Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
Contact Adam: Email
The International Hot Rod Association's (IHRA) Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series returns to Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada.
On the schedule every year since 2003, this year's Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals marks the 12th consecutive year the IHRA has traveled to Castrol Raceway to celebrate one of Canada's biggest and most exciting drag racing events. The 2014 IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals will feature three full days of drag racing action in more than a dozen professional and sportsman categories with qualifying on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5 and eliminations on Sunday, July 6, all at Castrol Raceway.
The professional classes will include more than 20 nitro-powered cars in Top Fuel Dragster, Nitro Funny Car and Nitro Harley, plus the return of Pro Modified, the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car group, Alcohol Funny Car, the U.S. Fire Force jet-powered fire truck and the debut of the fastest women in drag racing - the Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster racing team.
The IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals is the eighth of 12 races on the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series North American Tour.
WHAT: IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada
Top Fuel Dragster
AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car
Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car
Alcohol Funny Car
Top Alcohol Dragster
Jet Fire Truck
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: "The Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals at Castrol Raceway have earned the reputation as the must-see event on the IHRA calendar. With a lineup unique to this event made up of more than a different classes, there is something for everyone at Canada's biggest drag race," said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. "This year, we are thrilled to welcome back Pro Modified as a full field of ear-shattering, five-second Pro Mods join Top Fuel Dragsters, Nitro Funny Cars, Jets and more spread over three days. It is like the Woodstock of drag racing."
EVENT INFO: The 2014 IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals will feature the best racers from the world of drag racing in multiple professional and sportsman categories. Each day will feature sportsman racing throughout the day and professional racing in the evening. Nitro Jam professional racing will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
New in 2014, the IHRA will host an all-new Fan Fest pit area centered around the Larsen Motorsports compound. FanFest will feature driver autographs and interviews, an interactive display showcasing how to build, design and race a jet-powered racecar in the Jet Technology Center and the exciting Hollywood Cars of the Stars collection featuring some of the most famous cars ever driven in film and television including the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series and more.
The FanFest pit area opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, July 4-6
WHERE: Castrol Raceway
TICKETS: Available at the gate day of show or in advance at www.nitrojam.com.
CONTACT: Call Castrol Raceway at (780) 461-5801 or visit them at www.castrolraceway.com.
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Mark Sanders
Pro Stock - Cary Goforth over Todd Hoerner
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Jay Turner
Nitro Altered - Mike Hilsabeck over Jim Maroney
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Elaine Larsen
San Antonio, Texas
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over John Smith
Pro Stock - John DeFlorian over Cary Goforth
Nitro Harley - Randal Andras over Jay Turner
Nitro Altered - Ron Hope over Mike Hilsabeck
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
Nitro Funny Car - Mike McIntire Jr. over Jason Rupert
Pro Stock - Cary Goforth over John DeFlorian
Nitro Harley - Mark Cox over Joey Sternotti
Nitro Altered - Don Blackshear over Brian Hope
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Elaine Larsen
Palm Beach, Florida
Cancelled due to weather
Rockingham, North Carolina
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Peter Gallen
Pro Stock - Brad Waddle over Kevin Bealko
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Randal Andras
Nitro Altered - Ron Maroney over Shane Harter
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk over Dawn Perdue
Budds Creek, Maryland
Nitro Funny Car - John Hale over Peter Gallen
Pro Stock - John Konigshofer over Todd Hoerner
Nitro Harley - Mike Scott over Randal Andras
Nitro Altered - Don Blackshear over Ron Maroney
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
Grand Bend, Ontario
Nitro Funny Car - Jason Rupert over Mark Sanders
Nitro Harley - Nate Gagnon over Mike Pelrine
Nitro Altered - Ron Maroney over Troy Martin
Jet Dragster - Elaine Larsen over Dawn Perdue
PRO POINTS (Top 5)
Nitro Funny Car: 1. Jason Rupert, 2. Mark Sanders, 3. Mike McIntire, 4. Tim Boychuk, 5. Bruce Litton
Pro Stock: 1. Cary Goforth, 2. John DeFlorian, 3. Todd Hoerner, 4. John Konigshofer, 5. Kevin Bealko
Nitro Harley: 1. Mike Scott, 2. Jay Turner, 3. Randal Andras, 4. Mark Cox, 5. Alvin Kobernusz
Nitro Altered: 1. Ron Maroney, 2. Don Blackshear, 3. Mike Hilsabeck, 4. Ron Hope, 5. Shane Harter
Jet Dragster: 1. Elaine Larsen, 2. Dawn Perdue, 3. Marisha Falk, 4. Kat Moller
SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS (subject to change; all times local)
FRIDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 5:30 p.m.; FanFest Opens @ 4 p.m.; Nitro Jam @ 7 p.m.
SATURDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 9 a.m.; FanFest Opens @ 2 p.m.; Nitro Jam @ 6 p.m.
SUNDAY: Gates Open @ 9 a.m.; Sportsman Racing @ 9 a.m.; FanFest Opens @ 11 a.m.; Nitro Jam @ 11:30 a.m.
SERKET Racing had a rough weekend on the track but continued to focus on its mission in Rounds 7 and 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama last weekend at Watkins Glen International. The historic, 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course, located just off Seneca Lake, was the first track to host a post-World War II road race event in the U.S. Since then, The Glen has held steady in its commitment to our military, past and present.
Driver Mark Llano was joined by "Ghost Hunters International" celebrity Paul Bradford and members of theU.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team at the track's annual military appreciation day, which took place Sunday, June 29 at Veteran Corner in Turn 1. Llano, a former Marine, spent time at the event signing autographs, taking pictures and spreading the SERKET Racing mission of raising awareness and funds for our veterans.
"Everyone at Watkins Glen does a great job supporting our best and bravest," Llano said. "And for us to be a part of an event that symbolic is truly amazing. We had some tough races out there, but this weekend was about a lot more than just racing for me. It was an opportunity to make our veterans smile, say thank you to them and let them know that they are a part of our team, that we were representing them out on the track."
It was a good way to end a rough race weekend for the SERKET team. In Race 1, Llano had a strong start in the No. 24 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car but faced gearbox issues after only 10 laps, limiting him to just fight to finish.
"The car was running well at the start of the race," Llano said. "When I came into Turn 7, about 10 laps in, the car locked up. I realized there was a bigger problem. After that point I was just really a sitting duck, so the key was just to finish the race and get the points."
Race 2 of the weekend didn't come with a change of luck for Llano. It started just as the first race, with a clean start, and Llano was in a battle for position in the Gold Cup class. But just eight laps in to the race, he was eliminated from contention by unavoidable contact.
"I thought it was a good run," Llano said. "Melanie Snow was in front of me, and the No. 74 car (Bill Peluchiwski) was in front of her. I thought he went hot into the turn and all I saw was him start to spin. Melanie went right, I went left. He was still in his spin, and I had nowhere to go, so we went flying and ended our day. I couldn't help what happened. I just had to put it out of my mind and keep moving forward."
Llano officially recorded ninth- and 10th-place finishes in the Gold Cup Masters Championship for the weekend and sits in seventh place in the championship point standings.
SERKET Racing will be back on the track July 12-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Rounds 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series. With the next race less than two weeks away, it will be a quick turnaround for SERKET Racing. Llano will use his backup car for the next two rounds of the series.
"In the Marines, we improvise," Llano said. "So that's what we're going to do - adapt and overcome. Thankfully we have the second car, and we will go back out there and race another day."
Jerome Mee stood proudly atop the Lites 2 podium in Round 6 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship Saturday, June 28 at Watkins Glen International. The first victory of the season tasted even sweeter for Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/ team owner Mee after a disappointing crash in Round 5 on Friday eliminated him from that International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series race.
"I am very excited," Mee said. "I have to thank my engineer Brad (Pierce) and my crew for their hard work. It took 8 ½ hours to get the car ready after Friday's hit. Saturday's race left me flat-out exhausted, but it was rewarding standing on the podium and knowing my team was a big part of that rebound."
Mee found himself tangled with Madison Snow on the opening lap of the 30-minute sprint race at the historic, 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
"I knew going into the first race that if there was a spin or something that happened in front of me, I would need to cut to the inside," Mee said. "I saw the Tequila Patron car get bumped and slide, and in that split-second I thought: 'I'll go inside. Never mind, I'll go outside.' That moment of hesitation killed me. I realized I wasn't going to make it. I tried to duck over, but I hit Snow's nose pretty hard."
The damage on the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing machine included destroyed front right suspension and left and right corner panels. Mee and his team worked tirelessly at the track until 12:30 a.m. Saturday putting the car back together -- making Saturday's victory that much more satisfying.
