Saturday, Oct 01
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 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  

  

 

By Mark Robinson

IMSA Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Images of Acura’s entry for the new top-tier IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship class were released earlier this week. The LMDh car’s official public unveil is set for tonight in Monterey, California.

 

The build-up to this point has featured the tireless efforts of countless people at Honda Performance Development (HPD), not the least of whom is a familiar name in IMSA circles. Matt McMurry is a two-time WeatherTech Championship driver champion. He’s also a vehicle dynamics engineer at HPD. The 24-year-old has combined those talents to play an integral role in development of the Acura ARX-06 that will take on fierce competition from several other manufacturers when one of the most anticipated eras in IMSA history begins in January with the introduction of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

 

“It really has been a dream come true to be able to help design a pinnacle-level race car like this, let alone drive it, too,” McMurry says. “Working on this project has been awesome, better than I ever imagined.”

 

McMurry’s background made him the ideal candidate to be in on the ground floor of the Acura/HPD effort to develop the ARX-06. Eight years ago, at age 16, he became the youngest driver to start the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the fabled race’s history – a standard maintained until a slightly younger American, Josh Pierson, eclipsed it this year.

 

McMurry collected back-to-back WeatherTech Championship titles in 2019 (Le Mans Prototype 2 class) and 2020 (GT Daytona), winning a total of eight races in those seasons. Along the way, he also earned an aerospace engineering degree from the University of California-Irvine and landed an internship at HPD that led to his current vehicle dynamics engineering position.

 

Currently without a fulltime WeatherTech Championship ride, McMurry has been able to immerse himself in the Acura ARX-06 project. He estimates he’s spent some 125 hours on the Honda racing simulator – “or roughly five Daytona 24s!” he adds – moving the LMDh process along before it hit the track. McMurry was there as well, joining Wayne Taylor Racing driver Ricky Taylor to turn test laps at a pair of French circuits in July.

 

As both a racer and engineer, McMurry has been able to seamlessly mesh the experience in both worlds – and expedite the LMDh development process along the way.

 

“I am looking at it through the lens of how typically a driver would provide feedback to the engineer (or team of engineers) in the process, then the engineers would make changes to the car,” McMurry explains. “With you being both driver and engineer, you can sort of cut out the middleman in the process. … Less gets lost in translation from driver to engineer when they're one and the same!”

 

While undoubtedly itching to get behind the wheel of a race car in competition once more – his last WeatherTech Championship race came at Long Beach in September 2021 – McMurry derived special satisfaction from being selected to turn laps in the GTP Acura last month at the Paul Ricard and Magny Cours circuits.

 

“It was fantastic and a dream come true to be the first person to take this car on track,” he said. “It's what I've been working towards my whole career. It's an honor, and I’m grateful HPD chose me to shake down our first hybrid race car. What a great car, too; it was a blast to drive!”

Salvador De Alba, from Guadalajara, Mexico, drove to an accomplished victory in this afternoon’s VP Racing Fuels Oval Challenge of St. Louis at World Wide Technology Raceway. It was his second win of the season for the Jay Howard Driver Development team but the first time De Alba had actually seen the checkered flag and received the plaudits in Victory Lane, as his earlier triumph on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road course had come at the expense of teammate Braden Eves, whose car failed post-race technical inspection.

 

Nolan Siegel, from Palo Alto, Calif., finished second for DEForce Racing, while Eves, from New Albany, Ohio, came home in third despite falling back to 10th in the early stages of the all-green 55-lap race.

 

Results

 

De Alba was the man to beat from the moment the cars ventured onto the challenging 1.25-mile oval yesterday for a couple of test sessions. The 22-year-old veteran of the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, in his very first season of open-wheel racing, continued his fine form by snaring his first Cooper Tires Pole Award in qualifying this morning, posting a two-lap average of 138.560 mph, and was never seriously challenged in the race.

 

He soon began to edge clear of Siegel, who vaulted from fourth to second on the opening lap, and never looked back. De Alba cemented his authority by posting the fastest race lap just eight laps from the finish before easing off on the final circuit to cement victory by 5.9398 seconds. The Mexican’s fine performance ensured a third PFC Award of the season for Jay Howard as the winning car owner.

 

All eyes instead were on the battle for second place. Siegel extended his own margin over third place to as much as 1.8 seconds after 14 laps but was then steadily tracked down by Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), from Mount Kisco, N.Y. By lap 22, the margin between them was virtually nothing. Championship leader Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), from Basingstoke, England, also was in the thick of the battle, and by the halfway point, Eves, too, had joined in the fun after storming through the pack following a tardy opening lap.

 

Siegel and Green exchanged positions several times during the middle stages of the race before Siegel regained the upper hand with 10 laps remaining. Shortly afterward, a big slide between Turns One and Two sent Green high into the marbles, which allowed Eves, who had stormed past Foster on the 37th lap, through into third. Foster also took advantage of Green’s slip.

 

Siegel narrowly held off the charging Eves at the finish with Foster hot on their heels in fourth.

