Friday, Jul 01
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – In golf, they call an accidental and unpredictable outside interference the “rub of the green.” The gist: If something happens that a competitor cannot control, they should grin and bear it.
 
BMW M Team RLL and Winward Racing must be feeling the rub of the green after losing IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO and GTD class victories, respectively, in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen to drive time violations. Those penalties were the indirect result of an unpredictable outside interference – a brief storm that produced lightning in the region of Watkins Glen International – that caused the race to be red-flagged with just over 90 minutes remaining.
 
During the one-hour race stoppage, the six-hour race time clock frozen with 35 minutes remaining. And while the rules didn’t change, they were adapted to the circumstances. A minimum one-hour, 30-minute drive time for each driver in every class but Daytona Prototype international (DPi) over six hours of racing adjusted to one hour, 17 minutes over what became five-plus hours. It destroyed the carefully crafted pit stop strategy for several teams that would have fulfilled that requirement in normal circumstances.
 
Unfortunately, the timing of the inclement weather on Sunday put the two aforementioned teams – as well as the Andretti Autosport team that crossed the finish line third in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) – into a situation they couldn’t overcome.
 
Call it the first takeaway from the Watkins Glen weekend: Sometimes, it ain’t over until even well after it’s over.
 
Here are two more:
 
The DPi Battle Is Going to Rage: The raw emotion was palpable after the hard-fought battle for DPi and overall honors in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen between the Acuras of Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque (No. 10 Konica Minolta) and Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian).
 
Blomqvist and Jarvis set the pace in every practice session and claimed the Motul Pole Award with a track-record lap, but their white and pink Acura ARX-05 once again came up short against the identical black and blue one fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing.
 
When the race was restarted after the one-hour delay, Albuquerque snatched the lead from Blomqvist with an aggressive move in Watkins Glen’s “inner loop” sequence similar to the one Bill Auberlen used on his way to winning the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge the day before.
 
“I knew it was my one and only shot to overtake Blomqvist,” related Albuquerque. “I just put my foot down, we ended up side-by-side, and I just sent the car into the corner. It went over the curb, but it ended up working.”
 
The No. 60 won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, but Blomqvist and Jarvis have been stymied since with four straight second-place finishes. Three of those bridesmaid results have seen the No. 10 Acura finish on the top step of the podium. The frustration of coming home second again to the No. 10 showed at Watkins Glen.
 
“It’s just a tough way to finish, especially after we were so strong all weekend,” Blomqvist said. “They were running less wing than we were, so they were quick there and it just meant we were vulnerable on restarts. Thankfully, not long until the next race.”
 
The DPi championship lead changed hands once again at The Glen, from a 13-point advantage for the No. 60 to a 17-point cushion for the No. 10.
 
This is one class championship that is going to go down to the final lap of the season-closing Motul Petit Le Mans in October.
The Action Never Stops: The Sahlen’s Six Hours weekend featured five distinct IMSA-sanctioned racing series encompassing 15 classes of competition. There was nonstop on-track action from 9 a.m. Thursday until 5 p.m. Sunday.
 
And the racing was compelling, through the single-make series featuring Mazda, Porsche and Lamborghini, the Michelin Pilot Challenge and, of course, the flagship WeatherTech Championship.
 
It’s no wonder that almost every acre of Watkins Glen’s expansive 3.4-mile layout was packed with campers – race fans who arrived before the first Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires car hit the track to spark the proceedings and partied long into Sunday night, reticent to pull up stakes after a (mostly) sun-splashed weekend.
 
While the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series provided signature moments during the weekend, the most significant memories came in Saturday’s two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race.
 
Auberlen backed up his IMSA legend status with a fifth-to-first victory charge during the closing laps of the race in Grand Sport (GS), while Robert Wickens celebrated a landmark moment in his inspirational comeback from severe spinal cord injuries by co-driving with Mark Wilkins to the Touring Car (TCR) class win.
 
After all that goodness, the marquee six-hour WeatherTech Championship race was just an added bonus.

A wet course and dense fog during the 4,724ft climb to the finish line made the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb especially challenging for drivers. Yet Japanese champion Daijiro Yoshihara was able to master the 156 turns on his way to the 14,115ft peak. He set a time of 11:06.205 in the Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak, which placed him ninth overall. As the fastest EV, he was second in the Exhibition Class because PPIHC currently lacks dedicated classes for electric vehicles. Winner of the class was a production 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight.

