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  

  

 
Funny Car veteran, Tommy Johnson Jr. added a trophy to his collection at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in front of a sold out crowd on Sunday. Sunday’s win marks Johnson’s 18th career Funny Car win and his second in Phoenix.
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also took home wins in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
 
In an all Don Schumacher Racing final, Johnson went 3.883-seconds at 326.40 mph to defeat teammate Jack Beckman during the final round at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in his MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. He defeated Paul Lee, Bob Tasca ll and Ron Capps to advance to the finals during Sunday’s event.
 
“We had a good car,” said Johnson, whose last Phoenix win came back in 2006. “The last qualifying run showed us that we have a solid car. Coming up here today, we had a lot of confidence. We went out first round and laid down a solid number. We weren’t low (elapsed time) but we were close. We came out second round and sat low ET so we knew we had a solid car. As a driver, going into each round knowing you have a car that’s going to perform makes your job a little easier. It gives you a little less stress. The guys did a great job. Even in Pomona we a had a good car, just dropped a cylinder second round and event had a little issue with that in qualifying here.”
 
In Top Fuel, defending world champion Torrence picked up his 37th career win and his second in Phoenix after going 3.679-seconds at 321.27 in his CAPCO Contractors dragster. Torrence defeated Jim Maroney, Shawn Langdon and dad Billy Torrence to advance to the final round, where he out pedaled Doug Kalitta for the win. Sunday’s win marks Torrence’s first win in his first race of the 2020 season, having missed the season opener in Pomona two weeks ago.
 
“First round I had a little bit of the jitters,” said Torrence. “We missed Pomona so you came here and this is the first round of the first race of the season for us and I was a little bit nervous to go up there. We’re just going to see how the races go and what the weather throws at us. I think that we’ve always had a good hot weather tune-up. We’re just going to try to develop cool track conditions. We’re easing up to it. We’ll just see how it goes and that’s something that we really need to try to put our thumb on.”
 
In Pro Stock, three-time world champion Erica Enders grabbed her first win of the season and the 26th of her career with a 6.531-second pass at 210.44 in her Melling/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro. Sunday’s win moves Enders into the top ten for all-time wins in the Pro Stock class. Enders knocked off Fernando Cuadra Jr., Chris McGaha and Jason Line to advance to the final round where she defeated Bo Butner.
 
“I’d have to say today was excellent,” said Enders. “Coming in here off of Jeg's (Coughlin) dominating performance in Pomona, we knew that we just had to get my car happy because we share data obviously. There’s no reason why my shouldn’t run the same as Jeg’s Our objective coming in was to just get my car as happy as possible. We tested in Tuscan on Wednesday, so coming in we were definitely optimistic and finally got our act together for that one fun on Saturday. The guys gave me a tremendous race car today. Very consistent, very fast and we just crushed the competition today and it was really fun.”
 
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series racing action continues to Gainesville, Fla. on March 12-15 at the 51st annual AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
 
 

The Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour wrapped on Sunday from Buttonwillow Raceway Park during a race weekend hosted by SCCA’s California Sports Car Club. Each of the seven race groups ran 17-lap or 35-minute races, whichever came first, under sunny skies. More information, including results, can be found at SCCA.com.

Fender Fun: A couple tight races developed Sunday within classes for cars with fenders. In E Production (EP), Glen McCready and his Mazda MX-5 held the lead over Saturday winner Aaron Downey for the first part of the race. But just past the halfway point, Downey got by McCready. However, the excitement was in no way over. McCready hounded Downey lap after lap, looking as if he could regain the lead at some point. But in the end, Downey repeated as the EP winner in his No. 75 G-Loc Brakes/Goodyear Tires/Wankelworks Mazda RX-3 racecar.

“That’s probably the best racing I’ve done in 17 or 18 years,” Downey said Sunday on the victory podium. “Glen got a good lead just after the start of the race. I just chased him for a little bit. There were a couple opportunities he gave me … and I was able to take advantage of one. Then I kind of stayed out front from there.”

B-Spec competitors Chris Taylor and Thomas Lepper were also embroiled in a great battle Sunday. Both piloting Mazda 2s, it was Lepper who first took the lead, but Saturday winner Taylor assumed the top position four laps in driving the No. 9 Harris Hill Raceway/G-Loc Brakes/Chris Taylor Racing Services/Winding Road Racing/Hankook car. Lepper, however, wasn’t done and regained the lead in his No. 6 T.O.A.S.T. B-Spec car with about five laps left. He then held off Taylor’s challenges for the remaining trips around the circuit and brought home a win in B-Spec.

“We had a great race,” Lepper said afterwards. “Chris is new to me, so I had to learn about him. Once he started slipping his tires over at the ‘Off Ramp’ turn, I knew I had him.”

