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  

  

 
Professional off-road racer Keegan Kincaid made his return to the Championship Off-Road podium on Sunday at Dirt City Motorplex, scoring a second place finish in the second Pro 2 race of the weekend. It was Kincaid’s third runner-up result in the past four races at Dirt City, and keeps him well within a tightening title fight with just two events remaining.
 
After rough conditions in practice and qualifying to start, Saturday’s Pro 4 and Pro 2 races were delayed until Sunday morning by wet weather. The challenge for drivers would be to manage their trucks through two rounds in one day, but Kincaid and the #4 Lucas Oil/Cooper Tire/Vision Wheel team were thrown a curveball when the Wisconsin native was knocked out of the first race on the first lap. The unlucky break meant that, for the first time this season, Kincaid would be out of the Pro 2 points lead—and with no lap time, he’d have to come from the back in the second race.
 
Undeterred, the team made repairs in time for the originally scheduled Sunday race, and Kincaid’s truck roared back to life on a charge to the front of the pack. Replicating both of his finishes here from last year, Kincaid would fight tooth and nail to return to the podium, taking second place when the checkered flag finally flew. He powered his way to the front after starting on the last row of the grid, passing more than a dozen trucks in the process.
 
“I’m happy to be able to at least take a podium finish out of a tough weekend at Dirt City,” said Kincaid. “Having to run both of our races on the same day was tough enough, but running into trouble in the first race and having to bounce back in a much shorter timeframe made this a really hard fought second place finish. We’ll regroup in time for Bark River, and I can’t wait to get back there and go take our points lead back.”
 
Despite the adversity, Kincaid remains firmly within the Pro 2 championship hunt, just a handful of points away from reclaiming the championship lead his next time out. The Championship Off-Road season resumes later this month at Bark River International Raceway, which will host its first event since 2019 after yielding its date to ERX Motor Park last year in a schedule change forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to purchase your tickets!
 
Keegan Kincaid is supported by Lucas Oil, Cooper Tire, Vision Wheel, Discount Tire, Fox Shocks, Langlade Ford, Impact, Traxxas, Champion Power Equipment, Roush Competition Engines, FK Rod Ends, Truck Country, NTN, and VP Racing Fuels. For more information and to stay in the loop, follow Keegan on Facebook and Instagram.
 
Images via Noggs Photo

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will bring a pair of new Tennessee-based partners with a dedication and passion for motorsport to the streets of Nashville as the largest TA2® field in history is set for the inaugural Music City Grand Prix August 6-8.
 
Trans Am drivers and Nashville business owners Scott Borchetta and Ken Thwaits have teamed up as key partners for the 100-mile TA2® street race, bringing the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic to a near sold-out Nashville crowd.
 
"We are thrilled to have Trans Am be a part of this first-ever event on the streets of Nashville, it is tremendous to see how the community has engaged with this event, and I think Trans Am will put on a great show,” said John Clagett. “Scott (Borchetta) has not only developed several tremendous businesses, but he’s also come a long way really quickly as a Trans Am driver.  It is awesome to have two of our Nashville drivers team up to make the most of this event."
 
Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers are the latest in Big Machine Distillery’s growing line of premium  products and have quickly become the go-to cocktail of the summer. Big Machine Distillery is part of the Nashville-based multimedia conglomerate that also includes the Big Machine Label Group and Big Machine Racing which Borchetta owns and races under in the Trans Am TA2® class in the No. 48 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Chevrolet Camaro. Borchetta enters the Nashville weekend 11th in the TA2® championship. 
 

Just released in April, Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers are refreshing ready-to-drink adult vodka juice pouches that are available in three refreshing flavors – Cranberry, Lemonade and Tropical. The new Big Machine Vodka Spiked Cooler juice pouches, along with a variety of spirits and cocktails from Big Machine Distillery, will be available at the track for fans 21 and older near the Trans Am paddock.

“Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers are blowing up! Giving title support for the first-ever Trans Am race through the streets of Nashville will be loud and memorable,” said Borchetta, president and CEO of all things Big Machine. “I’m excited to race in Nashville again as I haven’t raced here since my last championship-winning run at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in our Team 98 Supertruck in 2005. After I strap in, I have to remember it’s just another race and to focus on getting the job done.”  
 