This year’s event was only the second outing for the Tesla Model 3 prepared by Evasive Motorsports in Cerritos, CA. Despite its promising form in practice and qualifying, a mechanical issue prematurely curtailed its 2021 attempt. During the interim, the team worked hard to understand the car and fine-tune both its aerodynamic and cooling efficiency (see Tech Spec below), making few additions to the race-prepped chassis other than switching to Yokohama racing tires for 2022. 

“It’s been an incredible week with no issues,” Dai Yoshihara told us after his successful run. “Practice and qualifying went great, which almost seemed too good to be true. And then coming into today [Sunday] the weather became a big factor with the rain and fog. However, we felt it could give us a real chance because our weakness is the power of the car but the Yokohama wet tires work really well. Effectivley, the rain erased the advantage of the other cars and I think we got a really good result because of it, which I’m obviously delighted about.

One of the biggest challenges for the Evasive Motorsports team had been battery cooling, which would enable the Tesla to run at full power for longer. With the improvements the team had made in terms of airflow into and around the car, and the arrival of colder, wet conditions, the Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak achieved what many people thought impossible a few years ago.

“With everything we learnt last year and the changes we made leading up to today, this week has been remarkably smooth sailing,” said Mike Chang from Evasive Motorsports. “Race day was challenging because we’ve never tested in wet conditions in Southern California, so the result is so much better than we could have hoped for. We’re super-stoked to be fastest EV and second in class.”

Another contributing factor in the successful 2022 PPIHC campaign was the inclusion of ENEOS EV Fluids. As Japan’s largest oil company working closely with the majority of Asian auto makers, ENEOS took the decision to create a range of fluids specifically for electric vehicles to service both its OE partners at the development stage and EV owners at the point of maintenance. Developed specifically for motor and battery applications, the new ENEOS EV Fluids used by the Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak promise greater efficiency, lubrication and cooling, delivering superior range and performance. 

“We’re delighted by what Evasive Motorsports and Daijiro Yoshihara were able to achieve at Pikes Peak with the Tesla Model 3,” said Keisuke Yokochi, Chief Marketing Officer for ENEOS USA. “We knew the car and driver were extremely capable and we’re excited to have played a part in this incredible success!”

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak

 

Motor / Battery Cooling:

CSF Radiators radiator / oil cooler, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sprayer, custom hood vent and rear inlet ducts, EVS Tuning Dual Chiller

 

Suspension / Chassis:

KW Competition 3 Way coilover suspension, SPL Suspension spherical links, Evasive Motorsports spherical joints and custom front sway bar, MPP front upper A-arms and rear lower arms, Quaife ATB rear differential in modified frame, air jack lift system

 

Wheels / Tires / Brakes:

Prototype 18x11” Titan 7 T-P5 forged wheels with Evasive Motorsports rear aero covers, 280/680-18 Yokohama racing slicks / wet tires, Brembo Pista racing front brake kit, custom Brembo GTS rear brakes, CSG Racing brake pads, Evasive Motorsports electronic E-brake system

 

Exterior:

Artisan Spirits widebody fenders plus carbon fiber aero kit, Evasive Motorsports custom honeycomb carbon splitter and rear diffuser, EVS Tuning front bumper, carbon fiber vented hood and headlight covers, Voltex dry carbon Type 13 1800mm GT rear wing, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber doors, roof, rear windshield, trunk lid and front air duct, Lexan windows

 

Interior / Safety:

Evasive Motorsports FIA-spec rollcage, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber dashboard, Motec C127 Datalogger/dash display, Sparco carbon/Kevlar QRT-K racing bucket seat, six-point harnesses and steering wheel

 

Extreme E returned to Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, delivering a spectacular head-to-head shootout for those in attendance.

In a unique event, Veloce Racing and Genesys Andretti United Extreme E battled it out in a head-to-head time-trial, racing against the clock as they took on the infamous Hill Climb.

It was Veloce Racing who came out on top – winning with a combined fastest time across the weekend’s running.

In Saturday’s head-to-head, Veloce Racing led the way with Max Fewtrell, in his first experience behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21, pipping Genesys Andretti United Extreme E’s Catie Munnings by just under three seconds. Fewtrell set a time of 1m1.79secs compared to Munnings’ 1min4.87secs.

