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  

  

 

Tomy Drissi won his sixth race in two decades in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday.

Trans Am driver Humaid Masaood in Dyson Racing’s No. 21 Amamos LaVida Tequila Mustang placed second with Erich Joiner from the XGT class posting third overall in the provisional Trans Am SpeedFest results.

Boris Said crossed the line in first after making an aggressive move to get by Chris Dyson in Turn 1 on a restart with 10 laps remaining. The contact tore off the left-rear valve stem on Dyson’s dominant No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang, sending him to the pits for a new tire.

The pass went to Stewards’ review post-race, and the penalty issued for that move and additional contact with Drissi early left Said with a 40-second penalty, shuffling him back to a fifth-overall, fourth in class. Said intends to protest, leaving the results provisional.  

“I didn’t want to win the race like this, but I’ve had my times where the same thing has happened to me, so I will take it,” said Drissi. “It was such a battle out there today, we recovered from a mid-race spin, and I am just so happy for the whole Burtin Racing team and Lucas Oil Slick Mist to get our first victory of the season. Thank you for the support from the series, from all my friends and family who made the trip from L.A. to watch the race, to my team and my sponsors for making this possible.”

Drissi pulled double duty this weekend, competing earlier in the day in the Historic Trans Am race with SVRA. Drissi won in the same original factory Jim Hall Chaparral 1970 Trans Am Chevy Camaro that was raced by both Jim Hall and Vic Elford in the early 70s. Elford took home a win at Watkins Glen that season driving the Camaro.

“The win in Trans Am today was a bonus,” Drissi continued. “We won the Historic Trans Am race earlier today. We are raising awareness for Vic’s ongoing health issues and I know he was riding along with me in both cars today. Fans can donated to the cause by visiting the GoFundMe page set up by Brian Redman.”

TA newcomer and 2020 XGT champion Ken Thwaits completed a double-duty weekend by placing third in class, and fourth overall in TA driving the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro, and also winning the Masters class. Thwaits was also the Masters winner in Saturday’s TA2® event – his debut in the series.

Dyson came back from his pit-lane restart to cross the line in seventh after leading the opening 35 laps. He was later promoted to sixth overall, and fifth in class.

"I am not going to comment on the restart, but I can tell you we were thrilled to have ALTWELL car up front all weekend," said Dyson following the race. "We were dominating today and I had the race in my hand. I am just really proud of our guys. I think we put on two spectacular weekends out here on the West Coast. I'm sure we had the measure of everyone out there today.”

After chasing Dyson for 14 laps, Francis’ No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang suddenly slowed and the defending seven-time champion limped to the pits. 

“We were having a good run and the car was really quick,” Francis said. “We were just keeping the pressure on Chris. Waiting for an opportunity to get by. Coming out of the last turn, something broke in the rear end. I’m not sure what, but I can’t fix it right now, so we’re out of the race.”

Simon Gregg finished the race in third, driving No. 59 The Peter Gregg Foundation Chevrolet Camaro, but was issued a 40-second penalty after making race-ending contact with Amy Ruman. 

Masaood crossed the line fourth overall but was promoted to second following the series of penalties issued to Said, Gregg and Marks. The result marks Masaood’s second runner-up finish in two weekends. The CD Racing driver finished second behind his teammate Dyson at Sonoma the weekend before in the West Coast race.

The first caution – including a brief red flag – came after Lou Gigliotti’s No. 28 G2 Motorsports Corvette went up in smoke on lap 19, sending Gigliotti into the Turn 4 gravel trap. Gigliotti, who was running second in SGT, was unhurt in the incident. Dyson pulled away on the restart, while Said had slight contact with Drissi while fighting for second.

A major turning point came on lap 33 of 45, when David Pintaric was tapped by Justin Marks at the top of the Corkscrew, sending both cars spinning to a stop. Pintaric, looking for his second-straight fourth-place finish in the No. 57 Kryderacing Ford Mustang, was done for the day. Marks lost two laps in the No. 99 Ave Motorsports Corvette and was issued a 40-second penalty for the incident to slot him into a 10th overall finish, seventh in class. The incident brought out the second caution and bunched the field for the climactic final restart.

Joiner became the first XGT winner in National competition in 2021, placing third overall in the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R. It was his fourth victory in six National races over the past two seasons. Joiner came out a double winner, also scoring the West Coast Championship victory.

"I have to say it was a really fun race," said Joiner. "It's fun to bring a GT car with 400hp out here and play on a tight track with TA cars. I got to test my skills in another way. It was a big weekend for us and Good Boy Bob Coffee."

  In his Trans Am debut, Mike Weathers finished second in the West Coast XGT class in the No. 48 GSpeed Chevrolet Corvette. Weathers GSpeed team built the car in two weeks so Weathers could make his first race competition at Laguna Seca.  

SGT saw Justin Oakes win for the third time in four races since the 2020 finale doubleheader at Road Atlanta, driving the No. 11 Droneworks Corvette. The class battle went all the way to the checkered flag, with Oakes holding off West Coast SGT rookie Rob Crocker by 2.065-seconds. 

Oakes keeping cool under considerable pressure earned him the ChillOut Moment of the Race. 

"I feel so fortunate to be able to come out with my team who built this incredible car, we just keep dominating, and I love it," said Oakes. "I love this track. It's our first time here. I can't wait to come back. I am going to race here every chance I get. I'm really bummed about Lou [Gigliotti], wish we could have battled it out a bit more, but I am sure he's going to come knocking soon."