 

Green slipped back a little in fourth but still finished well clear of Reece Gold, from Miami, Fla., who ran a lonely race ahead of Juncos Hollinger Racing teammate Enaam Ahmed, from London, England.

 

Ahmed was chased by Australian rookie Marcos Flack, who impressed on his debut with Jay Howard Driver Development, and Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), from Delafield, Wis., who picked up the Tilton Hard Charger Award after working his way from 15th on the grid.

 

Foster’s fourth-place finish enabled him to extend his championship lead to a commanding 77 points over Gold with just a single triple-header event remaining at Portland International Raceway on September 2/3. Depending on the number of starters, Foster likely will need only to start each of the three races to ensure himself of a scholarship valued at $614,425 to graduate into Indy Lights, the top step of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2023.

 

Provisional championship points after 15 of 18 rounds:

1. Louis Foster, 377

2. Reece Gold, 300

3. Nolan Siegel, 291

4. Enaam Ahmed, 278

5. Braden Eves, 268

6. Josh Green, 265

7. Salvador De Alba, 247

8. Kiko Porto, 237

9. Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 213

10. Jack William Miller, 209.

 

Salvador De Alba (#6 Group Indi/Mecano/Sidral Aga-Jay Howard Driver Development Tatuus PM-22): “We managed to put everything pretty much perfect. We have been on top of the board all weekend, both myself and Braden. Our cars were definitely one of the best on track. Starting on pole was a huge advantage the first couple of turns. I had about five car lengths which gave me a lot of advantage and then I was pulling off a little more advantage lap by lap from Nolan. The car was pretty much on rails and I think I did my fastest lap around Lap 50. I am very grateful to all the team for making this possible and, of course, to all of my sponsors.”

 

Nolan Siegel (#8 Towne Ford/Race for RP-DEForce Racing Tatuus PM-22): “It was a good race. Josh (Green) was quick behind me. He had made the high line work, I think, so he was able to follow quite close. Once he got by me, I had the pace behind him as well and I was able to run high and we were kind of going back-and-forth, we were side-by-side for a while. It was great to get back by and finish on the podium.”

 

Braden Eves (#4 CCFI/Huston Insurance/Addison Holdings-Jay Howard Driver Development Tatuus PM-22): “This is definitely one of my favorite races of the year. Every time I come here I just seem to move forward throughout the weekend. As soon as the race gets going, I seem to move forward. I’m not really too sure why. The car was super fast and the team did a great job. Congrats to Salvador on the win. When I moved back, I was pretty confident that I could still get back up to second, but Nolan was just too fast there at the end and I came up just short.”

Kris Thorne turned in another fantastic performance during his 2022 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon, driving to the victory in the D-Wagon NHRA Pro Mod Shootout specialty race on Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway.

 

It marked the first-ever specialty race for the NHRA Pro Mod category and Thorne, who is also the points leader in the class on the strength of three victories, claimed another memorable moment, beating two-time world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the final round. Thorne’s run of 5.762-seconds at 250.88 mph in his ProCharger-powered Camaro was easily enough to knock off Jackson, who got loose early in the run.

 

Thorne claimed more than $11,000 for winning the shootout as his 2022 continues to be one to remember.

 

“Everything went according to plan and the team did a great job,” Thorne said. “I want to thank the D-Wagon folks for putting this on for the Pro Mod class. My guys did a great job getting the car down the track, giving me a car that could win. We had a good tune-up in the car against Stevie and I just had to make sure I was on my game.”

 

Thorne knocked off Khalid AlBalooshi, Mike Thielen and Justin Bond, who won last weekend in Topeka, to reach the final round of the shootout. He was also great on the starting line through all four rounds, turning in a .020 reaction time in the final round. His pass of 5.725 at 250.41 in the second round on Saturday also gave Thorne the No. 1 qualifier position for Sunday’s NHRA Pro Mod race, which is powered by Stinar in Brainerd, as he looks to claim two victories in one weekend.

 

“We’ve had really good success so far this season and it’s been a great weekend already in Brainerd,” Thorne said. “We won the shootout and if we can take the money on Sunday, too, we would be really fortunate.”

 

Jackson reached the final round thanks to wins against Lyle Barnett and Mike Castellana. He also qualified second with a run of 5.734 at 253.33.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Rising Progressive American Flat Track star Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) passed the ultimate test of nerves and skill to win the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event in Saturday night’s Mission Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers  at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.

 

Daniels grabbed the holeshot from pole, putting him directly in the sights of defending Mission SuperTwins king Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) with two-time champ Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) right in tow.

 

The Sacramento Mile has long favored experience over youth, and Mees called on every bit of the experience he’d gained in winning the last four Sacramento Miles to challenge Daniels. The factory Indian ace applied heavy pressure throughout, showed his front wheel on a handful of occasions, and then rehearsed a finish-line strike as the clock ticked down. But none of it was enough to force the unflappable rookie into a costly error on circuit where such a mistake could have come all too easily.

 

All the while, Bauman remained in their draft, never quite close enough to attempt a move, but close enough to take advantage should either Daniels or Mees bobble. The eventual third-place finish was Bauman’s fifth consecutive podium finish, although Mees’ runner-up allowed him to stretch his advantage out to nine points over Bauman (229-220). Daniels, meanwhile, drew nearer with his triumph, now just 16 points back at 213.

