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  

  

 

Race Winning Brands (RWB), a leading manufacturer of high-performance engine components for the automotive and powersports aftermarkets, is proud to welcome industry veteran, Steve Reed, as Wiseco Powersports Brand Manager.

 

Reed comes to Race Winning Brands with over 22 years of experience in the powersports aftermarket. Since he was a small child, Reed has been driven by a passion for riding and racing dirt bikes, leading to him setting personal goals of establishing himself in the powersports industry. At a young age, Reed began his powersports career in distribution and quickly grew to a top performer in inside/international sales.

 

Most recently, Reed spent a long tenure in portfolio management where he managed 150+ brands within powersports distribution, being directly involved in consecutive off-road product portfolio launches while simultaneously maintaining long-established relationships.

 

“With Wiseco’s deep roots in powersports and Steve’s experience and passion for the powersports industry, this is a perfect fit for RWB,” commented Scott Highland, Race Winning Brands’ Director of Powersports. “Having a genuine interest and involvement with the segments we serve is crucial to connecting with customers on an organic level, and Steve brings extensive knowledge and drive that can help us continue to push performance in the right direction.”

 

2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Wiseco Performance Products, and Reed’s hire supports RWB’s ongoing efforts to adapt and grow with the evolving powersports markets while remaining true to the grassroots values of Wiseco. Reed will play a key role in both developing existing initiatives and supporting Wiseco powersports growth through product management and development, business platform and partnership support, marketing initiatives, as well as direct customer visits.

 

“I am excited to join Race Winning Brands as the Brand Manager of Wiseco and look forward to the challenges ahead” explained Reed. “The role I have been offered provides me with some truly great and exciting opportunities, from brand management to visiting established and future customers directly. I really enjoy the face-to-face contact in a customer’s place of business which provides the opportunity to see and listen to their needs to becoming a sustainable business partner(s). This environment, along with being at the track and trade shows for key events, is something I have greatly enjoyed over the years.”

 

Reed will begin his new role representing RWB and Wiseco Performance Products effective immediately.

 

Feld Entertainment, Inc., today announced the schedule for the upcoming 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship season. The 17-race schedule returns to its traditional weekend routing format as the series visits 15 cities spread across 13 states including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington. Tickets go on sale this October as partner stadiums welcome back fans at full capacity. 

 

Anaheim has become synonymous with the opening round of the Supercross series and Angel Stadium of Anaheim will excitedly host the opening round on Saturday, January 8 as well as subsequent rounds on Saturday, January 29 (Round 4) and Saturday, February 12 (Round 6). Remaining on the West Coast, rounds two and three will take place on Saturday, January 15 at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland and Saturday, January 22 at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., while round 5 travels to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Saturday, February 5. 

 

 

Round seven picks up in the middle of the country on Saturday, February 19 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. before heading south to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, February 26 and then travelling east to the famed Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. for round nine on Saturday, March 5.

  

Missing from last year’s schedule, rounds 10 and 12 will mark a return to Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. on Saturday, March 12 and Lumen Field in Seattle, Wash. on Saturday, March 26 with a visit back to Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, March 19 in Indianapolis, Ind. for round 11.     

 

After a weekend off, the final five rounds will crisscross the country beginning in St. Louis, Mo. at the Dome at America’s Center on Saturday, April 9, then return to Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. on Saturday, April 16, followed by a visit to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on April 23 and Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. on April 30. The championship will conclude in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, May 7 as Utah, the State of Sport, once again hosts the finale.  

     

Storylines abound for the 2022 Supercross season as the 450SX Class continues to feature what has become an ever-expanding, deep array of talent. Three Supercross champions will be competing for another title – 2x champion Cooper Webb, 2020 champion Eli Tomac and 2018 champion Jason Anderson as both a domestic and international “who’s who” list of competitors vie for their first title – Ken Roczen (Germany), Marvin Musquin (France), Dylan Ferrandis (France), Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Barcia, Aaron Plessinger, Malcolm Stewart and Chase Sexton, all from America. 

