30 at age 80. Aldo, whose racing career ended after a bad crash in 1969, played a significant role in the family’s support of Jarett’s career ambitions.
 
“They taught me the principles and the background,” Andretti said. “They didn’t so much give me a roadmap as they gave me the ability to follow the roadmap. They gave me the ability to make the right decisions – or at least feel like I’m making the right decisions – and surround myself with the right people.” 
 
Andretti’s racing journey began in 2010 in sprints and supermodifieds. In 2012, he won the track championship at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, then moving on to USAC Silver Crown cars, sprints and midgets. In 2018, he transitioned to sports cars, eventually landing in the Pirelli GT4 America Series.
 
As Andretti considered the next step in his career progression in 2020, he and his dad looked at cars in the Le Mans Prototype 3-1 category in IMSA Prototype Challenge. The six-race series offers the champion a $100,000 credit applicable toward the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 
 
Just weeks before John Andretti died, father and son watched the IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Daytona on television. They agreed that the cars and series were a proper fit.  
 
“We watched the whole race together,” Jarett said. “Afterward, he looked over at me and said, ‘Man, you’ve got to do this. You’ve got to find way to get in one of these cars and do it.’”
 
“I said, ‘Dad, I’m trying. I’m trying real hard.’ He said, ‘It sounds like you’re not trying hard enough.’ And then he gave me a smile.”
 
That wry, knowing smile came from a father who knew all about various forms of racing. During his 27-year career, John Andretti competed and won in NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA and IMSA races – the latter including the overall win in the 1989 Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Porsche 962.
 
The family tradition of racing success has continued for three generations, and the latest step is just what Dad would’ve wanted.
 
“I don’t think you can really overstate the impact he had on my life and this team,” Jarett said. “He was my best friend. We did everything together. We built the whole team together. His fingerprints are on this, and I know he would be over-the-moon excited about this.”
 
The Prototype Challenge is split into two classes for this season only. LMP3-1 is for the new-generation cars, with LMP3-2 for older-generation cars. There are 19 total entries for the Scouts of America 145: 16 in the new-car class and three in LMP3-2.
 
Matthew Bell and Naveen Rao return to defend their series championship. They’re moving into a new WIN Autosport Duqueine M30-D08 LMP3-1 that will carry the No. 1 signifying their 2020 title. Dakota Dickerson, last year’s runner-up, returns in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier LMP3-1, as does Bronze Cup champion Steven Thomas in the No. 11 WIN Autosport Duqueine LMP3-1.
 
Prototype Challenge action begins with a pair of practices Friday on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET. Qualifying is set for 8:45 a.m. Saturday, ahead of the Scouts of America 145 at 12:50 p.m. A live stream of the one-hour, 45-minute race begins at 12:45 p.m. on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
Since launching its in-house performance tuning division in 2018, Hyundai has become synonymous with the letter “N.”
 
Now, the Korean manufacturer is helping IMSA introduce the letter “E” to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
Twice-defending Rolex 24 At Daytona class winner Augusto Farfus is slated to perform exhibition laps in an electrified Hyundai Veloster N ETCR prior to the four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race, the BMW Endurance Challenge, at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 29. The battery-powered racer has been built to the specifications of the WSC (World Sporting Consulting) Pure ETCR series that is set to debut later this year.
 
With much of the automotive industry trending toward electrification, the Hyundai demonstration run will give IMSA and its fans their first opportunity to see (and hear) an electric touring car in action.
 
Along with a custom Enel X ETCR charger, the car was shipped from Luxembourg on a Boeing 747 freighter, arriving in Florida on Thursday.
 
“IMSA is honored to introduce ETCR to North America through this demonstration and our exclusive partnership with WSC just prior to the launch of our 2021 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “We are grateful to our partners at WSC and are eager to see what the future holds for ETCR here in IMSA.”
 
The Veloster ETCR car looks similar to the Veloster N TCR that competes in the Pilot Challenge Touring Car (TCR) class. Under the skin, however, the ETCR is radically different.
 
Instead of a turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline engine driving the front wheels, the ETCR features a mid-mounted electric motor powering the rear wheels. ETCR competitors must use series-issued power components but enjoy a great deal of freedom in terms of the overall layout of the car.
 
The gas-powered Veloster N TCR has claimed the TCR driver and team championships the last two years in Pilot Challenge. Hyundai officials are confident the electrified version will be equally competitive in Pure ETCR.
 
“The demonstration run at Daytona is a great opportunity for those behind the ETCR regulations and for us at Hyundai to show the excellent performance the Veloster N ETCR is capable of,” said Andrea Adamo, Hyundai Motorsport team principal. “We are honored to have been invited to showcase the car in front of the fans and race teams who will be there.”
 
