Thursday, Oct 21
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  

  

 
Another enthralling season of Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires competition will conclude this weekend, October 2-3, with a return visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. All three steps on the world-renowned open-wheel driver development ladder – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – will be in action at the challenging 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course situated just over an hour’s drive from Cooper Tire’s headquarters in Findlay, Ohio.
 
The Road to Indy is unique in the world of auto racing, offering scholarships at every level to enable talented young race car drivers the opportunity to progress from the grassroots of the sport to the pinnacle, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500.
 
On Sunday evening, after the checkered flag falls on the final races of the VP Racing Fuels Championship Weekend Presented by Cooper Tires, a celebration will see prizes and scholarships valued at over $3 million distributed to drivers from all three series which will guarantee progression for each of the champions to the next level on the ladder.
 
Kirkwood Seeks to Make History
After winning successive USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 championship titles and scholarships in 2018 and 2019, Kyle Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Fla., was obliged to take a one-year sabbatical in 2020 when the Indy Lights series was placed on hiatus as a result of the global pandemic. But now he is back, and on a mission to make another assault on the history books. He currently holds a slender 15-point advantage over fellow American David Malukas, from Chicago, Ill., in his quest to add the Indy Lights crown to his burgeoning resume.
 
A maximum of 64 points are available from the two races which will comprise this weekend’s VP Racing Fuels Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires. At stake is a scholarship valued at almost $1.3 million to ensure the champion a guaranteed three NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in 2022, including the 106th Indianapolis 500.
 
 
Kirkwood, 22, already has won more Road to Indy races than any other driver – a total of 30 in just 48 starts for a remarkable strike rate of .625. No one else has even come close. Prior to the 2021 season, a total of 1,739 drivers had started at least one race in either USF2000, Indy Pro 2000 or Indy Lights dating back to 1986. Of those who have made starts on all three levels, Matthew Brabham has the next best strike rate at 0.383, with 18 wins from 47 starts. Greg Moore and Jack Hawksworth are tops among those to have contested two of the three series at just under .400.
 
Just to cement his status as championship favorite, Kirkwood has yet to be beaten at Mid-Ohio. He secured a hat-trick of USF2000 wins in 2018, added two more wins in Indy Pro 2000 the following year, then swept both Indy Lights race wins earlier this summer.
 
Kirkwood is aiming to become the third successive driver from Andretti Autosport to win the drivers’ championship after Pato O’Ward (2018) and Kirkwood’s close friend Oliver Askew (2019). He vaulted to the top of the standings by virtue of wins in each of the last three races, including a sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif. But Malukas, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday, has pushed him every inch of the way, winning seven times for HMD Motorsports.
 
Malukas’ fine form, allied to that of Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports stablemates Linus Lundqvist, from Stockholm, Sweden, and Danish-born Benjamin Pedersen, from Seattle, Wash., who hold third and fourth places in the standings, has ensured that a first coveted Team Championship is virtually within HMD’s grasp.
 
On-track action will begin with 45 minutes of practice at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 1, followed on Saturday by 40 minutes of qualifying at 9:25 a.m. to set the starting order for Race One at 1:00 p.m. A separate session at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday will determine the grid for the season finale, Round 20, at 12:00 p.m.
 
Global live streaming can be found on the Road to Indy TV App and at RoadToIndy.TV and indylights.com as well as REV TV in Canada.
 
Rasmussen Eyes Title Double
The Indy Pro 2000 title, plus a scholarship valued at over $700,000 to ensure graduation to Indy Lights in 2022, will be decided in this weekend’s VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires double-header. After 16 out of 18 races, Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development) holds a narrow edge over local driver Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), from New Albany, Ohio.
 
Rasmussen had a shaky weekend last time out in New Jersey, claiming one third-place finish and a pair of disappointing ninths. Consequently, his relatively comfortable 32-point advantage has been trimmed to just 18 points heading into the decisive final weekend.
 
 
Eves and Rasmussen are the past two USF2000 champions, with Eves taking top honors in 2019 and Rasmussen earning his own title in 2020. Eves, who has won three races this season, has rebounded from a difficult 2020 campaign which was cut short by an injury sustained in a crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
 
Both title rivals have enjoyed success previously at Mid-Ohio. Eves secured his maiden Indy Pro 2000 victory – from the pole position – last year, while Rasmussen won five out of eight USF2000 races over a two-year period, and added an Indy Pro 2000 triumph from the double-header this past July.
 
The hottest driver at the moment in Indy Pro 2000 is Hunter McElrea, who has won two of the past five races for Pabst Racing, book-ending a trio of podium finishes. The streak has hauled him to within 27 points of Eves in the title-chase.
 