"I got on Brian (Alder's) rear right away, and I knew by the third lap that I had pace on him," Mee said. "I was quicker through almost every turn and could have jumped on him, but I wanted to wait. I drafted on him going into the Bus Stop and never saw him again. I had about a 14-second lead at one point, but on the double yellow Ludovico (Manfredi) caught up to me and passed me on the restart. I reeled him in with three laps to go and he spun in Turn 8. After that I backed down and cruised the rest of the way home."
That pursuit of Manfredi, combined with the hard work of his team Friday night and Saturday morning, showed the building strength of Alta Velocita Racing and Mee's continued improvement behind the wheel.
"This was the first time I was actually able to hunt someone down with better pace and pass them," Mee said. "It was far more fun, and I think it comes from feeling more confident in the car. Before it was more about survival, and I would pass someone as a result of their own mistakes. This weekend was actually racing, and it was fun!"
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda field will be back in action for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix Presented By Hawk Performance on July 10-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, the only Canadian round of the series.
Two races, 90 minutes. That's all it took for Kelly Moss Motorsports to take first place in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Team Championship last weekend at Watkins Glen International.
"It was exactly what we we're hoping for," Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. "We did what we came to do."
"If you would have told me I was going to win the race with six laps to go, I would never have believed you," Thompson said. "All I knew is I wanted that first place and put it in there and stuck it, and we got the win."
Both wins came on last-lap passes by Thompson, a 20-year-old Pennsylvania native. He started fifth and sixth in Rounds 6 and 7, respectively, of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA)- sanctioned series.
"He just did what we've known he could do since we first got together," Stone said. "What we saw was just a matter of maturity as a driver and him taking everything we've talked about and moving forward."
In both races Thompson slowly picked off the competition, erasing a nearly five-second deficit with six laps to go in Race 1 to overtake championship rival Angel Benitez Jr. in the last turn of the last lap. The outcome was identical in Race 2, with Thompson also making the decisive pass of Benitez on the last lap.
"The competition is ridiculous out here, but we got it done," Thompson said. "My engineer and the team just gave me an unbelievable car. It was a rocket ship! We made some smart passes. We got by some people and took advantage of those yellows. Last lap once again! Who would have guessed?"
The two wins put Thompson in sole possession of first place in the Platinum Cup standings with 116 points. It also pushed the Brey-Krause sponsored Kelly Moss team to the top of the team Platinum Cup standings with 118 total points, one ahead of Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport.
Also finishing on podium over the weekend for Kelly Moss was William "Wild Bill" Peluchiwski, who after a technical review was awarded third place for Round 6 in the Gold Cup Masters Championship. The No. 74 Porsche GT3 Cup car was involved in an incident after spinning in Turn 8, ending his day after only eight laps.
The 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit is known not only for its racing history but also its ability to lure drivers into eliminating themselves from contention.
David Ducote, back in the car after missing Round 5 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, experienced just how brutal The Glen can be. After a rough first race, finishing sixth in the Platinum Masters Championship, Ducote skidded off the track, hit the tire barrier and rolled twice before coming to a stop on his side. Ducote was able to walk away from the incident, but it ended his weekend early.
Seth Davidow strapped in to his No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for the first time this season. He ended the weekend with a sixth- and fifth-place finish in the Gold Masters Championship. In the same category, teammate Wayne Ducote picked up an 11th- and sixth-place finish in Race 1 and 2, respectively.
The fifth Gold Cup class driver, Frank Selldorff, finished 11th in the Gold Masters Championship for Race 1.
Rounding out the Kelly Moss team was Dan Weyland in the flashy No. 11 lime green Porsche, who recorded GT3 career-best seventh- and eight-place finishes for the weekend despite facing major electrical issues before the first race. The entire Kelly Moss team worked to get the car in racing condition.
"I'm really proud of the job all the guys did," Stone said. "You would like not to have issues and controversy, but it's all part of the territory. I think the entire team handled the weekend the best way possible and are committed to this organization and this season."
An unfortunate incident led the way to a strong comeback performance by the Scuderia Corsa team and the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia during Sunday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, while Scuderia Corsa drivers in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Prielli enjoyed a strong weekend at Circuit Mont Tremblant in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, with a victory and three additional podiums on the weekend.