Two chaps in Touring 4 (T4) also gave onlookers a thrill Sunday. Izzy Sanchez, Saturday’s winner who drives the No. 68 Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Toyota FRS, led most of the race Sunday. But filling Sanchez’ mirrors the entire time was Nick Leverone and his No. 115 Flatout Motorsport Mazda Miata. Near the race’s end, Sanchez encountered a problem and spun off the circuit, leaving the path clear for Leverone to claim victory.

“Izzy was real quick all weekend. There was no way I was going to get to him unless something big happened,” Leverone admitted after Sunday’s race. “Unfortunately for him, on the last lap, it happened.

“It was a great race the whole time,” Leverone continued. “We had a bunch of close racing between him and I and a couple of the STU cars. It was a blast. We had a real good race.”

Entertaining Enterprises: After an eventful, wet Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2) race Saturday, FE2 took the track Sunday under clear, blue skies. The substantially different conditions allowed Brandon Aleckson, in the No. 33 Dan's Upholstery/OP Consulting Formula Enterprises/Mazda, to secure the lead from the very beginning. Saturday winner TJ Acker, however, applied pressure to Aleckson the entire way. Lap after lap, Acker looked for a way around Aleckson. But it was not to be as Aleckson held Acker at bay, even while navigating traffic, to bring home a win Sunday.

“To be honest, man, I was just holding on for dear life,” Aleckson said after the race. “Running this counterclockwise configuration makes it hard to pass. I knew TJ was eating me alive down in the backside of the track. I just ran low, kept him behind me and I knew in the fast stuff I could gap TJ enough to stay ahead of him. So, I just held on for 17 laps and here we are.”

Four-peat: One SCCA road racing competitor departed Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Sunday with more Hoosier Super Tour trophies than any other. That driver was Michael Lewis, who managed to win four races, over two classes, in two days.

The GT-1 class victory went both days to Lewis, running the No. 12 Goodyear Jaguar XKR. He also swept the GT-3 class, which was unique this weekend at Buttonwillow as it represented the GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI opening round for this year.

The GT-3 Challenge is a series boosting participation in the GT-3 class and supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Penske Racing Shocks, AiM Sports and Hoosier Racing Tire, with new partners Goodyear Tire, Carbotech Performance Brakes and Bell Racing Helmets jumping aboard this year. There are five scheduled GT-3 Challenge rounds in 2020 -- the others taking place at Hoosier Super Tour events at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen International, as well as Road America in July, and finally SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® in October. Thanks to his dominant performance this weekend in the No. 32 Goodyear Mazda RX-7, Lewis is now the West Coast representative for that final GT-3 Challenge event.

Sweeping Buttonwillow: Several drivers also managed to sweep both Saturday and Sunday races at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in their respective classes. For starters, Carl Young swept Super Touring® Under (STU) in the No. 24 El Dorado Motorsports Honda CRX, but not without some heavy pressure at times from fellow STU racer Dominic Starkweather in a Scion FRS.

After a scrappy performance Saturday to claim the Super Touring® Lite (STL) victory, Nathan Pope showed dominance Sunday as he stormed away for a second STL win in his No. 42 El Dorado Motorsports Honda Prelude.

Other drivers who managed two wins in a single class at the Buttonwillow Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour include:
- Formula X driver William Weaver in the No. 67 James G. Parker Insurance Associates Star Formula Mazda
- Prototype 2 racer Joe Moran in the No. 7 Ford Carbir CS2
- H Production’s Ben Valentine in the No. 24 MG Midget
- Spec Miata ace Steven Powers in the No. 145 Mazda Miata
- American Sedan’s Christopher Qualls in the No. 173 Ford Mustang
- GT-2 driver Darren Dilley in the No. 80 Cheap Fast Racing Mazda RX-7
- Touring 1 competitor Sean Whitwood in the No. 6 FFP Racing Corvette Z06
- Spec Racer Ford Gen3 racer TJ Acker in the No. 62 MBI Racing/Cindescency racecar
- Formula Vee stalwart Dennis Andrade in the No. 87 D & D Racing Vortech Caracal

Winning Wisdom: Hear directly from Saturday and Sunday Buttonwillow Hoosier Super Tour victors in post-race winner video interviews found at https://www.scca.com/articles/2013472-20-hoosier-super-tour-buttonwillow-winner-videos.

Next up is Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta: With racing completed at Buttonwillow, Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour competitors now get almost a month off before the series is back in action March 20-22 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. That event, hosted by SCCA’s Atlanta Region, should provide lots of excitement. Don’t miss it!