Reece Gold (Juncos Hollinger Racing), from Miami, Fla., and Eves’ teammate Artem Petrov, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, also are comfortably in contention for a top-three finish in the standings.
 
This weekend also will see the return of former British F3 Champion Enaam Ahmed, from London, England, who recorded a trio of top-six finishes, including one fastest race lap earlier in the year. Ahmed will pilot a second Juncos Hollinger Tatuus PM-18.
 
In addition, Christian Brooks, from Santa Clarita, Calif., will step up for the first time from USF2000 to Indy Pro 2000 with Exclusive Autosport after scoring two victories earlier in the season, and recent Formula Regional Americas race winner Jordan Missig, from Channahon, Ill., will make his Road to Indy debut with Pabst Racing.
 
The Indy Pro 2000 schedule almost precisely mirrors that for Indy Lights, with 30 minutes of practice at 4:00 p.m. on Friday providing the precursor to the first of two qualifying sessions at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday. Race One will see the green flag at 2:05 p.m., with a second qualifying period at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday setting the starting order for the 18th and final race of the season at 1:10 p.m.
 
Global live streaming can be found on the Road to Indy TV App and at RoadToIndy.TV and indypro2000.com.
 
Advantage Porto in USF2000
The title outcome for the first rung on the Road to Indy ladder, USF2000, also remains undecided heading into the final weekend, although Kiko Porto, from Recife, Brazil, holds a commanding 49-point advantage, 368-319, with a maximum of 66 points still to be claimed. The series champion will earn a scholarship valued at over $401,000 to ensure graduation onto the next step of the ladder, Indy Pro 2000, in 2022.
 
Porto’s team, DEForce Racing, also holds a comfortable 40-point margin over Pabst Racing in the quest for its first Road to Indy Team (and driver) Championship.
 
 
Porto, 18, has been a paragon of speed and consistency this year, securing more wins (four), top-five finishes (13) and pole positions (six) than anyone else. He is the only driver to have finished among the top 10 in every race and one of six drivers to have completed all 349 laps during the 16 races thus far.
 
A total of eight drivers representing five teams have scored at least one win and no fewer than 11 have posted a fastest race lap heading into this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by VP Stay Frosty.
 
Michael d’Orlando, 19, from Hartsdale, N.Y., still harbors hopes of claiming the title after winning three times this year for Cape Motorsports – including taking the checkered flag in two of the three races at Mid-Ohio in July – but he will likely need to rely upon some misfortune for his Brazilian rival.
 
Fellow USF2000 veteran Yuven Sundaramoorthy, from Delafield, Wis., holds third in the points table after winning three times for Pabst Racing, ahead of teammate Josh Pierson, from Wilsonville, Ore., who hopes to claim his first victory to go along with five podium results.
 
The fight for Hyperco Rookie of the Year honors will go down to the final weekend. Spike Kohlbecker (Ignite Autosport with Cape Motorsports), from St. Louis, Mo., holds a seven-point edge over Pabst Racing’s Jace Denmark, from Scottsdale, Ariz.
 
A condensed schedule for the 23-car USF2000 field will start with 30 minutes of practice at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, followed by qualifying at 11:45 a.m. and then the first of two races at 3:50 p.m. A second qualifying session at 8:00 a.m. Sunday will set the grid for the final race at 11:00 a.m.
 
Global live streaming can be found on the Road to Indy TV App and at RoadToIndy.TV and usf2000.com.

Fresh on the heels of an exciting two weeks of racing action featuring the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship and Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has announced its full 2022 event schedule.
 
The season begins April 22-24 with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Trans-Am Speedfest, which features a dozen racing groups flying down the track and exhibiting new and historic Trans Am power.
 
One week later, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to the legendary circuit April 29 through May 1 for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship. The IMSA series brings its top classes – Daytona Prototype international, Le Mans Prototype 2, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona – to Monterey in the spring for three action-packed days.
 
The GEICO Motorcycle MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey zooms into the Central Coast July 8-10 (TBC). The 2022 MotoAmerica Series will feature Superbike, Supersport, SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup, Stock 1000 and Twins Cup. The immensely popular King Of The Baggers is also scheduled to race, and there will be a kid’s zone, making the event a family affair.
 
The AHRMA Classic MotoFest of Monterey keeps the motorcycle action rolling July 15-17. This event celebrates vintage motorcycles with on and off-road competition. In addition to the races, the event also offers entertainment options, such as expansive swap meets, bike shows, cycle corrals, live music and other family friendly opportunities.
 