 

Daniels said, “It was definitely tough. These guys are so good. The talent in this class is insane. Leading that whole race was stressful. I was riding super tight and struggling really bad in Turns 3 and 4. I knew those guys were right on me.

 

“Me and the boss – (Tommy) Hayden – went over a little strategy to use at the end that I think played well. I don’t have a lot of experience out here, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can. This is great for me – learning how to lead a whole Mile race. At the Red Mile, I was able to follow Jared and see what he was doing. But I had to set the pace tonight, and it was tough – really tough. It wasn’t easy by any means. Sacramento is such a legendary track – I’m so pumped to win here.”

 

Any hopes for a four-rider clash for victory were extinguished from the start; JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) just didn’t have the pace to battle with his title rivals on this night, instead falling into a scrap with Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) for fourth.

 

Beach eventually shook free of the Mission Roof Systems runner to come home clear in the position and up his championship tally to an even 200.

 

Behind Robinson, sixth-place went to a lonely Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) while Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750), Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Cameron Smith (No. 34 Thee Cathy Gray/Al Barker Yamaha MT-07), and Andrew Luker (No. 11 Rackley Racing/Keeran Racing Indian FTR750) rounded out the top ten.

 

Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

 

Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) took another huge step in his march toward the ‘22 Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines throne.

 

The Wisconsin native had been all but unstoppable over the past five races, a trend that’s carried over from Half-Mile to TT to Mile alike. And again, it was the now familiar story on Saturday night, as the Vance & Hines ace topped practice, both qualifying sessions, and his Semi – and typically by significant margins – ahead of the Main Event.

 

Once there, however, Janisch found himself pushed to the limit by a hugely motivated Mikey Rush (No. 15 Helipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R), who was desperate to win in front of his home-state fans.

 

The two powered away off the start and soon became embroiled in a tense all-XG750R struggle for the victory. Both riders took their turn at the front before Janisch finally eked out a bit of breathing space just as he opened the final two laps.

 

He was then forced to navigate one final potential pitfall, encountering a pair of lappers as he tiptoed around Turns 3 and 4 for the final time. With that out of the way, Janisch put his head down to reel in his sixth win of the season.

 

“I was just trying to be smooth,” Janisch said. “The track was getting brutal out there. It was super technical, and Mikey was showing me some lines out there. I tried to latch on to him and follow him and learn where I could be a little bit better. I’ll be honest – I thought he was going to be there at the end, so I tried to get ahead of him and slow him down a little bit.

 

“The Vance & Hines guys brought me one heck of a horse today. It was awesome and gives me some good confidence going into two Miles at Springfield.”

 

Cameron Smith (No. 34 Thee Cathy Gray/Al Barker Yamaha MT-07) made Janisch’s night that much better. Smith won out in a three-rider melee for the final spot on the podium, edging defending class champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) for the position with Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07) just behind in fifth.

 

As a result, Janisch boosted his title advantage to 24 points (264-240. With just four races to go, that strips Texter of control over his own destiny as four runner-ups would now be enough to seal the championship for Janisch even if Texter managed to win out from here.

 

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

 

The streaking Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) made it three straight Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER wins in Sacramento, picking right back up where he left off at Cal Expo a season ago, despite swapping his Turner Racing Honda for an Estenson Racing Yamaha in the meantime.

 

Brunner married his Sacramento Mile success with his spectacular ‘22 midseason form and proved more than a match for the rest of the field. He sent a bold overtaking maneuver around the outside of early leader Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) and went on to register a commanding victory

 

Despite getting his campaign off to something of a rocky beginning, Brunner has now logged two wins, a second, and a third in his last four outings.

 

After chalking up a 2.138-second margin of victory, he said, “This team is amazing to ride for. We were way back in qualifying, and they tweaked it, and it made a world of a difference for the Semi. They tweaked it a little more, and it got a little better for the (Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda) Challenge. They tweaked it a little more, and it was just phenomenal in the Main Event. It really is a pleasure to ride for Estenson Racing Monster Energy Yamaha. These guys work their tails off for me, and I can’t thank them enough.”

 

By contrast, second-place was heated affair, featuring Kopp and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) early and then Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), Brandon Kitchen (No. 80 Vance & Hines/Husqvarna Motorcycles FC450), and Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R) late.

 

Kitchen, who looked to be Brunner’s biggest threat coming out of the Semis, fought his way back from a poor start to finally blast into second. But his charge then reversed, with Whale countering to take back the runner-up spot and hold it over Kitchen by a scant 0.003 seconds at the stripe.

 

Lowe finished another 0.108 second back in fourth with Kopp rounding out the top five.

 

Second-ranked Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) finished one position behind teammate Gauthier in seventh, but it could have been much worse. Mischler was forced to use his provisional start after a rear brake issue spoiled his Semi. He then snaked his way up to seventh from the fifth row in an admirable effort to minimize the damage done to his championship position.