Crocker was the West Coast Championship SGT winner, despite having to make a pit stop in the No. 77 KRYPTAURI Cybersecurity Porsche Cayman. He needed a rare pit for fuel during the opening caution, due to not having a large enough fuel cell for a 100-mile race. Also during the caution, the No. 00 Superior Builders Holden Commodor stopped and needed a tow. With Rudy Revak’s No. 60 Racecars Chevrolet Monte Carlo also on the sidelines, opened the door for Crocker’s victory.

"We are running the stock sized fuel pump in this Cayman," explained Crocker on his untraditional Trans Am pit stop. "It's only 16.5 gallons, and this thing devours fuel, not like a six cylinder but more like an eight cylinder. We got lucky at Sonoma with the weather, we didn't really have to be on throttle a lot and we could take a higher gear. But, unfortunately here, there was just no way around it if I wanted to keep competitive pace. We pulled in, got the fuel into the car during the first yellow we took the opportunity, got all squared back out and tried to push as hard as we could, but the grip was just not there for us at the end."

Steve Goldman celebrated his first Trans Am finish by winning West Coast Championship honors with a 12th-place overall finish in the No. 13 LIG Racing Corvette. Goldman is an experienced SVRA driver and decided to make the transition into Trans Am last year in Portland.

Next up for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is Lime Rock Park’s traditional Memorial Day weekend. The TA/XGT/SGT/GT divisions will practice and qualify on Friday, May 28, and will race at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday. The next TA2 ® race will be on Monday at 1:15 p.m. ET. 

 The West Coast Championship will have one weekend off before returning to action at Thunderhill Raceway Park May 14-16.

*Report based on Revised Provisional Results

Revised Provisional Results

As a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on international travel, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will stay stateside for 2021, canceling its visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park scheduled for September 3-5.

The two 100-mile Trans Am races slated for CTMP will now be rescheduled for the following weekend (September 10-12) at Watkins Glen International. The timetables will be adjusted to feature two combined-class rounds, making it a doubleheader and double-points scoring weekend for Trans Am drivers.

“We will miss the Tran Am series at our Chevrolet Silverado 250 weekend September 3-5,” said Myles Brandt President & General Manager, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “We totally understand this decision as the ongoing pandemic and quickly changing guidelines at our borders make planning very difficult. We look forward to seeing Trans Am in 2022 at CTMP.”

Trans Am has competed at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 30 times from 1976 through 2014. Ron Fellows won the most recent race in 2014, 25 years after winning in a Jack Roush Ford Mustang in 1989. Scott Sharp won three consecutive races 1991-94, while Scott Pruett had the most victories at the circuit with four.

“We were looking forward to returning to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this season, but we are excited to confirm the doubleheader at Watkins Glen since we missed that track on our 2020 schedule due to the pandemic,” said Trans Am Race Company President John Clagett. “Watkins Glen is a great track with a lot of history for Trans Am. With the huge fields we’ve seen this season, changing the weekend to a combined class race will deliver great battles on the track.”

The first part of the Watkins Glen weekend schedule will stay as planned, Saturday, September 11 will feature the first of two combined class rounds. SVRA will make adjustments to Saturday’s schedule to maximize turnaround time for Sunday’s race day.

On Sunday, September 12, an All-Class 100-mile feature will culminate the extended weekend. Drivers will be gridded for Sunday’s race based on their fastest lap time from Saturday.

The full race weekend will be live streamed exclusively on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. Subscribe and Download here: https://nagrasports.app.link/lIQjdAuxq7

After losing out on the MOTUL pole in the closing moments of Friday’s qualifying session, Rafa Matos was not to be denied in Saturday’s Trans Am SpeedFest TA2® race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. (Race Recap Video)
 
Matos, driving the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Ford Mustang, passed local favorite Thomas Merrill to the inside in Turn 11 to take the lead on the 10th lap, and fended off several challenges to score his 11th career victory in the highly competitive Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA2 ® event. The pass for victory earned Matos the ChillOut Move of the Race.
 
The 2020 Champion Mike Skeen finished second, with Merrill adding to his career count of Laguna Seca podiums with a run to third place. 
 
In a wild Trans Am West Coast Championship race, Tim Lynn took the victory with a last-lap pass in the No. 17 Roof Options Ford Mustang. He placed 12th overall in the 33-car field, which included 16 West Coast competitors.
 
The drama continued past the checkered flag, as Matos’ Mustang belched smoke in victory lane after having engine issues in the final laps of the race. 
 
“The last five laps, the water temperature started rising and the oil temperature got to 380,” Matos said. “I started losing power, and I saw Mike Skeen catching me. So I just put my head down and I had a big enough gap. Fortunately, I saved some of my tires and I was able to push in the corners.
 
"I was racing against two champions out there, these guys (Skeen and Merrill) are world class drivers, I have a lot of respect for them and they raced me hard and clean," added Matos. "This is a very emotional win for us. We are honoring my cousin Mariana on the car. She passed away last month of COVID. This is my 11th Trans Am win, 10th win with Peterson Racing Group, hats off to the whole team. This is my first win at Laguna Seca, I love this place. Today was a good day." 
 
Defending TA2® champ Skeen squeezed by Merrill in the Corkscrew in the No. 1 Liqui Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro in the closing laps to take second,1.409-seconds back.
 