The 2022 Monterey Classic Car Week officially kicks off Aug. 13-14 with the Monterey Pre-Reunion, which features more than 300 unique and historic race cars. The field is comprised of carefully selected entries that all have race provenance.
 
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which continues to be one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world perennially, will feature a very special marque in 2022. The Aug. 17-20 edition will serve as the official start of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will allow a dream lineup of authentic and historic cars and legendary drivers who drove them to victory in the world’s most famous sports car race.
 
The roar of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey returns Sept. 9-11. Adding even more anticipation and excitement to INDYCAR’s arrival in Monterey is the scheduling, as the race will serve as the finale for the 2022 INDYCAR season. A champion will be crowned on the WeatherTech Raceway podium on Sept. 11.
 
The 2022 event season at WeatherTech Raceway will conclude with the Velocity Invitational Oct. 14-16 (TBC). A gathering of 200-plus extraordinary historic race cars will be complemented by a full array of VIP hospitality experiences.  
 
As it becomes available, more information on tickets and camping will be posted at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 

 

(Courtesy of WeatherTech raceway)

Progressive American Flat Track is thrilled to announce its Grand Marshal for its October 8 finale at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Apt for a weekend of racing in the mecca of motorsports, NASCAR star Austin Dillon, has been chosen as the honoree at the Honda Charlotte Half-Mile at the venue's famed Dirt Track.

 

Driver of the historic No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Dillon is the grandson of the great Richard Childress, a 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Dillon is also a three-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series with a win in the 2018 Daytona 500 and has made the NASCAR Playoffs five times (2016-18 and 2020-2021).

 

“I’m a big fan of American Flat Track Racing," said Dillon. "I’m honored to serve as Grand Marshal in my home state of North Carolina. I’m looking forward to checking everything out and sharing the experience with my son, Ace.”

 

Fans in attendance at the Honda Charlotte Half-Mile can look forward to seeing Dillon participate in the event's Opening Ceremonies scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

 

Tickets for the epic finale Honda Charlotte Half-Mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina, on  Friday, October 8 are available now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3325/#selectTickets.

 

For those viewing from home, live coverage will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

 

For more information, please visit http://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.

As the series celebrates passing the midway point of its opening Season, Extreme E has eyes firmly fixed on the future as it unveils early insights into how Season 2’s calendar is shaping up.

The sport for purpose electric racing series takes place in off-road locations as part of its mission to drive awareness of climate change issues, such as global warming, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, wildfires and extreme weather and desertification, whilst promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.

Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, explained: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to Extreme E throughout this opening Season, from governments to NGOs, who see great potential, not only for utilising our purpose driven sports platform to educate on climate issues, but also to showcase the solutions that they and the wider global community can all be part of.

“As we approach the tail end of our first Season, we wanted to be transparent about how our second season is shaping up in order to help enable our teams, drivers and partners to prepare. We’ve had lots of interest, both in retaining events in locations we’ve visited in Season 1, and from new locations and we are currently at a stage where we have multiple options for some of our races. As an engaged championship which aims to put fans at the heart of decision making, we are also keen to hear input and opinions on where we should go in future Seasons too.”

Provisional Extreme E Season 2 calendar (2022):

February 19-20:  Saudi Arabia
May 7-8:  Senegal / Egypt / Tanzania
July 9-10:  Greenland / Iceland
September 10-11:  Brazil / Argentina / Uruguay / Italy / Costa Rica   
November 26-27:  Chile

The St. Helena – the former Royal Mail Ship – provides the championship’s floating centrepiece – carrying the series’ vehicles, logistics equipment and paddock infrastructure as well as playing host to scientific research with its on board laboratory, all in a bid to lower the impact of the travel logistics compared to air travel.

Head-to-head races, known as an X Prix, take place over two days, within an area no larger than 10 km2, with each team fielding a male and a female driver who each complete a lap of the race course, including a Driver Switch incorporated midway. Course designers have been tasked with carefully selecting course options, which provide the most challenging, exciting action, using existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, in order to minimise environmental impact.

Race organisers undergo thorough environmental, social and economic assessments of each location with a local third party, overseen by EY in order to safeguard environmental protection, social inclusivity and fair practices. These reports have influenced the way Extreme E operates from water consumption, waste management and lighting on-site through to land management and ensuring the series races without a trace after the X Prix has finished. 

Additionally, in each location, Extreme E works alongside local experts, governments and NGOs to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on regional needs. Examples of Legacy Programmes in Season 1 have included; the funding of a turtle conservation project along the Red Sea coastline; the planting of one million mangroves with NGO TO.org and Oceanium in Senegal; cocoa agroforestry and Amazon conservation with The Nature Conservancy in Para state, Brazil; and the creation of a climate education syllabus for over 3,500 school children across Greenland with UNICEF. 