 

The 250SX Class will see a return of both reigning champions – Justin Cooper (Western Regional) and Colt Nichols (Eastern Regional), while Australian super-star brothers Jett and Hunter Lawrence and Japan’s Jo Shimoda seek their first title.       

 

Another welcomed highlight will be the return of FanFest which is currently planned for all rounds except Minneapolis, Minn. (Round 7) and Detroit, Mich. (Round 10). The expansive outside footprint will feature the race team rigs, Monster Energy exhibitions, photo opportunity set ups, food and beverages, plus the comforting Race Day Live Lounge and red-carpet styled Ride of Fame

 

Ticket information, Eastern and Western Regional 250SX Class race designations, Triple Crown and Dave Coombs Sr. 250SX East/West Showdown events will be announced later in the year. Stay up to date with all of the latest news and updates by visiting SupercrossLIVE.com.

They’re big, bad, and ready to entertain you! See Monster Trucks tear up the grandstand at the 2021 Orange County Fair with an action-packed show! The perfect entertainment for all ages, guests will witness our trucks crushing, jumping, and racing up close July 23rd-25th. The show begins at 7pm each night and the grandstand will open at 5:30 pm. All tickets are for general admission; seating is on a first come, first served basis. Buy tickets online at www.orangecountyfair.com and get FREE fair admission with your purchase.

Tickets for general admission seating in the Main Grandstand are $25. Tickets for general admission seating in the 1/2 Covered & First Turn Grandstands are $20. The 2021 Orange County Fair is open Thursdays-Sundays July 15th-August 1st. Hours are 4pm-11pm on weekdays and 1pm-11pm on weekends. For more information and to SAVE BIG on admission and unlimited ride combo tickets visit www.orangecountyfair.com.

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service

 

Considering he didn’t set foot in the race car, Bryan Sellers reaped quite the benefit when his team finished second in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.
 
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event at Lime Rock Park was scheduled for two hours, 40 minutes, but it was halted by lightning in the Lakeville, Connecticut, area with 70 minutes remaining.
 
To that point, co-driver Madison Snow had taken the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 from fifth on the starting grid to second place. With the race unable to resume before the time limit would expire, the No. 1 finished in the runner-up spot without Sellers taking the wheel.
 
Snow was the first of the GTD entrants to pit, with the team electing to keep him in the car to save time on the stop. He wound up one of just two drivers not to swap out for a co-driver, along with Trent Hindman in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. The track position Snow gained through the quick stop proved pivotal to the fourth podium finish this season for the No. 1 Lamborghini.
 
And all Sellers had to do was watch.
 
“A race when you can do absolutely nothing and still end up on the podium is special,” Sellers said afterward. “The only involvement I really had today is that they asked me what I thought about strategy, and I said it wasn’t a bad idea.
 
“The guys on the box did a great job today, and Madison did even better. He drove a perfect race. He put down fast laps when he needed to put down fast laps, and he created gaps when he needed to create gaps. The strategy call put us where it did, and after that it was up to Madison to hold on.”
 
Snow did just that in steamy, sultry conditions.
 
“It was incredibly hot and humid before the storm rolled through, and those aren’t easy conditions to work in,” said Mitchell Simmons, team manager at Paul Miller Racing. “I’m especially proud of Madison today. He was out there in the heat, with a malfunctioning drinks bottle, as one of the only drivers double stinting and as an Am driver amongst pros, and he really did a great job.”
 
Snow took it all in stride, seeming almost oblivious to the unusual nature of his day.
 
“It was probably a weird race from the outside, but for me – until it ended – it was pretty normal,” he said. “I got in there and drove. We made a strategy call that ended up being great and adapted to the conditions. It really ended up working out for us, the car got better and better as the temperatures dropped and the rain got closer, and we had a good car to begin with.
 
“It wasn’t quite good enough to work our way through the field, but with the strategy call getting us up there, it was good enough to hold on to second place. Finishing on the podium is always good for the championship, too!”
 