Sunday Winners: Provisional race results from Sunday’s Hoosier Super Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park with Class: Name; Hometown; Region; Car follow.
- American Sedan®: Christopher Qualls; W. Los Angeles, CA; Cal Club; Ford Mustang
- B-Spec: Thomas Lepper; Benicia, CA; San Francisco Region; Mazda 2
- E Production: Aaron Downey; Rossmoor, CA; San Francisco Region; Mazda RX-3
- F Production: Bill Hartman; Yuba City, CA; San Francisco Region; Lotus Super 7
- H Production: Ben Valentine; Fullerton, CA; Cal Club; MG Midget
- Formula Atlantic®: Robert Merritt; San Diego, CA; San Diego Region; ELAN Pro Star Formula Mazda
- Formula Continental®: Robert Armington; El Dorado Hills, CA; San Francisco Region; Van Diemen RF00
- Formula Enterprises 2: Brandon Aleckson; Campbell, CA; San Francisco Region; Formula Enterprises/Mazda
- Formula F: Denny Renfrow; Kelseyvile, CA; San Francisco Region; Piper/Honda DL7
- Formula Vee®: Dennis Andrade; Silverlake, WA; Northwest Region; Vortech Caracal
- Formula X: William Weaver; Fresno, CA; San Francisco Region; Star Formula Mazda
- GT-1: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; San Diego Region; Jaguar XKR
- GT-2: Darren Dilley; Hillsboro, OR; Oregon Region; Mazda RX-7
- GT-3: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; San Diego Region; Mazda RX-7
- GT-Lite: Joe Huffaker; Petaluma, CA; San Francisco Region; MG Midget
- Prototype 1: Jim Devenport; Alamo, CA; San Francisco Region; Norma M20FC
- Prototype 2: Joe Moran; Laguna Hills, CA; Cal Club; Ford Carbir CS2
- Spec Miata: Steven Powers; Phoenix, AZ; Arizona Region; Mazda Miata
- Spec Racer Ford 3: TJ Acker; Saugus, CA; Cal Club; SRF3
- Super Touring® Lite: Nathan Pope; Fremont, CA; San Francisco Region; Honda Prelude
- Super Touring® Under: Carl Young; Salinas, CA; San Francisco Region; Honda CRX
- Touring 1: Sean Whitwood; Norco, CA; Cal Club; Corvette Z06
- Touring 2: Carl Fung; Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; Cal Club; Ford Mustang
- Touring 4: Nick Leverone; Mendon, MA; New England Region; Mazda Miata

Photo: Aaron Downey leads Glen McCready to the finish line Sunday at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park Hoosier Super Tour to claim the win in E Production

Photo Credit: Marcelo Slamon

By Sean Brennen, Monster Energy Supercross Wire Service

 

Round eight of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series took place this past weekend at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and the race might have knocked two top competitors out of contention for the title. In a 17-race series that runs from January through May – with only one weekend off during that time – staying injury-free and healthy is more important than track speed for the athletes.

 

Supercross racers learn the track and its obstacles during daytime practice, which also serves as qualifying for the night event through lap times. Though the title contenders rarely have trouble qualifying, lap times also determine starting gate position, which is critical. Because so much is on the line for what is essentially practice, racers push the limits from their first minutes on the track.

 

2020 qualifying had been dominated by Kawasaki’s 450SX Class rookie Adam Cianciarulo. Adam had topped the field in quickest qualifying laps at every 2020 round, until Arlington. The 23-year old rider mis-timed the launch off a jump obstacle nicknamed a “Dragon's Back” for its similarity to the bumpy back of a dragon; riders skim the bumps up the obstacle then launch into the air with the bike level. At the beginning of practice, Cianciarulo's front wheel missed the final bump, sending him into a nose-down flight altitude. He crashed into the next jump face. The result was a broken collarbone, taking Cianciarulo out of the championship hunt; he'll surely reach an insurmountable points deficit during the rounds he sits out while recuperating.

 

The series' defending champion, KTM's Cooper Webb, had a similar crash while charging through the pack in 450SX Race 2. Webb's crash looked more dramatic, with the jump after the “Dragon's Back” launching rider and bike off the track and onto the stadium floor. A social post from Webb reported a hematoma and deep bruising to his pelvis and sacrum. It's unclear if the champ will be ready to ride this coming weekend at the Atlanta round, and it will be an uphill battle to make up the points he lost this weekend, but Supercross title hunts rarely go smoothly. Webb is a tough, scrappy fighter and is one of the tougher competitors; his fans will watch for injury updates throughout the week.

 

At the season's halfway point, the top two riders are within seven points of one another. Honda's Ken Roczen – no stranger to overcoming injuries after crashes in the 2017 and 2018 seasons – has two wins in 2020 and the mental toughness to stay in the fight. Kawasaki's Eli Tomac leads the points; he has put together four wins so far in 2020 and looks to have the field covered in raw speed. But even more so than in other forms of racing, anything can happen in Supercross.