Professor Carlos Duarte, Extreme E’s Climate Change Scientist said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Extreme E this year and very much look forward to continuing our good work into Season 2.

“The legacy and scientific aspects are a true cornerstone to the series and already this year I’ve been able to conduct research in Saudi Arabia and collect ice samples from the Russell Glacier with Extreme E. This championship gives me and my peers the opportunity to reach people outside of our usual networks, it gives us a voice to reach the masses and educate on climate issues and the solutions we can all be a part of.”

As well as providing a platform for climate awareness, Extreme E provides strong economic impact to host countries. YouGov Sport, the international research and data analytics organisation, calculated the series’ inaugural event in Saudi Arabia contributed more than €47 million local value. These figures include employment of local personnel, logistics, transportation to and from the race site, as well as local food and beverage provision and hotel nights.

The overall media exposure of the Desert X Prix was in itself a majorly significant factor in the overall economic impact. Thanks to Extreme E’s staggering number of 190 global broadcast markets reaching a global audience of 18.7million, along with its strong media presence, resulted in an unprecedented media value of almost €32 million for the championship.

Extreme E has already surpassed its end of Season 1 targets on social media hitting 100 million video views, a 400 per cent increase in engagement plus more than one billion impressions across its digital landscape at each of its two opening X Prix events.

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

Powersports XPO presented by Up North Sports brings three full days of powersports fun to ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota from October 1-3. Packed with three full days of driving and racing events, live music, freestyle shows, and more, there’s no better place to take in the latest and greatest products and competitions in the powersports industry.
 
With dozens of premier brands on site including Jeep, Ram, Fox, FXR, Rigid, and Vision Wheel, as well as powersports dealers representing all of the biggest manufacturers in the powersports industry, Powersports XPO serves as a premier showcase for cutting-edge products. Mixed in with the displays will be live music, food trucks, freestyle snowmobile, ATV, and dirtbike shows, and celebrity ride and drives. Those looking to drive on site can experience ERX’s many UTV and ATV trails, as well as free mud pits and a swimming hole.
 
For those bringing their street legal Jeep or other off-road vehicle to the event, Minnesota 4Fest brings the fun as a unique challenge for your vehicle. Take part in skills seminars to hone your abilities if you’re new to the sport, or jump straight into the trails and obstacle course if you’re already experienced. The course is open from 1-10PM on Friday, 10AM-10PM on Saturday, and 10AM-5PM on Sunday.
 
If racing is more your speed, the second round of Nitro Rallycross, the high-flying, full-contact racing series led by action sports legend Travis Pastrana, will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday. A roster of 15 global racing superstars will be hitting ERX’s short course, which has been updated to accommodate the 600-horsepower rallycross Supercars taking part. Other stars on hand to compete will include four-time US champion Scott Speed, past Nitro Rallycross champions Kevin and Timmy Hansen, and Steve Arpin, who started his career racing snowmobiles and dirt late models elsewhere in Minnesota.
 
Tickets are on sale now for Powersports XPO presented by Up North Sports. Advance tickets for Friday are $20, with kids 12 and under at half price. Two-day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $33 for general admission or $150 for VIP. Whether you’re looking to drive your street legal off-road vehicle on site, or your SXS/UTV/golf cart, vehicle permits are $50; each includes one gate admission, with $20 per additional person (up to three). 20’ weekend camp sites are also available for $150 and include one weekend pass. To purchase, visit www.powerxpo.com.
After an impressive rookie season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Romain Grosjean has been named to pilot Andretti Autosport’s No. 28 DHL Honda entry for the 2022 season. The Swiss-born French driver will join longtime Andretti partner, DHL, in his second season competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship. 
  
“We are thrilled to welcome Romain to the Andretti Autosport family,” said Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman, Andretti Autosport. “He already had an impressive resume before coming to INDYCAR and watching what he’s been able to do in his rookie season here has been exciting to say the least. His vast motorsport experience will be beneficial to the team alongside our already strong 2022 driver lineup. We also couldn’t be more excited to continue our strong partnership with DHL. The DHL sponsorship is one of the longest and most successful in the paddock and we look forward to continued success on and off the track.” 
 
DHL, headquartered in southern Florida, first appeared as a partner with the Andretti Autosport team in 2011 as a co-primary sponsor on the 28-car, growing to be the full primary starting in 2014. During their decorated tenure in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, DHL has been a part of an Indianapolis 500 win, an NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion, 14 wins and 39 podiums.
 