The result kept Snow, Sellers and the team in the thick of the battles for the GTD season championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup. They sit third in season points, just 70 out of the lead with five races remaining. There are four events left in Sprint Cup, with the No. 1 in fourth place, 218 points back.
 
The next WeatherTech Championship race is the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race will stream live at 2:35 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 8 on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, with the NBCSN telecast beginning at 8 p.m.

 The 4th Annual CARS Tour “Honeywell Home Throwback 276 presented by Baker Distributing” at Hickory Motor Speedway on July 31st will see six different “throwback” celebrities of the sport honored at the series’ biggest event of the season. This year’s group is an excellent mix of short track heritage, NASCAR Cup success, and local flare.

Fans will get the opportunity to meet with these six legendary figures as part of the on-track Fan Fest autograph session beginning at 6:00 pm Saturday night. In addition, both Super Late Models and Late Model Stock divisions, will be on hand to do the same. Once the autograph session is complete, fans will be treated to stories from the past with the “Lookback with the Legends” sessions as the group reflects on the sports history with announcer, Tony Stevens.

-Scott Riggs: 208 NASCAR Cup starts, 115 Busch Series starts with 4 series wins. 60 NASCAR Truck Series starts with 5 series wins. 2002 Busch Series Rookie of the Year. 2003 Busch Series Most Popular Driver of the Year. Multi time Late Model Stock Car winner at tracks throughout the Carolinas. Riggs’ son, Layne Riggs competes full-time on the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour and is a multi-time series winner.

-David Reutimann: 235 NASCAR Cup starts with 2 series wins (Charlotte 2009, Chicago 2010), 127 Xfinity starts with 1 series win (Memphis 2007). Finished 2nd in 2007 Busch Series standings. 79 NASCAR Truck Series starts win 1 series in (Nashville 2005). 106 NASCAR All Pro series starts with 3 series wins (South Boston 2002, Greenville 2002, Southern National 2002). Finished second in All Pro Series points in 2002 as well. Drove for NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip in the NASCAR Truck Series before eventually moving to the Cup Series to driver for Darrell’s brother, Michael Waltrip. After retiring from NASCAR racing, Reutimann currently races dirt modified cars as well as builds chassis for his company Beak Built Chassis.

-Bosco Lowe: 7 NASCAR Cup starts. 133 Late Model Sportsman/Busch Series starts. One win in the ARCA Series (Cloverleaf Speedway 1984). Lowe from nearby Fairview, North Carolina made his racing debut at Hickory Motor Speedway in 1967. Lowe was most famous for his Late Model and Sportsman racing day at tracks throughout the Carolinas.   

-Larry Pollard: 4 NASCAR Cup starts, 98 Busch Series starts with 1 series win (Langley 1987). A Canadian native, his win at Langley in 1987 made him the first non-American driver at the time to win a Busch Grand National race. Prior to driving, Pollard was a pit crew member for Richard Petty in the early 1980’s.

-David Green: 78 NASCAR Cup Series starts. 404 Busch Series starts with 9 series wins. 11 NASCAR Truck Series starts. Green won the 1994 Busch Series championship title driving for Bob Labonte, the father of former NASCAR star, Bobby Labonte. Green also made his Busch Series debut at Hickory Motor Speedway, the site of the Throwback 276, and has one series win at the facility in 1996. After his championship season, Green would go on to finish second in the Busch Series championship points twice (1996, 2003).

-Joe Nemechek: 674 NASCAR Cup starts with 4 series wins. 453 Busch/Xfinity Series starts with 16 series wins. 70 NASCAR Truck Series starts. Nemechek is the all-time leader in combined NASCAR series starts with 1,195. 1988 USAR Pro Cup Rookie of the Year. 1989 All Pro Series champion. 1990 Busch Series Rookie of the Year. 1992 Busch Series champion. 1992, 1993 Busch Series Most Popular driver. Joe Nemechek’s son, John Hunter Nemecheck, currently races for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series, and is a former CARS Super Late Model Tour competitor.  