 

The series continues this weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.

 

450SX Class Results, Arlington, Texas, Monster Energy Triple Crown Event

1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (5,1,1)

2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (1,7,2)

3. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (3,2,5)

4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (4,5,4)

5. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (7,4,3)

6. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (6,3,8)

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (8,6,9)

8. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (9,10,7)

9. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (13,9,6)

10. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (10,8,13)

 

450SX Class Championship Standings

1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (181)

2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (174)

3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (155)

4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (154)

5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (139)

6. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (128)

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (122)

8. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (110)

9. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (105)

 

10. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (105)
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
 
The two-car JDC-Miller MotorSports team took those words to heart at last month’s 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and made the most of the opportunity.
 
“This is the first time for me in six years of doing this that we’ve started the season with a whole new group of drivers, and we rolled out at the Roar [Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona on the first weekend of January] for the first time,” said team CEO and Managing Partner, John Church. “There was a lot of learning for us during the race – especially for me, learning what each of them needs to know or wants to know during the race. We all executed, did our jobs and had a pretty good result.”
 
Two pretty good results, actually.
 
The team’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R co-driven by Joao Barbosa, Sebastien Bourdais and Loic Duval battled for the lead and wound up third. The No. 85 JDC-Miller Cadillac shared by Juan Piedrahita, Matheus Leist, Chris Miller and Tristan Vautier finished fifth.
 
“I think the goal of the team was to score a podium this year,” said Bourdais. “We scored in our Super Bowl, the first race out, so that’s checked.”
 
Perhaps even more importantly, the double top-five performance gives the team two valuable commodities in motorsports: confidence and momentum.
 
“I think when you can start the season with both cars in the top five, it’s a fantastic start,” Church said. “It gives you a little bit of momentum, makes everybody feel good about what they’re doing and gives us something to build on as the season goes on.”
 
The next stop on the 2020 WeatherTech Championship schedule is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts on March 21. The last time Barbosa and Bourdais raced together at that event back in 2015, they dominated in what was then a No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DP to win.
That fact wasn’t lost on them when they were testing the No. 5 Cadillac DPi last week at Sebring.
 
“We have great history together,” Barbosa said. “We won a race here in a big way, so we’re looking forward to coming back for the Sebring 12-hour race and have a great race. We started good at Daytona, so we’re looking forward to continuing that momentum.”
 
“Obviously, 2015 was a bit of a highlight,” Bourdais added. “It was a pretty amazing race when we managed to lap the field and come out on top. I’ve got a bunch of really, really good memories with a bunch of the guys that are revolving around that program. I’m looking forward to a great season and more races.”
 
To be exact, Bourdais has nine more WeatherTech Championship races on his 2020 schedule. The four-time IndyCar champion is running the entire season alongside Barbosa in the No. 5 Cadillac for the first time in addition to selected IndyCar starts.
 
“It’s going to be different for me this year, for sure, doing the whole 10 races in IMSA,” he said. “So far, it feels like the same, except I’ve got more responsibilities because I’m one of the two drivers that are going to be relied on. It’s strange because I’m still doing some IndyCar testing, I’m still doing some IMSA testing, and I always do Daytona and Sebring.
 
“So, I guess it’s going to start to kind of hit me a little bit when we get to Long Beach, but even then, I’ll still be racing IndyCar, so I don’t know when it actually is going to sink in that I’m going to do this full time this year. But it’s a great feeling, and it’s a really cool program.”
 
In addition to driving the full WeatherTech Championship schedule, Bourdais is scheduled to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet IndyCar for AJ Foyt Racing in St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Portland.
 
“He’ll be really busy,” Barbosa said. “But he’s a great driver. He has a lot of experience, and it’s really good to have his experience and help the team develop the car as well.”
 
In addition to helping the development of the No. 5 Cadillac, Bourdais is also helping his new teammate, Leist – who also is transitioning from IndyCars to sports cars – to get acclimated to the DPi.
 
“The first time I was at Daytona testing the car at the Roar, I did my first six laps, and I got out of the car and I was like, ‘Man, this thing is hard,’” Leist recalled. “I jumped out of the car, and I saw Sebastien and I went and talked to him. I was like, ‘Hey Sebastien, what do you think about the car?’
 
“He was like, ‘Man, this thing is so hard to drive. It turns in so quick.’ I had exactly the same feeling because, in IndyCar, we don’t have power steering. So, I feel like the same issues that I have with the car, he has the same. So, it was the same thing when we got to Sebring. We went out and the first outing that I did, I was like, ‘Man, this car is hard.’
 
“But then you start to get used to it, and it’s actually a pretty nice and fun car to drive. It’s nice to have him in the team. Of course, we shared the track in IndyCar, and now we’re sharing the track here in IMSA and we are having fun together.”
 
