Racing News (7962)
Racing News from around the World
Raphaël Lessard had a fantastic race at the Winchester 400 in the ARCA CRA Super Series, at the Winchester Speedway until he had to retire on lap 188 because of a mechanical issue which caused him to crash.
The St-Joseph-de-Beauce native had an excellent qualifying session on Saturday, obtaining the 8th best time towards the 400-lap race of Sunday. Starting on the outside row for the race, Raphaël made his way up the leaders pack right away.
The Toyota Camry #99 FRL Express/Toyota-TRD/JBL Audio prepared by David Gilliland Racing performed great all weekend long. But a few laps before the half-way point, the left rear axle broke, which caused Raphaël to hit the wall. The entire rear wheel detached from the car and rolled down the track.
Before the fateful moment, Raphaël’s performances were suggesting a possible podium finish. Climbing-up until the 4th place, Lessard imposed himself as one of the fastest drivers on the track, and as one of the possible winner of this race. Having great battles on the track against the other drivers, Lessard and the leaders offered quite a show to the audience with a lot of overtaking.
“I was very careful with the car because I knew we had a long race ahead, I was taking my time and not taking any risks. The car was not 100% to my taste, but we were trying to make it better during the pit stops. I had two pit stops during which we changed the tires and put gas in the car,” says the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) driver.
“As for the accident, we couldn’t control it, there is, unfortunately, nothing we can do about it. I want to thank my parents, my partners and Toyota for supporting me at every race. And special thanks to the crew who made the car better all weekend long. We have to keep our head high and move on.”
Raphaël’s next race will be on October 14 at the South-Boston Speedway in South-Boston, Virginia, for the SoBo 250, a 125-lap race part of the CARS Tour series.
A dozen drivers from across the United States and Mexico will converge on northeast Florida to vie for an opportunity to follow in the tracks of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson.
The 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Honda Generators will be held at Bethune-Cookman University and New Smyrna Speedway on Oct. 16-18, and will serve as a key element in the selection process for setting the driver lineup for Rev Racing in 2018. Both the combine and the team will feature an enhanced focus on seat time to increase competition at the combine and on the track next season.
The drivers invited at the combine includes several record-setting rising stars and a trio of NASCAR Next drivers. They’ll be competing for four seats with Rev Racing.
“We’ve taken an in-depth look at how the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine and we’ve worked hard to continue to take the program to the next level,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We’ve had a number of successes – from the graduation of Suarez, Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. to the national series, to winning races and championships on the touring and weekly series level. As we continue to evolve the program, the format of the combine and the 2018 schedule will provide a greater emphasis on driver development on and off the race track.”
Among the drivers invited are Brittany Zamora, from Kennewick, Washington, and Ryan Vargas from LaMirada, California. Zamora, 18, became the first female to win the championship in the Northwest Super Late Model Series this season, while Vargas, 16, is the youngest race winner at California’s Irwindale Speedway and finished 16th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.
They’ll be joined by current NASCAR Next driver Chase Cabre, as well as NASCAR Next alumni Collin Cabre and Ruben Garcia Jr. Garcia set the mark as the youngest champion in NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series history in 2015.
Other invitees include Macy Causey, Madeline Crane, Ernie Frances Jr., McKenna Haase, Nicholas Sanchez, Fabian Welter and Armani Williams.
Earlier this year, Causey became the first female to win a Division I Late Model feature at South Boston Speedway in Virginia; Welter has four wins and leads the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Challenge Series points; and Francis is a three-time Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli champion and leads the series’ TA standings with three events remaining. Sanchez finished fifth in the Bojangles Summer Shootout in Charlotte, driving for Rev Racing’s Legends car program.
“The roster of talent coming to the 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine is one of the deepest we’ve ever had,” said Max Siegel, CEO of Rev Racing. “We’ve seen the program really grow over the last 10 years and make a substantial impact in NASCAR. We are excited to continue to work within the sport to make significant inroads and provide an opportunity for truly talented race car drivers to advance.”
The drivers will take part in media and physical assessments on Monday at Bethune-Cookman. They will undergo driving evaluations at New Smyrna on Tuesday in a Late Model Stock Car and Wednesday in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series car. In addition to being sponsored by Honda Generators, the Combine received sponsorship support from partners Bethune-Cookman, Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort in Daytona Beach, M2 Promotions and Sunoco.