Located in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, Franklin Road Apparel Company is a men and women’s fashion boutique that evokes the easy-going lifestyle of the South with the sophisticated styling of city life. 
 
Franklin Road Apparel will showcase its apparel at the Music City Grand Prix in a pop-up store located next to the Trans Am pit area in the main paddock. The booth will feature high-end Trans Am tee shirts with Borchetta’s Big Machine Vodka Spiked Cooler TA2 car ripping around the track. Only a limited number of shirts will be produced, making it an instant commemorative item to mark Trans Am's inaugural visit to the streets of Nashville. 
 
Thwaits is a privateer in the Trans Am class driving for his Showtime Motorsports team. In Nashville, Thwaits will race as a guest driver in the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic under the Mike Cope Racing banner wheeling the No. 6 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro.
 

"Franklin Road Apparel is excited to partner with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli for the TA2® race in Nashville," said Thwaits. "Having a big presence at the inaugural Music City Grand Prix in the Trans Am paddock is fantastic! Our Franklin Road Apparel store located in Franklin, Tn. and this is a great opportunity to get in front of our client demographic, letting people know where to find the coolest men’s and women’s apparel in Middle Tennessee. Our pop-up booth at the race will feature unique event-themed shirts, for patrons unable to make an in-person visit to our store, they can always stop by our virtual store at www.franklinapparel.com 

 
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® drivers will participate in two practices on Friday August 6 (11:00 a.m. ,2:15 p.m. CT), before the morning split qualifying sessions starting at 11:00 a.m. Central on Saturday. The Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic will go green on Saturday afternoon at 1:25 p.m. Central. Trans Am will announce how to watch the 100-mile Nashville sprint in the upcoming days.
 
For more event information, visit www.gotransam.com

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America will celebrate a milestone this weekend at Road America, when the single-make series featuring the sleek and powerful Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo cars conducts its 100th race.
 
The North American leg of Lamborghini Super Trofeo launched on Independence Day weekend in 2013, with Lee Davis and Ryan Eversley teaming to win the maiden race at Lime Rock Park. The race count stands now at 98 ahead of the Saturday-Sunday doubleheader at the iconic road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
 
As Senior Manager of Motorsports for Automobili Lamborghini America, Chris Ward has been there every step of the way, leading the effort to build the North American series from the ground up. It started nearly a decade ago, coaxing teams, drivers and Lamborghini dealers to become involved. From a 10-car field in that first race eight years ago, the series has grown to a record 30 entries at events this year.
 
“We’re massively proud of where the series is today, and it’s through the efforts of all the participants,” said Ward, who has not missed a single on-track session – practice, qualifying or race – since that 2013 inception.
 
“The teams, the drivers, the dealers and the product – those are the ingredients that make this championship what they are,” Ward added. “We would be nothing without the tremendous product that we race on the track. The people at Sant’Agata (Italy) headquarters have really put together with the current Huracán Super Trofeo Evo a remarkable race car.”
 
That car and its predecessors in the series – the Gallardo and the first-generation Huracán – have lured a who’s who of drivers to compete. Among the notables are past Formula 1 drivers Enrique Bernoldi and Nelson Piquet Jr., IndyCar pilots Bruno Junqueira and Conor Daly and motocross star Chad Reed – not to mention IMSA standouts Eversley, Trent Hindman, Andy Lally, Katherine Legge, Corey Lewis, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.
 
Lewis is the all-time leader in class wins with 25 and class championships with four. Richard Antinucci, who finished second in that inaugural race eight years ago, still competes and has 21 career wins. Antinucci currently leads the Pro class standings in search of his third season title.
 
As great as it’s been to this point, Ward said it’s only going to get better. The next-generation Huracán, the Evo2, will debut in 2022. Response has been overwhelming.
 
“We were anticipating selling maybe a dozen of those cars prior to the start of next season; that would be a huge achievement,” Ward said. “As I sit here today, we have 30-plus orders for those cars for next year.”
 
Turning an appropriate phrase for Lamborghini’s Italian home, Ward added, “Rome wasn’t built in a day and here we are – nine, nearly 10 years on – we’re finally at the point where regularly with 30 cars on the grid is a really good race series. The interest in the series and the (2022) car is at record levels, with even more new and exciting teams wanting to come and join us as well as a huge number of new customers. We are excited to see what the future brings.”
 
