Oliver Gavin: A Bi-Continental Racer!

Britain’s Oliver Gavin faces a challenging next couple of months with five races on two continents in the space of seven weeks, but it is a challenge he is relishing wholeheartedly…not to mention the air miles!

Description: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c111d8e57/images/d2d7140b-9043-497b-ba8c-8337ade014e5.jpg

The Corvette Racing factory driver has two rounds of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship still to run in North America at Circuit of The Americas in Texas (18-20 September) and Petit Le Mans in Georgia (1-4 October), but either side of these are three races in Australia.

Description: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c111d8e57/images/6602f72d-95a5-4feb-b2f1-b928ae227929.jpgThe multi-championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner has been signed by Walkinshaw Racing for the 2014 V8 Supercars Pirtek Endurance Cup, partnering Nick Percat in the Heavy Haulage Australia/Coates Hire Holden VF Commodore.  The young Australian finished 2nd in the most recent round of the V8 Supercar series and is highly motivated for the endurance events ahead.

Testing this week at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria, UK-based Olly will be staying with the team in preparation for next weekend’s Sandown 500 between 12-14 September.  Following that event, he leaves directly for Texas where he will be competing in the GTLM class of the North American sportscar championship – the penultimate round of a 2014 series which has failed to deliver the expected results for the No.4 Corvette C7.R through a string of bad luck and mechanical issues.

 

Nick Percat in the #222 Holden

Description: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/2c111d8e57/images/9c99a6a3-cfce-4a32-b421-3f9f48b3058e.jpgOlly returns to his family for a week in the UK before flying to Georgia in the USA for the final round of the TUDOR championship, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans classic.    No sooner will that have finished that he will be leaping on another long-haul flight back to Oz for a further endurance classic – the Bathurst 1000 at the legendary Mount Panorama track near Sydney.  His final race this year will be Queensland’s Gold Coast 600 between 24-26 October.
Oliver Gavin has previously raced V8 Supercars, teaming with Greg Murphy at the 2011 Gold Coast 600 and finishing both races in the top six, but  calendar clashes have prevented him from returning to Australia until the Bathurst 12 Hours in February this year.

No matter how many miles he will be clocking up in the air, it is only the miles on track which matter to the dedicated racer and more importantly the results at the end of it.

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50 Years Limited Edition Ford Mustang No. 1,964 to Be Auctioned for Get Your Heart Racing Fundraiser

 

50 Years Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang No. 1,964 to Be Auctioned for Get Your Heart Racing Fundraiser

  • Last production unit of the 50 Years Limited Edition Ford Mustang, carrying badge No. 1,964, will be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson, with all proceeds going to Get Your Heart Racing, a fundraising event supporting Henry Ford Health System’s Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute
  • Winning bidder will receive a VIP package to the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where a preproduction unit of the 50 Years Limited Edition Mustang will serve as official pace car
  • A 50 Years Limited Edition Mustang will be shown at the Get Your Heart Racing Pit Party, a spectacular fundraiser to be held at Eastern Market in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 12

DEARBORN, Sept. 2, 2014 – Henry Ford Health System’s Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute will be the beneficiary when the coveted final production 50 Years Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang, badge No. 1,964, is offered at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction Sept. 25-27. Ford will build only 1,964 units of the 50 Years Limited Edition Mustang fastback in honor of the year the pony car debuted.

“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford Motor Company.”

That makes it all the more fitting that this rare 50 Years Limited Edition Mustang will be auctioned as part of the annual Get Your Heart Racing program to raise funds for the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute at Henry Ford Health System.

Each limited-edition car features a plaque on the instrument panel engraved with a serial number and the signature of Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford. A version of this Mustang will be displayed publicly at the Get Your Heart Racing Pit Party sponsored by Crest Automotive Group, Friday, Sept. 12 at Eastern Market in Detroit.

50 Years Limited Edition Ford Mustang

Based on the all-new 2015 Mustang GT fastback with performance package, the 50 Years Limited Edition model is designed to provide customers with outstanding performance and a unique appearance that will be instantly recognizable. Complete vehicle specs and images of the base car can be found here.