“We couldn’t be happier to continue our successful partnership with Andretti Autosport, which has provided us with one of our most powerful avenues for connecting people to our global brand,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas. “The legendary Andretti organization is run by a winning team whose members we have long considered part of our DHL family, and now we are excited to also welcome their newest driver, Romain Grosjean, to our family. We are thrilled to have such a highly regarded international competitor taking the wheel to represent DHL, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with Romain and the entire Andretti team, both on and off the track.” 
 
Grosjean officially made his move from Formula One, where he spent nine seasons, to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. The 35-year-old began his racing career at the age of 14 in multiple international karting championships before collecting numerous championship titles and race wins as he ascended Europe’s ultra-competitive open-wheel racing ladder. Before making the switch to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Grosjean recorded 10 podium-finishes, twice finishing a career-best second, and finished as high as seventh in the Formula One Championship standings. Grosjean has made quite the splash in his first year of American open-wheel racing, recording one pole, three podiums, four top-five finishes, leading over 50 laps and making his oval debut. 
 
“I’m delighted to be joining Andretti Autosport and driving the No. 28 DHL Honda for next season,” said Grosjean. “It’s a big honor to be joining such a great team as Andretti, anyone in the motorsport world knows the name Andretti. I’m super happy and proud to be racing with the team. I’m also very proud to be representing with DHL. I’ve known the DHL color on racing cars for a very long time. I couldn’t be more proud to represent such a great company in INDYCAR. I’m hoping that we are going to be very successful together, which is our aim on every side. I would like also to thank Dale Coyne Racing for giving me the opportunity to join INDYCAR. I’ve enjoyed the racing so much and it’s given me the change today to be racing with one of the most competitive and best teams in the world.”
Grosjean joins already announced drivers Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta in Andretti Autosport’s 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES lineup.
 
For more information, visit AndrettiAutosport.com
On the heels of its first-ever fundraising event, the Ryan Dungey Foundation proudly announces that it has raised more than $70,000 through Opportunity Awaits, a ride day for everyone at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. Although the event itself has concluded, the foundation has also announced that fundraising efforts and donations will continue through the end of September.

More than 500 registered participants descended on Southern California’s Fox Raceway this past Saturday, as virtual riders, spectators, newcomers, beginners, and experienced riders all came together as a community to share in the passion for being on two wheels. This fun-filled day of riding and camaraderie embodied the mission of the Ryan Dungey Foundation, providing opportunities for children, while also generating much-needed funds for the foundation’s beneficiaries, All Kids Bike and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I am so incredibly humbled by the support we received from the motocross community, not only for the Ryan Dungey Foundation and Opportunity Awaits, but especially for the respective causes of both All Kids Bike and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Dungey. “To see so many individuals come together in support of one common goal and engage with so many happy faces is something I’ll never forget. Through all I accomplished and experienced throughout my career, nothing compared to the emotions I felt being surrounded by people who were so eager to help me better the lives of the next generation of children."

Dungey was joined by an impressive group of past and present professional racers, who each donated their time to ride alongside attendees at Opportunity Awaits and lend their support to the Ryan Dungey Foundation. Current AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross stars Ken Roczen and Max Vohland were accompanied by former AMA National Champions Jeff Emig, Grant Langston, and Ivan Tedesco, along with multi-time Supercross Main Event winner David Pingree.

“Fox Racing strongly supports the work that Ryan and the Ryan Dungey foundation are doing to help children live a healthy lifestyle and support the fight against childhood cancer. We are thrilled to be a sponsor and were honored to host the first successful Ride Day,” said Kelly Carioti, Fox Racing General Manager - North America. “It was great to see Ryan riding with the kids, interacting with the families and making great memories that will last a lifetime, while raising money for a great cause, St. Jude.”

The overwhelming success of Opportunity Awaits was a direct result of the unwavering commitment of event partners Fox Racing, KTM North America, Inc., STACYC Stability Cycle, and Strider Bikes, who each played invaluable roles in generating awareness, stimulating fundraising efforts, and providing a family friendly event day experience for all. Additionally, a collaborative partnership with Moto 4 Kids Racing saw the group take top fundraising team honors, raising almost $7,000 and bringing more than 100 participants in the process.

“What a great day at the Ryan Dungey Foundation Opportunity Awaits event! We loved seeing so many kids out riding dirt bikes, Stacyc bikes, and Strider bikes,” said Ryan McFarland, Founder of Strider Bikes and the nonprofit All Kids Bike. “We loved seeing their big smiles as they got to interact with their hero, Ryan Dungey. The icing on the cake is that this fun-filled day also raised money to help teach thousands more kids how to ride bikes in kindergarten PE through the All Kids Bike program.”