Twenty-six cars are entered for Road America, the fourth of six doubleheader rounds on the 2021 schedule. Among those to watch this weekend are:
 
  • Antinucci (No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán), who leads the Pro class on the strength of four wins this season. He is 14 points ahead of Stevan McAleer, who is sharing the No. 16 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán this weekend with Jeroen Mul. Steven Aghakhani and Jacob Eidson (No. 6 O’Gara Motorsport/US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán) are 20 points behind Antinucci but they won the second race of the Road America weekend last year.
  • Brandon Gdovic and Bryan Ortiz (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán), who lead in ProAm. They are seven points ahead of Victor Gomez (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán), who won both Road America races last year in the Am class. A notable addition to ProAm is Giano Taurino (No. 88 Taurino Racing, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán), who won four Am races this season and was leading the class standings before moving up to ProAm.
  • Taurino’s Am departure opens up a battle between Alan Metni (No. 99 Change Racing, Lamborghini Dallas Huracán) and Luke Berkeley (No. 23 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Broward Huracán) at the top, with Metni holding an eight-point edge.
  • In LB Cup, Mark Kvamme and Terry Olson (No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) ride a four-race win streak into Road America, as well as a 15-point lead over Matt Dicken (No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte Huracán).
 
There will one Lamborghini Super Trofeo practice each on Thursday and Friday ahead of qualifying at 5:15 p.m. ET Friday. Race 1 starts at 1:40 p.m. Saturday and Race 2 at 11:50 a.m. Sunday. Both races will stream live on IMSA.com/TV Live and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Kyle LeDuc and Ryan Beat continued their dominance in the Championship Off-Road (COR) series, taking first place in their respective divisions at the Dirt City Motorplex in Wisconsin over the weekend. The two wins took place during round eight as LeDuc and Beat relied on Toyo® Open Country® tires to get to the finish line.

Located in Lena, WI, the Dirt City Motorplex is one of the most exciting and fast-paced tracks on the COR series circuit. Round eight showcased a tough field of competitors in both the Pro 2 and Pro 4 divisions. The qualifying order was inverted, sending drivers with the fastest times in qualifying to the back of the field for the start of the race. Overtaking defined the races all weekend, as the fastest drivers made their way through the pack to compete for the checkered flag.

LeDuc and his #99 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires / WD-40 / Ford Raptor Pro 4 Truck started round eight in the eighth position after qualifying first. He was able to take the lead and hold on for another victory on the season. Beat and his #51 Bilstein / Toyo Tires / Lucas Oil / Chevrolet Pro 2 Truck laid down the fasted lap of the race, propelling him to another dominant victory in his division.

“Today’s victory was a great one and it was on bone stock, off the shelf DOT Toyo tires,” said Kyle LeDuc. “We had amazing traction and made it from eighth in the field, due to an inversion after qualifying first, to bring it all to the finish with the top spot and getting closer to a points lead. Big thanks to the track crew and everyone at Toyo Tires.”

LeDuc is a seven-time Pro 4 champion in the Lucas Oil® Off-Road Racing Series and he picked up his fourth victory of the season. Beat is a three-time Pro-Lite off-road racing champion and recorded his second win in the COR series, taking the points lead in the championship.

“It was an amazing round eight for us being able to pick up another win and the championship points lead,” said Ryan Beat. “The track was very technical with wet slick, blue groove, and heavy traction conditions so tire combination was critical. My Toyo Open Country C/T tires were the key to this success.”

“It was another incredibly successful weekend for Kyle and Ryan,” said Stan Chen, senior manager, events and sponsorships, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “It is great to see their consistent pursuit for wins in the COR series and with two weekends of racing left, a championship is in reach for both drivers.”

To learn more about the Open Country line of tires visit https://www.toyotires.com/product/open-country.

Ready for a street fight? The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is more than ready.

When racing takes to the streets of Nashville for the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic (August 6-8), it will be the latest chapter for Trans Am racing on a temporary layout. In fact through its long history, Trans Am has staged over 100 events on street circuits, airport runways, and even a city park. 