One enthusiast has the opportunity to become the owner of one of the rarest of this limited stock, and it’s likely many of the most serious Mustang fans will be involved in the bidding.

Barrett-Jackson auction and Ford Championship Weekend

After the Get Your Heart Racing Pit Party in Detroit, attention turns to Las Vegas for the Barrett-Jackson auction. Mustang No. 1,964 can be built to the customer’s specifications including being produced in either Kona Blue or Wimbledon White.

The winning bidder has the option to transform Mustang No. 1,964 into a one-of-a-kind replica of the official Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway pace car, or keep it as stock. According to Barrett-Jackson, pace cars have been among the most desirable vehicles in years past. As a final bonus, the winning bidder can choose to have a free supercharger installed to increase the horsepower of the legendary pony car.

In addition to the pride of owning this custom car, the auction winner will receive a VIP package to the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 14-16, where a preproduction unit of the 50 Years Limited Edition Mustang will pace the race.

The winning package includes airfare, hotel accommodations and two VIP tickets to the track. As part of the experience, the winning bidder has the opportunity to ride along in the official pace car as a Ford NASCAR driver completes hot laps around Homestead-Miami Speedway prior to the race.

Last year, Get Your Heart Racing auctioned the “movie-star” Mustang that appeared in the Dreamworks box-office smash “Need for Speed” – a film adaptation of the popular video game of the same name. When the Barrett-Jackson auctioneer’s gavel ended the spirited bidding, that Mustang had sold for $300,000, causing the packed house to erupt in cheers.

Get Your Heart Racing

“The Get Your Heart Racing program has become our biggest annual fundraiser, and everybody who participates seems to love it,” said Sandy Hudson, chief development officer, Henry Ford Hospital. “With the help of our sponsors – especially Ford Motor Company – we’re looking to 2014 to be our biggest and best year yet.”

Get Your Heart Racing is co-produced by Henry Ford Health System and Ford Motor Company in support of the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute. Honorary chairpersons of this year’s event are Paul and Lynn Ford Alandt and Raj Nair. The Pit Party at Eastern Market promises scrumptious food and drink, live entertainment, incredible auction items and the opportunity to meet executives from Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford Health System and other business leaders.

For more information on the Get Your Heart Racing program, or to purchase event tickets, please visit www.GetYourHeartRacing.org or contact Kim Streich at 734.246.9639 or kstreic1@HFHS.org.

2014 Get Your Heart Racing sponsors include Ford Motor Company, Crest Automotive Group, Comerica Bank, Continental Catering and Events, Heidie M. Gorno, Superior Ambulance, Novelis, Lear Corporation, Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Fritz Enterprises, ISIS Medical, Village Ford, Penske Corporation, Powerlink, Dassault Systèmes, Ken and Marilyn Way, Goodyear, Dakkota Integrated Systems, Detroit Manufacturing Systems, Team Detroit, Faurecia, W.F. Whelan Company, the Honorable Sandy and Lisa Baruah, and R.H. Bluestein Company.

Ride-and-drives

Ford will offer ride-and-drives and hot lap experiences for attendees of the Barrett-Jackson auction. The ride-and-drives will feature the 2015 Expedition for the first time this year. Ford’s 2014 lineup, including the Mustang GT, Focus ST and Fiesta ST, will also be available for ride-and-drives. Additionally, professional drivers from Miller Motorsports Park will offer hot laps in the Shelby American-built GT350, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby Focus ST.

 

 

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Major Media Events Elevate 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup

NASCAR Sprint Series Logo

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 2, 2014) – A bigger Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – in both size and stature – awaits, and to help launch the brand new championship format, NASCAR announced today unprecedented media and fan activities throughout the sport’s “playoffs.”

