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In the first-ever season of Americas Rallycross (ARX), Scott Speed raced his way to a fourth-consecutive rallycross championship with Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in his No. 41 Oberto Circle K Bettle Rallycross. Speed narrowly edged out his teammate, Tanner Foust (No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle Rallycross) in second, and Subaru's Patrick Sandell finished third. 

 

The two Beetles were neck and neck all season, with Foust winning the first race in the history of ARX at Silverstone in May. Speed didn't let his teammate stay out front for long, knocking off back-to-back wins at both Circuit of the Americas and Trois-Rivieres. However, Foust kept the gap small all-season long, with both VARX drivers finishing on the podium at every race. 

 

Despite a close battle, Speed scored enough points at the return to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and won his fourth-straight rallycross title.  

 

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross fields two full-time entries in Americas Rallycross, with Scott Speed and Tanner Foust amassing four rallycross series titles (’15/Speed, ’16/Speed, ‘17/Speed, '18/Speed), 31 wins and 59 podiums in five seasons of competition.
Racecar driver Alex Tagliani did not realize the season finale he was hoping for in the Pinty's Fall Brawl, a 200-lap affair held at the one-kilometre paved oval Jukasa Motor Speedway located near Hamilton Ontario. Starting sixth, the Quebec driver suffered mechanical problems in the early part of the race and later on was assessed a pair of penalties that scuppered his quest for a championship drive. Tag crossed the finish line in 13th place, securing second place in the 2018 NASCAR Pinty's Series final driver standings.

"It was a tough race to manage and the results are hard to swallow," said Alex Tagliani. "We had a good car at the beginning, but unfortunately, the steering system got off line. The car was understeering badly, slowly destroying the right front tire. It was quite difficult inside the cockpit because of all the shaking. I had to slow down around lap 60 to try and save the right front tire until our first pit stop on lap 92 where the 22 Racing crew made some adjustments to stabilize the car."

In the first round of pit stops on lap 78 in the final race of the 2018 NASCAR Pinty's season, Tagliani stayed on track to lead the race and score a bonus point. From that moment on, it was a struggle to follow the leader's rhythm after receiving a pair of penalties, including one for pitting outside his pit box.

"Later in the race while trying to catch the leaders, my Chevrolet Camaro EpiPen/RONA/St Hubert hit car 04 in corner 2 (on lap 175)," continued Tagliani. "He was running high on the track, came down and we touched. Race officials said I was at fault and I was assessed a stop and go penalty of one lap. During the stop, the team made several changes on the car to stop the vibration that still persisted, but it was after they changed the left tires that the car came around. My lap times were then as good as the leaders, but it was too late being one lap down with only about 20 laps to go.

"It's unfortunate to end the season in such fashion, but overall we had a great year. We were competitive all season long and we fought until the end. Now, I am looking forward to 2019 where I hope to start on a better note so that I don't have to chase the point's leader all season long, but lead the championship. This is our goal for next year.

"I am very proud of my crew and everyone who worked at 22 Racing. I would like to thank all the sponsors who supported me this year: EpiPen, RONA, Spectra Premium, Chevrolet 440 and Chevrolet Repentigny. With St-Hubert, we had a great time making those funny videos with the delivery personnel when I gave them driving lessons. Thanks also to Fast Wheels who has been with me for several years and to La Petite Bretonne with their Tag on the Go Oatmeal Cookies,"
 concluded Tagliani.

DJ Kennington, a former Series champion, ended a five-year winless streak by crossing the finish line first with a one-and-a-half second lead on Donald Theetge. Kevin Lacroix came home third ahead of Peter Shepherd III and Andrew Ranger. To celebrate his 20th NASCAR Pinty's win, DJ led a race high 93 laps.

In the final drivers standings, Tagliani finished second, seven points behind 2018 champion LP Dumoulin. Kennington is third, 12 points back.

Twenty-one drivers made the start with 19 running at the finish. Twelve cars finished on the lead lap. The race was under full course caution six times for a total of 39 laps. There were 11 lead changes among six drivers; one of the leaders was Tagliani.

For more information on Alex Tagliani, please visit
 www.tagliani.com, follow him on Twitter at@TAGLIANI, @tagliani18 on Instagram and like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tagliani
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MX Sports Pro Racing and NBC Sports have announced the 12-round schedule for the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The 48th season of the world's most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series is highlighted by the addition of a new venue, WW Ranch Motocross Park in Jacksonville, Florida, which will host the inaugural Florida National on June 22.