Tickets for the Throwback 276 presented by Baker Distributing are now on sale at www.carsracingtour.com. Tickets for the biggest event of the year are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event. The Throwback 276 Mega Pack which includes: FREE weekend pit pass, general admission ticket, Throwback 276 hat, Throwback 276 shirt, and Throwback 276 spotters guide paint scheme poster is just $76 in advance only and limited to just the first 76 fans who purchase the package. 

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212. 

Jaguar Land Rover has today officially confirmed Jaguar Racing’s long-term future to the Gen3 era of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – set to commence in the 2022/23 season.
 
Jaguar Racing’s race-winning motorsport operation will help Jaguar Land Rover develop new sustainable technologies and set new benchmarks in quality with its partners, and support Jaguar’s renaissance as an all-electric luxury brand from 2025.
 
The Formula E programme will contribute to Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy - a commitment to achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036, and net zero status across supply chain, operators, and products by 2039.
 
Jaguar’s all-electric I-TYPE race cars have achieved four victories and 12 podiums in its 59 Formula E races and will continue to be a real-world test bed for developing world-leading technologies while pushing for points, podiums and wins on track. Jaguar Racing will continue its successful long-term technical partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering into the Gen3 era of Formula E.
 
The long-term commitment comes ahead of Jaguar Racing’s first race on home soil for 17 years as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship returns this weekend for the highly anticipated 2021 Heineken® London E-Prix double-header with action live from 14:00 BST on Channel 4 on Saturday 24 July and from 13:40 BST on Sunday 25 July.
 
The certified Net Zero Carbon Championship has a new venue to call home at London’s Royal Docks and a bespoke indoor/outdoor circuit – a world first in international single-seater motorsport.
 
The race is the first major event at ExCel London, since the venue served London as an NHS Nightingale hospital and Covid-19 vaccination centre, Saturday’s race also marks 100 days until COP26.
 
This weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course motorcyclists from across the country will unite for the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Royal Enfield, July 23-25.  
 
This is one of the largest annual gatherings worldwide of motorcyclists, enthusiasts, swap meet vendors and collectors. It is all for a great cause serving as a fundraiser for the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization located in nearby Pickerington, Ohio, that works to preserve the history and tradition of motorcycling in the United States.    
 
The 2021 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will feature an On Any Sunday theme, celebrating 50 years of Bruce Brown's epic moto documentary. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer David Aldana, one of the film’s legendary stars, serving as Grand Marshal. There will also be a special outdoor screening of the renowned film on Friday, July 23.
 
“Everyone involved in this event was extremely disappointed that we had to postpone the event in 2020 which makes this year even more special. We are thrilled to once again showcase all the different motorcycling activities that will consume our 380-acre property,” said Craig Rust, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President. “If you ride or just aspire to learn more about the two-wheel culture, this weekend is a fantastic immersive experience for you.”
 
The weekend will include multiple forms of racing disciplines, including road racing on the 2.4-mile, 15 turn Mid-Ohio road course, hare scrambles, motocross, pit bikes and trials. Flat track racing will be held at the nearby Ashland County Fairgrounds on Saturday evening (July 24).
 
Along with the abundance of racing, attendees can be entertained through merchandise displays, a swap meet with approximately 1,000 vendors spread across 35 acres, and other attractions, such as the Wall of Death. Demo rides for motorcyclists with proper riding endorsements and safety gear are always a popular weekend feature. Honda and Royal Enfield will be onsite to offer rides on some of their hottest new models for those in a market for a new bike. Motorcycle owners can also take part in the “Lap for History” around the race track during the lunch break each day with a donation to the AMA Hall of Fame, or enter their motorcycle into the bike show on Saturday (July 24).
 
Ticket prices for the event are $60 for the weekend, $40 for admission on Friday or Saturday and $35 for Sunday ($10 additional at the gate). Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult at all events at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Garage paddock access is open to the public for free during AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Royal Enfield. Motorhome and tent spaces are available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased in advance either by calling 419-884-8400 during business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by visiting midohio.com
 
Visit www.vintagemotorcycledays.com to read more about AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days presented by Royal Enfield. Follow the event on social media with #AMAVMD. 