Here are a number of the initiatives announced today:

Chase Across North America

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the 16 Challengers will participate in the Chase Across North America media tour. The multi-country media blitz will feature 16 different drivers across 16 different cities, with one driver visiting each of the following locations: every Chase track market, Los Angeles, Mexico City, San Antonio, Toronto, New York and ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

For the first time, NASCAR will hit the international market during the annual pre-Chase media blitz, with two of the sport’s biggest stars already locked in for their visits. Four-time champion Jeff Gordon will visit four iconic locations in Toronto – signifying the four rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – during his “Chase Across Toronto.” Carl Edwards will take the excitement of the new Chase format to Mexico City when he visits some of the most internationally recognizable locations in one of the biggest cities in North America.

Chase Media Day

Chase Media Day will be held Thursday, Sept. 11, at The Murphy located at 50 E. Erie Street in the heart of downtown Chicago. The 16 Challengers will participate in media availability with national and local outlets representing broadcast, print and online media, just days before the 16-nation, 10-battle Chase begins at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Contender Media Day and Eliminator Media Day

Heading into the Contender and Eliminator rounds in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the remaining championship contending drivers – the 12 Contenders and Eliminator 8 – will participate in two media days that include a press conference, media rotation as well as a fan Q&A, where their driver nations will rally in support at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Championship Media Day 

The Championship 4 and their team owners will participate in a press conference heading into the final battle — Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The media day will take place the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Trump National Doral Miami.

More information on how to obtain media credentials for Chase Media Day, Contender Media Day, Eliminator Media Day and Championship Media Day will be distributed separately via a NASCAR media alert.

The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be the Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on ABC, MRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

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Jason Line Wins Delayed Brainerd, Qualifies No. 1 at U.S. Nationals

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 31, 2014 So far, Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line is really enjoying the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. On Sunday, Line picked up the trophy for the rain delayed NHRA Nationals that were originally slated to take place in Brainerd two weeks ago, and he capped off the final day of qualifying for the event by securing the 37th No. 1 qualifier award of his career.

Two elimination rounds were completed at Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota-native Line’s home track, before rain put an early ending to the event and necessitated completion of the final two rounds during qualifying at the U.S. Nationals. On Saturday, Line defeated first-time semifinalist Dave River and was awarded a final-round meeting with Jeg Coughlin that would take place Sunday afternoon during the fourth round of qualifying.

Along the way to the Brainerd final, Line was also picking up a whole pile of bonus qualifying points. He was the quickest car in the first, second and third sessions with a 6.623 at 208.78 followed by a 6.593, 210.01 and then a best time of 6.589, 209.98.

The weather in Indianapolis seemed to mimic the Brainerd conditions, and although that worked well for Line and his thundering Summit Racing team, it also came with a few rain showers here and there. After a bit of a delay, the Brainerd final was completed as Line, with lane choice, clocked a remarkable .005-second reaction time to leave his opponent stinging and then finished the job with a cool 6.596, 207.40 that was again the quickest of his competitors. His challenger crossed the finish line with a 6.635, 207.72. The long-awaited Brainerd trophy finally belonged to Line, and the icing on the cake was another three bonus points to further pad his points lead as the regular season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series nears completion.

“I knew I had to be good, because they’re a good team,” said Line, in regard to his .005 reaction time. “They definitely stepped it up on the last run, and he’ll be a contender tomorrow – but today we got the best of him.

“Our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro ran well. She has been very fast. I look forward to tomorrow. It feels a little strange to win Brainerd at the U.S. Nationals, but nonetheless, it’s the first good thing I’ve ever done at Indy, so it feels pretty good. The celebration wasn’t quite what I had envisioned, but I got the Brainerd trophy, so it’s all good. I know my family and friends were watching at home, and I’m sure they enjoyed it as well.”

The win was the fourth of the season for Line and the 35th of his career. It was also the third consecutive win for Line, who also earned the trophy for Summit Racing in Sonoma and Seattle. The three-in-a-row is something Line has never before accomplished, and on Labor Day Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway, Line will have the chance at nabbing his fourth consecutive trophy.