A total of 24 motos will provide plenty of drama and excitement in the 450 Class and 250 Class, where the world's most prominent and up-and-coming stars will push their physical and mental limits in an all-out battle to win the most coveted title in motocross.  The action will kick off as it has for 12 of the past 15 seasons, with the Hangtown Motocross Classic on May 18, before traveling across the country and to every corner of the U.S. on a championship journey that will visit 11 states. 

After emerging on the global motocross scene as the host venue of the final round of the 2017 FIM MXGP season, WW Ranch Motocross Park will bring the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship back to the state of Florida for the first time since the 1997 season. The Florida National will serve as the fifth round of the season.

"The southeast has long been a hotbed for the sport of motocross, with a significant number of competitors calling the Sunshine State home, and we are committed to ensuring the region has a presence in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship," said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing. "WW Ranch was a terrific venue for the USGP last year and received rave reviews from both the U.S. and European riders. It's always been our hope to eventually make a return to Florida, and this track will surely become an immediate favorite amongst racers and fans alike."

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has served as the preeminent motocross competition since 1972, and over the span of five decades it has maintained its distinction as the most difficult championship to win in all of motorsports.

Reigning back-to-back 450 Class Champion Eli Tomac will look to join elite company in his quest to win the Edison Dye Cup for the third straight season, while newly crowned 250 Class Champion Aaron Plessinger will make his premier class debut, where he'll join the likes of Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia, and more in unseating Tomac. Plessinger's departure from the 250 Class means that the Gary Jones Cup will be up for grabs, opening the door for the sport's next star of the future to emerge. 

2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Schedule

 
May 18 Hangtown Motocross Classic Prairie City SVRA Rancho Cordova, California
May 25 Glen Helen National Glen Helen Raceway San Bernardino, California
June 1 Thunder Valley National Thunder Valley Motocross Park Lakewood, Colorado
June 15 High Point National High Point Raceway Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania
June 22 Florida National WW Ranch Motocross Park Jacksonville, Florida
June 29 Soutwick National The Wick 338 Southwick, Massachusetts
July 6 RedBud National RedBud MX Buchanan, Michigan
July 20 Spring Creek National Spring Creek MX Park Millville, Minnesota
July 27 Washougal National Washougal MX Park Washougal, Washington
August 10 Unadilla National Unadilla MX Ner Berlin, New York
August 17 Budds Creek National Budds Creek Motocross Park Mechanicsville, Maryland
August 24 Ironman National Ironman Raceway Crawfordsville, Indiana

 

For information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please visit ProMotocross.com and be sure to follow all of the Pro Motocross social media channels for exclusive content and additional information on the latest news:

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, features the world's fastest outdoor motocross racers, racing aboard the best bikes each factory offers, on the roughest, toughest tracks in the world. The 12-rounds series begins at Hangtown in May and ends at Indiana's Ironman Raceway in August. It includes stops at the premier motocross racing facilities in America, with events in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, New York and Indiana. The pro riders race on Saturday afternoon, with competition divided into two classes: one for 250cc machines, and one for 450cc machines. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is managed by MX Sports Pro Racing, the industry leader in off-road power sports event production. The series is televised on NBC, NBCSN and MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Sports Gold. More information can be found at www.ProMotocross.com.

When it comes to racing safety, drivers, sanctioning bodies, safety organizations, clubs, series, track owners, circuit designers, safety personnel, equipment manufacturers, coaches/HPDE groups, insurance companies, journalists and every other motorsport constituent play an important role. Stakeholders may perform different jobs, but they all converge on a race course.  That’s why a diverse group of safety advocates has united to form a cohesive, collective and more impactful voice for the greater good of everyone in motorsports.

 

Racing’s history is studded with shining moments, but is also fraught with terrible tragedies.  There have always been heroes on the track, yet there have also been many others behind the scenes.  Over the years, a handful of brave souls have championed for safety improvements and saved many lives, but progress has been painfully slow.

Because the industry is so diverse and siloed, safety changes don’t easily proliferate. Thus, the necessity for an all-inclusive platform comprised of influencers from an array of motorsport segments.

 

The idea to form an industry-wide advocacy group was originally spearheaded by RJ Valentine, a racer with over 400 pro starts, multiple podiums, top 10 finishes, and a 24 Hours at Daytona championship, who personally witnessed much devastation on tracks.  The final straw waslosing Jim Fitzgerald to basilar skull fracture and, since then, Valentine has been on a quest to evoke track safety improvements. He envisions afuture where serious racing casualties are rare if not a thing of the past.