They’ll continue to have fun together – at least for the four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races in 2020. Church noted that while the No. 5 team is set for full-time duty, the No. 85 is only committed for the four endurance events with an eye toward expanding the program if possible as the season continues.
 
That’s another reason why the top-five at Daytona was so important.
 
“Yeah, having a top-five at Daytona is a great start to the season and momentum-booster,” Church said. “Once you get another result or two or whatnot, then that makes the whole program go a little further.”
 
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts is set for Saturday, March 21. The race starts at 10:40 a.m. on CNBC. It can also be streamed on the NBC App with authentication and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio will have coverage available at IMSARadio.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM.
 
Tickets are available now at SebringRaceway.com

Next weekend, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will build on a proud tradition of racing at Sebring International Speedway, headlining the SVRA Sebring Vintage Classic February 28-March 1 for its 15th showing since the series first-ever race in 1966.

In 1966, a brand-new series featuring entries by Detroit’s Big Three auto manufacturers made its debut at Sebring International Raceway with the running of the Governor’s Cup, the first race for the Sports Car Club of America-sanctioned Trans American Sedan Championship.

That inaugural event included the then two-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, driving a Ford Mustang, and Alfa Romeo’s Jochen Rindt, who would win the 1970 Formula One World Championship.

Foyt led the opening 13 laps before dropping back following a long pit stop. Later in the four-hour event, tire issues, brake problems and overheating hit many of the competitors on the over-two-liter class, made up of Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvairs, Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Darts. 

Bob Tullius won the larger class in a Dart, finishing second overall. Meanwhile, Alfas dominated the under-two-liter category, led by overall winning Rindt, who recovered from a roll-over in pre-event practice. The race was held the day before the 12 Hours, attracting a 40-car field.

“That race was held at Sebring in its original form – long (5.2 miles) and bumpy,” Tullius recalled. “I was instructed by our Chrysler team manager to follow the two Barracudas, because they wanted those cars to win and I was going to be a nice guy. But they didn’t count on A.J. Foyt, who went into the lead in a Mustang. I ran around for awhile, and then decided to pick it up. I passed both of the Barracudas, and then caught Foyt and passed him for the lead. Eventually, his car bailed and I wound up winning the race.”

Trans Am returned in 1967 as the Four-Hour International, drawing a then-record 61 entries. Jerry Titus won in a Ford Mustang, lapping the second-place Camaro Z-28 of Mark Donohue. Peter Gregg and Sam Posey took honors in the Under two-liter class, driving a Porsche.

The historic 17-turn, 3.74-mile airport-based circuit also hosted Trans Am in 1968, running concurrently with the 12 Hours of Sebring.  Mark Donohue and Craig Fisher took Trans Am honors with a third-place overall finish, one position ahead of Roger Penske-entered Camaro teammates Joe Welch and Bob Johnson.

With the series moving to shorter races, the next Trans Am race at Sebring was not until 1999, with a stand-alone weekend serving as the season finale. Paul Gentilozzi capped his championship season by winning in a Ford Mustang. Trans Am ran as part of the Twelve Hours of Sebring events the following two years, as Brian Simo won the 2000 season opener in a Qvale Mangusta, while Boris Said won the following year in a Ford Mustang.

Since 2013, Trans Am has been a major component of the SVRA Sebring Vintage Classic, held two weekends prior to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours. Doug Peterson scored the 2013 and 2014 overall victories in a Corvette, while Cameron Lawrence began a three-year TA2® winning streak in a Camaro. The two drivers went on to win their respective titles in both seasons. For 2020, the two drivers will team for Peterson Racing in TA2® powered by AEM, driving a pair of 3Dimensonal Services Group-sponsored entries.

“Returning to Sebring is definitely like going back home,” said Lawrence, a native of nearby Orlando. “It gives a real good shot at starting out strong with a new car and a new team. I have a good idea of what the car needs to do to win at Sebring, and if we get the setup right we should be running up front again. I’m excited to be teamed up with Doug. I’ve had a lot of respect for him for a long time, and it’s real neat to team up with him and his resources. He had a strong run at Sebring last year (fourth), and it would be great to have both of us up on the podium together.”

Sebring’s status as a Trans Am championship-launching race is further bolstered by the record of Amy Ruman, who won the 2015 season opener on her way to becoming Trans Am’s first female champion. 

For the 2020 opener, testing begins on Friday (February 28) for the 60-car entry, with practice and qualifying on Saturday. Sunday includes the TA/XGT/SGT/GT feature race at 11:10 a.m., with the TA2® Race Powered by AEM at 1:25 p.m.

Visit http://gotransam.com for additional details.

With the expanding influence of gaming in motorsports, there is always a new and exciting way for armchair racers to become closer to the action. For fans of offroad racing, there's Overpass!