From the 12 combine participants, four will be selected for the 2018 season. Three of those drivers will race full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, while also running full-time in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in a Late Model – totalling more than 30 races next season. In addition, the fourth driver will compete full-time in the Late Model program and serve as an alternate for the K&N Pro Series program.
In an expanded role for next year, Rev Racing will also select an additional four youth drivers at a future combine. Those drivers will participate in the organization’s expanded Legends and Bandelaros program next season. This past season, Rev Racing had two Legends cars in the Bojangles Summer Shootout. The team will also provide several driver development test sessions in its Late Model at Langley Speedway in Virginia and New Smyrna during the 2018 race season for prospective multicultural and female drivers.
2017 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine Drivers:
|Chase Cabre||Tampa, Fla.|
|Collin Cabre||Tampa, Fla.|
|Macy Causey||Seaford, Va.|
|Madeline Crane||Meansville, Ga.|
|Ernie Francis Jr.||Dania, Fla.|
|Ruben Garcia||Mexico City, Mexico|
|McKenna Haase||Carlisle, Iowa|
|Nicholas Sanchez||Homestead, Fla.|
|Ryan Vargas||La Mirada, Calif.|
|Fabian Welter||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Armani Williams||Grosse Point, Mich.|
|Brittany Zamora||Kennewick, Wash.|
NASCAR/Rev Racing PR
NASCAR and The Weather Company, an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM), announced today a multi-year agreement that will optimize the weather-related decision process for NASCAR as it incorporates hyper-local weather data and forecasts into their races to improve race-day operations and fan engagement. As part of the agreement, The Weather Company, via The Weather Channel brand, becomes the Official Weather Partner of NASCAR.
In collaboration with Flagship Solutions Group, The Weather Company will provide critical weather information to NASCAR through an advanced weather insights dashboard developed by Flagship that will be integrated into NASCAR’s racing operations and decision support system. Additionally, The Weather Channel will work with NASCAR on educational content, which will present fans with information on things like how weather impacts vehicle performance.
“There is an enormous amount of logistics and planning needed to support a NASCAR race, but the one thing we do not have control over is weather,” said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR vice president, officiating and technical inspection. “This partnership with The Weather Company and Flagship Solutions Group will provide NASCAR access to critical information that can improve race operations and help minimize delays, while improving the race day experience for millions of our loyal fans.”
Through this partnership, NASCAR will now have access to The Weather Company’s world-renowned weather data, as well as direct input from an onsite personal weather station, at each race. The Weather Company produces the most accurate forecast for more than 2 billion locations around the world every 15 minutes. NASCAR will incorporate hyper-local weather data and forecasts into their races to improve race-day operations and fan engagement.
“Every business needs a weather strategy - and this is especially true for a partner like NASCAR where every race has the potential to be impacted by weather,” said Bill Dow, head of media and entertainment for The Weather Company. “Having access to the most accurate, precise, and hyperlocal weather information positions NASCAR to make more informed and timely, critical business decisions that impact race day operations, as well as improve planning for future events that will help drive their success.”
The Weather Track, a real-time, weather insights dashboard, developed on the IBM Cloud and leveraging Flagship Solutions’ trademarked Infralytics™ methodology, will provide critical information including rain start and stop times, wind speed, lightning proximity, tornado/flash flood warnings, and more to help organizers optimize each event. Longer term, NASCAR plans to use weather forecasting and analytics to help improve planning.
Finalists Announced For The NASCAR Foundation’s 7th Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide05 Oct 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
The NASCAR Foundation announced on Thursday the four finalists for its seventh annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide, which honors NASCAR fans who are also accomplished volunteers working for children’s causes in their communities throughout the United States.
The award winner will be determined via an online vote now underway and running through Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. (ET) at NASCAR.com/Award. The award will be presented on Nov. 30 during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award winner and $25,000 to each of the other three finalists’ charities. The award honors the memory and the philanthropic legacy of the foundation’s late founder, Betty Jane France, who passed away last August.
This year’s finalists hail from three areas that host NASCAR races (Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Talladega, Alabama). Those finalists include:
- Shannon Goldwater of Scottsdale, Arizona, the founder of Feeding Matters, which furthers advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric feed disorders.