Founded in July 2021, the Ryan Dungey Foundation is the culmination of Ryan’s years of dedication to charitable work and serves as the natural evolution of his commitment to philanthropy. Through his status as a world-class athlete Ryan remains focused on bettering the lives of others, with a particular emphasis on creating opportunities for the next generation of children. The beneficiaries of the Ryan Dungey Foundation are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a world renowned pediatric treatment and research facility focused on catastrophic diseases in children, and All Kids Bike, a national movement to place Kindergarten PE Learn-to-Ride programs into public schools, for free.

The efforts of the Ryan Dungey Foundation would not be possible without the support of its founding partners — Fox RacingKTM North America, Inc.Kutzler Express, Inc.North American Trailer, Next Level Sports, and Strider Sports International, Inc.

Interested in joining the journey to create opportunities for the next generation?
DONATE NOW!

For more information on the Ryan Dungey Foundation, including signing up to receive direct communication about ways to donate and get involved, please visit RyanDungeyFoundation.org. Additionally, follow the Ryan Dungey Foundation on Instagram, @ryandungeyfoundation.

After two days of high adrenaline racing, the first stop on Nitro Rallycross’ inaugural series culminated with a pair of action packed finals. In the Supercar class, Timmy Hansen (SWE) took first while George Megennis (USA) won in the NRX Next final held Sunday at Utah Motorsports Campus. 

 

Hansen advanced to the high stakes Supercar final, where he had to face off against Rallycross’ heavy-hitters, including Travis PastranaTanner Foust and Scott Speed. The competition was fierce, and three cars – Foust’s, Andreas Bakkerud’s and Oliver Eriksson’s – were unable to finish. Hansen had to overcome technical challenges of his own as well: an oil issue earlier in the day nearly took him out of action. But Hansen kept his cool under pressure and piloted his Red Bull Peugeot 208 NRX to win by nearly six seconds.

 

Hansen reclaimed his Nitro RX crown, having won its 2018 debut as a one-off race. This also was a double podium for the Hansen family: Timmy’s brother Kevin (SWE), himself a Nitro RX winner in 2019, took third place in his own Red Bull Peugeot 208 NRX. Steve Arpin (CAN) placed second in his HempFusion Hyundai i20.

 

“It was just unreal, I love this racetrack,” Timmy Hansen said afterwards. “It’s been such a great event… I’m so happy right now.” Arpin added, , “That is the most amazing race that I’ve ever been a part of.”

 

 

 

Nitro RX - SuperCar Final:

#

Bib

Name

Nation

Laps

Best

Time

Diff

1

21

Timmy Hansen

SWE

6

4

6:00.387

-5.984

2

00

Steve Arpin

CAN

6

2

6:06.371

+5.984

3

9

Kevin Hansen

SWE

6

5

6:11.696

+11.309

4

35

Fraser McConnell

JAM

6

2

6:25.629

+25.242

5

41

Scott Speed

USA

6

6

6:28.762

+28.375

6

199

Travis Pastrana

USA

6

3

6:28.762

+28.375

 

13

Andreas Bakkerud

NOR

0

0

DNF

 

 

34

Tanner Foust

USA

0

0

DNF

 

 

16

Oliver Eriksson

SWE

0

0

DNF

 

 

Timmy and Kevin Hansen had ties to the NRX Next field as well. George Megennis (USA) won in the second of two NRX Next rounds driving for the brothers’ #YellowSquad team. Megennis bested Martin Enlund (SWE) and Caspoer Jansson (SWE), both of whom made the podium in Friday’s NRX

Next final.

 

 

NRX Next Final (Round Two):

#

Bib

Name

Nation

Laps

Best

Time

Diff

1

9

George Megennis

USA

6

4

6:27.844

-2.028

2

60

Martin Enlund

SWE

6

2

6:29.872

+2.028

3

36

Casper Jansson

SWE

6

3

6:37.825

+9.981

4

55

Lane Vacala

USA

6

5

6:42.274

+14.430

5

24

Sage Karam

USA

6

4

6:48.375

+20.531

6

99

Eric Gordon

USA

6

4

6:56.872

+29.028

 

52

Simon Olofsoon

SWE

0

0

DNF

 

 

Next on the Nitro RX itinerary is ERX Motor Park near Minneapolis, Minnesota next weekend on October 2 and 3. Timmy Hansen and George Megennis will look to build on their early momentum, while Pastrana, Foust, Speed and the rest of the Supercar field, look to shake off today’s results and get back on the podium.