Farfus has been linked with BMW since 2007. In addition to teaming with BMW Team RLL in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to claim GT Le Mans class honors at the Rolex 24 in 2019 and ’20, his achievements for the German marque include 14 World Touring Car Championship race wins and four victories in the German-based DTM series.
 
Farfus and Nicky Catsburg (who competes in WeatherTech Championship GTLM endurance races for Corvette Racing) won the four-round 2020 Intercontinental GT challenge for GT3 cars.
 
The 37-year old Brazilian has worked with Hyundai since 2019 and is an eager participant in developing the Veloster N ETCR.
 
“Being invited to run a demonstration at Daytona is a big opportunity to show the Veloster N ETCR to the world,” Farfus said. “Through the testing we have already completed, we know some of what it is very capable of putting on a good display, and the track at Daytona should let us show both the superb acceleration and the top speed.
 
“I think being able to see the car will create some great interest in the car and the category, at a big event for motorsport in the U.S. and internationally.”
By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

 

It wasn’t exactly lost at sea, more accurately delayed. But Racing Team Nederland’s bid to participate in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 was hindered by the late arrival of its Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) chassis.
 
The No. 29 ORECA LMP2 07 didn’t reach the Daytona International Speedway grounds until the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship test session was already underway Friday. Undeterred, the crew swiftly got to work putting the car together in the garage. It worked. Despite missing the first session entirely, the No. 29 was atop the LMP2 speed chart within 30 minutes of the second session starting Friday afternoon and stayed there.
 
The lap of 1 minute, 37.991 seconds turned by Giedo van der Garde ranked second on the combined session chart for the day, a quarter-second off the pace. He’s joined by fellow Dutch co-drivers Fritz van Eerd and Job van Uitert, along with Frenchman Charles Milesi, for the Roar and next week’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. It will be the first appearance in the iconic race for drivers and team alike.
 
Team manager Mark Koense explained the decision was made to compete in the Rolex 24 after the team finished its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season at Bahrain in November. The equipment was placed on a cargo ship with what was thought to be plenty of time to reach the U.S.
 
“It was a late decision straight after the last round of the WEC to do Daytona with an eye on what we plan to do next year. The team did a fantastic job of organizing all that at the last minute,” said Koense with a watchful eye as crewmen scrambled piecing the LMP2 together shortly before the second Friday session was to begin. “Everything was shipped out in time, but we lost time at sea. About a week ago, we started to get messages that they were losing time at sea and there was a problem at the port in New York.”
 
Despite the travel disruptions, the car was still slated to reach Daytona on Thursday night – leaving enough time to have it ready for the first session Friday. Alas, the truck carrying the shipment from the port was, you guessed it, delayed once more.
 
“So, things went from rather worrying to impossible because the car arrived during the first session,” Koense said with a wry smile. “The team again has done a fantastic job, too, because everything is in there, it’s almost together. Little bit of a false start but we’re happy to be here and we’ve had a great reception from IMSA. Everybody has been very helpful.”
 
Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, Koense preferred to look on the bright side with the bulk of the Rolex 24 experience still in front of them.
 
“The rest of the week can only go better,” he said. “You know when you enter any motor race, it’s not going to go as you planned. But obviously to not have any car is way off your plan. But again, you have to learn to deal with that.
 
“We’re happy to be here with the world being what it is. It’s a privilege to be here together with all the other competitors. We also have an eye on the future, so for us it’s a great way to prepare for the world championship and a great way to do our first IMSA race and to see what we can do in the future. And it’s a great event, let’s face it.”
By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
It wasn’t as much about driving fast as it was about familiar territory.
 
Two-time defending Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Kamui Kobayashi opened the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with the fastest lap Friday during the first day of testing at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
 
His lap of 1 minute, 35.312 seconds (134.463 mph) around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile DIS road course in the No. 48 Action Express Racing Ally Cadillac DPi V.R was 0.385 seconds faster than the closest competitor. 
 
But the thrill for Kobayashi wasn’t being atop the speed chart. It was being in a familiar car on a familiar track again. The former Formula 1 driver returned to a Cadillac DPi, in which he won the Rolex 24 the past two seasons with Wayne Taylor Racing.
 
“I’m very happy to be returning to the Daytona 24 again,” Kobayashi said. “Being back in the same car and same engine but a different team, I still feel the car is great. I fit quite well with this package. When I got in the car, I felt really comfortable.”
 