The first Trans Am on a street course was in historic Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The event served as the 1976 season finale, and George Follmer gave future star Al Holbert a driving lesson to bring home the season championship. That was the first of 22 Trans Ams at the Canadian layout – more than any other temporary circuit.

The most recent road race for the series was at Belle Isle Park, located in a county park in the Detroit River, with Canada on the south and the United States to the north. Trans Am raced there 21 times, most recently in 2019 for a double-feature when Tony Ave drove to victory in his 100th Trans Am race and IMSA's Misha Goikhberg opened the weekend with a win. 

Running in partnership with Championship Auto Racing Teams and its successor Champ Car, Trans Am races were a staple of the open-wheel weekends on temporary courses from the late 1980s through the beginning of the 2000s. The series hosted eight street races in both 1990 and 1996; in 2005, seven of the nine Trans Am weekends were on temporary layouts.

Paul Gentilozzi is the most successful driver on the streets, winning 18 races. Tommy Kendall is second with 14 victories, followed by Ron Fellows with 10; Scott Pruett with nine; and Irv Hoerr and Scott Sharp with six each. Occasional TA competitor Boris Said could break a tie with fellow five-time winner Dorsey Schroeder with a victory at Nashville. Said also won the closest race, beating Greg Pickett by 0.147-seconds in 2005 on the bumpy layout in San Jose, California.

Though Ave is entered for the Music City Grand Prix, his first entry of the season, Adam Andretti is the only active driver with a TA2 street course victory.

"That is quite an honor to be taking that statistic into the Music City Grand Prix," said Andretti. "That day in Detroit was very special for sure, however I don’t think with a brand new layout for every competitor in Nashville that it brings me any advantage in my Peterson Racing Ford Mustang so to speak. Our family always carries a lot of confidence in street races and that is no different for me. My brother John had great success on street courses and my uncle Mario and cousin Michael had amazing records on the streets. Great success doesn’t come without a great team behind you and with Peterson Racing I know I’m there with the very best! With the large entry list the strategy I believe for all of us competitors will be stay clean so we can get as many green flag laps possible and put on a great show for the fans."

Trans Am raced 14 times in the marquee event at Long Beach, California. It visited St. Petersburg, Florida nine times on three different layouts. Other memorable layouts included Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas; Tamiami and Bayfront parks in Miami; the parking lots of RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands; Niagara Falls, New York; and Isla Gran de Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to end the 2003 campaign.

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2® drivers will participate in one practice on Friday August 6 (2:15 p.m. CT), before the morning split qualifying sessions starting at 11:15 a.m. Central on Saturday. The Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers presents the Franklin Road Classic will go green on Saturday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. Central. Trans Am will announce how to watch the 100-mile Nashville sprint in the upcoming days.

For more event information, visit www.gotransam.com

The best authors are able to transport you to a world of their own creation, where you believe, if only for a moment, that you are actually in that space.

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!     

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Ian Lewis.

 

What was your first car? A Morris Minor. I can’t believe how tiny it was.

What do you drive now? A Skoda Yeti. It’s fun.

What is your dream car that you wish to own? I’m very happy with what I have, for now; but the forthcoming all-electric Skoda Enyaq iV is very appealing (apart from the name).

Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car? Yes (see above). But it has to have a real-world range of at least 200 miles.

If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring?  Guide books for the areas I’m travelling in or through. And Dickens’s “Bleak House” to re-read.

What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology?  I think he’s an inspiration, but I’m not sold on his sky-clutter satellites.

 

Be sure to follow Ian Lewis on social media: 

FB and Instagram: @ianlewis1900 also www.storymachine.co.uk

 

Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

By Jeff Olson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
After the last race, Sheena Monk went home and hit something.
 
Literally.
 
Monk turned the frustration of the crash July 17 at Lime Rock Park into a few rounds with a heavy bag, part of her boxing-based training regimen. The crash dropped Monk and teammate Spencer Pigot from second place to fifth in the Grand Sport (GS) standings in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, so Monk used her training to turn negative to positive.
 
“I feel like I let a lot of people down,” Monk said. “Racing brings out different sides in me – sides that I never knew before I did this. I feel like I’m fighting against myself at times more than I am fighting other people and cars and teams. I made a mistake, and I own that. It’s time to bounce back stronger and put the team back where it belongs.”
 