 

Nitro Rallycross’ inaugural 2021 series features 10 teams across seven car manufacturers – AudiFordHondaHyundaiMINIPeugeot and Subaru. A total of 21 drivers from five countries will continue to compete for the 2021 Nitro Rallycross crown through four more stops across the United States this year.

 

Tickets for Nitro Rallycross can be purchased at https://www.nitrorallycross.com/calendar

 

2021 NITRO RALLYCROSS SCHEDULE

Oct. 2-3 // ERX Motor Park // Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nov. 13-14 // Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park // Phoenix, Arizona

Nov. 20-21 // Glen Helen Raceway // Southern California

Dec. 4-5 // The Firm // North Florida

Chris Dyson kept his rivals’ problems in his rear-view mirror Sunday at Virginia International Raceway, cruising to a flag-to-flag victory to provisionally claim the 2021 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA championship. (VIDEO: Dyson Dominates VIR on way to TA Title (Race Highlights) - YouTube)

Driving the No. 20 ALTWELL CBD Ford Mustang, Dyson took his seventh victory of the season and 13th of his career to take an insurmountable lead into the season finale. Dyson earned the ChillOut Moment of the Race for his moves holding off Ernie Francis Jr. for the win.

"That race was amazing, and being named champion hasn't set in yet, but I do know it's a profound relief," said Dyson. "We were able to stay up front, and just dominate, that's the way to win it. 

"I am just honored to be in the series," continued Dyson. "This is one of the most historic, prestigious road racing series in North America, it has world-wide recognition and seasoned, superb competition out there. These are the fastest, most badass cars, and I just want to thank God for my chance to race. To add this to my other championship, and to become a Trans Am champion is a dream come true. I hope my dad is proud of me."

Boris Said took second, 30.137 -seconds behind in the No. 2 Weaver Racing/Technique/SRI Dodge Challenger.

"We just didn't have anything for the top guys today," explained a defeated Said. "Pancho (Weaver) usually builds a great car, but today we just had some issues with the back of the car, maybe the suspension. But, this track, no matter where you're at, is a blast to drive, especially this car. It wasn't that fun to come in second, I really wanted to beat Chris (Dyson), but I guess second is OK."

Third went to Ken Thwaits, who finished one lap down in the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Chevrolet Camaro. The 2020 XGT champ, Thwaits was also the Masters winner and stood on the overall TA podium for the first time.

Alone at the end, Dyson had plenty of pressure for the opening 20 laps.

Tomy Drissi ran second behind Dyson in the early laps before making a series of four pit stops in the No. 8 Lucas Oil Camaro as Burtin Racing attempted to fix an aerodynamic issue. On the fourth stop, Drissi stepped out of the car, ending his title hopes. 

“I know we had the car to battle with (Chris) Dyson today,” said Drissi, who entered the race 46 points in arrears. “We’ve just been fighting this aerodynamic problem with the front end. We’re always pushing aerodynamics, and they worked until midnight last night trying to fix it. It was a problem in qualifying, but we usually get it right for the race. Yesterday it shook like crazy, but we thought we had it right. It felt right at the start of the race, I almost got into Dyson at the old Oak Tree. But we’ve had tough luck this season, some monumental failures.”

Moments after Drissi got out, fourth-place Simon Gregg pulled off at the back pits, his race over in the No. 59 Peter Gregg Foundation Chevrolet Camaro.

At that point, Francis Jr.  took up the fight in the No. 98 Future Star Racing Ford Mustang, pulling to within a half-second of Dyson for the next dozen laps. Then, on Lap 21, Dyson checked up to avoid a lapped car and Francis Jr. hit the rear of the ALTWELL CBD Mustang. Francis Jr. slowed and went to the pits. He retired with loss of his power steering cooler and crash damage, his bid for an eighth-consecutive Trans Am title officially over.

“Ernie was biding his time behind Chris,” said Ernie Francis Sr. “Coming up to some lapped traffic, someone was not watching what they were doing in front of Chris. Chris locked up his brakes, and Junior had nowhere to go and got into Chris.”

The event went yellow on the fourth lap and would stay that way for five laps when Matthew Butson went off in the No. 24 Ave Motorsports Corvette in Turn 8. 

Running for the fourth time this season, 2020 SGT champion Lee Saunders took his first victory of the year in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper. Paul Fix, making his SGT debut in the No. 29 Ave Motorsports Audi R8, took the lead on the second lap. Saunders returned the favor in Turn 1 on the Lap 9 restart, going to the inside and taking the lead he held for the remainder of the event.

"It's fantastic to be back," said Saunders. "What a beautiful day, we couldn't ask for anything better. It was awesome to see the mix out there. I had some great battles with Paul (Fix), and Milton (Grant) put it into high gear and was flying today. It was a lot of fun to be back."