 

Kopp remains well clear in front, now 48 points up on Mischler (257-209). However, the race for second is officially on, with Brunner (204), Gauthier (198), and Whale (193) all firmly in the hunt.

 

The Mission Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, August 27, at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.

 

Next Up:

 

Progressive AFT continues its late-season run of fabled Miles with a Labor Day Weekend doubleheader. The Mission Springfield Mile I & II will take place on September 3-4 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3668 to reserve your tickets today.

 

You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FansChoice.tv. FansChoice.tv provides free-to-view livestreaming of Practice and Qualifying. FansChoice.tv subscribers will then be able to watch the drama unfold from Opening Ceremonies through the Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations. FansChoice.tv offers two subscription options, granting unlimited access to premium AFT content. Monthly subscriptions start at just $7.99, while a six-month subscription is available for $44.99.

 

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.

 

How to Watch:

 

FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice.tv provides livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round at http://www.FansChoice.tv.

SKI Autosports has completed a stunning weekend in GT America – taking the team’s first overall race win and following that up with a second place finish today at Road America.

The Atlanta-based SKI Autosports squad made its second GT America series start this weekend after previously making its debut at VIRginia International Raceway in June.

After qualifying fifth, Pilgrim made a great start and took advantage of contact amongst his rivals on the opening lap to charge into the lead. 

Towards the end of Saturday’s race, the experienced Pilgrim held off a hard charging Series points leader George Kurtz in the late stages of the race to take the SKI Autosports Ferrari 458 GT to victory lane.

“George was coming so hard. I was looking in the mirrors and everything was getting bigger and bigger and it’s all Mercedes. He was coming and it is so great to have this win,” said Pilgrim after the race.

“SKI Autosport has been so good, letting me drive this car. We don’t do a full schedule so we have to have respect for the guys in the championship but bottom line is, the car is great, the team is great and I have to thank Rossella and Phil from Creighton Motorsports. It’s a part time deal and it just worked out perfect today.”

By taking the overall win aboard the SKI Autosport Ferrari 458GT, Pilgrim also took the Master’s Class win and then repeated that performance on Sunday. 

After the thrilling final laps of Saturday’s race, Sunday was a very different event. Marred by caution periods that covered about two-thirds of the timed race, Kurtz would start on the pole and pull out to an early lead.

Pilgrim was close behind and the two pulled away from the field, when the first full course caution came out. The race restarted with about eight minutes remaining, however a second caution took place only moments into the restart and the race would finish under yellow.

“On Saturday we were all on the edge of our seats watching Andy putting every bit of his experience to use holding on for the overall win,” team owner Kent Hussey.

“We know we are at a bit of a disadvantage with an older model Ferrari, but the long straights at Road America, not to mention Andy Pilgrim at the wheel, everything evens things out a bit.”

“We are so thankful to have Ferrari expert, Rossella Manfrinato engineering the car and Phil Creighton and his Creighton Motorsports team preparing the car and providing all the at-track support. They are a huge part of this team’s success!”

Next up for SKI Autosports in SRO GT America will be the season finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 7-9, 2022.

Pro Stock Motorcycle will make its first appearance at Heartland Motorsports Park since 1997 for this weekend’s Menards NHRA Nationals, meaning Joey Gladstone will race in Topeka for the first time in the class.

 

But Gladstone has enjoyed at least one other significant first lately, picking up his first career NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series victory last month in Sonoma. After two weeks off, Pro Stock Motorcycle is back in action at Topeka’s House of Speed and Gladstone is ready to keep the momentum going on his J&A Service Suzuki Hayabusa.

 

The victory brought him within two points of leader Angelle Sampey and after a series of near-misses this year, including back-to-back runner-up showings before Sonoma, the win might have opened the floodgates for more Gladstone success in 2022.

 

“Going to all these finals and losing, you wonder if it’s ever meant to be, but then you win and it makes all that sacrifice worth it,” Gladstone said. “It means more than you could ever imagine. (Sonoma) was just the start for us. We’re hungrier and we’re going to stand on it a little bit and try to get this championship. Now that the monkey (of getting a first win) is off my back, we’re going after the big one and trying to win a championship.”

 

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) won the 2021 event, and this year’s race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including live eliminations coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 14. It is the ninth race during the 2022 Pro Stock Motorcycle season and with the Countdown to the Championship playoffs right around the corner, Gladstone knows he has to be on his game.

 

That hasn’t been a problem lately, as he’s been the most consistent rider in the class this summer, advancing to three straight final rounds. He’s having the time of his life riding for team owner and close friend Cory Reed, becoming a legitimate championship contender in the process.

 

He has to deal with a host of standouts in the two-wheeled category, including Sampey, who won the race at Topeka in 1997, Eddie Krawiec, defending world champ Matt Smith, Karen Stoffer, Steve Johnson, Jerry Savoie, and Angie Smith, but Gladstone has enjoyed being the thorn in the side of the category’s toughest competitors. He loves the challenge and has no plans of slowing down in his title hunt.