 

The working title for this unofficial alliance is Racing Safety United (RSU). Motorsports has many participants, but RSU has only one mission—To make racing as safe as possible, protecting lives and vehicles by reducing damage, injuries, concussions and casualties for drivers at all levels, and paving the way for the next generation

 

RSU is currently made up of 29 members, but the list is growing by the day.  Independently, each advocate is outstanding in their respective field, and many are safety leaders in their own right.  Together, they form a dynamic force campaigning toward a unified safety goal.

  • Jerry Nadeau – Monster Energy Cup Series Winner, 5-Time Barber Dodge Pro Series Winner, $100,000 Big Scholarship Winner, Former Teammate to Jeff Gordon & Jimmie Johnson
  • Don Schumacher – NHRA Team Owner, Former Champion Funny Car Driver, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Inductee, Concussion Legacy Foundation Brain Research Donor
  • John Mills – SCCA GT3 Pro Racer, Race Car Fabricator, TBI Advocate & Survivor, Public Speaker promoting Brain Injury Awareness, Motivation and Inspiration
  • Larry Dixon - 3-Time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion, Team Owner, Spokesperson
  • Randy Pobst – Motor Trend Track Test Driver, SCCA Columnist & Champion Pro Racer
  • Ian James – Champion Pro Racer & Ambassador for The Heart of Racing
  • Darren Law – Flying Lizard Motorsports Championship Sportscar Racing Team Owner & Former Pro Racer
  • Randy Lajoie – Safer Racer Founder, Former NASCAR Champion Driver & The Joie of Seating President
  • Andrew Pilgrim - Traffic Safety Advocate/Public Speaker (www.tsef.org), Pro Race Driver, Contributing Writer to Automobile Magazine
  • Dr. Preston C. Calvert – Pirelli World Challenge Medical Advisor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Assistant Professor, Neuro-ophthalmology Consultant, Champion Pro Racer, Published Author and former U.S. Army Medical Corps Major
  • Chuck Lessick – IndyCar Ministry Chaplain, Former Belardi Auto Racing Team Manager & Indy Lights Crew Chief, Owner & Driver in USF2000 Series
  • Kevin Butterfield, D.C. – BrainForest Center Founder/CEO, Wellness Racing Corporation Founder/CEO & Creator of AvOID System and ReTINA system, Cortical Impact Solutions Founder/CEO, Motorsports Safety Blogger
  • Dr. Julia Daly, PT, DPT, ATC – Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist, Motorsports Performance Specialty, Public Speaker & Creator of Return to Competitive Race Car Driving after Concussion
  • Thomas Woods – Veteran, Warriors on Track Founder, The Brain Treatment Center Military Care Coordinator for MeRT (Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy) & Racer
  • Mike Semel –U.S. Grand Prix Retired Fire Chief, Watkins Glen International Safety Director & CART IndyCar Safety Team Member
  • James Penrose – Former FIA Driver Safety Environment Consultant, Initiated FIA 8860 Helmet & Hans introduction to F1 & FIA Series, Drivers/Teams Consultancy through Penrose Safety for Audi WEC, Level 5 & many others
  • Charlie Frank – The Activation Group (TAG) Partner, Motorsports Event Marketing for BMW, NASCAR, Indy Car and Many Others, Former racecar driver
  • John Gorsline – The Gorsline Company CEO, Driver Protection Insurance, Family Assistance, Scholarships & Logistics Support
  • Bobby Seymour –Seymour Performance Products CEO, Former USAC Champion Driver & Racer’s Expo Co-Founder
  • Kip Zeiter – International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) Outreach Coordinator
  • Mike Brockman – Previous Motor Trend Road Test Editor for 13 Years, Former Pro Racer & GT Class Winner at 24 Hours of Daytona, & Connecticut’s Own Volvo Dealer Owner
  • Tom Baker – Race Chaser Media Founder / CEO, Race Chaser Radio Host
  • Dick Berggren – Journalist/Writer of groundbreaking Racing Safety Articles in multiple Motorsports Magazines, On-Camera TV Pit Road Reporter for 32 years, North East Motor Sports Museum President, Champion Sprint & Stock Car Driver.
  • Joe Chisholm – Race Time Radio Owner/Host & Eastbound International Speedway Race Director
  • Michael Cummings – Port Imperial Racing Associates CFO - Grand Prix of America Formula One Race Promoter, Motorsports Capital LLC Founder - Motorsports Financial Advisory & Capital Placement, SCCA National Competition License Holder
  • Jay Heid – Summit Midwest Drag Founder & Promoter, ProQ Motorsports Management Software Founder for Events such as Sturgis Camaro Rally, etc., MotorsportsDirectory.com Founder (A Motorsports Safety Foundation Partner)
  • Eric Bagdikian – Array Sports Motorsports Operations, Former CODE 3 Animal Disaster Response President, Retired Boulder County Sheriffs Reserve Lieutenant
  • Eric Curran – Pro Racer for 20 Years, West Coast Exotic Cars Corp Principal & Race Track Owner
  • RJ Valentine – Champion Pro Racer, Race Track Owner & Founder of Impact Safety Systems