Milton Grant finished second, 18.347 -seconds back in the No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Fairfield Inn Porsche 991.1. Fix took third, followed by Carey Grant –Milton’s son – in the No. 6 Grant Racing 2 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup.

It was Milton’s third-consecutive podium, and the third time in his career that he finished second. He was also the Masters winner.

"I am shocked, the crew told me I finished fifth overall, and that was unbelievable," said Milton. "I was just out there digging away. I want to thank Jesus Christ for this beautiful day for racing."

The VIR weekend concludes with the TA2® race at 3:35 p.m. ET. The final races of the National 2021 campaign will be at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas on Nov. 5-7. The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship will hold its penultimate round at Utah Motorsports Campus Oct. 8-10. 

Rafa Matos fought to his fifth TA2® victory of the season Sunday in Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli action Virginia International Raceway, unofficially clinching the 2021 title. (VIDEO: Matos Clinches Second Trans Am TA2 Championship at VIR - YouTube)

Coming into the event, the headlines were for 15-year-old Connor Zilisch, who captured the pole in his first TA2® start. Zilisch, the youngest driver in Trans Am Series history to start the race on pole and lead a lap, held the point for the opening four laps after the green flag, closely followed by Matos. The Brazilian veteran pounced on the fifth lap, taking the lead and fighting off several challengers to take his 15th career victory, backing up his 2018 title.

“I cannot describe my feelings in words right now,” said Matos, driver of the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang. “It’s been a year of ups and downs. This weekend in particular was quite good, but we had races where we were lacking a little bit of speed or had bad luck. There was so much anticipation before this race. I was a bit concerned after qualifying second, because second place here going into Turn 1 has not been good for me. But we got clean at the start and my pace was good enough to pull away. But first I had to deal with Connor (Zilisch). I finally overtook him, and after the restart my pace was good enough so I could pull away.”

Thomas Merrill took second, 4.497-seconds back in the No. 81 HP Tuners/Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang.

"We had a good car for the restart, but it looked like Rafa (Matos) had a better long run car," said Merrill. "We equaled out on pace at the end, but Rafa was the class of the field today. It was a pleasure to race with him. To do as well as we did is a testament to the Cope Racing Team. All four Cope cars finished in the top 10 today, and that's a great day for us as a team."

Mike Skeen entered the race in title contention, with the defending champion switching his No. 1 Liqui/Moly/Turn 14 Distribution livery to a Dodge Challenger. Dicing with several drivers through the race, Skeen eventually placed third, 11.660 -seconds back.

"Coming in with a new car we knew we had an uphill battle," Skeen said. "This weekend was tough learning the Challenger to get the most out of it. (Rafa) Matos is a great competitor, congratulations to the team on the championship. I am really happy for them, but we will be coming for them another day."

Adam Andretti took an ill-handling No.  86 3-Dimensional Services Ford Mustang to a fourth-place finish despite strut damage, earning ChillOut Moment of the Race honors.

Scott Borchetta rounded out the top five in the No. 48 Big Machine Vodka Mustang, with Keith Prociuk, Tyler Kicera, Masters winner Doug Peterson, Jim Gallaugher and Darin Mock rounding out the top 10.

“The best part of my day was winning the championship and confirming that both Rafa and Adam will be back on our team in 2022,” 3-Dimensional Services team owner and driver of the No. 87 3-Dimensional Services Mustang Peterson announced on the victory podium.

After leading the opening four laps, Zilisch began falling back into the clutches of the field, losing power due to a burned spark plug wire. He was eighth when he pitted under the lone caution of the race on Lap 15, while the team worked to correct the problem. He eventually went to the garage, returned for one lap, and finished 22nd.

Connor Mosack ran with the leaders throughout the race, but cut his right-rear tire in the No. 28 Nic Tailor/SLR Camaro and lost a lap in the pits. He came back out running third on the track behind Matos and Merrill, but finished 13th.

Michael Self was in position to match his career-best fourth before having problems in the final six laps in the No. 7 Sinclair Oil Corporation Camaro, hanging on to take 19th.

Next up will be the final race weekend of the 2021 campaign, set for Austin’s Circuit of The Americas on Nov. 5-7. The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship will hold its penultimate round at Utah Motorsports Campus Oct. 8-10. 

The full VIR SpeedTour Sunday After Coverage, including the TA2 race, is available on the Trans Am YouTube Channel: VIR SpeedTour Full Sunday Afternoon Coverage (TA2 Race) - YouTube

Full Results: https://gotransam.com/standings/?cat_id=522#13494

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