 

(Courtesy of Mid-Ohio)

Tickets are on sale now for the historic 60th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, North America’s most prestigious sports car race. The iconic event, which is the ultimate test of endurance, speed and skill for world-class competition and at the World Center of Racing, will be held on Jan. 29-30, 2022, at Daytona International Speedway to open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

 

Practice sessions in all classes kick off the historic week on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 27-28. In addition, Friday’s slate will see the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge to open the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season. The storied “around the clock” Rolex 24 At DAYTONA gets the green flag on Saturday, Jan. 29. Tickets, Camping, Hospitality (including the Rolex 24 Lounge) and other experiences can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

 

Among the options available are 2- and 4-day admission packages, granting fans access to both the infield and the venue for the Rolex 24 and the Roar Before the 24. 2-day passes are $60 and 4-day passes are $110 and include Garage access. Kids 12 and under are free. Fans in attendance will have access to the ballfield and grid for pre-race ceremonies, including driver introductions and the grid walk.

 

With 24 hours to explore, fans can take advantage of a host of experiences, including the Open Fan Grid Walk, Autograph Session, Carnival atmosphere at the Boardwalk featuring the traditional Ferris wheel, fireworks show over Lake Lloyd, Heritage Exhibition display, and Garage access. In addition, Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to noted Rolex 24 Champions, as well as the magnificent machines that carried them to victory, as part of the 60th anniversary celebration.

 

Editor’s Note: For 2022 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA video, click here.

 

“The 2022 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will be a celebration of 60 years of memorable, iconic moments, and the continuation of a rich legacy at The World Center of Racing,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “We are looking forward to hosting fans from across the globe for an unforgettable experience like no other.”

 

The 2022 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will again open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which currently features competition in five classes: the headlining Daytona Prototype International (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP2), the new GTD PRO class making its world debut with factory teams and drivers, and GT Daytona (GTD) for customer racing programs.

 

Like 2021, the track will host back-to-back racing weekends with the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions on Jan. 21-23 (Friday-Sunday). Qualifying to determine the starting lineup for the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will also take place on Sunday, Jan. 23. Scout Days, a longtime tradition during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 that didn’t occur earlier this year because of the pandemic, is set to return in January.

 

The Taste of the 24, held annually on the Saturday evening after the drop of the green flag to the Rolex 24, is once again scheduled with the proceeds benefitting the NASCAR Foundation. It features an unrivalled dining experience featuring local restaurant fare in the Midway Suites as part of the frontstetch seating.

 

The inaugural Rolex 24 was a three-hour event in 1962, initially known as the Daytona Continental, with Hall of Famer Dan Gurney taking the checkered flag. Held on Daytona’s world-famous 3.56-mile road course, the event has become renowned for annually attracting many of the world’s finest race car drivers – from various racing disciplines – to make history against the world’s best sports car racers.

 

Historically, drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have joined forces for the chance to win the coveted Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.  Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Acura quartet of Filipe Albuquerque, Helio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi and Ricky Taylor are the reigning Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Overall Champions.

 

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for the latest speedway news.

 

By Holly Cain
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
There is an unmistakable energy in Dan DeMonte’s voice as he talks about the Skip Barber Racing School. His family purchased the famed driving school in 2017 and has been busy maneuvering the iconic operation into a corporate apex of speed and marketability.
 
Inspired and determined, DeMonte eagerly rattles off the names of Skip Barber’s famous graduates who range from IMSA stars like Ricky and Jordan Taylor to Indy 500 winners like Alexander Rossi and Juan Pablo Montoya. 
 
The school has long been regarded as the sport’s Harvard of speed – where drivers learn to handle their first sequential gearbox, to master the apex and for many, where they begin dreaming of big trophies and big-time championships. From teaching the basics of sedan and formula competition, to tutoring NASCAR stars at road courses to providing unforgettable corporate events, Skip Barber is a world-renowned property.
 