"We got off to a great start in this Liqui-Moly Turn 14 Distribution Camaro," said Skeen. "The Stevens-Miller Racing guys have been working really hard this weekend to make some strides to make the car go quicker. Fortunately we put the car on the pole and got some points for that. We tried to take it easy at the beginning to save the car for the end but looks like we saved just a little too much because we didn't have quite enough to catch Rafa (Matos) at the end. I'm happy to be up here, it was a good weekend for us.”
 
Merrill, a resident of nearby Salinas, drove from third to the lead on the opening lap, slipping past Motul Pole Award winner Skeen. He made several runs at Matos but came up short each time in the No. 81 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang. With his tires starting to fade, he fell back to finish third, 8.284-seconds back.
 
"It feels good to race at home, especially in front of my family and friends," Merrill said. "It's always a pleasure running this Mike Cope chassis. We got off to a great start, we were cruising there and the beginning. Then these guys (Mike Skeen and Rafa Matos) turned it up a notch. They really took off at the end."
 
The race was slowed by three caution flags for various spins on the way to the 75-minute race time. 
 
Ed Sevadjian backed up his impressive fourth-place qualifying run by finishing in that position in the No. 38 Big Machine Vodka Chevrolet Camaro – missing his career best finish by one position. He managed to hold off rising star Sam Mayer over the closing laps. Mayer, driving the No. 8 M1-SLR/Fields Camaro, came back from an off-course excursion exiting Turn 6 midway through the race to place fifth.
 
Double-duty driver Ken Thwaits took the Masters award in his TA2® debut, placing 17th overall in the No. 71 Franklin Road Apparel Dodge Challenger. He used the race in preparation for the upcoming TA2® race in Nashville. Thwaits, the 2020 XGT titlist, will also compete in Sunday’s Trans Am event.
 
In the West Coast Championship competition, fast-closing Lynn passed Brad McAllister on the final lap to take West Coast Championship honors. Brad McAllister – the 2019 Laguna Seca West Coast TA2® winner – placed second in the No. 24 PortlandImplantDentistry.com Ford Mustang, while Jeff Holden completed the podium in the No. 11 Joe’s Racing/M1 Chevrolet Camaro.
 
Carl Rydquist, the defending West Coast champion, dominated the class in the No. 47 Racecars4Rent/Group Wholesale Ford Mustang, but spun late in the race and finished fifth.
Connor Mosack ran with the leaders early in the race before a drive through the dirt in the Corkscrew sent the No. 28 Nic Tailor/FS M1-SLR/Fields Camaro through the pits. He returned to run with the leaders, although a lap down, and finished 23rd.
 
TA2® newcomer Adrian Wlostowski ran in the top 10 in the No. 3 Hawk Performance/FA.S.T. Auto Camaro before exiting with mechanical issues.
 
The TA, XGT. SGT and GT class competitors qualify Saturday at 4:55 p.m. PT.  The combined-class race is set for 45 laps (with a 75-minute time limit) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. PT. (Watch Race Live Here)
 
The national Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli next travels to Connecticut’s Berkshire Hills for Lime Rock Park’s traditional Memorial Day weekend. The next TA2 ® race will be at scenic Lime Rock Park as part of the traditional Memorial Day weekend, running on Monday at 1:15 p.m. ET. The TA/XGT/SGT/GT competitors race on Saturday at 1:20 p.m. ET.
 
The West Coast Championship will have one weekend off before returning to action at Thunderhill Raceway Park May 14-16.

*Report based on Provisional Results
 

Provisional Race Results

Chris Dyson prevailed in a back-and-forth qualifying battle with Ernie Francis Jr. to capture the MOTUL Pole Award for Sunday’s Trans Am SpeedFest at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
 
Dyson turned a lap of 1:24.510-seconds in the No. 20 ATWELL CBD Ford Mustang, breaking Francis Jr.’s two-year old Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli track record on a day highlighted by wide swings of weather, ending in a cool mist.
 
"We've found a car that works in all weather conditions, and honestly it might just be the magic of ATWELL CBD giving us an extra boost out West," said Dyson, who captured his seventh career pole. "We are so lucky to be out here on the West Coast. We had a great week at Sonoma last week, and to be here at Laguna Seca is always a thrill. With our special new ATWELL CBD livery we will go for a second weekend flag-to-flag."
 
Francis Jr. held the pole midway through the session, also breaking his own mark with a lap of 1:24.677-seconds in the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang. He got caught in traffic while making a late run at Dyson.
 
"Chris (Dyson) breaking my record is what it is, but we will be quick tomorrow when it counts," Francis Jr. said. "I think we will have an awesome race with Chris tomorrow, and we will get that record back in the race.
 
"Qualifying was close but not exactly what we wanted out there today," added Francis. "The team put together a really fast car, we've been pretty quick all weekend, we just got out there and thought we put a pole lap together but ran into some lapped traffic. It's disappointing that we didn't put down the lap we wanted to."
 
Tomy Drissi and Boris Said will be in striking distance starting from the second row in the 100-lap race. Drissi ran 1:25.076-seconds in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro, just ahead of Said’s 1:25.346-seconds in Pancho Weaver’s No. 2 Technique/SRI Dodge Challenger.
 
Justin Marks, who held the fast lap early in the session, wound up fifth, 1:25.711-seconds in the No. 99 Ave Motorsports Corvette.
 