 

RSU initially plans to focus on track safety, particularly the need for improvements at race courses and speedways nationwide.  The first order of business is to raise awareness about antiquated walls as the root cause of many injuries or fatalities.  As expenses can be a sticking point, RSU has already begun working on financial aid options for underfunded tracks in need of safety upgrades.  Another immediate priority is to identify ways of minimizing racing-related Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs).  Additional RSU initiatives include research surveys, educational outreach, seminars, track safety analyses, creating guides and resources like comparisons or buffering strategies, consulting on safety product development, and other programs. RSU’s scope of services is expected to evolve as the group continues to expand. 

 

The depth of member involvement will vary based on availability and expertise, but could include disseminating information, social media messaging, spreading the word via broadcast interviews or articles, presenting safety solutions to drivers or tracks, collaborating on proposed safety projects, public speaking engagements, medical advisement roles, etc. In turn for supporting the group’s racing safety cause, RSU will assist its advocates in furthering parallel safety initiatives, resulting in a cooperative ecosystem universally geared toward increasing driver protection.

 

Valentine recently created an RSU micro site, which also highlights its Medical Advisors, as well as advocates who are making inroads into preventing, diagnosing and treating motorsports concussions and TBIs.  For now, this will be home to RSU details and developments. http://www.impactsafetybarriers.com/racing-safety-united-alliance.php

 

Though altruistic, the RSU alliance isn’t unrealistic about the industry’s adversity to change.  Racing will continue to be inherently dangerous despite safety advancements.  But every participant has an obligation to do what they can to eliminate unnecessary risk and preventable harm.  RSU represents an outlet for safety activists, and all are welcome to join. The greater the number of voices, the better the industry will hear, and the more drivers will survive. 

 

NHRA Championship Drag Racing, the world’s fastest motorsport, announced that the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony will once again return to Hollywood’s Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland on Monday, Nov. 12.
 
This invitation-only black-tie affair, where NHRA will honor its 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champions in all four professional categories, will begin with a pre-event cocktail reception at 5 p.m. A formal sit-down dinner will follow with cuisine provided by renowned Wolfgang Puck Catering. In addition to recognizing the new world champions, the ceremony will feature the recipient of the Auto Club Road To The Future Award and the winner of the NHRA Manufacturer’s Cup. The official after party at the nearby Ohm Nightclub will end the evening’s festivities.
 
This year, NHRA will also present a special Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary driver, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, a pioneer in the sport of drag racing. Not only was Garlits the first drag racer to break through a myriad of speed barriers, he’s also known for his innovations in safety. Most notably, he perfected the rear-engine Top Fuel dragster design to create a safer driving experience and revolutionizing the class. 
 
NHRA also announced that the entire NHRA Mello Yello Awards Ceremony will be available for viewing via nhra.com/mydrs-awards on Wednesday, Nov. 21. It marks the 10th year that the full event will be available to fans via the internet. 
 
Champions in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will be honored earlier in the day at OHM Nightclub, located on the fourth level of the Hollywood & Highland Center, before joining the activities at the Mello Yello Awards Ceremony where they will also be recognized. 

Legendary businessman and motorsports team owner Roger Penske will be the recipient of this year's Spirit of Competition Award from the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. The award gala will be held on Wednesday, October 31 at the Museum in Philadelphia, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

"No one epitomizes the 'Spirit of Competition' more than Roger Penske," said Fred Simeone, executive director of the museum. "He not only was an outstanding driver in his own right, but Team Penske is also one of the most successful racing teams in the history of motorsports."

Penske's love of racing began racing in 1951 when he attended his first Indianapolis 500 with his father. Eventually, Penske became a winning sports car driver and was named "Sports Car Driver of the Year" by Sports Illustrated in 1961. He retired from racing in 1965 to open his first automotive dealership, in Philadelphia. Roger Penske Racing – which would eventually become Team Penske - was formed in 1966 and debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with headquarters initially in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square.

