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.
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Will Power led three Team Penske drivers in the top seven of practice Friday for the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway, the only session before qualifying and two races.
Power led overall with a top lap of 18.5729 seconds, 173.285 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on the .894-mile oval. He seized the top spot from early leader and 2020 Iowa NTT P1 Award winner Conor Daly, who ended up second at 173.239 in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet.
“The car feels really good,” Power said. “It felt good on a long run. We did make some changes, and at least we know what they do now. Whatever you run in quali, you’ve got to race. That’s a bit of a compromise there. I feel like we’ve got a good car and hope we can have a good weekend.”
Power alluded to the unique nature of the only doubleheader weekend on the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. The Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash will be held at 4 p.m. ET Saturday with the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google to follow at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. Both races will air live on NBC, with flag-to-flag coverage also on the INDYCAR Radio Network.
NTT P1 Award qualifying starts at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, with each driver’s first lap setting the grid for Saturday’s race and their second lap setting the lineup for Sunday’s race. Cars will be placed in impound after qualifying, with front wing and front-wing endplate angles and tire pressure changes among the limited adjustments allowed before the race Saturday.
Scott McLaughlin was third at 173.083 in the No. 3 Freightliner Team Penske Chevrolet, giving the winningest team in INDYCAR SERIES history two of the top three spots on the time sheet.
Reigning series champion Alex Palou was fourth at 172.764 in the No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda, with Pato O’Ward rounding out the top five at 172.687 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
Series points leader Marcus Ericsson was sixth at 171.819 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, while two-time series champion Josef Newgarden was the third Team Penske driver in the top seven at 171.557 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson returned to his comfort zone on ovals, ending up ninth at 170.795 mph in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
All 26 drivers in the field were forced to try to keep cool in scorching air temperatures in the mid-90s at the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet.”
“It’s fine,” Power said. “Tire deg (degradation) is more (in the heat), and it’s better for racing. It’s a really cool track. I really, really enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun.”
The 90-minute session was incident-free, with just two short caution periods for track inspection. The 26 drivers combined to turn 2,410 laps, with Palou leading the way with 119.
Top Fuel star Leah Pruett rolls into the top spot at 34th annual Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
Hunter McElrea earned his second consecutive Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victory Saturday, elevated to first place at Iowa Speedway after a post-race penalty was levied on Linus Lundqvist.
Series points leader Lundqvist took the checkered flag first in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car, 3.4258 seconds ahead of McElrea in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car on the .894-mile oval. But INDYCAR officials determined Lundqvist made avoidable contact with Matthew Brabham in a duel for the lead with five laps to go, damaging Brabham’s front wing.
Lundqvist was penalized three spots, dropping to fourth in the final results. That penalty gave Andretti Autosport a sweep of the top three spots. with pole sitter McElrea the winner, fellow rookie Christian Rasmussen second in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car and Brabham third in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport entry.
SEE: Race Results
“Not the way I want to get it, obviously,” McElrea said. “I think, to be honest, Matt deserved that. But I’ll take it. Back to back. You’ll take what you can get in this game.”
McElrea’s victory in the first oval race of the Indy Lights season was the 250th across all series for Andretti Autosport.
The flashpoint of the 75-lap race took place on Lap 71. Leader Lundqvist lost momentum in Turn 1, and Brabham pounced by steering to the outside lane, looking to pass as they drove nearly side by side entering Turn 2. Lundqvist moved up to the high line before he was clear of Brabham, making contact with and damaging Brabham’s front wing. Brabham also made right-side contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 while trying to avoid contact with Lundqvist.
“It was a close fight,” Lundqvist said. “I got a little bit loose through (Turn) 1, and I saw that he was behind me. But I got a ‘clear’ from my spotter, so I switched my lane, and unfortunately I think my rear just touched his front nose. It’s inch-perfect on ovals, and I put my trust in the spotter. Sorry to Matt for the incident.”