Two hours after making his TA2® debut, Ken Thwaits qualified 11th in TA, driving the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Camaro.
 
The lone West Coast Championship entrant in TA, Steve Goldman was the West Coast pole winner, 1:36.729-seconds in the No. 13 LIG Racing Corvette.
 
Erich Joiner captured the XGT class pole, running 1:29.181-seconds in the No. 10 Good Boy Bob Coffee Roaster Porsche 991 GT3 R. Mike Weathers is also running in XGT, winning the West Coast Championship pole with a lap of 1:32.275-seconds.
 
"All of a sudden the fog rolled in and the track got a little bit slower compared to where we were in practice this afternoon," explained Joiner. "The track was not as grippy but fortunately this is considered my home track, and I've logged a lot of hours here. Good Boy Bob Coffee definitely made me go extra fast, it's a great little perk and pleasure to have around the track. We feel like we are in a good position for the race tomorrow."
 
Justin Oakes took his second SGT pole in two 2021 starts – and fourth in four races dating back to the 2020 finale. Oakes, who missed the Road Atlanta race to witness the birth of his first child, ran 1:31.400-seconds in the No. 11 Droneworks Corvette, breaking the track record by five seconds.
 
"We came from Texas and it was quite a long haul out here," Oakes said. "This is my first time racing in California and my first time ever at Laguna Seca. The racing with the West Coast drivers has been great. This place is amazing, I love it and I will be back for sure. My son Jackson is three weeks old now, and he’s home with my wife Elaine and are both doing great."
 
Lou Gigliotti was second in SGT in the No. 28 G2 Motorsports Park Corvette.
 
Rob Crocker was the West Coast SGT pole winner, third overall with a time of 1:33.792-seconds in the No. 77 KRYPTAURI Cybersecurity Porsche Cayman. Crocker's transmission lost fourth gear at Sonoma last weekend, and then it went completely out. He obtained a new transmission, and installed it with the help of John Schweitzer and his team to make this weekend’s race.
 
"Unfortunately it got colder and a bit overcast today about 30 minutes before qualifying," said Crocker. "It was kind of like Sonoma where the track conditions really dropped but it got a lot trickier this time around to get some heat into the tires. We kind of played with the setup a little bit to try and compromise that at the last minute, but instead that ended up putting us about a half step back backwards."
 
The Trans Am SpeedFest concludes with Sunday’s 100-mile, 45-lap race (with a 75-minute time limit) for the TA, SGT and SGT classes. The event takes the green flag at 1:30 p.m. PT.
 
Watch the event exclusively on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. Download and subscribe: https://nagrasports.app.link/lIQjdAuxq7

The Yamaha Atlanta Super TT could not have possibly been scripted more perfectly for title sponsor Yamaha at its home race in what proved to be a historic evening of Progressive American Flat Track racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
 
Just miles from its American base of operations, Yamaha became the first manufacturer to ever pull off a victory sweep across all three classes in a single evening thanks to the virtuoso performances of Estenson Racing’s JD Beach and Dallas Daniels.
 
Beach completed the remarkable triple win in absolutely crushing form aboard the No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT in the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event.
 
The multi-time national champion roadracer and TT race winner came into Atlanta considered the heavy race favorite and that status only increased with each successive session. By the time the Main rolled around, Beach made real the fears that the remainder of the field was relegated to a fight for second. He tore open up a sizable lead by the time the pack hit the jump for the first time and piled it on from there.
 
After earlier opening up an full straightaway’s advantage, Beach cruised home to a near-five-second margin-of-victory in the end.
 
“This feels amazing,” Beach said. “I can’t thank my team enough. Through the tough times, they’re always working. I have to thank my trainer, Ty Kady, too; coming into this race, I was kind of in a dark spot just because I felt like I had so much pressure on me to do good. We were able to pull it through. This race went smooth for me -- it was my best race ever. Just like (Supercross racer) Jett Lawrence said after his win a few weeks ago, ‘You’ve got to let the big dogs eat!”
 
While Beach put a quick conclusion on the chase for the win, an entertaining melee for second took shape behind him, featuring Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and Davis Fisher (No. 67 BMC Racing/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750).
 
Bauman put a move on second-placed Halbert with eight minutes to go, only to see Halbert immediately counter. That sequence then allowed Vanderkooi to slip under Bauman and do the same to Halbert a few short laps later.
 
Bauman worked past Halbert and did what he could to pressure Vanderkooi. But ultimately the defending Grand National Champion could climb no higher than third as Vanderkooi put the finishing touches on his best-ever premier-class result.
 
Fisher took fourth, while Beach’s teammate, Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), was the beneficiary of a late mistake on Halbert’s part, allowing Carlile to sneak through and take fifth at the flag.
 
Title contender Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) made a courageous attempt to fight through the pain and compete after recently injuring his knee in a motocross training accident. Unfortunately, he was forced to pull out early in the Main Event and will now look to heal up with a few weeks off to rest.
 
AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
 
Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) added to his quickly burgeoning legend, not only winning in his Progressive AFT twin-cylinder debut but flat-out dominating the AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event.
 
Daniels stormed away from pole and was never bothered as he made relatively easy work of an extremely challenging circuit. Like his premier-class teammate, JD Beach, Daniels’ sublime blend of elite dirt track and roadracing chops proved unbeatable on the hybrid Atlanta Super TT course.
 