Since then, Team Penske has become one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 500 major race wins, over 570 pole positions and 32 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year history, the team has also earned 17 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.

The "Spirit of Competition" is the theme of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and the focus of the annual fundraiser. Past recipients of the award are:

2008-Mario Andretti
2009-Janet Guthrie
2010-John Fitch
2011-Craig Breedlove
2012-Sam Posey
2013 Hurley Haywood
2014 Bobby Rahal
2015 David Hobbs
2016 Peter Brock
2017 Derek Bell, MBE

Tickets for the event are $150 for individuals, $275 for a couple, and $1000 for a table of eight. Tickets may be purchased on the Museum's Web site: www.SimeoneMuseum.org, or by calling (215) 365-7233. The Awards dinner starts at 6:00 PM on October 31.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum differs from most other automotive collections in that the cars are used to tell a story: that competition and racing improve the breed. The central theme of the Simeone Foundation collection is "the spirit of competition." The International Historic Motoring Awards in London twice recognized the museum as "Museum of the Year."

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, located near the Philadelphia International Airport, is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Recognition of the significance of some of the cars has been acknowledged in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a variety of automotive publications. The Classic Car Trust recently selected Dr. Simeone as number two in a ranking of the top 100 automotive collectors in the World.

More information on the Museum can be found on www.simeonemuseum.org, or by calling 215-365-7233.

Simeone Foundation PR

Panoz, LLC. returns to Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, not to race, but to pay tribute to the late Don Panoz. A visionary entrepreneur, Panoz was most famous for reviving North American sports car racing by founding the American Le Mans Series. The series ran its first season in 1999 which included the Petit Le Mans race, but the inaugural Petit Le Mans was in 1998 at the Panoz-owned Road Atlanta. In 1998, after catching the endurance racing bug at Le Mans, Panoz created a partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and began a 10-hour race in the spirit of Le Mans. For these reasons, there couldn’t be a better track or race to celebrate the significance of Panoz’s racing endeavors and achievements. 

The recently restored Panoz GTR-1, chassis #7 that raced at Le Mans in 1998 and is scheduled to race in the Le Mans Historic Masters in 2019, will run a pre-race lap alongside the “Stars and Stripes” DeltaWing Coupe DWC13-003. The GTR-1 will be driven by Jan Magnussen, while Johnny O’Connell will be behind the wheel of the DeltaWing.

Jan Magnussen
"I feel very privileged I get to drive this car again. It was the first sportscar I ever drove, and that was back at Road Atlanta in 1998. Fantastic experience and I’m looking forward to driving it again. Hopefully we will give everyone the chance to remember all the wonderful things that Don Panoz bought to the world of racing.”


Johnny O’Connell
"It’s a huge honor to once again represent the Panoz name. I got to drive the Panoz GT car as well as the prototype all around the world, and letting me do some testing in the DeltaWing was not only fun, but kind of Don to give me that chance. The concept itself of the DeltaWing speaks to the imagination and the creativity of the great man himself. Thank you to Cadillac for letting me have this opportunity.”


In addition to the on-track activities, Panoz will have a display located inside Turn 1 in the main paddock. The cars on display will include the two Panoz vehicles gracing the track, the Panoz Avezzano race car and two street car versions, the Esperante GT2 Tribute Le Mans 2006 winner, the Spirit of America LMP and Don Panoz’s personal 2003 Esperante coupe.


Nancy Panoz
"Don has a lot of history with the Road Atlanta track and this race. I’m very happy we can have two of his most iconic cars do a lap of the track and it’s nice to have both Jan and Johnny back in a Panoz. I know that it would have made Don very happy.

Fans are also invited to sign the Panoz Avezzano race car rear wing at the pre-race fan grid walk. This particular rear wing will be used at the upcoming Intercontinental GT Challenge, October 26-28, 2018 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as a tribute to Panoz’s “For the Fans” mantra. In September this year, the team took the Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS Manufacturers Championship title with its pair of Panoz Avezzano GTs. Regular drivers Ian James, Mathew Keegan and Preston Calvert will be behind the wheel of the one car at this final race of the season.


What does it take to crown a United States RoadRally Challenge(USRRC) champion? This year, the answer for the annual SCCA event was four days, four diverse road rallies, some 500 miles of winding rural Illinois roads across from St. Louis and the Gateway Arch, 58 controls (checkpoints) and the ability to succeed in conditions that ranged from moonless fall nights to intense pop-up afternoon thunderstorms.
 