NACON and Zordix Racing have highlighted some of the unique gameplay elements in OverpassTM in a new video that focuses on the two types of track available: Obstacle Courses and Hillclimbs. While the release of Overpass on PC is scheduled for February 27, 2020 in North America, the Xbox one, PS4 and Nintendo Switch versions will be available on March 17, 2020.

With Obstacle Courses, the challenge is in knowing how to cross each natural or artificial obstacle in the best way possible. This requires careful use of the throttle, deciding where to position the wheels for the best grip, and using the differential lock wisely to avoid getting stuck. Many options are available to the player and the best one will depend on several factors: the vehicle, the terrain, damage to the vehicle and the player's driving style. For Hillclimbs, the goal is to find a path up to the hill's summit. It's usually a shorter distance but a harder challenge. Knowing how to analyze the terrain is essential for climbing the steep slopes successfully.
 
Watch the new Overpass Gameplay Spotlight trailer here:
https://youtu.be/eiAFJZgbAIo
 
In this off-road simulation, challenge yourself on extreme tracks at the controls of buggies and quads from major manufacturers. In a variety of local and online game modes, master the terrain physics, overcome obstacles and cope with damage to your vehicle to triumph in this demanding off-road challenge.

 
Overpass™ will be available on PC via the Epic Games Store on February 27, 2020 and on March 17 for the PlayStation 4™ , Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™ platforms.


To pre-order or know more about the game, visit the official website:
https://play-overpass.com/

Find us on Twitter and YouTube.

Reigning event winner Matt Hagan continued his domination of Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, capturing the provisional No. 1 qualifier spot on Friday at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, in his hunt for back-to-back wins in Phoenix.
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) also claimed provisional No. 1 qualifier spots in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar.
 
Hagan took the provisional No. 1 spot during the second qualifying session with a pass of 3.859-seconds at 331.61 mph in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. Hagan is looking to continue his momentum from the season opener in Pomona after seeding himself in the No. 1 spot at the Winternationals two weeks ago. Hagan is the reigning event winner and is looking to take home his 34th career win, three of which have come at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
 
“We have a really great race car,” said Hagan. “We qualified No. 1 in Pomona and then rolling here into Phoenix, the provisional No. 1. The car is just really working. We have to make some better decisions on race day, but race day is race day. You never know what is going to happen and what you will get thrown at you and how the track will be. But all-in-all conditions are great out here right now. The car is good, the track is good and just all around a really good pass.”
 
Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force is close on the heels of Hagan, currently sitting in the No. 2 spot after a pass of 3.861-seconds at 331.94. Force’s teammate Robert Hight currently sits in the third spot with a 3.867-second pass at 330.55.
 
Current Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence is looking to continue the momentum from 2019, grabbing the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.671-second pass at 326.48 in his CAPCO Contractors Top Fuel dragster. If it holds, Torrence will claim his 25th career No. 1 qualifier.
 
The ladies of Top Fuel are looking to take the No. 1 spot from Torrence, with Brittany Force in second with a 3.680 at 331.12 and Leah Pruett close behind in third with a 3.680-second pass at 328.06.
 
Pro Stock’s Jeg Coughlin continues his successful start to the season, clinching the provisional No. 1 spot with a 6.536-second pass at 208.46. Coughlin has swept the season so far, having grabbed the No. 1 qualifying spot and the event win at the season opener in Pomona. Coughlin is on the hunt for his sixth Pro Stock world championship, hoping to end his career on top, after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Coughlin is currently embarking on his Breaking Barriers 2020 Tour.
 
Erica Enders, Coughlin’s teammate, sits in a close second with a 6.565 at 209.82, followed by Aaron Stanfield, who ran a 6.567-second pass at 207.69.
 
Qualifying continues Saturday at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at 1:00 p.m. MT.
 
It was a chance meeting at the Honda Indy in Toronto that led documentary filmmaker David Porteous to film the eccentric FatBoy Racing team in his new documentary, 'FATBOY RACING!'

He may have looked twice when he came across their team wearing their green, paisley team shirts emblazoned with the team logo - a man in a tank top enjoying a martini and smoking a big ol' cigar.

Indeed it was easy for him to spot FatBoy Racing in the NTT IndyCar support-series paddock. As it was meant to be.

"A race team hell bent on having fun," is the catch-all motto coined by team owner Brendan Puderbach.

"Everyone at FatBoy Racing is a big fan of motorsports and we love racing in the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires," said Puderbach. "Most teams on the grid have some young hotshot driver who could be the next Dario Franchitti. At FatBoy Racing, we have a mid-50-year-old driver named Charles Finelli who doesn't plan on winning but works hard for the opportunity to compete. Our team couldn't be anymore different. And trust me, that's exactly how we like it."