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Road America 120 Entry List
 
Hitting a heavy bag has become Monk’s therapy and motivation. A longtime fan of mixed martial arts and other contact sports, Monk has applied their principles to her training with help from a trainer who’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
 
“I love the mentality of fighters,” she said. “It’s a lot of grit. It’s about being comfortable with the uncomfortable. That resonates a lot for me. It’s something that I’ve followed as a fan for a long time.”
 
After finishing 33rd in a 35-car field at Lime Rock, Monk and Pigot are preparing for a comeback Saturday in the Road America 120 at Road America. Their No. 3 Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4 is 140 points behind a trio of drivers atop the GS standings – Bill Auberlen and Dillon Machavern in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 and Jan Heylen in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
 
Thirty-seven cars are entered in the race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, including 24 in the GS class. Taylor Hagler and Michel Lewis, who co-drive the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Veloster N TCR, lead the Touring Car (TCR) standings and head up 13 entries in that class.
 
Pigot, whose nine-year career includes 58 IndyCar Series races and five Indianapolis 500s in addition to 17 IMSA top-series starts in both GT cars and prototypes, has also established himself in the Michelin Pilot Challenge.
 
“I am enjoying racing in the series,” Pigot said of his rookie Michelin Pilot Challenge season. “It’s good, close racing and a lot of battles. It’s quite interesting with all the different manufacturers. Some cars are good at some tracks and others not so much. It’s always interesting each weekend. I’m having fun.”
Same goes for Monk, whose post-crash angst is now prerace optimism. Especially since she returns as the defending Road America winner when she co-drove with Corey Lewis in the No. 3 McLaren.
 
“I feel good going into it,” she said of the Road America race. “I feel very much like we’re still in the hunt. My goal all along this entire year has really been to fight for the championship. Obviously, it’s always good to walk away with podiums and wins. I have had a long-term vision all year. If you take a look at the points, we’re not out of it.”
 
Following a pair of Friday practices and Saturday morning qualifying, live coverage of the two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race begins at 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass. The NBCSN telecast airs at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18.
Don Schumacher Racing swept the nitro categories for the first time in the 2021 NHRA season on Sunday, as Leah Pruett and Ron Capps won in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, at the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
 
Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their respective categories at the 10th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final event of the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing.
 
Capps, who also qualified No. 1 this weekend, grabbed his first win of the year by going 4.151-seconds at 297.75 mph in the final round against J.R. Todd in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It is the 67th career win for the former Funny Car world champ and also gave him the points lead. Capps conquered the rigorous conditions at Pomona on Sunday, knocking off Bobby Bode, Bob Tasca III, who held the points lead going into Sunday, and longtime rival John Force to reach the final round. He quickly tracked down Todd in the finals, celebrating a meaningful win at his home track.
 
“I was hoping a win was coming,” Capps said. “This team, time and time again, they’ve given me one of the coolest cars to drive and this (weekend) was one of the most extreme conditions we’ve ever had. To do it at Pomona in the summer, with all my friends and family here, I can’t even tell you how amazing it is. We’re going to have a blast (celebrating).”
 
Todd reached his third final round this season and 38th in his career thanks to round wins against Jeff Diehl, Robert Hight and Jim Campbell.
 
In Top Fuel, Pruett capped off the Western Swing with her first win since 2019, going 4.021 at 247.61 in the final round in her 11,000-horsepower Sparkling Ice Spiked dragster. She was set to take on Justin Ashley in the final round, but Ashley wasn’t able to make the run. After advancing to the final round in Sonoma, Pruett finished the job a week later at her home track, picking up her ninth career win in the process. Pruett qualified second and made a trio of consistent runs in qualifying before knocking off Steve Chrisman and Mike Salinas to reach the final round. It puts Pruett on an impressive path heading into the second half of the 2021 NHRA season.
 
“This is about the perseverance of this team,” said Pruett, who moved to fourth in Top Fuel points on Sunday. “We’ve had a lot of dedication and to do this at our home track, it’s phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with us and we dug deep. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Wally and today has just been incredible. We’re going to enjoy this.”
 
Ashley advanced to the final round for the first time this season and second in his young career, knocking off Buddy Hull, No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force and Antron Brown. Points leader and three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence saw his bid to sweep the Western Swing end in the first round when he lost to Brown.
 
