Racing News (8292)
Racing News from around the World
INDYCAR has landed a lead engineer from a championship-winning manufacturer as its new managing director of engine development.
Darren Sansum joins INDYCAR after a successful stint at Toyota Racing Development, which has won the past two manufacturer championships in NASCAR's Cup series.
Sansum brings considerable experience to INDYCAR, having also worked for Ford Motor Company, Cosworth Technology and Ilmor Engineering. At INDYCAR, Sansum will oversee engine development and competition between Honda and Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series effective Feb. 6.
"Darren is someone we targeted early on in the hiring process," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR's president of competition and operations. "There is a lot happening within INDYCAR's engine program, both current and future projects. Darren's background makes him a perfect fit to lead our engine program today and into the future."
In TRD's NASCAR program, Sansum's focus was engine reliability and over the past four seasons the failure rate of Toyota's engines was significantly reduced. Prior to that when he was with Ilmor and serving as Team Penske's NASCAR engine technical director from 2009-12, the team had zero engine failures in all of 2012 for its two Cup series cars, including the car for season champion Brad Keselowski. Sansum's ties to INDYCAR began in 2002 when he joined Ilmor as a development engineer.
"What excites me about this role is that it's an opportunity to use my 25 years of engine engineering," said Sansum, 47. "It's an opportunity to help develop the sport itself and it's particularly pertinent that it's with INDYCAR since that's where it started for me and it's the fastest category in North America."
In addition to supervising INDYCAR's current engine regulations, Sansum will play a key role in developing the next generation of engine regulations for the Verizon IndyCar Series. A key parameter in creating the next engine package will be making it attractive to new manufacturers.
"INDYCAR is going in a good direction, and I'd like to help further develop that and continue going in that direction," Sansum said. "The competition's very close between Honda and Chevrolet at the moment. I'd like to contribute to the evolution in this direction with the ultimate goal of adding manufacturers into the sport."
The 17-race Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11. Teams will participate in an open test at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) from Feb. 8-10.
Today, Doug Rice, President of the Performance Racing Network (PRN), announced long-time PRN announcer Brad Gillie will be expanding his role within the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: TRK) owned network to include the full-time position of Programming and Affiliate Manager.
In his new role, Gillie will oversee affiliate outreach and relations, help grow current programming and help to cultivate new programming opportunities for the network.
"Brad will be a great addition to our full-time lineup at PRN. His extensive radio and racing background make him a perfect fit," Rice said.
Gillie, a Texas native, attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he majored in Radio/Television/Film. After college, he spent the next eight years as an on-air personality at KEGL and KDGE radio in Dallas, Texas.
Gillie has been a part of the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family since he became the public address announcer at Texas Motor Speedway in 1998. He went on to join the staff full-time in 2001, where he created the successful "Total Access" syndicated motorsports radio program, which he hosted until leaving the speedway in 2014.
Having been a part of PRN's award-winning broadcast team since 2006, Gillie has lent his voice to PRN broadcasts as a pit reporter, turn announcer and anchor. In addition to his new duties, Gillie will remain a vital part of PRN's announcing team during live broadcast events.
"Even though we have lived over 1,000 miles away from each other, Doug Rice and my family at PRN have always been an important part of my life and my career," Gillie said. "This is an amazing opportunity to now work every day alongside some of the best in the business while helping to expand the reach of our network."
Along with his new responsibilities at PRN, Gillie will continue his role as the weekly host of "Late Shift" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
In his spare time, Gillie enjoys spending time with his wife, Angela, their three adult children and their five dogs. He loves motorcycling and tinkering on projects in his workshop.
Officials from Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) announced today that sports car veteran Max Tullman (@MaxTullman) will make his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in next Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
Tullman enters the stock car world after competing regularly for the past few years in sports car scenes across the United States and Canada, including the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.
The Chester Springs, Pa. native turned his fast laps at the “World Center of Racing” during the ARCA Racing Series open-test at the 2.5-mile speedway in January. Tullman joined MMM shortly thereafter and participated in a private test with the Mooresville, N.C. team at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last week.
The 20-year-old also has three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) starts to his credit last season driving for Jefferson-Pitts Racing. His success includes two top-10 finishes in three starts delivering a career-best ninth place result at Kern County (Calif.) Speedway in Nov. 2017.