According to the FatBoy Racing website, the team was "born out of a previous (unnamed!) team where the atmosphere was at best described as glum.”

"We were tired of glum and the unnecessarily stressful atmosphere so we decided to form our own team, a team who's sole purpose was to have fun," said Puderbach. "To top it off, we felt 'FatBoy Racing' was the perfect team name to share our sense of humor and our never ending mission to attempt the seemingly impossible."

Porteous' FatBoy Racing documentary also offers race fans a rare and unique opportunity to glimpse behind-the-scenes of a race team without what is usually a confidential and closed door environment.

"I've been a fan of IndyCar for over 20 years and I can say, without a doubt, the FatBoy Racing team is unlike anything I've ever seen in motorsports" said Porteous. “It's a unique balance of fun and hard work.  But trust me, as much as this team likes having fun, they are truly professionals. You cannot compete in open-wheel racing without taking the racing and, most importantly, safety seriously."

The documentary film "FATBOY RACING!" is available to watch for free at tiny.cc/fatboyracingfilm
 

Fun aside, FatBoy races in the highly competitive Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires. In 2018 they finished a respectable P6 in Toronto and even became the 2017 Pro Mazda National Class Champions with Puderbach behind the wheel.

"Seriously, how the hell did that happen!?" Puderbach said of their championship success.

In truth, FatBoy Racing has a history of never shying away from the tough challenges of racing.

Last year FatBoy Racing competed in the gruelling Baja 1000 and this year the team is looking to move up the Road to Indy ladder to race in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, a highly-competitive series that is only one tier shy of the renowned NTT IndyCar Series.

FatBoy Racing Crew Chief Jim Locke has a long impressive racing history ranging from supporting Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello in the 24 Hours of Daytona and even helped set 17 land speed world records.

"We are the smallest team in the paddock and we have the smallest budget, but to us, size doesn't matter," joked Puderbach. "We have big goals and even though racing is a tough business we believe trying is the first step to succeeding. With our racing experience and dedication to hard work I truly believe there is no goal that is out of the question for FatBoy Racing."

The team hopes the film will act as a catalyst to securing sponsorship to help them accomplish their long list of racing dreams, including racing in the Freedom 100 and the 24 hours of Le Mans. The team also hopes to fulfill driver Charles Finelli's goal of becoming the oldest driver in history attempt to qualify for the prestigious Indy 500.

"We are just a million-something dollars short but if someone is out there who believes in our team motto, has a huge pile of disposable cash to burn and wants to have fun sponsoring us, DM me with details!" said Puderbach. "Yes, I realize I am bluntly asking for money in a press release quote but we are a different kind of racing team, so why not be honest and try something different?"

Puderbach asks that all the excited sponsors reach out to the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Watch the documentary FATBOY RACING! at tiny.cc/fatboyracingfilm


Among the eight drivers entered in this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona for Meyer Shank Racing and its sister team Heinricher Racing, only two drivers were in the same seat as last year.
 
Mario Farnbacher and AJ Allmendinger returned in the team’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3, with Farnbacher once again tapped as the full-season driver and Allmendinger swapping his helmet for a headset with NBC for the remainder of the season.
 
Meanwhile, Trent Hindman – who with Farnbacher was crowned the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) champion – made the transition from the No. 86 to Jackie Heinricher’s No. 57 entry for the four IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds this year.
Then it gets interesting.
 
Two of the team’s full-season drivers are making their return to the Shank camp after brief hiatuses. In the No. 57, Alvaro Parente will be back behind the wheel of MSR machinery for the first time since 2018. In the No. 86, it’s 2019 WeatherTech Championship LMP2 champion Matt McMurry alongside Farnbacher.
 
“It’s great to be joining Meyer Shank Racing again,” said McMurry, who also interned with Honda Performance Development this past summer. “I raced with them back in [2015] when they were still running prototypes. It’s great to be back with them again and with some great teammates like Mario Farnbacher.”
 
McMurry admits the transition from a prototype to a GT3 car is a leap, but that he’s got some help to adjust.
 
“There’s quite a big difference from P2 to GT, especially around a place like Sebring,” said McMurry while testing at Sebring International Raceway, the next stop on the WeatherTech Championship calendar next month. “This GT3 car handles the bumps quite a bit differently, so that’ll take a little bit of getting used to. But I think we’ve got a great team and great teammates to help get me up to speed quickly.”
 
If there’s anyone that can relate to McMurry, it’s Misha Goikhberg, one of three new drivers to join the two-car Acura team this year. Alongside his full-season co-driver Parente, Goikhberg made his GT debut at the 2020 Rolex 24 following a prototype career that has spanned the past five seasons in the WeatherTech Championship.
 