Stanfield stayed red-hot in Pro Stock, picking up his second straight win and third in four races by knocking off points leader Greg Anderson in the final round with a run of 6.652 at 207.69 in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro. It’s the second time in this recent stretch that the young standout got the better of the veteran and four-time champ in the final round, also denying Anderson the chance to pick up his 97th career win and tie Warren Johnson for the most in Pro Stock history. 
 
Stanfield, though, is putting together his own championship resume this season, beating Kenny Delco, Matt Hartford and Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders to reach the final round. He never trailed against Anderson, picking up his fourth career win and inching closer to the points lead.
 
“I’ve got some great guys working on my hot rod and if I can stay doing my job behind the wheel, I think we’ve got a great shot (to compete for a championship),” Stanfield said. “To win back-to-back races, I couldn’t have dreamed of this. It’s cool to race against Greg and that milestone he’s trying to accomplish, but I’m glad we got him stopped today.”
 
Anderson advanced to his fifth final round this season and 163rd in his career with victories against Chris McGaha and KB Racing teammate Kyle Koretsky. He’ll look to tie Johnson’s mark for all-time wins in Pro Stock in two weeks in Topeka.
 
Smith continued to stay a step ahead of everyone in Pro Stock Motorcycle, picking up his fourth win this season on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR after a pass of 6.828 at 199.52 in the final round against Angelle Sampey. Smith was the No. 1 qualifier by a wide margin and rolled through the field on Sunday, earning round wins against his wife, Angie, and teammate Scotty Pollacheck before cruising to the win against Sampey. He maintained his healthy lead in the points standings and picked up his second win on the Western Swing as well.
 
“It was hot out there and that was the biggest thing, just fighting the track with it being this hot," said Smith, who now has 30 career wins. “But we got it done, qualified No. 1 and were almost low every round. I knew what we had to do in the final and we laid down a great run (in the final). I can’t say enough about the people who help us. We’ve got a great team.”
 
Sampey advanced to her first final round of the season and 75th in her standout career by taking out Jim Underdahl, Joey Gladstone and Vance & Hines teammate Eddie Krawiec. She also moved to fourth in points.
 
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Aug. 13-15 with the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kan.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

After a shortened season in 2020 and several months without a chance to get on a track, the #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare team was more than determined to perform today at Sunset Speedway (Innisfil, Ontario). Rain forced the NASCAR Pinty's Series to stop the first race for a few hours after only seven laps and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin crossed the finish line sixth. The veteran driver fought hard for the second race and made his way to the podium with a third-place finish.
 
Practice and Qualifying (recap)
The #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare team worked on refining their race setup for this first run in the new car and posted the seventh fastest time in practice and third fastest time in qualifying, 0.128 seconds off the pole.
 
“We had a technical problem during the first 15 minutes of the practice session, leaving us little time on track. The set-up needed some fine tuning, and we made some major changes for qualifying, allowing us to qualify in third place for the start of Race 1,” explained Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
 

Race 1 – 6th place (recap)
After a few hours of rain delays, the race was action-packed with eight caution periods. Louis-Philippe Dumoulin used his experience to keep a respectable pace and fight off constant attacks from those behind him.
 
“The #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare car under-steered throughout the race and it was difficult to drive. We had some good battles and there were a few rubbing incidents along the way. The track has little grip and that creates situations where we have to elbow our way through.”
 
Race 2 – Podium Finish (3rd(recap)
The second race of the evening showed us a more aggressive Louis-Philippe Dumoulin after starting 11th on the grid. The hard racing started right off the start. The veteran driver began a steady climb up the order, oscillating between 10th and 8th position despite some understeer left over from the first race. After a restart on lap 84, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin's driving became more incisive and he pushed his still fast car towards the front pack with intelligent moves that got him a podium finish after some take-no-prisoners laps at the end.
 