Kobayashi will share the car with Jimmie Johnson, Simon Pagenaud and Mike Rockenfeller for the 59th Rolex 24 on Jan. 30-31. The team will attempt to put the car on the pole position in Sunday’s Motul Pole Award 100, a 100-minute race that will determine the starting lineup for the Rolex 24.
 
Ricky Taylor was second fastest in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class, recording a lap of 1:35.697 (133.922 mph) in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05. Felipe Nasr was third in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
 
Nicolas Lapierre recorded the fastest lap in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class at 1:37.741 in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07. James Calado was quickest in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class with a lap of 1:43.680 in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.
 
Moritz Kranz had the fastest lap of the day in the new Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class at 1:43.500 in the No. 6 Muehlner Motorsports America Duqueine M30-D08. Christina Nielsen was fastest in GT Daytona (GTD) at 1:46.194 in the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3R.
 
WeatherTech Championship testing continues Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Qualifying for the Motul Pole Award 100 begins at 3 p.m., with a night practice session scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. 
 
The Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Sunday and can be viewed live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass. A race broadcast can be seen on NBCSN at 4:30 p.m. 
 
Live coverage of the Rolex 24 begins Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.
 
McAleer Leads Prototype Challenge Practice
 
The new-look IMSA Prototype Challenge debuted with practice Friday ahead of the season-opening race, the Scouts of America 145, on Saturday. Nineteen entries split between two classes participated in a pair of 45-minute practices for the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) entries, with Steven McAleer topping the combined-session time chart.
 
Driving the No. 43 Robillard Racing Duqueine M30-D08 he shared with Joe Robillard, McAleer put in a best lap of 1 minute, 42.986 seconds (124.444 mph) around the 3.56-mile Daytona road course during the morning practice. McAleer and Robillard teamed to finish 10th last year in the Prototype Challenge championship standings, despite missing one race. Their entry is among 16 in the LMP3-1 class for new-generation cars.
 
Tonis Kasemets, in the No. 60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P3, was quick among the LMP3-2 competitors with a lap of 1:45.930 (120.985 mph) during the afternoon session.
 
Qualifying for the Scouts of America 145 takes place at 8:45 a.m. ET Saturday. The race, the first of six on the 2021 schedule, begins at 12:50 p.m. Saturday and streams live in the U.S. on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and internationally on IMSA.com.
 
Pumpelly Powers to Front in Michelin Pilot Challenge Testing
 
Spencer Pumpelly put the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 atop the time chart following the opening day of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge testing at Daytona International Speedway. The veteran IMSA racer turned a lap of 1:54.130 (112.293 mph) in the first of two sessions, edging Bill Auberlen in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 by 0.337 seconds in the Grand Sport (GS) class.
 
Jon Morley set the pace in the Touring Car (TCR) division, posting a best lap of 2:00.194 (106.627 mph), also in the opening session, in the No. 61 Road Shagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS DSG. It was a scant 0.023 seconds better than Tim Lewis in the No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR.
 
Pilot Challenge teams and drivers have three more test sessions this weekend, two on Saturday and another on Sunday. The series’ season opens Friday, Jan. 29 with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge, part of Rolex 24 At Daytona week.
American Honda today announced a new partnership with Turner Racing in Progressive American Flat Track. Turner Racing Honda will compete in the 2021 series in the AFT Singles division, with three riders—Henry Wiles, Cole Zabala and Trevor Brunner—aboard CRF450R race machines. The Georgia-based operation, which earned a win last year under the B&M Masonry brand, will also receive technical support from Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda, with Bryan Bigelow in the role of Team Manager and Mike Lozano serving as a technician.
 
This is Honda’s third season back in flat track racing after more than 25 years away, having earned a total of six AFT Singles wins in 2019 and 2020, while finishing those seasons second and third, respectively, in the rider points standings. For 2021, Honda hopes to build on that progress.
 
A veteran of the sport, Michigan native Wiles was the GNC1 Singles Champion in 2009 and 2010, and he finished third in the AFT Singles final standings last year, his first aboard Honda machinery. Zabala and Brunner are up-and-coming racers returning to Turner Racing, and both posted respectable results last season aboard Honda machinery—Zabala notching two podium finishes and Brunner winning the Springfield Short Track.
 
“We’re pleased to have a strong Honda effort in flat track racing,” said Brandon Wilson, Manager of Advertising and Motorcycle Sports at American Honda. “American Flat Track continues to be a great steward of the sport, honoring its legacy while also building a promising future, and we anticipate a fun season battling for the championship. Everyone at Honda thanks Richie Morris and his team for two great years together, and we look forward to a successful effort with Turner Racing.”
 