 

“As long as I can stay out here, I will be out here,” Gladstone said. “The people we’re racing against – Matt, Angelle, Eddie, Jerry, Karen – are all top-tier. These people are stout and they’re all good. That makes it feel quite a bit better. They’ve been out here a while and we’re still green, but with a bit more time and refinement, I think that we can become one of those names. To be a pair of renegade 29–30-year-old guys swinging with these guys and making them sweat, this is so cool, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

Speaking of first-time winners, Troy Coughlin Jr. grabbed his first career Pro Stock win in Seattle, cashing in to finish off the Western Swing after a strong recent run. After some struggles for much of the season, Coughlin and his team have found their footing and the results have been impressive in recent races in his JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

 

He slipped past teammate and points leader Erica Enders in the Seattle final round, providing a jolt he had yet to experience in the professional ranks. Coughlin will look to keep that going in Topeka, where he ran well a year ago, and he’s eager for the challenge against class stalwarts like Enders, reigning world champ Greg Anderson, defending event winner Glenn, Kyle Koretsky, Mason McGaha, Matt Hartford, teammate Aaron Stanfield and rookie Camrie Caruso. Along with running well, the team has gained considerable confidence in recent weeks, putting Coughlin in a prime position to succeed the rest of the year.

 

“We’re definitely gaining momentum and I can’t wait to get to Topeka,” Coughlin said. “If it were up to me, I would be racing 52 weeks a year. We love what we do. I’ve been surrounded by some wonderful people with great equipment, so we are definitely really blessed. I just can’t wait to keep going.”

 

Brittany Force enjoyed a historic moment with her father, John, last year in Topeka, as they shared the winner’s circle for the first time and became the first father-daughter to win at the same race in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series history. She has been impressive in Top Fuel in 2022, racking up four victories and the points lead. But getting a repeat win won’t be easy in a loaded field that includes Mike Salinas, who also has four victories this year, two-time race winner Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown, Seattle winner Tony Schumacher, Justin Ashley, Clay Millican and Josh Hart.

 

J. Force earned an incredible 10th Funny Car victory at Heartland Motorsports Park a year ago, continuing his amazing success at the facility. Last year was his first Topeka win in 13 years and he’ll try to make it two in a row against a star-studded group of competitors. That list features points leader Robert Hight, who has six wins this year, Matt Hagan, defending world champ Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon, who each have four wins at Topeka, Sonoma winner Bob Tasca III, J.R. Todd, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson.

 

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which includes some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as Street Legal exhibition runs and action in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. After nitro qualifying on Friday and Saturday, fans can see an exciting performance from the “Miss Elle” jet funny car driven by Mickey McCormick, as well as a wheelstander exhibition from the “Walking Tall” PT Cruiser driven by “NitroMike.” On Saturday, fans can also attend Nitro School at 1 p.m. in the Tony Stewart Racing pits to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.

 

Race fans at Heartland Motorsports Park can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor event winners.

 

As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Topeka. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

 

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 12 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CT on Sunday, Aug. 14. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations at 2 p.m. ET Sunday.

 

To purchase tickets to the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor, fans can visit www.nhra.com or call 800-884-6472. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will climax in South Korea this weekend with the 2022 Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix where the champion driver and team will be crowned and the world’s first all-electric motorsport series will mark 100 races.

 
Eleven teams and 22 drivers have competed in Formula E’s biggest racing season to date with Rounds 15 and 16 to come this Saturday and Sunday and four drivers still in contention for the title at the top of the standings.
 
It will be the first time Formula E has raced in South Korea with the E-Prix taking place on a unique track constructed around and even looping through the Jamsil Olympic Stadium, the first world championship sporting event held at the venue since the Olympic Games in 1988.
 
Stoffel Vandoorne leads the way for Mercedes-EQ in a bid to make it back-to-back wins following their Drivers' and Teams' World Championship success last year in Season 7. The Belgian extended his lead to 36 points over nearest rival Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) during the SABIC London E-Prix two weeks ago that saw his closest competitors falter.
 
Consistency is critical in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. While Vandoorne has achieved only one win this season compared to three each for Evans and Edoardo Mortara (ROKiT Venturi Racing) in third place, Vandoorne has the most podium finishes and has scored on 13 occasions this season, taking the honour from Daniel Abt as the most consistent points finisher in a campaign. Vandoorne’s last four rounds have all yielded top four finishes and a pair of podiums: the gauntlet has been thrown by the Mercedes-EQ driver.
 
In his fourth campaign, Vandoorne has been around the series long enough to know that securing his first World Championship title is far from a sure thing in Seoul, where race strategy will be affected by high humidity and record-breaking levels of rainfall this week that will demand outstanding planning and driving execution.  
 
Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) had worked his way into closest contention of top spot but a crushing technical problem in London put a huge dent in his chances. The Kiwi was on track to pin Vandoorne back to a 22-point lead, some 14 fewer than his current advantage but an inverter problem at the end of Round 14 saw him out of fourth and into retirement despite front-running pace.
 
But opportunity remains for Evans. He has dominated entire race weekends before, most notably in Rome this season, but the stakes are much higher this time around and Vandoorne only has to outdo the Jaguar driver in Round 15 for the battle to be over.
 