“I was using the outside groove, and everything was going well, even if we lost a few positions in the middle of the race because of traffic. At the end I fought with the #22, my tires were used up, the track was slippery, and we still managed to finish third,” concluded Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
 
Frontline Workers 125 & General Tire 125 (recap)
  • Raphaël Lessard won both races ;
  • Race 1 saw 8 caution periods, with only 3 in Race 2.
Next Race: The Home race at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières
Jean-François et Louis-Philippe Dumoulin will return to the track where they started their racing careers on next August 14 and 15, after almost two-year absence. The Dumoulin brothers had a memorable experience in 2019 as they were both on the GP3R podium, a thrilling first for them and their family. The #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare team had won the 50th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières and the Dumoulin family was celebrating 50 years of participation in motorsports.


“The Race Against Cancer” Continues On-line

Since 2016, many individuals, families, businesses, and organizations have teamed up with the Dumoulin Competition “Race Against Cancer” initiative. In today's unprecedented context, cancer victims need our support more than ever. To make an online donation, go to : lacoursecontrelecancer.ca

 

"The Dumoulin Corner" at the Gilles-Villeneuve Museum

On May 8, 2018, brothers Jean-Francois and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin proudly unveiled “The Dumoulin Corner” at the Gilles-Villeneuve MuseumRacing fans who have not been able to discover “The Dumoulin Corner to date will have the opportunity to do so as the exhibit continues at the museum for another year. You will also have the opportunity to see Luc Pilon's creation that inspired the logo of the Dumoulin family's “50 years at the wheel”.

"Passion – Performance – Partnerships"

With the previous two rounds taking place at new venues, many of the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship teams were glad to return to the familiar surroundings of Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA for Round 5: Throwdown. 

 

The Seattle round marks the second half of the season and is the point at which a number of leading drivers need to mount a determined assault on the title before it escapes their grasp. And with the new-for-2021 Knockout Qualifying Format throwing up some unpredictable qualifying results, it’s proving even harder to predict the FD PRO Championship winner.

 

QUALIFYING

Continuing to keep everybody on their toes, qualifying immediately threw its first wrench into the machine as the session began. With Matt Field (USA) – the 2021 FD PRO Championship points leader – running first to set the bar for the rest of the field, there was an audible gasp when a dramatic correction during the run meant his first attempt was judged incomplete.

 

By the rules of the Knockout Qualifying Format (KQF), only the bottom eight qualifiers run a second time. For everybody else, you have one chance to determine your position in Saturday’s Top 32 heats. And with Field relegated to the bottom eight, the best qualifying position he could now achieve was 26th place. However, a second incomplete run could see him pack his bags and head home.

 

At his second attempt, Field found his stride in the Falken Tire / Drift Cave Chevrolet Corvette and was awarded 95 points. This would have equaled the top qualifying score had it happened in the first round. However, KQF meant it was enough for 26th and guaranteed further drama in the competition heats. 

 

While Field faltered, 2013 FD Champion Michael Essa grabbed the opportunity in both hands and threw down an impeccable qualifying run. In doing so, he maintained his impressive 2021 qualifying form, but Essa needs to convert Friday success into Saturday silverware. Sitting in 16th place coming into Round 5, he’s one of the drivers for whom the 2021 title could soon drift beyond his reach if he doesn’t act quickly.

 

The same applies to three-time FD Champion Chris Forsberg (USA) who qualified second after languishing in the KQF zone in previous rounds. He seemingly resolved the technical issues that plagued his NOS Energy / GT Radial Nissan 370Z to keep his title challenge alive. The solution was a cable operating his electronic throttle body to avoid the unexpected closure he’d been experiencing.

 

Third-placed Ryan Tuerck in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback was one of three drivers to score 90 qualifying points, taking the position by virtue of a superior style score. Sitting in eighth, 102-points behind Field, Tuerck still has a fighting chance, which is what he does best.

 

Fourth place went to 16 year-old Branden Sorensen (USA) in the 212 Performance / Sorensen Motorsports BMW. The FD PRO rookie’s remarkable achievement is a reflection of his huge talent and it’s surely a matter of time before he stands on the podium.

 

Another qualifying anomaly we should consider is that of Chelsea DeNofa (USA) who sits second in the FD PRO Championship and is the only driver to score two wins this season. Having stated that he prefers to chase in the competition heats driving his BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D, there was speculation that he might deliberately qualify poorly in order to move himself down the ranks. If that was the case, it almost backfired because he made a significant correction in Outside Zone 3, resulting in a score of 75 points. This dropped him into the KQF bottom eight and required him to run a second time. 