“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to drive for Mason Mitchell Motorsports at Daytona next weekend,” said Tullman, driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet. “The team has a winning history on the superspeedways and had a very competitive and productive test at Daytona earlier this month.
“I’m looking forward to making my ARCA debut with one of the most successful teams in ARCA and hope that my debut is strong and allows us to put some more races together for the 2018 season.”
Veteran Motorsports crew chief Doug Richert, who led Dale Earnhardt Sr. to his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) championship in 1980 will call the shots for Tullman in the 80-lap event.
Cup Series spotter Tyler Green who assisted in propelling Mason Mitchell Motorsports to their Talladega Superspeedway ARCA victory in April 2016 will guide Tullman for the event.
Zoomi, a new marketing partner in ARCA competition will support Tullman in his debut.
Zoomi is the first and AI-informed learning analytics company that uses machine learning to rapidly individualize training pathways in real-time. Its artificial intelligence studies learner behaviors and patterns to understand what each employee knows, what still needs to be taught and how to best deliver that information automatically – so you don’t have to.
With more than 250 proprietary algorithms, Zoomi provides deep personalized learning, predicts learning and performance, optimizes learning content and links learning to business outcomes.
Myota, a superior data security management solution will serve as an associate marketing partner for the ARCA season opener.
“Without the support of Zoomi, Myota, Doug and the Mason Mitchell Motorsports team, Daytona would not be possible,” continued Tullman.
“This is the biggest race of my career and I want to go out there and do a good job not only for the team, but for Zoomi, Myota and for all those that believe in me.
“Hopefully, we can bring some good exposure to Zoomi and Myota and it will help us in our plan to race a lot more this season.”
2014 ARCA Racing Series champion Mason Mitchell said his team is eager to work with Tullman and continue its dominance of crafting young talent into contenders and winners on the development tour.
“We’ve developed a strong pedigree at Mason Mitchell Motorsports and we’re eager to have that continue with Max,” added Mitchell, who serves as one of the series’ youngest team owners.
“Max is eager to perform and deliver. His enthusiasm is contagious, but his desire to learn and exceed expectations was evident at the Talladega test. We’ve set an achievable goal for our No. 78 team at Daytona and look forward to seeing Max’s debut be successful.”
Tullman will be teammate to Quin Houff who returns to MMM for the second-consecutive season at Daytona in the No. 98 Chevrolet.
The Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 8 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 9 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 66th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 10 shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
Like Max Tullman on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @MaxTullman.
Follow MMM on Social Media: To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and race updates, follow MMM twitter page @MMM_Race and “Like” their Facebook page at Mason Mitchell Motorsports.
General Tire announced today that two-time NASCAR champion Greg Biffle will join Team GT beginning in 2018. Biffle is packing up, and hitting the road to test General’s “Anywhere Is Possible” theme.
Biffle, the 2000 Truck Series and 2002 XFinity Series champion, will be the focus of a social media campaign that sees him participating in a series of events throughout the year, each of which will be documented in real-time on General Tire’s social channels. Fans will be able to interact with Biffle on his excursions by using #Biffle on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
"We’re extremely excited to have Greg Biffle join Team GT," said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. "Greg’s voice will provide a change of pace in the channels. His perspective will be a great third-party approach and will allow us to earn new followers, increase our awareness, and of course, generate tons of content."
An avid outdoorsman, Biffle is a natural fit with General Tire and the company’s “Anywhere Is Possible” mantra. He joins Team GT as social media correspondent and will be tackling adventures on the trail, at the lake, in the desert, on the streets, and anywhere a General tire will take you!.
Biffle's first role as a member of Team GT will take place in New Orleans, La., where he will take part in the launch of the latest additions to the General Tire line, the G-MAX RS and the GRABBER A/TX. Biffle will participate alongside the media members there to cover the event, testing the new product line on a variety of vehicles while providing behind-the-scenes access.
Team GT boasts some of the biggest names across a variety of arenas, including CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Camburg Racing, Stan Shelton, Ryan Beat, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, Mark Rose, Ott DeFoe, John Crews, Britt Myers, and Bill McDonald. They represent General Tire in the Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed.