And DeMonte, who owns the company with his brother and two sisters, is full of ideas to take this proven formula into the future.
 
“We’re building a team to take the great history of the brand and company and expand that physically and logistically,’’ said DeMonte, chief marketing officer for Skip Barber Racing School.
 
“In the next 12 months we’ll run 200 events and put 10,000 students through our schools running at most of the iconic tracks across the country – Laguna Seca, COTA (Circuit of The Americas), Sebring, Road Atlanta, Lime Rock Park and New Jersey Motorsports Park.”
 
And the impact spans multiple racing series. In May, IMSA announced that the Skip Barber Racing School has become a series partner and will take a bold presence at its events as the “Preferred Racing School of IMSA.”
 
“Skip Barber Racing School has earned a reputation for providing a vital first step to so many racing drivers who, over the years, have gone on to achieve the pinnacle of success in our sport,” IMSA President John Doonan said in announcing the partnership.
 
“IMSA is proud to officially partner with Skip Barber Racing School with an eye toward developing a new generation of sports car driving talent. We also will work together with the Skip Barber team to provide ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities through the school’s other experiential programs available to IMSA partners and enthusiasts.”
 
That same month, in a nod to its versatile outreach, the Skip Barber Racing School played a huge role in preparing NASCAR drivers for their competitive debut at COTA. Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace and this year’s Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell were among those who spent time with Skip Barber instructors to learn the new road course on their schedule.
 
“I was in a meeting watching the drivers talk about the track and there were questions from Kyle Busch, and I saw Michael McDowell was taking notes furiously,’’ DeMonte said. “But if you think about it, it makes sense because our (Skip Barber instructors) had been around that track a thousand times. It wasn’t just that those NASCAR drivers wanted to get seat time, which of course they did, they wanted to listen to our instructors who are talented.
 
“We do that for average students as well as those on a higher level,’’ he continued. “I was really pleased and proud they had an impact. Michael McDowell told me, ‘You guys were superior to most anything we’ve seen.’”
 
Skip Barber Racing School has long held a special presence in auto racing.
 
From sunny days on Sebring International Raceway pit road to cool afternoons working at New Jersey Motorsports Park, chief instructor Terry Earwood and an impressive list of other talented racing professors have helped shape the sport’s competitive landscape for decades.
 
“We get to say in every school, ‘the system works, trust it,’ and it does,” Earwood said in his distinctive Southern drawl.
 
“God bless Skip. He was a good racer, but he had a focus and knew what people needed to know to go faster, and then he hired some real good people and they all fed off each other.’’
 
From the racing schools’ earliest days, Earwood recalled, you had to have a racing championship of some kind on your résumé to be considered for an instructor job. Earwood, an accomplished road racer and the winningest driver in the history of the IMSA Firestone Firehawk Series, still gets a kick out of the irony of his longtime employment teaching road-course skills at the school.
 
“I had four drag racing championships, but still they were championships,’’ Earwood said, adding with a laugh, “At first, I got confused there after a quarter-mile, but I learned from some good people and was finally able to turn left and right.”
 
Founded in 1975, the Skip Barber Racing School figures to have trained in excess of 350,000 drivers since then. Its honor roll is notable with IMSA standouts such as the Taylor brothers, Indy 500 winners like Montoya and Ryan Hunter-Reay and racing crossover stars such as Danica Patrick and current NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger all receiving instruction through Skip Barber at some time in their careers.
 
You may well hear of a new generation of Skip Barber students, too. And that’s the idea.
 
DeMonte points to a pair of young aspiring talents – from 23-year-old Instagram star Lindsey Marie Brewer, who attended Skip Barber Racing School and now competes in both its open-wheel and sedan series, to 20-year-old Colin Harrison, who has begun a promising career in the series’ sedan ranks – as drivers to watch.
 
“It’s like raising kids, you’re so happy when they succeed,’’ said Earwood, who started working for the school in 1984. “That’s why I look at the results every Sunday night and Monday morning, going ‘how did my kids do?’
 