Said Brabham: “My perspective is that I got drove into the wall. It looked like he was struggling coming off that corner, and I took the high line and he took the low line. It looked like he just committed to going low and trying to block for the next corner. I said, ‘If you’re going to give me the top, I’ll take the top.’ There was overlap, and we’re still side by side, and I felt like he figured out, ‘Oh, maybe he doesn’t want to give me the top,’ and came over.
“He said his spotter cleared him. But we still have mirrors, at the end of the day. He knew I was there because he was giving me the lane at first.”
Brabham hung on to second place on track in his damaged car until the final lap, when teammates McElrea and Rasmussen passed him.
McElrea led the first 50 laps from pole, resisting a move by Lundqvist for the lead on Lap 35. But Lundqvist passed McElrea for the lead on the only restart of the race, on Lap 50. McElrea’s car drifted toward the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 as the field headed for the green flag on the restart, giving Lundqvist a huge opening to exploit.
“That restart, I don’t know what I did,” McElrea said. “I’ll have to look back, look at the footage and stuff. Really not good enough to get up in the marbles like that.”
Despite losing what would have been his fifth victory of 2022 to the penalty, Lundqvist still maintains a sizable lead in the series standings with five races remaining this season. He is 77 points ahead of McElrea, who leapfrogged teammates Sting Ray Robb and Brabham to jump from fourth to second in the championship.
Indy Lights drivers and teams return to action Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fictiv, the leader in high-quality, on-demand manufacturing recently congratulated Formula Electric at Berkeley, the electric vehicle team at the University of California, Berkeley, for successfully participating in the Formula SAE (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers) Electric Vehicle Competition, which is part of the largest student engineering competition in the world. Fictiv contributed $10,000 in essential machined parts to Formula Electric at Berkeley’s student-designed electric vehicle to complete the construction of the race car.
Fictiv, which produces parts for major U.S.-based electric car makers, manufactured multiple mechanical components including the front and rear uprights, brake rotors, motor shaft, and bearing retainers for the UC Berkeley race vehicle using CNC machining. Fictiv's artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which offers instant design for manufacturability feedback, paired with its highly vetted network of manufacturing partners, helped the students optimize their designs in order to meet the needs of their formula-style electric race car.
“Fictiv’s mission is to give engineers the freedom to focus on their creations instead of going back and forth with vendors, and wading through red tape just to get their parts into production,” said Michael Amico, business unit director - advanced manufacturing at Fictiv. “It’s been incredibly rewarding eliminating those logistical challenges for the next generation of engineers, and I know these elite engineering students participating in the Formula Electric at Berkeley project will achieve great things beyond this competition.”
The SAE event, which took place in Brooklyn, Michigan, June 15-18, featured university student competitors from around the world including teams representing not only UC Berkeley, but also Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
“We couldn’t have participated in the event successfully without Fictiv,” said Christopher Leafstrand, a member of the Formula Electric at Berkeley Dynamics Subteam and a second-year student at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. “Fictiv made the most important parts of our electric vehicle, parts that require very tight tolerances, very tight machining, and very high precision. These are parts our team had never made before, and are a very difficult part of the inspection process to proceed in the event.”
Formula Electric at Berkeley formed in 2020. The project brings together a diverse community of individuals for the purpose of researching, designing, testing, and manufacturing efficient, sustainable technology at UC Berkeley.
“Working with Fictiv made the process of getting critical, quality vehicle parts as easy as possible,” said Tijmen Sep, program manager for Formula Electric at Berkeley and a third-year student at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. “The Fictiv team gave a group of students with a relatively small order a lot of personalized attention and were happy to help – even meeting with us face to face. Beyond the smooth parts development process, we’re also grateful for Fictiv’s overall support. Students typically spend upwards of $20,000 constructing electric vehicles for Formula SAE, so Fictiv’s donation provided not only needed functional parts, but incredible savings.”
Formula SAE was founded in 1981 to provide teams of college undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to design and build formula-style vehicles. In 2013, Formula SAE expanded to include a separate electric vehicle competition.