Tomorrow, we have to do the same thing we did today: let the left foot out on time and have the fastest car,” said Line, who clocked a 6.614 in the final session and will race Rodger Brogdon in round one. “One part of that I think we have under control. The other part is definitely a little bit of a variable, but we’ll do the best we can. We have a good car. Today was a good day, and I won’t call it best ever, but it’s been the best Indy weekend I’ve had by a long shot. I have very few good memories here, and now I have one. Hopefully tomorrow we can make another.”

Event Schedule (All Times Eastern):
Monday, September 1:            Final eliminations starting with Top Fuel at 11:00 a.m.

Television Coverage (All coverage on ESPN2 – all times Eastern):
Monday, September 1:            Eliminations, 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

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Mopar Driver Hagan Unleashes 3.99-Second Run, Captures No. 1 Spot at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Runner-Up Finish for Coughlin in Rescheduled Brainerd Pro Stock Final

 

  • Matt Hagan drives Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to record setting 3-second run at Indy to take Funny Car No. 1 qualifier position
  • Hagan claims second-straight Indy pole and third of his career at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
  • Hagan and Jack Beckman qualify 1-2 in their HEMI-powered Dodge machines
  • Jeg Coughlin Jr. finishes runner-up in rescheduled Brainerd final elimination at NHRA U.S. Nationals
  • Allen Johnson posts second-quickest run in Q5, moves to No. 6 in qualifying

 

Brownsburg, Indiana (Aug 31, 2014) – On the final day of qualifying for the historic 60th Annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals on Sunday, Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan made a little history of his own. Hagan raced his HEMI-powered Mopar Express Lane machine to the No. 1 qualifier spot with a 3.998-second elapsed time (e.t.), setting the track record and becoming the first driver to run in the three-second range at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

The top spot is Hagan’s first of the season, 16th of his career and second consecutive at the U.S. Nationals, and third overall at Indy. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver will line up his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T against Bob Bode in the first round of U.S. Nationals eliminations on Monday.

Hagan was ranked second after the first two qualifying sessions, but was bumped down to third in Q3 on Saturday after a bang under the hood resulted in a fiery end to his special 50th anniversary 426 HEMI engine tribute Dodge Charger body. Undaunted, Hagan and his team unleashed their record-setting 3.998 pass in their first attempt in the squad’s regular Mopar Express Lane body, recording just the 30th three-second run in NHRA Funny Car history and the 11th by a Mopar Dodge, putting the brand in a tie for the most three-second passes by a single manufacturer. Hagan finished with a 4.103/311.63 mark in Q5.

“She was trucking,” said Hagan of his Mopar Dodge. “Just a great, solid run. Everything was so smooth. Those fast runs are smooth like that. For (crew chief) Dickie Venables and my whole group of guys, they were up late last night working on this car. We had a little boom at the other end last night. They put it back together right, and put a great race car underneath me. My hat is off to them.”

Hagan was joined in the top-five by Mopar Dodge teammate Jack Beckman, who captured the provisional pole on Saturday with a 4.004/312.13 run and will start No. 2 after his DSR stablemate took the No. 1 position. Beckman smoked the tires in both Q4 and Q5 on Sunday and will open eliminations by battling No. 15 qualifier and fellow Dodge driver Blake Alexander (4.144/299.46). Monday brings Beckman’s final shot at overtaking Tim Wilkerson and cracking the top-10 in points in order to clinch a playoff berth in the NHRA “Countdown to the Championship.”

Ron Capps, winner of the rain-delayed Brainerd event final, which occurred during Q3 of the U.S. Nationals on Saturday, will start fifth at Indy thanks to the 4.026/320.36 he used to defeat final-round foe John Force. Gunning for a possible “hat trick” at Indy (the Brainerd victory, the Traxxas Funny Car Shootout win and the U.S. Nationals championship title), Capps was denied in the first round of the Traxxas Shootout on Sunday, losing to Courtney Force despite a strong 4.043/319.37 effort. The DSR Dodge driver will attempt to go two out of three at Indy, with a round one match against Chad Head in the U.S. Nationals eliminations on tap.

DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. also suffered defeat in the opening round of the Traxxas Funny Car Shootout on Sunday, as his 4.313/265.17 was not enough to take out Alexis DeJoria. Johnson rebounded with a 4.059 e.t. in Q5 to earn three bonus points and will start Monday from the No. 11 spot on the strength of his 4.053/316.67 in Q3. Johnson can greatly assist teammate Beckman by taking out Wilkerson, his first-round foe in eliminations. No. 13 qualifier Jeff Arend (4.082/314.02) will post his GrimeBoss Charger against Del Worsham.

In Pro Stock action, some unfinished business was wrapped up as Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove his HEMI-powered Dodge Dart to a runner-up finish against Pro Stock points leader Jason Line in what doubled as the final elimination of the rescheduled Brainerd national event and the fourth qualifying session for the NHRA U.S. Nationals. It is the JEGS.com Mopar driver’s third runner-up result of the season and the 40th of his career. Coughlin’s e.t. of 6.635 seconds at 207.72 miles per hour was good enough to put him seventh in the qualifying session but not enough to beat Line’s session-best 6.596/207.40 pass. Line remained No.1 qualifier with the low e.t. run of the event with his 6.589 /209.98 pass.

“I’m not upset with it a bit because it’s a tough field out here and there are a lot of teams that have worked so hard this year,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had a great year between now and the first 17 races of the season, with a handful of wins and another handful of runner-ups. I think we’re positioning ourselves well, not only for game day here at the 60th annual U.S. Nationals, but also for the Countdown.”

Coughlin posted his best effort in the final qualifying session with a 6.623/208.07 to put him ninth overall and pair him with Aaron Stanfield for the first round of eliminations on Monday at the U.S. Nationals.

“This weekend has been, as Allen (Johnson) would say as well, a non-stop thrash,” said Coughlin of the hard work put in by the Mopar team to improve the competitiveness of the cars through each session. “I can’t thank both teams enough for the effort they have put in to try and get our cars up in the top four like we had set out as our goal. We didn’t quite get there with our qualifying efforts, but the show is not over yet. Fortunately here at Indy, both lanes are very, very competitive. I feel confident going into race day tomorrow that we’ve got a Dodge Dart that can shoot right through the field.”

After a challenging start to the weekend, HEMI-powered teammate Allen Johnson made his best run of the meet in the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart on his final attempt by posting the second-best pass of the session at 6.610/208.81 to put him sixth on the Pro Stock eliminations ladder. He’ll have lane choice over Chris McGaha for the opening round.

“We’ve struggled since we got here, but these guys just beat on it and beat on it, and with that last run of the weekend we’re right there and very competitive,” said Johnson, who was much more upbeat about the setup of his Dodge Dart for eliminations. “I feel sure that we can take what we did just then and maybe improve even a little bit more tomorrow. Even if we’re not qualified as well as we’d want, we’ll go into Monday with one of the best cars for race day, so we’re looking forward to going out there and seeing if we can’t bring home that first trophy from Indy.”

“It’s been a long, hard route, but damn we sure needed all five runs to get where we’re at now from where we started the weekend,” added Johnson, who is hoping to make his way to his first career final elimination at Indianapolis. “It’s an exciting, long weekend, but everyone has worked their butts off and really wants this.”

V. Gaines, who finished runner-up at this event last year, will start from the 13th spot on the ladder with his best effort of 6.629/208.71 in his HEMI-powered Dodge Dart. Gaines will see Dave Connolly as his first round opponent. Part-time Pro Stock entrant Matt Hartford qualified his Dodge Avenger 15th with a 6.661/207.85 run and will line up against Vincent Nobile for the first round.

ESPN2 will televise six hours of eliminations coverage starting at noon ET on Monday, Sept. 1, from the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the 18th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing series schedule, and final national event before the NHRA “Countdown to the Championship” begins.