Daniels said, “The Single is our main priority; that’s our championship goal, but tonight I wanted to get the win on the Production Twin. The track is amazing -- it’s so much fun. My roadrace and supermoto experience really plays well into this, and it’s been a blast riding this thing. I thought maybe it would take a little longer getting used to it, but it was great right from the beginning.”
 
All-around ace Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) came home a clear second despite struggling in his Semi and starting on Row 2.
 
Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) tracked down and ultimately out-dueled Kayl Kolkman (No. 98 B&L Plumbing/Uncle D Yamaha MT-07) to finish third as the most recent AFT Singles champions went 1-2-3 on the evening.
 
Daniels’ task was made a bit easier immediately after the restart when fellow Semi winner Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) suffered a huge opening-lap high side, which brought out an immediate red flag.
 
Lewis was able to make the restart, albeit from the back of the pack. Shaken but not deterred, the former factory AMA Supermoto star slashed his way back through the field to finish a gritty fifth at the checkered flag.
 
AFT Singles
 
The most difficult component of a potential Yamaha triple-class sweep was widely expected to be the AFT Singles Main; while Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) won his Semi, teammate and defending class champion Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) was beaten in a thrilling straight fight in his Semi by Spanish flat track superstar Ferran Cardús (No. 377 Roof Systems of Dallas/Vanilla Cycles Honda CRF450R).
 
Rush and Daniels managed to get away 1-2, but their dream start was quickly erased due to a red flag following a lap one crash by Trent Lowe (No. 48 WBR/Suzuki Motor of America RM-Z450).
 
Daniels took the holeshot in the restart but with Cardús right on his tail. After the Spaniard had earlier demonstrated he had the lines and skills necessary to overtake him on multiple occasions in the Semi, Daniels put his head down in an attempt to not allow Cardús an opportunity when it mattered the most.
 
Daniels slowly opened a small advantage, eventually forcing Cardús into a mistake, which put Rush on his case. That development proved pivotal, allowing Daniels to suffer no real consequences when he later made a significant mistake of his own, and giving Yamaha the added joy of a 1-2 finish after Rush made his way through into second.
 
Despite coming up short in his bid for the win, Cardús did earn the first career Progressive AFT podium in third.
 
After becoming the first rider to win two classes at a single event since the inimitable Ricky Graham, Daniels said, “As soon as I finished my interviews for Production Twins, they were firing bikes up for Singles. I got my stuff back on and thought to myself, ‘I just have to get a good start and stay with the guys and do something with them in the end.’
 
“But I got the holeshot and knew I was the guy -- I just needed to maintain. I was kind of nervous, and I was like, ‘Put in laps, put in laps, hit your marks.’ As I was going into the last corner, the sound was kind of going away. I looked at the jumbotron and saw I had a little gap. I knew I had to keep going fast but I thought I could relax a bit. But then I went into the righthander and ended up going off the track and had to go through the mud. My heartrate was back up, so I almost went off the track again with two laps to go. I just had to calm down. But this is awesome.”
 
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) finished fourth, while TT legend Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/United Rentals CRF450R) narrowly edged rookie prodigy Kody Kopp (No. 143 Smartop/Jones Honda/Latus Motors CRF450R) for fifth.
 
Ryan Sipes (No. 264 Red Bull/Troy Lee Designs GASGAS MC450F) won his $1 bet with fellow future Hall of Famer Travis Pastrana (No. 199 Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F), as the two-wheeled icons finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Pastrana will look to get his revenge as the two will compete in the Hoosier GNCC on Sunday.
 
The Yamaha Atlanta Super TT will air on NBCSN on Sunday, May 2, starting at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The broadcast will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
 
Next Up:
Progressive AFT will be back in action on Saturday, May 22, for the Mission Foods Texas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Tickets are already available for purchase by visiting https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3326/#selectTickets. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT with Opening Ceremonies set to begin at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. For those viewing from home, live coverage will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
 
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
 
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
Andrew Hines knows what it feels like to taste success at Atlanta Dragway, doing it three times in his Pro Stock Motorcycle career, including the most recent visit to the track. But to win the 40th and final race in Atlanta at this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, he’ll have to do it on a brand new motorcycle.
 
The six-time NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world champion will debut a new Vance & Hines V-Twin Buell this weekend, as Hines will make his first appearance of the 2021 season. A perfect first race of the season would include finishing as the final winner at Atlanta Dragway, something Hines, who has the most wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle history, believes is possible after a solid day of testing with the new bike on Tuesday.

 
“It would be pretty phenomenal to win on a brand new bike at the final race in Atlanta,” said Hines, who has 56 career wins. “The first time on the bike was pretty successful and we’re making good horsepower, so we’ll see what we can do. Atlanta is one of those tracks where we’ve always seemed to run well, and it would certainly be cool to win this last one. There’s nothing stopping me from doing it other than all these other fast motorcycles in the class.”

 
The last racing action at Atlanta took place in 2019, where Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all picked up victories. This year’s race will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage of the historic race taking place on Sunday, May 2. It is the third overall race of the 2021 season, but just the first for Hines, who will try to make up for lost ground by winning in Atlanta one last time. 