After the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia qualified in tenth position in the GT-Daytona class by Alessandro Balzan, last season's Rolex Series GT champion, Jeff Westphal was tasked with the opening stint of the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. Falling to twelfth position in the opening laps, Westphal guided the no. 63 Scuderia up to second position by the end of his double stint. Brandon Davis, joining the team for the first time, took over the Ferrari but immediately encountered trouble when he was contacted by another car during a race restart. The incident caused a flat tire, leading to time lost in the pits.
By the time Davis was able to rejoin the race, the car had fallen two laps behind the leaders. With a long stretch of the race run without a caution period, it was a challenge for Davis - and then Balzan - to make up laps to the leaders, despite strong pace from both drivers. Ultimately, Balzan was able to make up positions and a late-race caution allowed him to gain one lap back, with the Ferrari taking the checkered flag in fifth position.
"Today the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 was really good, and our Continental Tires worked well from start to finish," said Westphal. "The beginning of the race was a little bit hectic - I anticipated everyone to be a bit more cautions considering the duration of the race. We elected to sit back and see how things would unfold, and we were able to click off really good laps at the end of my stints. We were up to P2 and in a really good spot, and from them on, it was a rough day. Brandon was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but we made the best of it. The effort was there, the team's precision was there, the pit stops were there, we just didn't get the luck."
Despite being caught up in the incident, Davis was upbeat about Scuderia Corsa's day at Watkins Glen and his first time at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia.
"It was just an unfortunate incident," said Davis. "I had a car underneath me into turn one, which was fine, but then the car behind him braked way too late and took that car out, which took me out. When something like that happens, you are going to lose laps. From there it was trying to fight back. It's disappointing to finish fifth but it's a good feeling to be disappointed to finish fifth. I really enjoyed driving the Ferrari - it's a little different than what I'm used, but the car was very well balanced and was optimally prepared by Scuderia Corsa."
Balzan felt that the incident cost the Scuderia Corsa team a shot at the podium, but was happy with the team's performance to come back through the field and finish in fifth position.
"Jeff made a great, great start to the race and Brandon did an excellent job as well, but he was really unlucky when he was hit by that car," said Balzan. "It was also unlucky because we had a very good car to drive. I was pushing hard from the beginning until the end, and I want to thank the team because Scuderia Corsa gave me a very nice, very fast car. For sure, we could have gotten on the podium, but this is racing. When you consider the incident and the time we lost, I am happy with fifth position."
In Mont Tremblant, Scuderia Corsa driver Chris Ruud scored a victory and a third place on the weekend, while his teammate, Jon Becker, would finish in second position each day.
"Mont Tremblant turned out to be a fabulous weekend," said Ruud. "The team worked hard and the car got faster as the weekend progressed. The race on Sunday was a hard fought battle with my teammate Jon Becker where I got the jump at the start. The opposite happened in the race on Saturday. I am pleased with a third and a first, and four podium finished for the team and my points lead intact going to my home track at Road America in two weeks."
"As usual, my teammate and friend Chris Ruud and I had knock-down drag-out battle that literally where we were literally separated at times by hundredths of seconds," said Becker. "After all was said and done for the entire weekend we both gained a lot of points on the competition and neither of us gained even a single point on the other! Sharing the track with the Corsa Clienti is always fun, and Mont Tremblant is the perfect venue for the Ferrari Challenge weekend."
Team owner Giacomo Mattioli was thrilled with the performance of his team, which was competing at two different tracks in two different countries during the weekend.
"It was a very busy weekend for Scuderia Corsa," said Mattioli. "We are continuing to enjoy an incredible season in the Coppa Shell category thanks to Chris and Jon. They are developing a great, friendly rivalry - they are now even buying each other desserts to swing the weight balance in the car. In our TUDOR Championship car, our no. 63 car was clubbed by another car while running in second position, but everyone did a great job to limit the damages with a fifth place. On to the next!"
The next TUDOR Championship race for Scuderia Corsa will be the Mobil 1 Sportcar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario on July 11-13. On the same weekend, the North American Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will compete at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
15-40 Connection Teams with Rob Fuller Motorsports to Honor Brian Regan at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Driver Todd Szegedy won’t be the only new face on the racetrack for Rob Fuller Motorsports at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11 and 12. Brian Regan, an 18-year-old testicular cancer survivor and 15-40 Connection representative, will be featured on the No. 15 entry in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races.