On Sunday it was Genesys Andretti United Extreme E who were fastest courtesy of Timmy Hansen ahead of Veloce Racing’s Sunday runner Jamie Chadwick.

Hansen set the fastest time of the weekend (59.95secs) with Chadwick just behind (1min0.79secs). Despite this, Veloce Racing still claimed top honours and the overall win at the Festival of Speed.

You can see both Veloce Racing and Genesys Andretti United Extreme E back in action next week at the upcoming Island X Prix double-header in Sardinia (6-7 and 9-10 July).

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

In its continuing drive to promote and empower drivers from a variety of backgrounds to participate in its sanctioned series, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has opened the application process to award its second IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship.
 
From now through July 22, qualified drivers may submit their application to be considered for the scholarship. Included among the benefits is a prepaid full-season entry fee for the recipient into either the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge or IMSA Prototype Challenge for 2023 and 50 percent of the full-season entry fee into one of those series for 2024. Added benefits of the scholarship bring its value to more than $250,000.
 
To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must be female or a member of an ethnic minority classification with a strong desire to compete in IMSA, have outstanding previous race results and/or proven on-track potential in junior racing categories, and the ability to create a compelling strategy to compete in a full season of one of the three IMSA-sanctioned series mentioned above.
 
“We awarded the first IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship late last year, and we are proud that it continues this year with assistance from the many partners involved,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “We continue to strive for diversity and inclusion in our sport.”
 
The IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship includes tools to bring deserving drivers into IMSA and position them for holistic success both on and off the racetrack through substantial assistance from the sanctioning body and IMSA corporate partners, as well as other industry resources. A new scholarship will be awarded each year.
 
“This multi-dimensional scholarship will assist financially and also work with drivers to provide a strong foundation for success,” Doonan said. “Our goal is to create more opportunities to compete and achieve sustainable success in IMSA.”
 
Jaden Conwright is the first recipient of the scholarship. The 23-year-old Californian has used it to drive in the WeatherTech Championship this season, with a best finish thus far of sixth place in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as co-driver of the No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
 
Additional details on the application process for the 2023 IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship are available at imsa.com/diversity.

The 100th running of the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26 will mark the fourth year ENEOS has supported the race efforts of Evasive Motorsports and driver Daijiro Yoshihara.

ENEOS is Japan’s largest oil company and supplier of motor oil and transmission fluids to the majority of Asian vehicle manufacturers. Through its relationship with the car makers, it introduced an EV Fluid Series last year, which is designed to optimize the efficiency and performance of electric vehicles. And while it might appear unusual for an oil company established in 1888 to compete in the “Race to the Clouds” with a Tesla, it reflects the transition the company is making as transportation evolves.

 

TESLA MODEL 3

In 2019 and 2020, Evasive Motorsports entered an ENEOS-supported 900-horsepower turbocharged Toyota 86 in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), which won the Unlimited Class at the second time of asking. However, the team made a radical shift in 2021, abandoning its proven race winner for a Tesla Model 3 Performance. 

Mike Chang at Evasive Motorsports in Cerritos, CA could see the market changing and knew it was time to embrace the future. But for a racing team and vehicle preparation specialist like Evasive, the Tesla Model 3 presented a number of challenges. In the past, a modified Toyota 2JZ turbo engine allowed them to compensate for the reduced air pressure on the climb to the 14,115ft finish line at the Pikes Peak hill climb. Unable to modify the electric motors in the Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak race car, the team needed to make other changes to prepare for the 12.42-mile sprint, which climbs 4724 feet. With the “Race to the Clouds” incorporating 156 turns, emphasis was placed on the chassis to maintain speed through the corners. 

New for 2022 are Yokohama slick racing tires. Fitted to prototype 18” Titan wheels, they have EVS discs on the rear to aid cooling for the Brembo Pista brakes. The suspension utilizes advanced KW coilover dampers that allow significant adjustment in compression, rebound and ride height to ensure the tires remain in contact with the road.

Sourcing parts for the car was a challenge as very few people have attempted to race the Model 3, yet Evasive was able to find or fabricate new suspension arms, spherical links and joints as well as a new front sway bar. Full details are in the specifications below. 

Another important aspect was air management, both in terms of aerodynamic downforce and battery cooling. Among the most notable additions are the wider, carbon fiber Artisan Spirits fenders, which accommodate the slick tires and allow a wider track for stability. The Voltex rear wing on the tailgate is also tough to miss; increasing downforce over the rear wheels and working in harmony with the Evasive carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser. 