Turner Racing owner Mike Turner noted that he is excited to be working with Honda. “This truly is a dream come true for our team,” he said. “To follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest flat trackers of all time, like Bubba Shobert, Ricky Graham, Mike Kidd, Freddie Spencer, Terry Poovey, Hank Scott, Doug Chandler and Ted Booty is an honor. These guys were my heroes growing up, and this means the world to me as a team owner. To be a part of the Honda legacy in flat track is something we do not take lightly, and we plan to honor that legacy by working 24/7 on our program to make them proud.”
 
The 2021 Progressive American Flat Track season is scheduled to kick off on March 12 and 13, 2021 with the Volusia Half-Mile doubleheader.
 
For more information on Progressive American Flat Track visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit the Official Progressive AFT Merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.

The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and Central Illinois Dragway have entered into a multi-year sanctioning agreement.

Central Illinois Dragway is in rural Havana Illinois. The 1/8-mile dragway is situated on 64 acres among rolling farmland and the Illinois river opening on August 17, 1969. New Central Illinois Dragway promoters Gary Landgrebe and Don Scott secured a 3-year lease to run the track as well as an option to purchase it after the lease expires.

Planned improvements heading into the 2021 season include updating the timing equipment, increasing the flow of participants into the facility and several upgrades to track cleanup and preparation equipment.

“In a time when more dragstrips are closing than opening, it’s refreshing to see someone step up to the plate at a track like Central Illinois Dragway,” said IHRA Division Director Jon O’Neal. “There’s a core group of dedicated racers and a strong IHRA Summit SuperSeries presence due to the hard work of the previous owner and management team.  Don and Gary bring a strong reputation and business acumen to the table along with a persevering spirit. We look forward to working through the new endeavor with them.”

Central Illinois Dragway plans to have around 23 events in 2021 with the anticipated schedule coming out in less than a month.

For more information about Central Illinois Dragway click here.

Combine a child racer's dream with 5,500 cubic tons of dirt spread across the playing field at Houston's NRG Stadium and sometimes you get magic. That’s what happened at the inaugural SuperTuesday Monster Energy Supercross race on January 19, 2021.

 

Go back a day and a year, and Jett Lawrence was a sixteen-year-old rookie in his third American Supercross. He and his older brother were both chasing the American Supercross dream – though as Australians the journey had cost the family more in time, money, and sacrifice. In that third round of the 2020 season Jett worked his way into the lead, but a late mistake allowed the defending class champion to catch, then pass Jett just three corners from his first victory. The wild Aussie rider let it all hang out…those stories are supposed to turn out great.

 

Jett got bucked in the section of consecutive small jumps appropriately called "whoops," rode the front wheel at the balancing point of disaster, then fate and momentum tipped him the wrong way and he fell over the handlebars into the steep face of a jump. A broken collarbone meant the young, exuberant, and playful rider was out for most of that season.

 

But this is 2021. And in Jett's eighth Monster Energy Supercross everything seemed to be on replay a year plus one day later. This time, he didn't falter, didn't allow his bike to buck, in fact, the young rider made it look easy as he stretched a fourteen second lead on the rest of the field and then notched his first Supercross win.

 

That win was made possible by his brother Hunter who challenged him, the brothers' parents who uprooted their lives to chase the dream, and the Honda HRC team that took the brothers under their wing when the brothers' 2020 support team folded without warning at the end of last year’s racing season. Was Jett excited? You bet, and he wasn't hiding it a bit.

 

Might this be the young racer's first title season? He stands in good company; anyone who knows the sport will recognize these past champions who each won their first race in their sophomore season: Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Travis Pastrana, Ryan Villopoto, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Kevin Windham, Justin Barcia, and Chase Sexton.

 

Jett Lawrence lines up again inside Houston's NRG Stadium this Saturday for Round 3 of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season. It will be exciting to see how young Jett Lawrence follows up his breakthrough ride. The answer will be revealed on January 23 at 8 p.m. Eastern, LIVE on Peacock and NBCSN.

 

450SX Class Results

1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha

3. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda

4. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM

5. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda

6. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha

8. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna

9. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS

10. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna

 

450SX Class Championship Standings

1. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (40)

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (39)

3. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (38)

4. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (38)

5. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (37)

6. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (36)

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (34)

8. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (33)

9. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (30)

10. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (26)

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results

1. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda

2. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

3. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha

4. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS

5. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki

6. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki

7. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda

8. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM

9. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna

10. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

1. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (47)

2. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (44)

3. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (43)

4. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (40)

5. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (37)

6. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (35)

7. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (32)

8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (31)

9. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (29)

10. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (26)

 

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