2014 NHRA Points Standings

(Following qualifying at the Indianapolis NHRA U.S. Nationals)

PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses)

1.            Jason Line* – 1368 (4)

2.            Erica Enders-Stevens* – 1304 (4)

3.            Allen Johnson* – Dodge Dart – 1298 (4)

4.            Jeg Coughlin Jr.*  – Dodge Dart – 1254 (2)

5.            Dave Connolly* – 1171 (1)

6.            Shane Gray* – 1108

7.            Vincent Nobile* – 1073 (1)

8.            V. Gaines – Dodge Dart – 805

9.            Chris McGaha – 782

10.          Greg Anderson – 719

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)

1.            John Force* – 1360 (3)

2.            Robert Hight* – 1340 (5)

3.            Ron Capps* – Dodge Charger R/T – 1148 (2)

4.            Tommy Johnson Jr.* – Dodge Charger R/T – 1087 (1)

5.            Alexis DeJoria* – 1068 (2)

6.            Matt Hagan* – Dodge Charger R/T – 1054 (1)

7.            Courtney Force* – 1053 (2)

8.            Cruz Pedregon* – 963 (1)

9.            Del Worsham – 941

10.          Tim Wilkerson – 883

11.          Jack Beckman – Dodge Charger R/T – 873

*clinched a “Countdown to the Championship” playoff berth

 

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WALSH CLAIMS NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITION DURING NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES ACTION AT CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS AT INDIANAPOLIS

BROWNSBURG, Ind.  – Don Walsh secured the No. 1 qualifying position during the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing is presented by JEGS.

Walsh powered his late model Chevy Camaro to a top performance of 5.863 seconds at 252.61 mph to on Saturday to claim the top qualifying spot. It was his fifth career No. 1 qualifier and first since 2012. His run held up following the final session on Sunday and he will meet Bill Glidden, the son of legendary Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden, in the first round of eliminations on Monday.

Troy Coughlin, the 2012 NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing series world champion, completed a 5.866 at 248.52 in his 2012 Corvette on Saturday to claim the second seed. He will face Houston winner Mike Janis in the first round. Jeff Naiser qualified third in his ‘69 Camaro with a 5.892 at 241.54 and opens against Jim Bell. Steven Whiteley was fourth with a 5.894 at 245.40 in his ’68 Camaro. He will pair up with Pete Farber in round one.

* * *

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Monday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the seventh of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Sunday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Pro Modified — 1. Don Walsh, Chevy Camaro, 5.863, 252.61  vs. 16. Bill Glidden, Ford Mustang, 5.995, 239.40; 2. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.866, 248.75  vs. 15. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.971, 243.37; 3. Jeff Naiser, Camaro, 5.892, 241.54  vs. 14. Jim Bell, Camaro, 5.964, 245.76; 4. Steven Whiteley, Camaro, 5.894, 245.40  vs. 13. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.953, 243.46; 5. Von Smith, Camaro, 5.906, 242.02  vs. 12. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.947, 243.50; 6. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.924, 245.14  vs. 11. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.946, 243.72; 7. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.926, 237.96 vs. 10. Mike Knowles, Camaro, 5.937, 240.47; 8. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 5.935, 242.10  vs. 9. Kevin Fiscus, Mustang, 5.937, 246.17. Did Not Qualify: 17. Eric Latino, 5.998, 243.37; 18. Jimmy Keen, 6.010, 237.38; 19. Jason Hamstra, 6.011, 240.59; 20. Harold Martin, 6.021, 243.33; 21. Jim Laurita, 6.037, 240.89; 22. Jimmy Widener, 6.045, 236.42; 23. Jim Whiteley, 6.056, 235.47; 24. Kenny Lang, 6.107, 235.15; 25. Michael Biehle, 6.130, 243.63; 26. Gerry Capano, 6.187, 233.44; 27. Clint Satterfield, 6.227, 242.76; 28. Chris Juliano, 6.260, 226.09; 29. Jay Payne, 6.404, 233.16; 30. Mark Martino, 6.597, 181.32; 31. Doug Winters, 6.688, 223.88; 32. Dave Pierce, 7.527, 212.93; 33. Chip King, 8.138, 127.15.