To improve cooling, airflow and mass, Evasive created a carbon fiber front bumper and vented hood under its EVS Tuning brand to help ensure the motors and batteries don’t overheat. EVS carbon fiber doors, roof, tailgate and rear window were added to further reduce weight, giving the batteries less to haul up the hill.

In addition to the vented hood and large duct in the front bumper, cooling has been addressed with rear inlet ducts, a CSF radiator and oil cooler, a NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sprayer that’s triggered when a preset temperature is reached. For 2022, an EVS Tuning Dual Chiller has been added to keep everything running at the optimum level.

The original Tesla electric motors remain in place and Evasive added a Quaife ATB rear differential to help power distribution when Yoshihara exits the 156 turns.

“Our first attempt at Pikes Peak with the Tesla in 2021 ended prematurely with a technical problem we were unable to trigger in testing,” Mike Chang from Evasive Motorsports explained. “It’s very difficult to replicate the conditions and load on the vehicle during testing, especially with a new car that presented us with a steep learning curve. However, we’ve worked continuously to address all the areas we can improve and have got a much better understanding of the Tesla Model 3’s strengths and weaknesses. We’re confident the car will be a genuine contender in this year’s Exhibition Class.”

In the absence of a dedicated competition class for electric vehicles at PPIHC, the Tesla and other EVs currently compete together in the Exhibition Class.

 

ENEOS EV TECHNOLOGY

For its part, the engineers and chemists at ENEOS see the 2022 PPIHC as an opportunity to prove and promote its new EV Fluid Series. The line of dedicated EV fluids has been developed by the same experts who work alongside the majority of leading car makers in Japan and Asia. Currently, ENEOS personnel are working directly with the vehicle manufacturers to create the latest lubricants, continuously improving vehicle efficiency through reduced friction, lower emissions, improved fuel consumption and greater durability. And as the future of automotive development looks towards electric vehicles, ENEOS tasked its development teams to look at alternative fuel vehicle concepts, particularly in terms of lubrication and cooling. The new ENEOS EV Fluid Series is designed specifically to help the world’s EV manufacturers improve vehicle efficiency. It will also be offered in the future to help improve efficiency during routine maintenance, offering a superior alternative to current lubrication and cooling products.

The Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak race car is a partner in the development of the new ENEOS EV Fluid Series. Its performance during testing and at the race itself will be closely monitored. Driven under the harshest conditions, the race car will allow the engineers to measure the improvements in terms of lower friction and improved cooling, leading to greater performance and durability on the arduous PPIHC. 

“We’re excited to return to Pikes Peak with the Tesla Model 3,” said Keisuke Yokochi, Chief Marketing Officer for ENEOS USA. “We’re confident Evasive Motorsports has built an incredible race car and know Dai is among the top drivers in the world. Lubricated and cooled by our advanced EV Fluid Series, we’re sure the team has its best chance of winning its class and setting a new record for electric vehicles this year!”

 

DAI YOSHIHARA

Having a well prepared, competitive car with the best lubricants and cooling fluids is essential for success, but perhaps the most important element in the ENEOS assault on the 2022 PPIHC is the driver. And for the fourth year in succession, the man behind the wheel is Daijiro Yoshihara; one of the most skilled and adaptable pilots in the world.

Although he retired from the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship last year, the 2011 FD Champion was universally recognized as one of the most talented drivers in the series. He’s also a 2020 PPIHC class winner, Time Attack Champion, accomplished GT racer, driver instructor and much more. 

After Dai has succeeded in every discipline he’s encountered, the Japanese driver will be venturing onto dirt to discover whether he can adapt to truck racing over the next 12 months. And ENEOS will be on his race suit and at his side as we continue to support him for a sixth year of competition.

The relationship between ENEOS and Dai goes back a long way. In fact, the Japanese teenager worked at an ENEOS gas station as he started to explore his automotive passion. So, it was only natural we’d come together to continue the journey. 

The partnership between ENEOS and Dai will look very different in 2022. Rather than focusing on Formula DRIFT, the year’s activities are headlined by the “Race to the Clouds” at the wheel of the Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak. But that’s just the start. 