In third and fourth respectively, Edoardo Mortara and DS TECHEETAH's Jean-Éric Vergne have it all to do. Mortara topped the standings at the halfway stage of the season after a run of two wins and two more podiums in Berlin and Jakarta. Since then, the Swiss has only managed two low-scoring points finishes in New York City and a pair of non-scores in London, but he remains just five points back from Evans.
 
Similarly, Vergne has hit his worst-ever run in Formula E, with four consecutive blanks for the very first time in the championship. While it’s an uncharacteristic return from the Frenchman, JEV is the only driver in the top four to have won the World Championship – twice – and experience could still earn a place on the podium.

The Teams' battle

Mercedes-EQ stretched its lead in London with silverware for both de Vries and Vandoorne.  Back-to-back titles look to be on with a 36-point margin on ROKiT Venturi Racing in second, with DS TECHEETAH behind the Monegasque outfit by 11 points.
 
Landmarks await
On Sunday, the second race of the 2022 Hana Bank Seoul E-Prix double-header will be Formula E’s 100th E-Prix. The race is also the end of the Gen2 era, the second version of Formula E race car.
As such, the centenary E-Prix will appropriately mark three huge generational leaps in EV technology and industry-leading sustainability achievements ahead of the debut in Season 9 of the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built – the Gen3.
 
The 1,000 club
As the only driver set to line up on the grid this weekend and race in all 100 E-Prix, Lucas di Grassi (ROKiT Venturi Racing) is also chasing a landmark 1,000 points. The Brazilian has been an intrinsic part of Formula E from day zero and is set to become the only driver to have entered every E-Prix to-date following Sam Bird’s (Jaguar TCS Racing) unfortunate withdrawal through injury as the only other ever-present driver to date.
 
Topping off his Season 8 with 1,000 points, following a maiden win for ROKiT Venturi in London which saw him reach 996 in his Formula E career so far, it would be some way to celebrate. Lucas has eyes on that prize but the goal for Seoul is to go out and seal championship silverware for Venturi.
 
"I'm very proud of to be able to be competitive for eight years now, in a championship which is super competitive," said di Grassi. "The level of the teams that drive versus us is just insanely good. But we go to Seoul with our main target being the Teams' World Championship, for ROKiT Venturi Racing to be number one.
 
"The task is hard, but it's mathematically feasible. So until it's unfeasible, we're going to work very hard. We know how things are in Formula E, everything can happen. So we're going to be on top of it and try to get this World Championship title for the team."
 
An all-new challenge
The newest circuit on the Formula E calendar is at Seoul's Olympic Park. The lap starts with a tight, technical run before entering the Jamsil Olympic stadium where the 22 racers will put on a show for thousands of fans in the stadium seats.
 
As they leave the stadium a batch of sweeping turns leading to long straights connected by 90-degree turns follows as the circuit wraps around the Olympic park and the drivers jostle for position around this fast 2.6km, 22-turn circuit.
 
Seoul also brings more high temperatures for the teams to manage. EV battery systems and powertrains are at their most efficient and performant inside a specific temperature window.
 
Managing raw, outright pace with efficiency and high ambient temperatures will be a weekend-long battle for drivers and engineers. There will be plenty of thinking and thousands of kilometres worth of simulator data put into play to ensure ATTACK MODEs, FANBOOST and race strategy are on-point by the first race on Saturday.
 
It will all be hypothetical for the engineers until they can get out on track in Free Practice to corroborate the maths and sim work they have put in since London. In addition, the new track surface will evolve rapidly. What might be true on Saturday morning might be completely different by the afternoon, and certainly by Sunday.
 
Add to that the complications from expected downpours and high humidity. Whoever triumphs in Seoul will have more than earned their silverware in the most dramatic ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season to date.
 
Don't miss a minute of Season 8. Keep track of the best ways to tune in where you are at fiaformulae.com/watch.
 
 
 
 

The concept of ‘Scope F’ looks to explore and articulate sports’ influence on the greenhouse gas emissions of fans in their daily lives

 A report released by the Planet League, supported by Extreme E, brings a new term to the fore as sport continues to take action on climate change. Introducing ‘Scope F’. 

Scope F is the term to describe the influence sport can exert on fans' greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact in their daily lives. For some sporting organisations that influence can extend to millions of fans, so Scope F could be significant. The Planet League asserts that this fan engagement could increase climate impact 100x beyond what they can achieve ‘in-house’.

The report highlights examples of how sports are incorporating Scope F strategies into its operations. For Extreme E, having a positive influence on fan behaviour in their own lives is key.

Extreme E, which features electric-off road racing in some of the world’s most remote and challenging environments, aims to; Pave the way to a lower carbon future through the promotion of electric vehicles; Use sport to draw attention to the impacts of climate change, and; Inspire fans, companies and locations in the solutions we can, and must, all be part of.

 

 

During its inaugural Season, Extreme E joined forces with Count Us In, a group of global companies united in taking action on climate change.