 
To walk away with the win, Hines will have to get past a star-studded and deep field in Atlanta. A total of 22 bikes will be competing to send out Atlanta Dragway in style, including the likes of defending world champ and Gainesville winner Matt Smith, Las Vegas winner Ryan Oehler, teammates Eddie Krawiec and Angelle Sampey, Angie Smith, Scotty Pollacheck and Steve Johnson.
 
”To get all three of us qualified will be a feat in itself with this field,” Hines said. “Atlanta has always been a good race for the bikes and looking at the entry list, it’s filled with riders who have won a race. There’s going to be a lot of top-notch bikes and, with only two qualifiers, we’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game and make sure each run counts.”

 
In Pro Stock, the biggest storyline may come down to the veteran who is trying to add one last Atlanta triumph facing off against several hungry drivers hoping to make history with their first victory at the track. Greg Anderson has four victories in Atlanta, putting him one away from the most in Pro Stock history at the track with one last race remaining. He’s off to a strong start in 2021 as well, winning the first race of the season in Gainesville.

 
Meanwhile, no other active driver in the class has a victory in Atlanta, including defending and four-time world champ Erica Enders, who won in Las Vegas. Beyond that, it’s a talented group of rising stars in the class, all who want to grab a piece of Atlanta history at the finale. That includes Kyle Koretsky, a promising second-year driver who would like nothing more than his first career Pro Stock victory to come in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro at his sponsor’s race.

 
“When it’s your first and last opportunity to race and win in Atlanta, you better have the right mindset,” Koretsky said. “I’m going into this race focusing on trying to win my first NHRA event in Pro Stock and also help people remember why Team Lucas Oil is number one.”

 
Top Fuel’s Torrence was the most recent Atlanta winner, and the three-time world champ also won in Las Vegas. He’ll look to stay hot against the likes of Doug Kalitta, Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Leah Pruett, Shawn Langdon and Gainesville winner Josh Hart.

 
Capps will look for his third Atlanta win in the last four outings but will have to contend with a loaded Funny Car field that includes defending world champ Matt Hagan, Las Vegas winner Bob Tasca, John Force, Robert Hight and Gainesville winner J.R. Todd.

 
The race also includes thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will make its second appearance in 2021. Jose Gonzalez won the opening race, while Mike Castellana won in Atlanta in 2019. Alsum Farms/Wisconsin Potatoes is the presenting Pro Mod sponsor in Atlanta.

 
The Southeast Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will also be in action during the weekend at Atlanta Dragway. Several classic Pro Stock cars will make runs throughout the weekend, and all the cars will be on display in a special pit display at the track. A total of six racers are scheduled to make a run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
Fans also have the chance to walk the fabled quarter-mile strip during the Southern Nationals Final Event SealMaster Track Walk on Sunday. Past race winners John Force, Antron Brown, Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec, Greg Anderson, as well as Pro Stock icon Warren Johnson will be on hand to welcome fans. The Track Walk will be limited to 250 people, and fans can purchase tickets for $50. Each guest will also receive a limited-edition Warren Johnson mini helmet (a number of which will be signed by Johnson) and a limited edition poster.

 
Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds on Saturday, May 1 at 12:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. ET. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 2.
 
Tickets are on sale now for Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals and may be purchased by visiting NHRA.com or calling 800-884-NHRA.
 

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

By Godwin Kelly
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 One of the best long-game race teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is in the process of going into short-game mode.
 
Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 DPi, which won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, is now in full prep mode for the 2-hour, 40-minute romp in the Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S, scheduled for May 14-16 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
 
Drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque will roll into the Buckeye State leading in Daytona Prototype international (DPi) points, after finishing fourth last month in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. They are just eight points ahead of No. 55 Mazda Motorsports DPi drivers Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell, a slim margin based on the new points system that awards 350 markers for a race win opposed to 35 in recent years.
 
“Under the new points format, where everything is multiplied by 10, we are leading by the difference of a qualifying bonus,” Ricky Taylor said. “After qualifying (at Mid-Ohio), we could find ourselves in second place even before the race starts. The pressure is really on. There isn’t a single weakness in the field.”
 
Taylor could provide that X factor at the 2.258-mile road course. In three outings in as many years, he scored two victories for Acura Team Penske. The Acura brand has won all three DPi events staged at Mid-Ohio to date.
 
“Mid-Ohio has been really good to us with the Acura program,” Taylor said. “We have a lot of confidence going in. Our history there is strong and the car seems to perform there really well.”
 
It’s also a “home track” for the team because the Acura NSX passenger car is produced at a nearby Honda/Acura manufacturing plant.
 
“It’s just around the corner,” Taylor said. “This is like going to Detroit for the Chevy guys.”
 
Albuquerque said not being an Acura driver in recent years has made his trips to Mid-Ohio “really painful.”
 
“I never stood a chance there,” he said. “So now I have motivation this year with Acura and driving with Ricky. This will be awesome. (The course has) a flow this car likes. I’m looking forward to Mid-Ohio because everything suits us.”
 
Wayne Taylor Racing does not plan to test at Mid-Ohio before race weekend, preferring to focus on car preparation rather than physically attacking the course before the green flag waves. Having Ricky Taylor’s bank of knowledge on how the Acura performs there will be an asset.
 
“I think we will go mostly on our previous experience,” Ricky Taylor said. “These cars have done quite a bit of racing at Mid-Ohio and we got quite a bit of information from Penske. Our approach is more on the preparation side and not rushing out to test.”
 
Taylor described Mid-Ohio as “very low grip” and the track surface as “very, very old and smooth.”
 