ENEOS will also support Dai and Turn 14 Distribution in its Drift Ride Along program, which will allow fans to sit beside Dai as he demonstrates the savage art of drift in his 1000hp Subaru BRZ, which has been refreshed and rebuilt after its punishing competition career. Dai and the BRZ will be appearing at a number of major events throughout the year, and fans who follow ENEOS social media can enter to win a “Ride with Dai.”

Additionally, Dai will be making personal appearances in the ENEOS booth at various enthusiast events around the country. The program has already begun and fans should follow ENEOS social media for updates. 

If you can’t attend in person, don’t worry because Dai is working on a number of exclusive ENEOS videos, which will show fans behind the scenes and keep up with his latest activities. 

If that’s not enough, ENEOS and Dai are also working together on a SEMA project car, which will be a big departure from some of the incredible machines he’s built to date. 

“I’m extremely grateful to have the continued support of ENEOS,” Dai told us. “Having worked from the company in Japan, they definitely feel like family at this point. And I’m especially grateful that they wanted to embark on this adventure as I explore new horizons beyond Formula DRIFT. It’s definitely going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to share it with everybody!” 

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak

 

Motor / Battery Cooling:

CSF Radiators radiator / oil cooler, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sprayer, custom hood vent and rear inlet ducts, EVS Tuning Dual Chiller

 

Suspension / Chassis:

KW Competition 3 Way coilover suspension, SPL Suspension spherical links, Evasive Motorsports spherical joints and custom front sway bar, MPP front upper A-arms and rear lower arms, Quaife ATB rear differential in modified frame, air jack lift system

 

Wheels / Tires / Brakes:

Prototype 18x11” Titan 7 T-P5 forged wheels with Evasive Motorsports rear aero covers, 280/680-18 Yokohama slicks, Brembo Pista racing front brake kit, custom Brembo GTS rear brakes, CSG brake pads, Evasive Motorsports electronic E-brake system

 

Exterior:

Artisan Spirits widebody fenders plus carbon fiber aero kit, Evasive Motorsports custom honeycomb carbon splitter and rear diffuser, EVS Tuning front bumper, carbon fiber vented hood and headlight covers, Voltex dry carbon Type 13 1800mm GT rear wing, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber doors, roof, rear windshield, trunk lid and front air duct, Lexan windows

 

Interior / Safety:

Evasive Motorsports FIA-spec rollcage, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber dashboard, Motec C127 Datalogger/dash display, Sparco carbon/Kevlar QRT-K racing bucket seat, six-point harnesses and steering wheel

 

 MoneyLion Inc. (“MoneyLion”) (NYSE:ML), a leading digital financial services and lifestyle content platform, announced today its “Get Pumped Tuesday” sweepstakes aimed at relieving pain at the pump for hard-working Americans during a time when gas prices are at historic highs.

In partnership with 23XI Racing, a top NASCAR Cup Series race team co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, MoneyLion is giving two MoneyLion users the chance at a month’s worth of gas - and then some - every Tuesday through the end of the NASCAR season (November 6). Starting today, MoneyLion users can comment on the weekly “Get Pumped Tuesday” MoneyLion Twitter post with their $RoarTag, their unique MoneyLion handle,  to enter for a chance to win $500 for a month of gas. The two weekly winners will also get their $RoarTag featured on either of 23XI’s two cars, driven by Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch respectively, during that week’s NASCAR race. Better yet, if Bubba or Kurt wins, the MoneyLion user will win an additional $10,000.

“We know better than anyone what Americans are experiencing at the pump right now and this program with 23XI lets us support our community which is what our brand is all about,” said Jeff Frommer, Chief Content Officer at MoneyLion. “We want MoneyLion to be your go-to money app and you’ll see us constantly be turning the camera around to show how we can win together with our customers in every partnership we establish.”

Earlier this year, MoneyLion was announced as the Official Digital Banking and Cryptocurrency Partner of 23XI, signaling a commitment to connect with, engage and motivate hard-working Americans to build their financial power.

Our inaugural season with MoneyLion has unlocked new ways for us to not only connect with fans, but also support them with programs like this,” said 23XI Racing President, Steve Lauletta. “Giving our fans the chance to have their ‘name’ on one of our cars for a race weekend is a new level of driver/fan interaction with 23XI and MoneyLion, and we’re looking forward to including the two weekly winners on our cars for each race.”