- Julian Maha of Vestavia Hills, Alabama, the founder of KultureCity, an organization seeking to improve – and save – the lives of children with autism, while also educating society about inclusion of children with autism.
- Tammy Richardson of Las Vegas, representing the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation that provides 25 pediatric programs and services to more than 450 children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
- Chante Gonzalez Vido of Jamul, California, a two-time cancer survivor and head counselor at a camp for young cancer patients that is operated by The Seany Foundation, which strives to bring relief and happiness to children and their families battling cancer.
“Betty Jane France would be especially proud of this year’s finalists,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairman Mike Helton. “All four have considerable accomplishments and would be a deserving winner of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. We urge NASCAR fans everywhere to vote for these NASCAR fans. Our finalists represent not only their respective charities but also the very best attributes our sport has to offer.”
Since the award’s inception, The NASCAR Foundation has impacted the lives of more than 200,000 children by providing more than $1 million in contributions to charities represented by finalists for the award.
“This year’s finalists have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of those that live in their respective communities,” said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of Marketing for Nationwide. “Nationwide is honored to help raise the level of national awareness for their different charities and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in Las Vegas later this year.”
To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide and each of the national finalists, please visit:www.NASCAR.com/Award.
Even with an off week in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), it hasn’t been all work and no play for some members of the AM Racing team.
Before heading to Texas for a weekend of appearances at the State Fair of Texas, veteran driver Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) will return to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway to play driver coach and spotter to girlfriend Jennifer Anderson in Friday afternoon’s (Oct. 6) Better Half Dash race hosted by the Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) set to begin at 5:00 p.m.
Anderson is no stranger to speed at the race track. In addition to working alongside Self during Truck Series races, she keeps a close eye on her brother, Jordan Anderson – who also competes full-time in the Truck Series.
Anderson is set to roll off second in Friday afternoon’s 25-lap race after being bounced off the pole by Paige Keselowski, wife of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski during qualifications Monday at Charlotte’s quarter-mile track uniting pit road and the frontstretch of the track’s 1.5-mile configuration.
Her quick lap however won’t guarantee her the outside pole for Friday’s race. Fans can decide which Better Half Dash drivers gets to pick their starting spot by donating money to drivers’ causes at go2mro.com/betterhalfdash/
While Anderson will have the support of AM Technical Solutions for the race, she’ll be hosting the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation on her No. 44 machine.
The Hermie and Elliott Sadler Charitable Foundation is dedicated to raising autism awareness and promoting research for a cure, while also supporting initiatives that improve educational opportunities for children and their families.
“I am extremely thankful that MRO has given me the opportunity to compete in this year’s Better Half Dash,” said Anderson. “So far, we’ve been very fast, so it’s all down to the race now.
“I am really honored to be representing the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation on my car. We have until Thursday at midnight to make donations, so please if you can, donate anything.
“I’ve talked to my coach and spotter Austin and our strategy is simple. Take the lead and never look back. Hopefully, we can do just that for a great cause!”
Following the race, Self heads to Texas early Saturday where he’ll join partner at the GO TEXAN pavilion.
At the pavilion, Self will meet with attendees, sign autographs, take pictures, and draw for tickets to the JAG Metals 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 3.
Additionally, AM Racing’s No. 22 GO TEXAN truck will be on display for the entire Texas State Fair allowing go-getters an up close and personal view of Self’s 3,400-pound machine.
His appearance schedule at the pavilion this weekend is as follows:
Saturday, October 7:
- 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 8:
- 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For more on the Texas State Fair including discounted tickets, hours of operation and more, please log onto bigtex.com/bigtexinsider.
For more on The Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program, please visit gotexan.org.
To learn more information on AM Racing please visit amracingteam.com.
For more on Austin Wayne Self and AM Racing, please visit awsracing.com, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.
AM Racing PR
Don’t expect the Freedom Autosport drivers to hold anything back during Friday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season finale at Road Atlanta. They all have their sights set on a podium finish for the Mazda MX-5s.
“We’re going to try to win the race,” said Chad McCumbee, who co-drives the No. 25 ModSpace/Spartan Cargo Trailers Mazda MX-5 with Stevan McAleer. “We had a car last year that could win it, but we had so many obstacles. Hopefully we’ll be able to change that a bit and end the season on a high note with a win.”