 

On his second run, DeNofa got a score of 92 points, which would’ve put him in third place had it happened in the first round. However, it put him in 27th and against Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis (Lithuania) in the Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15. Bakchis is fourth in the FD PRO Championship and not somebody most people would pick for their first competition heat.

 

With 33 drivers attempting to qualify for the Top 32 competition heats, at least one would be eliminated. Unfortunately, after two incomplete runs, the axe fell on Wataru Masuyama (Japan) who was clearly suffering technical problems with his Buy Now Japan Nissan Silvia S15. 

 

COMPETITION HEATS

Despite the high-risk qualifying strategy, Chelsea DeNofa’s gambit paid off, resulting in his third win of the season and second in a row, finally handing him the lead in the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship by a narrow one-point margin from Matt Field. 

 

Field’s fate was also determined by his qualifying position, reaching the Top 4 but being relegated to fourth, behind Dylan Hughes (USA) who put his Permatex / GT Radial BMW E46 in third place by virtue of a superior qualifying position.

 

Surely DeNofa questioned his tactics as he lined up alongside Bakchis in the Top 32 heats. The Lithuanian driver is among the top drift racers in the world and never a pushover. Both drivers attacked without mercy but a small error by Bakchis in the chase position saw him make contact with DeNofa’s door, which pivoted the BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D into the wall, halting both drivers. With Odi assessed at fault, DeNofa returned to the pits to repair and prepare for his Top 16 heat against Trenton Beechum (USA).

 

In an all-Mustang confrontation, DeNofa made a big correction in Outside Zone 1 while trying to maintain proximity to Beechum’s Clonex Racing / Nexen Tire Ford Mustang. With DeNofa under pressure, he drove hard and opened a lead over Beechum. And as Beechum tried to close the gap he corrected in Outside Zone 3, straightened, ran off the track, and DeNofa took the win.

 

With the god’s smiling on Chelsea, he got a bye run through the Top 8 after Jeff Jones (USA) failed to repair the Jeff Jones Racing / GT Radial Nissan 370Z during a five-minute Competition Time Out. This was after his Top 16 competitor, Dean Kearney (Ireland) also failed to repair his Oracle Lighting / Team Karnage Viper. With both drivers out of the competition, the peculiar twist of fate propelled DeNofa to the Top 4 and a battle royale against Hughes.

 

The BMW driver had an impeccable lead run but couldn’t match DeNofa’s proximity in the chase position. And that’s how Chelsea found himself waiting on the starting line for Ryan Tuerck to address an overheating problem, which saw the Toyota towed back to the pits for more coolant and quiet prayers. However, the overheating instantly recurred as the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback returned to the line. 

 

Jumping out of the car, Tuerck congratulated his adversary and DeNofa took his second victory run before stepping onto the podium to accept the trophy. 

 

“What an awesome event, but this was definitely not how I wanted to win,” DeNofa explained. “But a win is a win and we get the points. We’re definitely chasing the Championship right now. In fact, I think we’re leading, so we’re all pumped!

 

“The car is running great but I typically don’t do well here, so it’s nice to get some luck. The track is challenging; I think transitioning off the banking is one of the trickiest sections of the entire season. But we figured it out and with a bit of luck we got on the podium. And I think we can keep doing this for the rest of the season and go all the way!”

 

Not only did DeNofa win the event but many of his fellow title challengers stumbled early in the heats, helping to widen the gap to rivals Aasbo, Bakchis and even teammate, Gittin Jr.

 

Despite Branden Sorenson’s incredible qualifying position, Jonathan Hurst (USA) was the top rookie, finishing ninth overall driving the Cash Racing Infiniti G37.

 

And to get his thoughts on the return to Evergreen Speedway, we caught up with Formula DRIFT President, Jim Liaw: “It’s great to be back in the Pacific Northwest with packed grandstands after we were unable to have fans last year,” he told us. “It’s always been one of our favorite rounds because of the tremendous energy the fans bring to the event. The teams and drivers certainly missed them last year and certainly brought more intensity this year with fans in attendance. So, we were delighted to have the capacity crowd witness the start of the second half of the season as we head towards the Final. And with visits to St Louis and the unforgiving walls on the Streets of Long Beach yet to come, anything could happen before we reach the Irwindale Finals.”

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