“Every week, we have hard-working Americans at home and in the stands cheering us on, and this gives us a new reason to hustle harder for the fans who give us their time and energy,” said Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD. “I can’t wait to drive in pursuit of $10,000 for MoneyLion users.”

Consumers can create a $RoarTag for free by downloading the MoneyLion app on their mobile device and creating a new account - there is no need to set up a bank account. Existing MoneyLion users need to simply comment their $RoarTag on the weekly Twitter post each Tuesday and follow MoneyLion’s Twitter account to be entered to win the weekly $500 gas cash prize. Full terms and conditions can be found HERE.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. The MoneyLion 23XI Sweepstakes begins at approximately 12:00 AM EDT on 6/21/2022 and ends at 7:00 PM EST on 11/6/2022. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older. (40) Weekly Prizes each valued at $500 and up to (20) Grand Prizes each valued at $10,000 will be awarded. Total value of all prizes to be awarded: up to $220,000. Odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received. Void where prohibited. See Official Rules for Entry requirements, prize descriptions and details at https://mlion.info/3y8xcg5.

Sponsor: MoneyLion Technologies, P.O. Box 1547, Sandy, UT 84091.

 From start-to-finish, Antron Brown enjoyed the best weekend of his 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season just days ago, leaving the three-time Top Fuel world champ eager to get back in action.
 
Luckily for the popular Brown, he won’t have to wait long as he will look to collect second career win at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park as part of this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Brown advanced to the semifinals on Sunday in Bristol, matching his best finish of 2022 in his 11,000-horsepower Matco Tools Toyota Top Fuel dragster, and he also qualified a season-best fourth.
 
That tells the first-year team owner that things are on the right track after some early-season struggles, and Brown, who has 68 career wins, is ready for a breakout performance in Norwalk as the 2022 season nears the halfway mark.
 
“It was a good race weekend (in Bristol) and we’re definitely making strides moving forward,” said Brown, who moved up to 10th in points. “That’s what we’re working hard to do is keep pushing forward, and I like the direction we’re going. I’m looking forward to getting to Norwalk, keeping our head down and getting after it. It’s going to be a hot race, but we know how to navigate those conditions. It’s going to be tricky, but they always have a great track surface in Norwalk. I believe we’ll run well, and we’ll see what we can do this weekend.”
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the 2021 event, and this year’s race will be broadcast on both the FOX broadcast network and Fox Sports 1 (FS1). It is the 10th of 22 races during the 2022 campaign, and Brown hitting his stride right now might be perfect timing for the perennial championship contender.
 
Being the team owner of AB Motorsports has introduced new challenges, but Brown continues to marvel about the work his team, led by crew chief Brian Corradi, has done, even when things get difficult. Brown knows those efforts will pay off and coming through for the first time as a team owner – at one of the finest facilities on the NHRA tour would be meaningful for the Top Fuel star.
 
But it won’t be easy, as Brown will have to duel with points leader Brittany Force, who has three wins this season, Bristol winner Justin Ashley, Mike Salinas, who also has three wins in 2022, four-time defending world champ and defending event winner Steve Torrence, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, Austin Prock, Clay Millican and Leah Pruett. Still, Brown likes the path his team is headed.
 
“This team is pulling hard together,” Brown said. “We went some rounds (in Bristol) and the one thing about that is, when you’re going rounds, you’re always improving and the more laps you get, the better you get. We’re headed in the right direction.”
 
Funny Car’s Tim Wilkerson also has strong momentum to build on heading into this weekend’s race. The popular veteran advanced to the final round in Bristol before falling to defending world champ Ron Capps, but like Brown, it was also his best showing of the season, giving him confidence heading into a busy stretch of the season.
 
He’s currently ninth in points and will be campaigning a special 11,000-horsepower Trick Flow Specialties Ford Mustang at one of his favorite races and tracks. Getting a win would be perfect timing for Wilkerson, but the longtime standout will have hands full against a field that also includes points leader Matt Hagan, Robert Hight, who has three wins in 2022, Capps, 16-time world champ John Force, Alexis DeJoria, defending event winner Pedregon, Bob Tasca III and J.R. Todd.
 
“We are excited to be representing Trick Flow Specialties this weekend at Norwalk,” said Wilkerson, who has 47 career Funny Car final round appearances. “We have a great relationship with Summit Racing Equipment and Trick Flow Specialties is a great partner. This weekend will be a huge event and we will be looking to go some rounds and get back into the winner’s circle at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.”
 