“It’s disappointing knowing we’re not in it for a championship position—that’s why I drive. But we’ll give it our all in the last race of the season, and hopefully there will be a podium at the end of it,” said McAleer.
“This has been an exciting season,” stated William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace. “Although we aren’t contenders for the championship this year, the No. 25 team has run well this season and posted numerous podium finishes. Chad and Stevan have been competitive at Road Atlanta and have the potential to win this season finale.”
Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer were on the podium just two weeks ago, finishing second at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 26 Semper Fi Fund Mazda MX-5. It has left them wanting to taste champagne one more time this season.
“For the first time in two years, we’re going in with nothing to lose,” said Carbonell. “We’re also coming in with momentum and positive attitudes after finishing on the podium at Mazda Raceway. The intention is to land on the podium one more time before the season is over.”
Regardless of the results at Road Atlanta, Dwyer has a lot of praise for the Freedom Autosport crew, saying, “We’ve had fast cars at every track, we’ve been competitive, and we’ve taken wins, even at places where we weren’t expected to, like Road America. Until late in the season, we were in the running for the championship. It shows the dedication our crew has and the amount of tireless work they put into the cars all year long. We can’t thank them enough for that.”
Britt Casey, Jr., is teaming up with Tom Long again in the No. 27 TRUMPF, Inc. Mazda MX-5, and he would like to get his first series win for the TRUMPF and Cushman & Wakefield supporters who will be at the track.
“We’re still looking for that elusive win!” Casey said. “We’re pretty competitive guys. We always want to get up front. Tom and I have a similar driving style and a similar approach to racing, so every time we get together, something clicks. We tend to get good finishes.”
“Beyond getting some great results together, including second at Road America, we’ve had a lot of fun together in the races we’ve done,” said Long. “I’m looking forward to capping off the season with the team and trying to get that first victory for Britt and the TRUMPF Mazda.”
The season finale begins at 1:50 p.m. ET on Friday, October 6. It will be broadcast live via IMSA.com and the IMSA app.
IMSA Prototype Challenge Concludes Inaugural LMP3 Season at Road Atlanta with Two Championships On The Line05 Oct 2017 Written by Adam Sinclair
A tough, hard-fought season comes to a close at Road Atlanta this weekend, in the inaugural year of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, a series that debuted in March at Sebring International Raceway, and since then has competed on some of the most famous race tracks in the U.S. and Canada.
Automatic Racing knows what it’s like to win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and the team hopes to experience that euphoria again when they enter the No. 99 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours from October 14-15.
The eight-hour endurance race is the third event of the season for the Intercontinental GT Challenge, and it is the first time the series has visited the United States. Automatic Racing will be entering the GT4 class with the formidable lineup of Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Eric Lux.
Putman and Espenlaub are fresh off of winning the 991 class championship in the 24H Endurance Series, and they finished second overall in the championship along with teammate Joe Foster.
“We’ve had great success in Europe this year, so it’s nice to come home for some endurance racing in the U.S.,” said Putman. “We’re looking forward to carrying the momentum from our championship into a track where we have a strong history of experience and success.”
“Mazda Raceway is one of our favorite tracks to visit, and this is a great way to extend our endurance racing opportunities,” noted Espenlaub. “We’re excited about teaming up with Automatic Racing again and hope that our combined forces can result in a top finish.”
Lux is currently on a racing sabbatical, but he’s taking a break from the break to join Automatic Racing. His most recent professional race was at Mazda Raceway in 2015, and he has won at the track in both GT cars and prototypes.
“I’m thrilled to join Automatic Racing and Aston Martin for the California 8 Hour endurance race!” said Lux. “My teammates Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman are familiar with the circuit and are proven endurance race winners. Although I’m temporarily breaking from my racing sabbatical, I am confident that I will be able to perform immediately. I believe we have the team, car and lineup to be on the top step after the race!”
Championship Dreams for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Competitors Come Down to the Wire at Road Atlanta05 Oct 2017 Written by Adam Sinclair
Twenty years ago, Porsche Cars North America moved its U.S. headquarters from Reno, Nevada, to Atlanta, Georgia. When the drivers and teams participate in the season-ending doubleheader for the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Oct. 4 through 7 at Road Atlanta, they know they'll be performing before a contingent of Porsche executives and employees.