Hosted for the fourth time by the St. Louis Region, the 24th edition of "the Challenge" Oct. 4–7 was dominated by veteran teams. In Equipped, Bruce Gezon and Bob Morseburg won two of the four events, while Limited and Stock Challenge champions Jeanne English and Karl Broberg (Limited) and Jessica and J Toney (Stock) each picked up three class wins.
 
"The roads were great as usual and the concepts were well executed," Gezon said. "It was nice to have confidence in what the committee intended for us to do. My favorite was Monopoly Redux. Tom Von Hatten did a masterful job of making an interesting and fun finish to a memorable USRRC."
 
The weekend opened Thursday night, Oct. 4, with Tulips by Night, an 80-mile Monte-Carlo-style divisional Touring rally that featured passage controls. "Tulips" was followed by the Kaskaskia Trails National Course Rally on Friday and the Petit Rallye du Rocher National Touring Rally on Saturday. The weekend concluded with Monopoly Redux, a divisional GTA (gimmick) rally Sunday morning, Oct. 7.
 
Monopoly Redux was the sole rally the three winning teams did not dominate. Based on the well-known board game, the rally was won by the Indianapolis Region's Wendy Harrison and Craig Beidelman. In Monopoly Redux, Gezon and Morseburg finished second, English and Broberg, 13th, and Jessica and J Toney, eighth.
 
In the weekend's optional (non-official) classes, the Arctic Alaska Region's Cheryl Babbe and Gail Engblom won the USRRC's Rookie Class and David Zemon and Art Zemon won the Gateway Regional Cup.
 
The Rookie Class was designed for teams who, together, had participated in no more than four national or divisional rallies. The Gateway Regional Cup was a special combination of Saturday's Le Petit Rallye du Rocher and Sunday's Monopoly Redux that offered new or occasional rally teams, or teams from other SCCA disciplines, an opportunity to discover classic SCCA rallying or just spend a weekend having fun with their wheels.
 
Jim Crittenden, SCCA Road Rally Board chair, hosted a Friday night Road Rally Town Hall meeting at the USRRC and offered these comments about the weekend: "I'd like to give a special tip-of-the-hat to our President, Mike Cobb, for attending the USRRC. The folks at the Town Hall meeting appreciated getting to meet Mike and hearing about our organization's efforts across all SCCA programs. Mike also worked on a checkpoint crew for Saturday's rally and did a short ride-along for the first two legs in one of the rally cars. The team that took Mike on his ride-along, Chuck Larouere and Rick Beattie, from Pittsburgh, went on to win that rally (Le Petit Rallye du Rocher)."
 
Crittenden added: "On behalf of SCCA, we'd like to extend our sincerest appreciation to Jim Heine, Ron Ferris, Tom von Hatten, and the entire St. Louis Region rally committee for a great weekend. They provided the competitors with the complete range of rally styles (Course, Tour, and GTA), excellent hospitality and banquet, and plenty of opportunities to socialize with old friends and meet new ones. Well done folks, thank you!"
After a season-opening win and a final-round appearance leading into the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, Doug Kalitta had high hopes about racing for his first world title. Things haven’t gone to plan during the first three playoff races, but the Top Fuel veteran still has big expectations to close out his NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
 
A championship may not factor into that, but Kalitta has his sights on a top-five finish in the class and more wins to finish his year, starting at this weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Kalitta is the defending winner of the fall race at the state-of-the-art facility in his 10,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster, something he would like to replicate to help end his year strong.
 
“Our focus is on making some improvements to win a few more races before this season wraps up,” Kalitta said. “We’ve been pretty consistent over the last few events, but we still aren’t at the level we need to be. I’ve got a great team behind me and I feel confident that we will end this year on a strong note. We definitely feel comfortable racing at Charlotte. It’s an excellent facility and the entire MAC Tools team is hoping this is an event where we can get back on track.”
 
Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including live final eliminations coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Oct. 14. It is the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship and the 22nd of 24 races in a 2018 season that took a frustrating turn during the first half of the playoff season.
 
After a final-round finish at the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals to close out the regular season, Kalitta hasn’t been able to find that same rhythm, posting just one round win through the first three races in the Countdown to the Championship. It’s put Kalitta 299 points behind points leader Steve Torrence, who has won the first three playoff races, meaning a championship is out of the equation. But Kalitta is just 52 points back of fifth and 75 points out of fourth, giving him plenty of motivation to race well over the final three races.
 