For additional information, visit GeneralTire.com. Join our conversations on social media by following us on Twitter (@generaltire) and Instagram (@general_tire), liking us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/generaltire)
General Tire PR
Tommy Baldwin Racing and Accell Construction have partnered together for the 2018 Modified season, starting at New Smyrna Speedway, February 12th. Piloting the No. 7NY Chevrolet is NASCAR veteran, Jon McKennedy.
Accell Construction, an Oklahoma based company, operates a full service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries. Accell has been a partner with Tommy Baldwin Racing since the inception of TBR, in 2012. In addition to running New Smyrna Speedway, the No. 7NY Accell Construction Chevy modified will also be participating in other Modified tour events throughout the year including; Myrtle Beach Speedway, Thompson Speedway, Stafford Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Oswego Speedway.
"I am very excited for the opportunity that Tommy Baldwin is giving me. Tommy is a very smart guy and very well respected in the modified garage. I plan on having a great speed weeks in New Smyrna, with the team and Accell Construction," said Jon McKennedy.
"It's been 40 years since I've been in the NASCAR Modifed racing series," commented Accell Construction owner Steve Todhunter. "Accell Construction, Inc. and I are very happy to go back there with the accomplished Tommy Baldwin Racing team. The last time I was there the familiar names on the circuit were the Bodines, Lajoies, Evans, Cooks, Flemkes, Membrinos, Stockwells and of course, the Baldwins. We all had a lot of fun going to "The Races" in those days in the Northeast. Hopefully we can get the 7NY to the front and relive some of those great memories of yesteryear when racing was fun!"
For more information on Accell Construction, visit www.
David Gilliland Racing (DGR) and CROSLEY Sports Group announced Las Vegas, Nev. native, Noah Gragson will drive the No. 54 Switch Toyota in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (K&N East) as well as Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Series for select races in 2018.
Early October 2017, Gragson completed a feat most super late model drivers dream of, winning the famed Winchester 400 and then followed that up late October by winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Gragson will drive towards his next win as the first driver out of the DGR-CROSLEY stable to compete in the 2018 ARCA Series at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Gragson has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in his eight ARCA starts. Hoping to best his finishing position from 2017, Gragson will be behind the wheel of the No. 54 as he makes his second ever Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway start in the ARCA Series on Saturday, February 10th.
“I’m really looking forward to racing for DGR-Crosley in a few races this season,” said Gragson. “Racing at Daytona in the ARCA race will give me valuable experience and more confidence going into the Daytona truck series race. I don’t have a ton of experience when it comes to drafting. So, this opportunity will be extremely beneficial. I’m also excited to work hand in hand with David Gilliland, who is one of the best drivers when it comes to superspeedway races.”
The 19-year-old will start his second full season with Kyle Busch Motorsports driving the No. 18 Toyota Tundra in the NCWTS. With one win, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in his first NCWTS season, Gragson hopes to continue to gain experience for those truck races. That is just what he will do as he takes over the No. 54 Toyota for two K&N East races in the 2018 season.
“Racing is my top priority and being able to race as much as I can will only make me a better driver,” said Gragson. “The more seat time I get, the more confident I can become. Our goal this year is to win races and compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. However, I think adding these four races to my current schedule will only help achieve that goal.”
The 2015 K&N Series West Rookie of the Year collected six wins, 19 top five and 32 top-10 finishes in his past 42 starts in the K&N Series’ combined. He will make his first start in the No. 54 Switch Toyota in the K&N East race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April.
“We can’t wait to have Noah jump in our car at Daytona,” David Gilliland, team owner at DGR said. “He is full of energy and willing to drive the wheels off of anything. We look forward to having him in our DGR-CROSLEY Toyotas a few times this year.”
The NASCAR Next product has driven the wheels off most everything he’s jumped into as he started racing at the age of 13 in the Bandoleros at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Bullring. Upon finding success there, he moved into the Legends division winning the Lion Road Course Championship and began racing in the Super Late Model division. At 16 years old, Gragson moved into the K&N Pro Series West where he found victory lane at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway in just his third start and finished second in the K&N Pro Series West championship battle.
More announcements to come from DGR-CROSLEY on the exact races and crew chiefs.