“They will always be in my mind and my heart because I know what they’ve come through to get there, so I’m just so proud to watch them. I was watching an IMSA race with some of my Trans Am Series co-workers and they said, ‘How many kids have you taught?’
 
“I said let’s look at the finish list and I’ll show you the percentage of either Skip Barber former instructors or students. Makes you proud.”
 
That pride goes both ways. 
 
With thousands of students attending some version of Skip Barber Racing School annually, there is a broad spectrum in talent level. A few attend the one-day and three-day racing schools to lay a foundation for a possible professional career. Others are interested in amateur racing. And, of course, there are die-hard “car people” who admittedly just love to drive fast and appreciate the chance to acquire a fine-tuned skill set behind the wheel.
Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor still cherish their time at the Skip Barber school more than a decade ago.
 
Ricky, 31, who currently leads the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Daytona Prototype international (DPi) standings, attended two-day and three-day courses at Sebring as a 16-year-old. Younger brother Jordan, 30, who leads the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) standings, attended as a 14-year-old – both brothers having just completed a successful go-kart career and ready to take the next step and test themselves behind the wheel of a Formula Ford. 
 
“You want to make the jump from go-karts to cars, and at the time, Skip Barber was clearly the top choice,’’ said Ricky Taylor, who has earned two WeatherTech Championship titles and this year picked up a second Rolex 24 At Daytona overall victory.
 
“You want to have as many people around you that know what they’re talking about, and Skip Barber has always been built around the instructors and building the fundamentals. 
 
“There really wasn’t a better place for us to go out of go-karts than Skip Barber, so we did everything. We did two-day school, three-day school, regional series, national series, scholarship shootout. We did a lot of Skip Barber.”
And according to both Taylors, there were many takeaways – certainly, the fundamentals and broad skill sets that they have been able to put to use at the highest level of competition today.
 
“You couldn’t change the car,” Ricky Taylor said of his first experiences in the Skip Barber open-wheel cars. “The car was what it was, and you had to learn I think a really great trait, especially for a sports car driver, you had to learn to drive around a problem.’’
 
“Since you couldn’t change the car or make it exactly how you wanted it, you had to learn technique to make the car do what you wanted. In sports car racing, when the track is changing and the car is changing throughout the race, you have to be really adaptable. That’s something I think Skip Barber taught me really well.”
 
Certainly, the Taylors bought in to the lessons and opportunities at Skip Barber – a belief verified considering the achievements of fellow students. Ricky raced in Skip Barber with IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden and Jordan was going wheel-to-wheel with Conor Daly and Gabby Chaves.
 
“The list is huge, there’s IndyCar champions, IMSA sports car champions. I’m sure NASCAR drivers went through there; Montoya, Andretti,’’ said Jordan Taylor, who has a pair of Rolex 24 wins in the DPi class and this year earned another with Corvette Racing in GTLM.
 
“Even when we were there, you’d hear stories of what those guys were like when they went through Skip Barber and it kind of makes it all relative that those guys started at the same level as you when they were at that age. 
 
“They were once students as well and progressed to where they are now, and it kind of gives you hope that the process works. That’s what is so great about Skip Barber, that all these guys started their careers there and some became IndyCar champions, some became sports car champions and all these things. It definitely opens your eyes to what’s possible.’’
You might say, it’s been a win-win-win for the Skip Barber Racing School, which will assume a higher profile on IMSA race weekends.
 
“It’s a really nice relationship,’’ DeMonte said, adding, “They are trying to tell the IMSA story and there’s no better way to tell it than through the seat of a Skip Barber Racing School car during a program. So, I think there are a number of engagement points.’’
 
DeMonte is excited about the future. In addition to the at-track sessions, plans were announced this week for a 40,000-square-foot indoor electric karting track at the American Dream Mall located outside New York City, where he hopes to develop young drivers and perhaps guide the “next American Formula One driver.” 
 
Between the driving schools, racing programs and raised exposure, DeMonte sees nothing but green flags and fast laps for the Skip Barber Racing School.
 