In Pro Stock, Enders earned her second career win in Norwalk a year ago, getting past Greg Anderson in the finals. Enders had her three-race win streak snapped last weekend by teammate Aaron Stanfield in Bristol, but she’ll look to keep rolling against a field that also includes Dallas Glenn, rookie Camrie Caruso and Kyle Koretsky.
 
Smith won a thrilling duel with Steve Johnson in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round a year ago in Norwalk, adding to their rivalry. He’ll look for back-to-back wins against a tough lineup also featuring Bristol winner Jerry Savoie, Angie Smith, three-time world champ Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec and Joey Gladstone.
 
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon and Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown. After nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display that has been the perfect capper to night qualifying over the years. The Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will be making exhibition runs throughout the weekend as well. The race also features the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League shootout, with eight young drivers competing for the win. The final round will take place on Sunday and will be featured during the FOX broadcast. 
 
For autograph-seeking fans, they can attend one featuring riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the Suzuki Display at 3 p.m. on Friday, while an autograph session featuring Toyota drivers will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Toyota Display. On Saturday, fans can also attend Nitro School to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds. 
 
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park also offers some of the finest camping facilities and grounds on the tour, offering fans a great way to spend their weekend at the track, enjoy a memorable atmosphere and not miss a second of the action.
 
Race fans at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals event winners.
 
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Norwalk. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family. The new Pep Boys midway display will include tire change challenges, oil change challenges, a slot car track and much more, adding even more excitement to the midway.
 
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 24 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 25 at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 26. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FOX at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.
 
To purchase tickets to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, fans can visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com or call 419-668-5555. Children 12 and under are free in general admission with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com. 

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson had so much fun racing at Watkins Glen International last year, he “LOL’d” while driving.
 
It wasn’t like his previous races at Watkins Glen. Instead of the NASCAR Cup Series car he piloted in his previous 19 races at the famous road course, last year Johnson was behind the wheel of a Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
 
“The years I spent driving cars, my senses and body understood a certain level of grip and speed and reference points for braking marks and on-throttle marks,” Johnson said. “When you just shatter everything you know, it just makes you laugh. Inside the car, I’m literally laughing. I’m like, ‘I cannot believe I just did that in a race car.’ That’s the part of the sport I’m really enjoying.”
 
Johnson returns this week for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) car, the No. 48 Ally Cadillac prepared by Action Express Racing. His first attempt in the car at WGI last year ended in fifth place.
 
“That was truly the eye-opening experience I had last year,” Johnson said. “I had six laps of practice before the race, and I was nowhere near pace. Then my stint toward the end of it, I think I had 20, 25 laps in the car, I was finally close on pace and ran my fastest lap on my in lap. I took 30 laps to finally find the aggression level.”
 
Adding to the adjustment is the use of four corners (Turns 6 through 9) for the IMSA races that NASCAR does not. The extra "Boot" section is a demanding, high-speed downhill/uphill run, and getting it right became part of the reason for Johnson’s joy.
 
“In one of these DPi Cadillacs, the pace and effort you have to drive around that racetrack is quite impressive, especially comparing it to my days in NASCAR," Johnson said. "Some of the braking zones, the Bus Stop and the Carousel, it’s just mind-blowing how fast these cars can travel through those tight little areas. (I’m) very excited to get back and have that experience once again.”
The seven-time Cup champion has expanded his experiences to the IndyCar Series and the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races of the WeatherTech Championship since leaving NASCAR. Johnson will team with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac for the Sahlen’s Six Hours, which begins Sunday at 10:40 a.m. ET.
 
Johnson, Kobayashi, Rockenfeller and Jose Maria Lopez opened the WeatherTech Championship season with a fifth-place finish in DPi at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Johnson had to miss the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts in March due to a conflict with the IndyCar schedule.
 
“Really excited to see Kamui and Mike – two great human beings and great guys to be around,” Johnson said. “All in all, I have a lot of excitement to come back to Watkins Glen. It’s a track and area that I really do enjoy. And to be on the track through the full loop – the Boot – I have not done that many times in all the trips that I’ve been there, so I’m excited to run the full-distance track.”
 
Johnson said he planned to spend time in the racing simulator on Wednesday to get reaccustomed to Watkins Glen, but nothing is like time in the actual race car. The more seat time in the DPi, Johnson says, the faster he gets.
 