For more on DGR-CROSLEY, and/or to inquire about driver development opportunities under the DGR-CROSLEY banner, contact Jason Hedlesky.
It was a 1-2 finish for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at the 56th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Teammates Ryan Briscoe*, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon drove the No. 67 across the finish line, recording back-to-back wins for the Ford GT and delivering the 200th win to team owner Chip Ganassi. The No. 66 sister-car with drivers Joey Hand*, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais (2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona winners) secured a second place podium finish in this year’s season opener.
“Both teams ran an exceptional race,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Congratulations to Chip and Ford Performance, they put together a great team and race strategy for the weekend. It’s an honor to partner and work with Ford Performance on the Ford EcoBoost V6 program and power Chip’s 200th win. To win an endurance race of this length two years in a row takes an extraordinary team effort and I’m so proud of the entire Ford team.”
This win marked Chip Ganassi’s historic 200th win; 103 Indy Car, 56 Sportscar, 39 Stock Car and 2 Rally Car wins, exemplifying his legendary career in motorsports.
“Congratulations Chip,” from all of us at Roush Yates Engines. “It’s obviously a great win and a great weekend,” Ganassi said. “In terms of the win, it was one of the most nerve-wracking races. You know, when you come out of the blocks like that and leading it after about three or four hours or something. After a certain amount of hours go around the clock a little bit, it’s your race to lose. It’s one thing not to win a race, it’s another to lose it. It was our race to lose and those are one of the worst races from my point of view, because everything is out of my control. My hats off to the team, the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics, the people that build the engines, and the people who built the cars. They’re the ones that deserve to be sitting up here along with the drivers and myself.”
The direct injection, 3.6L, twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 race engines performed superbly during the 24-hour endurance race, completing a record 2,787.48 miles (783 laps x 3.56-mile circuit) each. The No. 67 and No. 66 each completed 783 race laps, surpassing the previous 719 lap (3.84-mile circuit, 2,760.96 miles) record for the race.
All Ford entries who competed during the IMSA weekend bore a special decal for Ford racing legend Dan Gurney, who died Jan. 14, 2018. The serial number on the winning Ford EcoBoost engine was "GT40."
For the 8th consecutive time the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars will be among the vehicles selected for the world famous Race Of Champions to test the skills of some of the best drivers in the world. The traditional and spectacular off-season event will take place at the King Fahd International Stadium of Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.
“We are very proud of this 8th selection, proving the huge world wide appeal of our cars, and really happy to work with Fredrik Johnsson and his very professional organization,” said Jerome Galpin, NWES President / CEO. “The Euro NASCAR will once again deliver great fun to drivers and super show to the fans !”
A favorite of drivers and fans thanks to its fascinating character, its thunderous American V8 sound and its ability to put a smile on the face of everybody, from beginners to World Champions, the Euro NASCAR car will be driven by superstars like World Rally and Rallycross champion Petter Solberg, Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Indycar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden, F1 and Indycar driver Juan Pablo Montoya, Formula 1’s David Coulthard and upcoming talent Lando Norris.
Among the new entries will be 2017 NASCAR Mexico Champion Abraham Calderon, who will be in the company of FIA World Endurance Champion Timo Bernhard, DTM Champion René Rast, FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson, European Le Mans Series Champion Memo Rojas and young Swedish driver Joel Eriksson.
The tradition of the Race Of Champions dates back to 1988, when the first edition took place in Paris, and in its legendary history has brought the best drivers of the world to race at the wheel of a variety of cars in the best and most exotic venues, from Gran Canaria to Miami in a unique competition.
The 2018 edition of the ROC will see the drivers on track for two action-packed events: the ROC Nations Cup will delight the fans on Friday, February 2nd from 5:30 pm CET, while the Race Of Champions, with its classic direct-elimination format, will crown the Champion of Champions on Saturday, February 3rd from 1:30 pm CET.
2018 RACE OF CHAMPIONS SCHEDULE
Friday 2 February
5:30 PM Show starts
6:00 PM ROC Nations Cup
9:00 PM End of the event
Saturday 3 February
1:30 PM Show starts
2:00 PM Race Of Champions
5:00 PM End of the event
All times are CET.
NASCAR Euro Series PR