“Winning another event would be huge to close out this season,” said Kalitta, who has one win and five finals appearances in 2018. “We haven’t started out the Countdown the way we had hoped, but being able to build up some momentum and get to the winner’s circle again would be a big boost for us. I have an excellent team, and they have stuck together all season long. It’s really impressive to see the work they have put in, and I know it is a championship-caliber bunch.”
 
Kalitta isn’t thinking ahead to 2019, but he does know the boost any late-season success, starting this weekend in Charlotte, would provide for next year. He’ll have to deal with the likes of Torrence, Clay Millican, Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett and Dallas runner-up Terry McMillen at zMAX Dragway, but Kalitta continues to have confidence that the Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel teams, which also includes Richie Crampton, can have an impact to finish out 2018.
 
“Our whole team would love a strong finish to the season to get ready for 2019,” said Kalitta, who has 44 career Top Fuel victories. “Richie and the CRAFTSMAN team have been working hard to close out the year strong, and some of those adjustments were definitely noticeable in Dallas. I feel the same way about the MAC Tools team, and our goal is to get a few wins to close out this year strong and be ready for a championship run next season.”
 
Funny Car points leader and defending world champ Hight will look for a repeat win at Charlotte to keep his hot streak going. He has two straight wins and a 50-point lead on J.R. Todd.
 
Pro Stock points leader Gray, who has seven 2018 wins, continues his impressive season, as the second-year star holds an 89-point lead on Vincent Nobile.
 
Krawiec is after his first Pro Stock Motorcycle playoff win in 2018, as the defending champ tries to track down points leader LE Tonglet, who has a 47-point lead after his Dallas win.
                            
The NHRA Carolina Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, which will have its 11th of 12 races, as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where the future stars of the sport earn their racing stripes.
 
Those in attendance will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with some of the biggest names in drag racing during the NHRA Legends Tour. This includes meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, and a variety of other activities. Legends scheduled to attend the NHRA Carolina Nationals include Jim Dunn, Frank Manzo and more.
 
As always, fans can interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
 
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
   
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:45 and 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
 
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets also are available online at www.zmaxdragway.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

The Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout will return to the Valley of the Sun as the Bondurant Racing School near Phoenix, Ariz., will again host the third annual event on December 8/9. At stake for the 20 champions of junior open-wheel series from around the globe is a $200,000 scholarship from Mazda to enter the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2019 – the first step on the world-renowned driver development ladder system.

This year’s field is likely to comprise drivers representing at least 11 countries from Official Feeder Series in North and South America as well as Europe, Asia, Australasia and, for the first time, the continent of Africa. Over 400 drivers have vied for an “entry ticket” to the Shootout, which awards each series’ champion a coveted invitation to the two-day outing. Champions must be between the ages of 14 and 25 by September 30 of 2018 to be considered and entry tickets are non-transferable.

The Bondurant Racing School main track – a 1.6-mile, 15-turn road course located at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – will provide the playing field for drivers to showcase their skills during an intense two days of competition aboard Formula Mazda cars powered by Mazda rotary engines on Cooper tires.

Just as important as talent behind the wheel will be off-track presence as well as application of coaching feedback, and an illustrious panel of judges will once again be faced with a formidable task in determining the winner. Long-time factory Mazda Motorsports representatives Andrew Carbonell and Tom Long will return to the panel alongside former Pro Mazda champion and Indy Lights driver Victor Franzoni, and inaugural Shootout winner and 2017 USF2000 champion Oliver Askew. They will be joined this year by USF2000 Race Director Jan Heylen, a former IndyCar and current sports car driver.

Motorsports veteran Scot Elkins will return as Shootout Director. Elkins’ past history with the Mazda Road to Indy includes roles as Race Director for both USF2000 and Pro Mazda, as well as Project Manager for the Tatuus USF-17 and PM-18 chassis, which debuted to rave reviews in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He is currently Deputy Race Director for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, Race Director of the FIA Formula-E Championship and COO of the Motorsport Safety Foundation.

“The Bondurant Racing School provides an excellent platform for the Shootout and was a great host last year,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “We look forward to welcoming our international line-up of champions there in December. We have an outstanding panel of judges on board who, based on the standings in all of the feeder series I have been following, are set for some extremely tough decisions again this year. It will be an exciting two days and we look forward to crowning a new scholarship winner.”

Champions in several Official Feeder Series have already been crowned including Niall Murray (BRSCC British Formula Ford 1600), 23, of Dublin, Ireland and Ross Martin (SMRC Scottish FF1600), 17, of Kilmarnock, Scotland, both of whom will be returning as “veterans” to the Shootout.