“It’s a team with a lot of wins, just fresh off a championship, so it’s a car that’s already very well developed,” said Goikhberg. “I think their strength is their ability to bring new people in and to get them up to speed quickly, so both me and Matt are fortunate to be able to draw upon experience from guys like Mario and Trent, who have been here for a while.
 
“Alvaro is very experienced, one of the best GT drivers in the world. For both of us, there’s a big body of experience there we could lean upon, and that’s been very helpful, so we’ve been very fortunate in that regard.”
 
The other two drivers new to Meyer Shank and Heinricher at Daytona were Shinya Michimi and Jules Gounon. While Gounon’s role was specific only to the Rolex 24, Michimi – who has a successful background in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series – continues with the No. 86 for the remaining Michelin Endurance Cup rounds.
 
Looking ahead to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts on March 18-21, compatibility doesn’t seem to be an issue for the mix of the established team drivers and newcomers. The six drivers entered for next month’s race often were huddled up during their Sebring test days.
 
What about the relationship off the racetrack? Well, that could get interesting too.
 
“Thankfully, they haven’t gotten me into any big trouble yet,” McMurry joked about his new teammates. “They’re trying to, for sure. I’m sure they’ll get us to do something stupid at some point during the year, but I’ve been safe so far.”
 
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts is set for Saturday, March 21. The race starts at 10:40 a.m. on CNBC. It can also be streamed on the NBC App with authentication and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio will have coverage available at IMSARadio.com, RadioLeMans.com and Sirius XM.
 
Tickets are available now at SebringRaceway.com.

By Sean Brennen, Monster Energy Supercross Wire Service

 

This past weekend's Monster Energy Supercross round was especially unique due to three high profile athletes making their return to racing at the highest level; interestingly, two of them are re-joining a brother who also competes in the series.

 

Maybe the most anticipated return was 26-year-old Minnesota native Jeremy Martin. The young racer suffered an injury in 2018 and last weekend’s race marked his first start since. In a sport that can leave behind riders who take even a short break, expectations for the young racer with six previous wins in his six seasons of Supercross racing were not high. But the GEICO Honda team re-signed Martin and he rewarded them early on race day with the fastest lap in 250SX Class qualifying. But one sub-60-second fast lap and 15-minutes plus one lap of battling during a Main Event are very different things. Martin amazed his fans and silenced his detractors by grabbing a podium finish – third place – in his first race back. All sports replace a goal, once achieved, with the next higher – and now Jeremy Martin, his team, and his fans might be wondering if his return to racing might also be the season in which he grabs his first Supercross title.

 

The premiere 450SX Class also had a big name return at the Tampa round. Broc Tickle re-joined the sport after a two-year suspension. During this hiatus from racing, Tickle never stopped riding or training and less than a week before his suspension ended it was announced that he had signed with JGRMX Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing, which made his comeback possible. Tickle finished an impressive fourth in his Heat Race and was strong during the 20-minute plus one lap Main Event where he finished 12th.

 

A third top name, who'd spent past seasons racing both the 250SX and 450SX classes, Josh Hill came out of retirement to tackle the same division in which Martin is competing. Hill had done some part-time racing as a fill-in rider in recent years but hadn't competed full time since 2014. What prompted Hill's return? He told reporters he was riding well and having fun at training tracks and came back for the pure love and excitement of competition. Hill, just like Tickle, finished 12th in his division in Tampa.

 

Coincidentally, two of these returning racers have a brother who's been competing in the series all along. Josh Hill's younger brother Justin is in his 8th season of racing, second in the premiere 450SX Class, and Jeremy Martin's older brother Alex, in his 12th year, races the Western Regional 250SX Class. In further coincidence, Tickle now rides for the same team that Josh's brother rode for during the 2018 and 2019 season and that Martin's brother races for this year.   

 

Now that the returning athletes have established that they still have the speed to compete against the world's best motorcycle racers, fans will be watching how they do at this weekend's event in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium. If you tune in to the NBCSN broadcast or have signed up for the NBC Sports Supercross app package, keep an eye out for race numbers 6 (Martin), 20 (Tickle), and 175 (Hill) – they each have more to prove over the remainder of the 17-round 2020 Supercross season.

 

 

450SX Class Championship Standings

1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (155)

2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (151)

3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (144)

4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (135)

5. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (128)

6. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (118)

7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (106)

8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (103)

9. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (93)

10. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (91)

 

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

1. Shane McElrath, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (26)

2. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (23)

3. Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Honda (21)

4. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Kawasaki (19)

5. Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Kawasaki (18)

6. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (17)

7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (16)

8. Joey Crown, Metamora, Mich., Yamaha (15)

9. James Decotis, Huntersville, N.C., Suzuki (14)

10. Jo Shimoda, Irvine, Calif., Honda (13)

 

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