Rob Fuller Motorsports and 15-40 Connection have teamed up to feature young cancer survivors throughout the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in an effort to raise awareness of the obstacles teens and young adults face to diagnose cancer at earlier stages.
Heading into his sophomore year of college, Brian Regan, a Dunstable, Mass. native, did a self-exam and noticed a lump.
“I wasn’t someone who typically did self-exams, but I happened to check myself out one day in the shower because of a PSA I heard on the radio and I actually felt something,” said Brian. “Something that I swear hadn’t been there before.”
He made a routine appointment for a sports physical for the upcoming season without alarming his family about this finding.
“I told the doctor what I had noticed,” Brian continued. “She did a physical exam and simply told me there was nothing there. This made me angry. I knew there was something there and my gut was telling me that something was wrong, so I asked what we could do to make sure that there was definitely nothing there. After a short conversation she sent me down to the lab to have an ultrasound. The test revealed that I had a tumor on my right testicle. While scary news, I was happy I had fought for the ultrasound because otherwise that tumor would have gone undetected.”
Brian went on to have surgery right away to remove the tumor and later found that it was cancerous. In fact, it was an aggressive form of testicular cancer that was treatable but is known for coming back once its treated.
“My treatment was not pleasant, I ended up having 13 chemotherapy treatments in three weeks (11 of which were given in the first 5 days) and was extremely sick for the following weeks, but I am here and that is largely because I advocated for myself and trusted my instincts.”
Tricia Laursen, Executive Director at 15-40 Connection, noted that this type of story is not uncommon among teens and young adults.
“We advocate that you know your body better than anyone else,” said Laursen. “Young adults run into many obstacles from doctor’s dismissal to a lack of frame of reference to know what an early warning sign of cancer can look or feel like. The key is to understand the warning signs, act quickly and be an advocate for your health. If you have encountered a change in your body that lasts for two weeks, take action and tell your doctor.”
Earlier this season, Rob Fuller Motorsports featured Josh Bell, a leukemia survivor, at Daytona and Dave McGrath, a brain cancer survivor, at Thompson Speedway.
“I have really enjoyed the partnership with 15-40 Connection because we are working to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Rob Fuller, team owner. “Brian, Josh and Dave took all the right steps in order to get an early diagnosis and it’s important for us to share their stories with others. I’m certainly looking forward to meeting Brian and honoring him at the track.”
Race fans are urged to read Brian’s full story at 15-40.org and share it with those they care about. Race weekend updates will be provided at the 15-40 Connection Facebook and Rob Fuller Motorsports Facebook pages.
15-40 Connection is celebrating its fifth anniversary and will hold its annual Mark & David Ungerer Golf Tournament, Gala and Auction on July 13th and 14th. For more information, visit 15-40.org.
After a promising warmup session this morning for Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) with the fastest times posted, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen race was filled with heartbreak and disappointment. Despite a competitive effort by the Nos. 1 and 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development teams, any hopes of solid finishes today at Watkins Glen International were dashed by a combination of contact from an overzealous competitor, electrical and mechanical issues.
“It is a shame that both cars had issues today because this was a race where we thought we could challenge for the win," said owner/driver Scott Sharp. "It was a great effort by the entire ESM/Tequila Patrón team. Both crews had cars to repair and get us back on track. We did everything we could to compete here, but it just wasn’t our day.”
After six hours of hard TUDOR United SportsCar Championship racing, the ESM team finished in 10th and 11th places.
ESM team co-owner Scott Sharp started the race for the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD team from the fifth position in the Prototype class. He dropped to seventh in the opening lap shuffle and found a solid and consistent pace for his opening stint. Bad luck hit within the first hour, when Sharp pitted for fuel on Lap 26, he was charged with a pit lane speeding penalty. He served a drive-through penalty on Lap 29 and found himself in the midst of traffic in the form of the GT Daytona (GTD) class, the slowest class among the four competing today.
Shortly after returning to the field, Sharp was hit by an overly aggressive GTD car in the left rear. Sharp was forced to pit on Lap 34 for the team to inspect the prototype and find a broken brake duct. The team removed the damaged piece, assessed the rest of the damage and repaired what they could before sending Sharp back on track. While in the pits, he went a lap down on the field and dropped to 10th place.