“You can see that gap closing and I felt much more comfortable and competitive in the car,” Johnson said. “In a short race, a six-hour race, the importance of being on pace is even higher yet. I’m excited to get a few laps in practice, and I’m not sure I’ll get much more than that the way the practice sessions work out. Hopefully, the time I spend in the (simulator) actually will pay off, and I can get a step closer to the pace I want to run.”
 
One thing we know: He’ll be laughing, just as he did last year.
 
“I’m happy to be back in the race car and happy to be back with everybody at Action Express Racing,” Johnson said. “... It makes me feel like a kid again.”
 
The WeatherTech Championship schedule for The Glen features two practice sessions – late Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning – ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon (livestream at 1:15 p.m. ET on IMSA.com/TVLive).
 
Sunday’s race, the third of four legs of the Michelin Endurance Cup, streams live flag-to-flag on Peacock starting at 10:40 a.m., with USA Network picking up television coverage at 2 p.m. through the conclusion.
It’s one of the most popular technical specifications of sports cars to compete in an IMSA-sanctioned class, and it’ll keep competing in IMSA for the foreseeable future.
 
IMSA officials today confirmed the long-term extension of an agreement with the Stephane Ratel Organization (SRO) that could enable cars built to GT4 technical specifications to continue in IMSA through the 2028 season. Currently, GT4 cars are used in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class.
 
“The decision to incorporate GT4 into the Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class prior to the 2017 season continues to be a sound decision,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “Aside from the fields in some of the single-make series IMSA sanctions, the GS class routinely draws the largest fields at every race.
 
“It’s a tremendous customer racing platform that has been embraced by several manufacturers, at a price point that is attractive to many teams and drivers. We are pleased to work with Stephane Ratel and his team at SRO to continue to provide GT4 action to IMSA fans for many seasons to come.”
 
Eight different GT4 manufacturers, 37 different teams and 86 different drivers have competed in the GS class in at least one IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. The GS class has averaged more than 28 cars per race through the first four races of the season.
 
"We are very pleased to confirm the long-term extension of our license agreement with IMSA for the GT4 category,” said SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO, Stephane Ratel. “According to the global survey we conduct each year, GT4 has now surpassed all other GT categories in terms of cars racing worldwide. This success is thanks to the many championships and series on multiple continents that have adopted this well-priced yet highly competitive formula. With this announcement, we can look forward to GT4 remaining an important part of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in the Grand Sport class for many more years to come."
 
The next opportunity for race fans to see GT4 cars in action is Saturday, June 25, when the Michelin Pilot Challenge returns to Watkins Glen International for the two-hour Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120. The race will be streamed live on Peacock, with television coverage airing on USA Network at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday, July 1.

Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula One World Champion and CEO of Extreme E outfit Rosberg X Racing (RXR), finally stepped back into the race seat for an exclusive test drive in his team’s ODYSSEY 21 in Germany.

Following his Formula One title in 2016, Rosberg had vowed to quit racing and embarked on a career as a sustainability entrepreneur and investor. Since then, the 36-year-old has rarely been seen behind the steering wheel of a race car, though has taken to showing his audiences the Formula One tracks on his simulator. However, Rosberg has since decided to take RXR’s Extreme E ODYSSEY 21 for a spin on the Nürburgring Offroad Park near the team’s base in Neustadt, Germany.

Under close supervision from Team Principal, Kimmo Liimatainen, as well as RXR drivers Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson, Rosberg had a chance to get acquainted with the ODYSSEY 21 and the one-kilometre off-road track before undertaking his first-ever laps in an off-road car. 

 

RXR PR 22Nring cm069

 

After an exhilarating time back behind the wheel, Rosberg said: “This was simply a phenomenal experience. I cannot believe the power of this car. Off-road driving is so much fun.

“Even though I have not been behind the wheel for a long time, I immediately was in my element. The muscle memory came back instantly and I simply enjoyed myself. Rally driving is an entirely different beast from circuit racing, though, and I have a newfound respect for Mikaela and Johan.”

While the test was just a fun exercise for Rosberg, serious business is about to begin again for RXR with just two weeks to go before the next Extreme E event, the Island X Prix double-header in Sardinia.

After being crowned inaugural Extreme E champions in 2021, the team started Season 2 in triumphant style with victory at the Desert X Prix in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

 

RXR PR 22Nring cm086

 

To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

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