“The way the corners go, you feel like you can never turn the car,” he added. “But in that environment, the Acura performs very well because of how much downforce the car can make.
 
“Turn 1 is really great and fast, a fifth-gear corner, and Turn 5 around Thunder Valley there is a really nice rhythm section. It’s easier in our car, but in other classes it is really, really difficult. It’s critical to know who you can trust and who you can’t.”
 
No matter an endurance race or a quick sprint, Albuquerque said the team is always learning about the car. After driving a Cadillac DPi in recent years, Albuquerque is absorbing more about the Acura each time he steps inside.
 
“Especially from my side, about how this car works,” he said. “I’m learning more about the little details because at the end of the day, that’s what we are talking about. We are always learning.”
 
The Acura Sports Car Challenge airs live at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, May 16 on NBCSN. Tickets for the race weekend are available at midohio.com.

Sprintex Limited (ASX: SIX) international developer, manufacturer and distributor of the Sprintex® twin screw supercharger and supercharger systems incorporating the Sprintex® twin screw supercharger, is pleased to announce that development and manufacture has commenced of a new supercharger system to suit the Toyota Tacoma 3.5 V6 pickup truck range to meet rising demand in the USA, Middle East and Asian markets.

Over 1 million Tacoma 3.5 V6 model are on (and off) the road, providing significant market depth. Sprintex is aiming to gain traction of Tacoma’s current vehicle production of approximately 250,000 units annually; similar volume to USA production of the Jeep Wrangler.

The Tacoma 3.5 V6 model is a popular choice for off-road and overland recreational lifestyle applications and opens significant opportunities for the Company to expand its USA product range of industry leading composite Supercharger systems.

The Tacoma supercharger design will utilise some parts from the current Jeep Wrangler range, reducing both development and production costs for the system, leveraging the company’s expertise and success with technically superior nylon composite manifolding and its highly efficient S5-335 front entry supercharger.

Development and tooling costs are expected to total $500,000, representing a significant investment for the Company. 

The Sprintex development strategy is to utilise existing proprietary knowledge to create synergy with existing Sprintex Supercharger systems resulting in considerable savings rather than starting from the ground up with new designs.

With a similar engine configuration to the Jeep 3.6 V6, the Tacoma 3.5 V6 supercharger system will share many common parts with the Company’s latest Jeep supercharger system.

Sprintex has achieved a significant competitive advantage over the market, being the first to introduce nylon composite to supercharger systems in 2014 and is still the only manufacturer of nylon composite supercharger systems.

Using the same nylon composite technology as on the Jeep systems, the Tacoma supercharger development is well advanced. Component design and production tooling specific to the Tacoma is well underway.

Over the past 3 years Sprintex has developed a new ‘front entry’ supercharger to enable the second iteration of Jeep 3.6 V6 systems. 

The Tacoma 3.5 V6 supercharger offers industry leading low speed torque that is essential to vehicles equipped with larger wheel and tyre packages and raised suspension for off-roading and rock climbing.

Sales of the Toyota Tacoma system are targeted to commence in the fourth quarter 2021.

After staging a race on a permanent road course and another on a temporary street circuit, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is ready to ramp up the speed with its first oval event of the season this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Call it a Texas two-step as the Genesys 300 opens the show at 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday followed by the XPEL 375 at 5 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The first race is 212 laps, the second 248 on the 1.5-mile oval. Both races will air live on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon won last year’s event, leading 157 of the 200 laps in the first of three consecutive victories to open his title-winning season. It was the third consecutive year that the Texas winner went on to capture the championship. But Dixon figures to have plenty of challengers in the first doubleheader at Texas since 2011.

These two races also help set the stage for a busy Month of May – two races each at TMS and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus NTT P1 Award qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. It’s possible, though unlikely in this competitive sport, that a driver could collect a staggering 274 points this month alone!

Given the two-day format at Texas, there is only one practice, a 75-minute session at 12:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday (live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s streaming service). Qualifying is at 4 p.m. (ET) Saturday (live on Peacock and NBCSN), with the starting grid for both races set in the session. Sign up for Peacock Premium at www.peacocktv.com for $4.99 per month to get all the INDYCAR action, Indy Lights races and shoulder programming.

Here are five things to look for this weekend in Fort Worth:

Ch-ch-changes

Let’s start with which drivers will be in the 24-car field and which cars they will drive. Two of the more noteworthy additions are former Texas race winners.

Tony Kanaan, who won at the track for Andretti Autosport in 2004, will drive the No. 48 Bryant Honda of Chip Ganassi Racing in the Genesys 300 and the No. 48 American Legion Honda for the Ganassi team in the XPEL 375.

2004 series champion Kanaan is sharing the entry this season with seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who is focusing on the road courses and street circuits. These will be two of Kanaan’s four races this year, the others being the Indianapolis 500 on May 30 and the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Aug. 21 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The other former Texas race winner making his season debut is Ed Carpenter, who in recent years has driven only on the oval tracks. Carpenter will drive the No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, a seat held in the season’s first two races by Conor Daly. Like last year, Daly has moved to the No. 59 Carlin Chevrolet that Max Chilton usually drives. Chilton will be back in the car for both the GMR Grand Prix at IMS on Saturday, May 15 and the “500.”