Sharp improved his position and reached the sixth place by Lap 60, just in time for the first caution flag of the race. On Lap 62, Sharp pitted and Ryan Dalziel took over for his first stint.
Dalziel fought traffic but was able to move into the fifth position by Lap 75. He continued on his fifth-place run, worked to catch the leaders, hoped to catch a yellow flag and ultimately regain a spot on the lead lap. Without a yellow, Dalziel then pitted for a scheduled stop and driver change.
Sharp returned to the No. 1 machine at Lap 93 for his second stint. As a result of the hit earlier, the No. 1 machine was forced to change tires on each pit stop because of the left rear and possible domino-effect damage. Normally a tire change would be beneficial, but the longer they could run on the tire, the quicker the lap times. Sharp pitted for tires and fuel on Lap 121 and maintained his sixth-place run before the final driver change to Dalziel on Lap 148.
After serving a second drive through penalty for pit lane speeding charged to the No. 1 team, Dalziel kept a sixth-place run. Dalziel pitted again on Lap 156 after experiencing some mechanical issues. The team disassembled and inspected the rear end on pit road since the race car wasn’t shifting or performing as expected. The team diagnosed the problem as a gear selection issue. The gearbox was replaced and Dalziel returned to the field on Lap 177, losing nearly 38 minutes during the repair.
Dalziel completed his stint and race in the 10th position.
Ed Brown, co-driver of the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) started from the seventh position and dropped to 13th in the opening race shuffle. He improved him position to 10th place by Lap 25.
Brown pitted on Lap 27 for the scheduled stop and driver change to Johannes van Overbeek. While entering the pit, Brown was charged with speeding and van Overbeek would serve the drive through penalty on Lap 30.
Van Overbeek began his charge to the front and reached eighth position by Lap 35, then sixth place by Lap 62. On Lap 67, the No. 2 machine stopped in Turn 9 with no power and Van Overbeek had to patiently wait for a tow back to pit lane. While in the pit, the car was not reacting to any command as the team diagnosed the issue and the engine control unit (ECU) was replaced. IMSA officials sent the No. 2 car and crew back to the ESM paddock to complete the repair at Lap 76.
The No. 2 machine was repaired and van Overbeek drove it from the paddock to the pits at Lap 94, nearly 30 laps behind the leaders and 11th in class. Once back in the pits, the team called for a driver change to Anthony Lazzaro.
Lazzaro ran a clean stint from the 11th position until the driver change back to Brown on Lap 152. Brown completed the race for the No. 2 team for the last 40 laps. The No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD team finished in 11th position.
“We have the best team in the paddock," concluded Ed Brown. "We’ll just keep fighting for position, wins and points. We got points today and that’s what we want and need to do. That was our biggest concern when the car stopped running, would we be able to get back out and get points.”
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen was the third round of the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The Tequila Patrón-sponsored championship within a championship includes the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the season finale Petit Le Mans. Watch as Ed Brown and Scott Sharp talk about the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance here.
Next up for Extreme Speed Motorsports is the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, on July 11-13.
Canadian David Ostella started sixth in the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge (PC) car for today's round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International. He and teammate Mike Hedlund were confident they could chase down a podium finish in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
Hedlund took the green flag first and focused on consistent laps in his first race in a PC car. He brought the car back on the lead lap for Ostella to take his shot at the field.
Like the 'mechanical bull' he's been called before, Ostella steadily marched his way from ninth to second during his nearly two-hour stint.
"The race started out great for us," Ostella said. "Mike (Hedlund) did a great job keeping the car out of trouble and getting himself comfortable with race pace. We knew we had a shot at the leaders, so I put my head down and focused on laying down perfect laps."
Teammate, Mike Hedlund faced less dramatic stints in the No. 38. Encountering difficulties in his first hour, the car was more to his liking for his second stint. Hedlund drove the car with grace as he maneuvered it to first place before handing off to Ostella for the final two hours. It was during his final pit stop that Hedlund, in a rush to hand over his hard earned position, received the pit speed violation.
"It was a lot of fun," Hedlund said. "The first stint was a little rough but the second time I was in the car, the car was great. We were going pretty fast there, fast enough. I made a mistake coming in the pits apparently and earned a pit speed violation, which was a bummer, but we fought through that. And then we had some bad luck with a mechanical, and that's racing."
Ostella took the reins for a late race charge, but not before obliging race officials for a violation Hedlund received during the stop.