The Extreme E challenge harnesses the power and excitement of sport to calls on its fans to take real life steps which reduce their carbon footprint and to urge governments, cities and businesses to do more to address climate change. Fans are asked to pledge up to 16 different steps, including to avoid single-use plastic, to walk or cycle more, to eat more plant-based foods, to drive electric vehicles, among other actions. Keeping sporting competition at the heart of its ethos, every time a fan took a step, they attributed it to their favourite team, creating a sustainable championship alongside the racing.

In total, Count Us In’s global campaign has seen over 500,000 people globally pledge to take over 15 million steps, which equates to 170,725,353 kg CO2e Carbon Saving, proving that seemingly small steps are multiplied on a global level, they can have huge accumulative effect.

The concept of Scope F was inspired by Scope X, a term coined by Solitaire Townsend of Futerra, who noted in her TED Talk that Scopes 1, 2 and 3 don’t account for ‘emissions of influence’, or what she calls Scope X.

The report highlights how this is already starting to happen and organisations from several sports have proven that they can positively encourage their fans to make lifestyle changes to reduce their impact on the planet.

Scope F underlines that emissions should not only be seen as “my responsibility” or “your responsibility”, but also as the consequence of lots of influences across society. To unravel this requires a new level of cooperation, which Scope F brings to life.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, added: “Sport is the most powerful platform in the world for uniting and exciting audiences. At Extreme E, our entire mission is to harness that power, use it to educate on climate change, and inspire our audiences, which include fans, companies and governments, to change course and make decisions which ultimately lower our impact on the planet. The potential is limitless, but it requires everyone to do their part.

“Recognising Scope F and the influence athletes, teams, sponsors and the media can have on their fans and consumers bigger picture behaviours – whether positive or negative - is a truly exciting development for sports strategists. The better Scope F is understood, adopted and injected into decision making in our industry, the more effective sport becomes as a force for change.”  

 

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Tom Gribbin, Co-Founder of the Planet League and one of the originators of the report, said: “Our work centres on encouraging football fans towards positive behaviour change in the name of their beloved team. We believe Scope F is the starting place for football clubs, and other sporting organisations, to think bigger in regard to their influence and reach to tackle the climate crisis.”

The report goes into depth on the rationale behind Scope F, its implications, its economics and case studies. While examining the potential of Scope F in depth, the report makes it clear that sports organisations need to continue to work hard on cutting their Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Indeed, there is substantial interplay between them and Scope F.

Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder of Futerra and the originator of the Scope X concept, said: “The negative environmental impact of ‘influence’ is not calculated in traditional scope 1,2 or 3 carbon emissions calculations. As well as radically reducing their own environmental footprints, it is also time for every industry to acknowledge that influencing the individual's choices (brainprint), is also hugely important in fighting climate change.”

Claire Poole, Founder of Sport Positive, commented: “I have to stress that sports organisations mustn’t lose sight of accounting for their direct impacts, nor leapfrog Scope 1, 2 and 3. That being said, Scope F is a new way for sport to consider their wider reach, and modelling the impact measurement of it could be a gamechanger for our work to encourage sport to increase its action and ambition on climate change.”

Read the full report at www.scope-f.com.

About the Planet League

The Planet League (www.planetleague.co.uk) is a behaviour-tech entertainment platform using the power of sport to drive action on climate change; responsible for instigating 77,000+ verified climate actions from football fans, partnering with 72 professional football clubs in the UK and successfully placing education programmes into 500+ schools. The Planet League is a partner of Count Us In, a global movement of people and organisations taking practical steps to protect what they love from climate change, before it’s too late.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:
Tom Gribbin, the Planet League: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

The Grand Prix of Portland is just over five weeks away as Single Day ticket sales  have launched for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race weekend returning to Portland International Raceway (PIR), Sept 2-4, 2022. Tickets for the 28th running of this spectacular open-wheel racing tradition in the Rose City can be purchased online at portlandgp.com.

 

Ticket prices start as low as $20 for Single Day General Admission and $70 for Single Day Grandstand seats. Three-day tickets remain available for purchase and offer the best fan value. General Admission for the entire weekend is just $65, and a 3-Day Grandstand reserved seat starts at $85 which includes gate admission.

 

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, featuring the cars and stars of the Indianapolis 500, headlines the race weekend. Returning race winners Alex Palou (2021), Will Power (2019) and Takuma Sato (2018) will compete once again. Including Power and Sato, the field will also include seven Indianapolis 500 winners: this year’s winner Marcus Ericsson, four-time winner Helio Castroneves, 2008 winner and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi. Other drivers to watch include Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, and 10-year Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean. 

 

“We are very excited to welcome the NTT INDYCAR SERIES back to the Pacific Northwest for another thrilling edition of the Grand Prix of Portland,” said Jerry Jensen, general manager of Green Savoree Portland, which owns and operates the event at PIR. “The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has always provided exciting finishes at PIR, and we expect another exhilarating event as the championship enters its final stretch run.”

 

The Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires returns to PIR with all three series of the open-wheel development ladder for aspiring NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers running races: Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires on Sunday (Sept. 4) and tripleheader races for both Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Additionally, the ARCA Menards Series West stock cars will headline Saturday’s on-track action. The rising stars of NASCAR are returning to PIR for a second time this year after completing the fender-bending Portland 112 in June. 