Like Johnson, Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean is not competing on the ovals as an INDYCAR newcomer, and his seat in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR will be taken on the ovals by rookie Pietro Fittipaldi. The 24-year-old Brazilian competed in three oval races in his six-race 2018 INDYCAR season cut short by injuries suffered in a World Endurance Championship sports car event in Belgium.

This isn’t the first time Fittipaldi has stood in for Grosjean. He drove the last two races of the 2020 Formula One season for the Haas F1 Team after Grosjean suffered burned hands in a fiery crash at Bahrain.

Former Texas Winners Aplenty

The next important factor to consider is which drivers have enjoyed success on Texas’ 1.5-mile oval. There are six who have won there, the highest number of former winners in an INDYCAR race this season until the “500,” when there could be up to nine.

Dixon dominated last year’s event in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Honda, one of his four wins at the track. Dixon’s other wins came in 2008, 2015 and 2018, which means he has won two of the past three outings and three of the past six. Only Helio Castroneves, who is not in this field, has won four INDYCAR races at Texas.

Team Penske’s Will Power (No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet) has a pair of Texas wins, in 2011 and 2017. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal (No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Honda) won in 2016 and Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden (No. 2 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet) won in 2019.

INDYCAR’s Youth Movement

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) is the series points leader as a 24-year-old series sophomore, and a pair of 21-year-olds – Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet) and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda) – won the NTT P1 Award as pole winner at the season’s first two races. Herta led 197 of the 200 laps in winning last weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Also off to a strong start this season is Ed Carpenter Racing's Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet). VeeKay, 20, has finished sixth and ninth in the season's opening races, respectively, good for eighth in the standings.

Here’s an interesting fact about INDYCAR’s youth movement: Herta and VeeKay were 3 years old when Dixon scored his first top-three finish at Texas in the season-ending 2003 race. O’Ward was 4.

Parity on the Podium

The first two races of the INDYCAR season have seen six different drivers earn top-three finishing positions. In fact, the top four finishers in the two races have been represented by eight different drivers.

Consequently, the point totals are tighter than normal. Palou leads with 67, but Power and Dixon have 65 and Herta 62. Given the point structure, it is likely that any driver currently in the top nine will be the series leader – at least for a night – with a win Saturday.

Not surprisingly, there is congestion in the middle of the pack, too. Only four points separate fifth from ninth place, and three drivers – AJ Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais (No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet), Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey (No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda) and VeeKay -- are tied with 51 points. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) has 50 points.

Title Hopefuls Need Help

And then there are those especially eager to climb in the standings.

Newgarden (10th place with 47 points), O’Ward (11th with 45), Rahal (13th with 41) and Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi (16th with 31) are ones to watch in this race. Newgarden and Rahal have combined for three wins, with Newgarden third last year and Rahal second in 2012 and 2019.

Rossi has had strong cars at Texas – he finished third in 2018 and was second in 2019 – and is desperate for a good points day after finishing ninth at Barber Motorsports Park and 21st in St. Petersburg, the latter due to his car suffering a flat right front tire in Turn 4 contact with Rahal. A slow start to last season cost Rossi a chance at the championship, and he had vowed to begin better this year. So far it hasn’t happened, but Texas could be his turnaround.

Professional off-road racer and nationally syndicated radio host Jim Beaver gets back behind the wheel this weekend, bringing the #2915 General Tire Polaris RZR “Mona Lisa” to the start line in the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. After showing UTV Unlimited class podium pace in the season-opening Parker 250 earlier this year, Beaver will start sixth out of 24 entries in the booming division on Saturday in hopes of another strong result.
 
“It’s already been a big year for us so far in 2021, but the month of May is going to take things to another level,” said Beaver. “After the speed we showed in Parker, I’ve got high hopes for my return to Silver State. The UTV Unlimited field has gotten incredibly deep, but I think we’ve got the car to contend for our first win of the year this weekend!”
 
This offseason, Beaver took the reins of “Mona Lisa” from former BITD UTV Turbo champion and Dakar Rally competitor Mitch Guthrie Jr., making a permanent move into the Unlimited class for the 2021 season. The reinvigorated race program made an immediate impression in Beaver’s hometown race, challenging for a class podium in Parker on corrected time after two laps. Minor setbacks cost the team roughly 45 minutes on repairs, but nonetheless, Beaver reached the finish line in a strong seventh place to kick off the championship.
 
The Silver State 300 returns to Beaver’s race schedule for the first time after a multiple-year absence, and will be the first of two back-to-back events in the month of May for the team. After Silver State, the #2915 machine will be immediately re-prepped to run the inaugural Baja Nevada on May 12-16, marking Beaver’s first start in Legacy Racing Association competition.
 
Tech and contingency for the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 takes place on Friday, while Beaver will take to the 278-mile course on Saturday morning. In addition, stay tuned for new episodes of the General Tire Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR, Project Action, and more on Apple Podcasts this week.
 
Jim Beaver Motorsports is supported by General Tire, Vision Wheel, Polaris RZR, Rigid Industries, Fistful of Bourbon, GSP XTV Axles, DirtFish, Discount Tire, Gibson Exhaust, Rugged Radios, Pro Armor, HCR, Acronis, Impact Racing, Optimas Powersports, Northern Chill, Marwin Sports, and iRacing. For more information on Jim Beaver and the General Tire Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR, visit DownAndDirtyShow.com, follow @JimBeaver15 on all social media channels, and follow @DownAndDirtyShow on Instagram.
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