"Unfortunate to have to do the drive through penalty," Ostella said. "It kind of stunk."
Ostella continued his diligent march, reaching as high as fourth before a power steering failure left him with the task of fighting against a system designed to assist.
"The power steering failure really made the car difficult to drive in the last hour," Ostella said. "Jonatan (Jorge) was giving me as much encouragement as possible to help me keep my head in the game and fight to hold position. We were up to third during the final caution, but had to settle with a solid fourth-place finish. I just can't thank the guys enough. The car was great the whole weekend. I am really looking forward to see what else we can do this year. I know we are capable of winning as a team."
Toronto-area native, Ostella fought to regain position. Coming around Turn 5 he placed the PC car behind a Daytona Prototype car, hoping he could follow what should be a faster car through the turn to gain back third place. Unfortunately the DP car merely became more traffic for Ostella. Finally passing the Prototype class car in Turn 6, Ostella was never able to catch his place on podium.
Team Principal Brent O'Neill, though perplexed by the loss of position during the pass-around, was energized with the fight his drivers showed. The fourth place finish is the team's highest finish since placing third at the 24 Hours At Daytona earlier this season.
"At the end of the weekend to walk away here with fourth was pretty good," O'Neill said. "With Mike (Hedlund) in the car, who did a great job, we had a challenge of bringing in a new guy. With an hour left we lost the power steering and David (Ostella) was hustling the car around without any power steering. We aren't sure what happened at the end there with the pass-around and a car passing us under caution. We'll see if race control does anything about it. Overall though, it was a good weekend."
The PC car will stretch its legs next at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Qualifying begins at 4:45 p.m. (ET) Friday, July 24 with the Brickyard Grand Prix taking place at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, July 25.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your favorite racecar driver compete in a race using only true horsepower? If so, you're in luck, as the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach hosts two days of harness racing “county fair style” this September in the Sunshine Stakes.
The elite equine training facility has reached an agreement with the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) to hold races for two and three-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers on Saturday, September 13 and Saturday, September 20, with rain dates will be on the following Sunday.
“We are very excited that Sunshine Meadows has agreed to host the two days of stakes races,” said FSBOA executive director Joe Pennacchio. “We estimate that there will be in excess of $50,000 in purse money over the two days of racing. It will be exciting as the management team at Sunshine Meadows is committed to making the two race days a county fair type atmosphere centered on the live racing.”
Post time each day for the racing is set at 11:00 am. It is estimated that there will be from 10 to 11 races on each program.
“We are very excited about hosting these races,” said Brandon Mills, general manager at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village. “It is an opportunity to show our great facility to the general public and to have a fun community event for everyone to attend.”
There will be free parking and admission for the races. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as there is no grandstand or seating, only beautifully manicured lawns to watch from.
In addition to the Sunshine Stakes races there will be an exhibition race with Racing Under Saddle (RUS), the Florida Amateur Driving Club will be participating and a local media celebrity race will take place each race day. Possible entrants currently include Mazda Motorsports driver, and South Florida resident Tristan Nunez, as well as former host of Pass Time on SPEED Brett Wagner.
"I will be available on September 13th and I am really looking forward to it," added Nunez. " I would definitely like to have a bit of practice at the track before the big race!"
Parents and grandparents can bring the children as there will be pony rides, face painting and other children activities plus plenty of food vendors, arts and crafts and equine product displays.
“We are working to make this a very special event,” Mills said. “Something that people can look forward to attending every year. So many people drive by and see our signs on 441 but never think to come on in and check us out. We have a great facility here and want to show it off.”
The Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village features a one mile racetrack, a five-eighths mile training track and a half mile Euro strip. The facility has 18 barns that can house more than 650 horses, numerous show and jump rings and turnout paddocks. The facility is the winter home to world-renowned Standardbred trainers Jonas Czernyson, Chuck Sylvester and FrankAntonacci. World class trotters Maven, Spider Blue Chip and D’Orsay trained all winter at Sunshine Meadows. Also stabled at Sunshine Meadows are many riding horse trainers for English, Western and Dressage, who have shown successfully world-wide.
Any vendors wanting to reserve rental space during the two days of Sunshine Stakes racing, businesses wishing to advertise in the race program, sponsor races or host sponsorships can contact the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village by calling 562-281-7659 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.sunshinemeadows441.com.