New Zealand F1600 champion Callum Hedge of Auckland is the youngest in the field to date at 14. Others to have already earned Shootout invitations include Allan Croce (Brazil Kart Open), 18, of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Kellen Ritter (Toyo Tires F1600), 17, of North Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Raghul Rangasamy (MRF F1600), 25, of Mahabalipuram, India; Matt Round-Garrido (FF1600 Northern Ireland), 18, of Stourbridge, England; and Guillaume Archambault (Formula Tour 1600), 24, of Granby, Quebec, Canada.

“I am excited to attend the Shootout and witness first-hand the talent of 20 champions on track,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Obviously, all of these drivers bring championship-winning credentials to the table and it will be rewarding to honor the best of the best with a scholarship to USF2000 next year.”

A welcome reception and dinner will take place on Friday for all participants and their guests. All drivers will participate in three on-track sessions on Saturday with performance feedback from the judges at the conclusion of each outing. Following a final session on Sunday morning, the field will be cut and the finalists will move into two qualifying rounds followed by a mock race.

The full list of 2018 Official Feeder Series includes:

Australian Formula Ford Championship (Australia)
BRSCC Britcover/Avon Tires FF1600 Championship (England)
Dawson WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Championship (Ireland)
eKartingNews.com (North America)*
Formula Ford Festival (England)
Formula Ford Super Series (England)
Formula Tour 1600 (Canada)
MMSC MRF F1600 Championship (India)
NACAM Formula 4 Championship (Mexico)
New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship (New Zealand)
SCCA National Championship Runoffs (USA)
SMRC Scottish Formula Ford 1600 Championship (Scotland)
Selectiva de Kart Petrobras (Brazil)
South African Investchem Formula 1600 Championship (South Africa)
Team USA Scholarship (USA)
Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Canada)
Walter Hayes Trophy (England)

*to nominate a driver from the karting ranks

Official Feeder Series for At-Large Entries:

F1600 Formula F Championship Series (USA)
F2000 Championship Series (USA)
Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear (USA)
Formula Panam (Mexico)
Pacific F2000 Championship (USA)

A full list of participating drivers will be announced prior to the Shootout.

Following the momentum of the Tire Rack SCCA® Time Trials Nationals at NCM Motorsports Park, SCCA has announced a 2019 launch of the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour. The series will be a coast-to-coast National Level Time Trials program with stops at 10 of America's best and most challenging tracks.
 
Jon Krolewicz, the SCCA Time Trials program manager, sees this as a chance to take the energy and buzz from the NCM event on the road. "We want to capture the positive social and competitive experiences shared by the participants of Time Trials Nationals and bring that same overall vibe to various tracks across the nation." Krolewicz continued, "By expanding across the country with the series and with the support of Tire Rack, we can bring a best of motorsports experience to a much larger audience while also providing SCCA Regions resources to help them grow their own Time Trials and Track Events."
 
Matt Edmonds, Executive Vice President at Tire Rack, shares in the excitement of the concept and sees this as a natural step in the SCCA and Tire Rack relationship. "Tire Rack has long supported SCCA Solo® events and has been on board with Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack since day one," Edmonds noted. "We see Time Trials as a way to bring these worlds together, as well as engage driving enthusiast and introduce them to Tire Rack and SCCA."
 
Time Trials National events will not be a points series, but one-off events based on the Tire Rack Solo Championship Tour model, with collaboration between host Regions and National staff leading up to the 2019 Time Trial Nationals, which will be held once again at NCM Motorsports Park.
 
The desire is for the Tire Rack Time Trials National Tour to have at least eight stops, with events currently being planned at Pittsburg International Race Complex, High Plains Raceway, Carolina Motorsports Park, Portland international Raceway, GingerMan Raceway, Heartland Motorsports Park, Thunderhill Raceway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
 
Heyward Wagner, Director of Marketing and Experiential Programs at SCCA, is excited about the potential of this series for both participants and SCCA Regions. "The feedback we received has been overwhelmingly positive; participants have been very vocal about the amazing experience they had, both on and off the track. Our goal now is to take what we have learned to Regions and equip them to be able to build Time Trials and Track Events that can produce the same results." For Wagner, this means much more than competition. "We want to bring that same level of camaraderie and social interaction everyone enjoyed to other parts of the country, and work with the Regions in an effort to continue to develop this new vision of what Time Trials events can be."
 
Stay tuned for additional Time Trials news at SCCA.com.
 
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.