“What I think we’ve done,” he said, “is a good job with is melding the history and looking toward the future.”
Three straight.
 
That’s the mission for Gus Dean and DLP Motorsports as they filed a last-minute entry to compete in Saturday night’s Carolina Pro Late Model Series event at Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway. 
 
Dean, a native of Bluffton, S.C. has transitioned well to the tour winning in his last two Carolina Pro Late Model Series starts in the Prelude to Darlington Raceway at Florence (S.C.) Speedway in May and most recently at Franklin County (Va.) Speedway earlier this month.
 
With the confidence of his DLP Motorsports team, Dean is confident about his chances to bring home another trophy in the 100-lap showdown Saturday night.
 
“I’m having a blast right now in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series,” said Dean. “The series is great itself with a lot of great people. The competition is also stout but the guys at DLP Motorsports are bringing me fantastic race cars capable of leading a lot of laps and winning.
 
“Our goals haven’t changed. We’re just going to run our pace and hope the result is the same as our last two starts.”
 
Like Franklin County, Dean is no stranger to Dillon (S.C.) Motor Speedway.
 
During his competition in the X-1R Pro Cup Series (now CARS Tour), Dean, who recently got engaged to his fiancé Briar Foran competed in two events where he carried two top-five finishes including a track series best of second in 2012.
 
The following year, he finished a competitive fifth after starting sixth driving both races for his family-owned Dean Racing team.
 
While it’s been a while since Dean has visited or competed at the 4/10-mile oval, he is confident that his track knowledge will be an advantage.
 
“Dillon is a unique race track, but it seems to fit my driving style,” added Dean. “The track is somewhat egg-shaped with Turns 3 and 4 much different than Turns 1 and 2. With that being said, you have to be able to get into a solid rhythm to continue at a good pace.
 
“Buggy” and all the DLP Motorsports are very comfortable with knowing what I need in a race car, and I think we’ll have a good setup that we can start with and roll from there.
 
“As I have said before, we’ve certainly have had many blessings in racing, but nothing feels better than capturing that checkered flag and climbing out of the car celebrating. Winning again is our priority on Saturday night, but it is going to be a stacked field, so we will stay humbled and focus and hope it all works out again.”
 
While Dean, 26, still plans to have a presence in NASCAR this season, his Dean Racing team is also working hard to keep him behind the seat of Late Models too.
 
“We have a lot going on right now behind the scenes and I look forward to making some announcements soon,” Dean continued. “Racing is everything to me and we are working hard to make sure that when I get on the track this summer, fall and we even have started working on 2022 already. Anything I climb into will give me the opportunity to showcase my ability and challenge for that checkered flag.”
David “Buggy” Pletcher, owner of DLP Motorsports is thrilled to have the popular driver back on board this weekend.
 
“There isn’t another driver I would want behind the wheel of our race car than Gus Dean,” Pletcher said. “Gus is a wheelman and isn’t afraid to make moves to get to the front and stay there. He has shown that a lot this year.
 
“I believe he has turned a lot of heads in this series in a very short amount of time and definitely earned the respect of his competitors. When they see Gus at the track, they know he’s going to be a threat.  
 
“I’m again excited about the car we are bringing him and feel like we have a shot to continuing our winning ways on Saturday night.”
 
Dean is a two-time winner in the ARCA Menards Series with victories at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Elko (Minn.) Speedway, respectively.
 
Practice begins for the Carolina Pro Late Model Series on Sat., July 24, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., with qualifying set for 4:30 p.m. and racing beginning at 6:00 p.m.
 
For more on Gus Dean, please visit GusDean.com, like him on Facebook (Gus Dean Racing) and follow him on Twitter (@GusDean).
 
For more on MASHONIT Apparel Co., please visit MashOnIt.com, like them on Facebook (MashOnIt Apparel Co.,), follow them on Instagram (MashOnIt_Clothing) and follow them on Twitter (@MashOnIt Apparel Co.).
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