 

A limited quantity of 3-Day Gold Level Grandstand offering reserved seating for the highest rows are still available and include a Paddock Pass to get up close to the cars and drivers in the “locker room of motorsports.” 

 

Additionally, Pit Passes remain available for purchase for guests 18 years of age or older. These passes provide access to pitlane during practice and qualifying sessions and can only be purchased in combination with 3-Day Grandstand tickets. 

 

Children 12 and under receive free general admission to the event. This also includes complimentary access to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Paddock throughout the weekend when accompanied by a ticketed adult. PIR is located less than a tenth of a mile from a public transit stop - the Delta Park/Vanport MAX Station on TriMet’s MAX Yellow Line - making a trip to the track exceptionally affordable for families. 

 

For all ticket pricing, grandstand locations and additional festival information, visit portlandgp.com. Stay up to speed on the Grand Prix of Portland on social media all year long by following #PortlandGP.

South Florida Motorsports (SFM) has released the findings of the first Economic Impact Report for the Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix which reveals the local economy was boosted by nearly $350 million. Compiled by leading economic consultants Applied Analysis, the report details the specific fiscal benefits to the South Florida and Greater Miami regions, including Miami Gardens.

 

“We were proud to deliver on the commitment Stephen Ross made to impact the local economy and the people throughout our community; especially right here in Miami Gardens,” said Richard Cregan, CEO of the Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. “Our team worked selflessly to create a campus and experience that was unique to the international culture of Miami. We look forward to growing the event and the positive impact it will continue to make here for years to come.”

 

In the first week of May, the venue hosted the first-ever Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix held around a new 19-turn circuit known as the Miami International Autodrome, built around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The race, which is one of 23 races worldwide comprising the 2022 Formula 1 Championship and will take place at the Miami International Autodrome for at least the next nine years.  The weekend attracted over 243,000 spectators across the three days and culminated with a thrilling race as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. 

 

As well as enjoying the on-track action, fans were able to soak up the incredible atmosphere of the event which quickly became the hottest ticket in town. Celebrities from the worlds of film and pop mingled with sports stars in luxury VIP hospitality areas, such as Hard Rock Beach Club and MSC Cruises Yacht Club while international DJs performed to the entire campus and Miami restaurants served up the best local cuisine.

 

Driving Economic Impact and Salaries for Local Workers

The report highlights the overall economic impact of the race which has rivalled, if not exceeded, other events held in the South Florida market area. The operational and net visitor spending impacts are likely to recur in future years and have the potential to expand as the event matures. When operational activities and net visitor spending are aggregated, the overall economic impact reaches $349 million annually and supports more than $100 million in salaries and wages for over 3,000 local workers.

 

Visitors and Viewership

Visitor spending in the Greater Miami region during race week reached over $150 million. The average visitor to Miami for the race spent a total of $1,940 while in the city, which was nearly double the typical non-Formula 1 visitor. In addition, 84% of visitors traveled to Miami primarily for the event and 66% of attendees were out-of-town visitors. The tourist influx data revealed the country with the largest number of visitors was Canada, closely followed by the United Kingdom, Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina.

 

The race was an extraordinary success from a broadcast perspective with 23 million US viewers spread across the weekend. The Saturday qualifying audience was 7.6 million rising to 15.4 million for Sunday’s race. In addition, viewership increased 27% compared to the 2021 US Grand Prix in Austin, TX across the weekend.

 

In the United States, race day viewership grew by 106% compared to the 2021 US Grand Prix with 2.2 million viewers, while on the F1 Web/App there were 140 million views (up 39% on the 2021 US race) and 118.6 million page views (up 50%) and 288,483 new followers. During the weekend F1 surpassed 19 million followers on Instagram, increasing its followers by 1.4 million since the start of the year.

 

Construction Jobs and Empowerment

Initial planning on the newest venue in Formula 1 started in the spring of 2019, while the first moment of ground-breaking on the campus was in April 2021.  A total of $50 million in salaries and wages were earned by 867 local employees during the construction phase of the project alone. The report concludes that the total economic impact of the track construction reached approximately $143 million when the indirect (vendor purchases) and induced (employee spending) impacts are considered.

 

Commitment to Miami Gardens

The Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix made an intentional commitment to empower and directly benefit the City of Miami Gardens and its residents. Fourteen minority owned restaurants were featured throughout the Campus and in partnership with Food Rescue US South Florida, Sodexo and Turn 5 Kitchen were able to donate edible food local shelters.

 

Furthermore, the F1 in Schools program administered through the Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation Department and Seeking Education Empowers Knowledge (S.E.E.K) brought STEM education directly to Miami Gardens students.  In addition, 12 students from Miami Gardens received event internships and 1,500 tickets were distributed to local residents. There was also a commitment to sustainability across the Campus with the elimination of 99.4% of single use plastics at Hard Rock Stadium. Aluminum water bottles, free water stations with reusable cups and plastic free serving vessels, plus three biodigesters to eliminate food waste, were in addition to other recycling facilities around the circuit.

 

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