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Russell Wins Tire Rack ProSolo Finale Super Challenge and ProSolo Championship

LINCOLN, Neb. (Oct. 31, 2014) – Paul Russell, of San Diego, California, was the Super Challenge winner at the Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo® Finale at Lincoln Airpark. The Challenge win allowed Russell to claim the 2014 ProSolo Super Challenge Championship. Kim Whitener, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the Ladies Challenge winner earning her the ProSolo Ladies Challenge Championship title.
The Finale brought together the best ProSolo drivers from around the country to Lincoln, Nebraska, to help decide season-long championships in both Super Challenge and Ladies Challenge groups.
The final class runs on Sunday morning were delayed by lighting and a brief downpour. Following the 20-minute intermission, competition got back underway on the pair of rain-drenched courses. The wet conditions forced each driver into a slower pace, but served as more practice in preparation for the Challenge portion of the meet.
Directly preceding the Challenge rounds was the inaugural Speedway Motors SCCA Classic American Muscle Invitational. Josh Leisinger, of Souix Falls, South Dakota, took home the win, in a competition that was very popular among drivers.
“This is my first SCCA event,” Leisinger said. “The track is huge and fast. The surface was awesome and each of the SCCA folks were very helpful.
“With the invitational nature of this competition, there were a lot of fast cars here with some tough competition. I had to be on my ‘A’ game and couldn’t take any of the other drivers lightly. Using the ‘Christmas Tree’ was something different and created some more strategy for the competition.”
The CAM Challenge was not only popular amongst those who competed, but also spectators at the event. The classic, high-powered Detroit iron attracted the attention of the other ProSolo competitors, but also some locals who have never been to National-level Solo events.
Chuck Jones, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was an SCCA member in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Through his recent attendance at Nebraska Region SCCA events, as well as today’s event, as a spectator, Jones said he is starting to fall back in love with racing.
“When I was a kid I used to go out to stock cars races in which Speedway Motors sponsored cars,” Jones said. “I’ve grown up with the company, in some ways. They have a car here that they are sponsoring, which is awesome.”
Doug Grote, of Lincoln, Nebraska, is a first-time attendee at an SCCA Solo event. Grote said he was alerted to the event by a customer of his muffler shop.
“I’m really impressed,” Grote said. “I did some work on a Mini Cooper for a couple from Washington who told me about this event. We decided to come out and see it. Hopefully, we can make it out to the Nationals for the rest of the week.
“The overall atmosphere is really cool. The customers from Washington said this is the Super Bowl of autocross, so we wanted to see what it was all about.”
Russell (Kart Modified, Seventhgear.com Tony Kart) started Challenge competition as the No. 3 seed and beat Glen Hernandez (Street Index RWD, Evolution/Chase Race/Petrel Data Systems Chevrolet Corvette) in the opening round.
In the second round, Russell scored the victory over another SR-classed car driven by Eric Peterson (Solo Pro Driving/Atomic Empire Toyota Spyder). Eric Strelnieks (Super Street Modified, Hoosier/OSGiken/Jungle Cat Racing Mazda RX-7) was the next opponent for Russell, in the quarter-finals.
Russell’s semi-final matchup was against Jeff Stuart (C Street, Berry Family Racing/Racetraceapp.com Nissan 370Z). Russell came out on top, earning him a trip to the finals against Nick Barbato (Street Touring R, KARCEPTS/Adidas Motorsports Honda S200).
Barbato’s road to the final started with wins over Tom Berry (SP/SM Index A, Berry Family Racing/Hoosier Mitsubishi Evo IX) and Kinch Riendl (Street Touring Compact, Riptidehosting.com/RDP Hosting Honda Civic Si) in the first two rounds, respectively.
In the quarter-finals, Barbato met and beat Paul Kozlak (Street R Index RWD, Red Haus Racing Chevrolet Corvette) in their head-to-head battle. Barbato earned his spot in the finals after taking out Mark Hill (Bump Class, Jayhawk Racing/Ive Got Grip Mitsubishi EVO XI).
In the Super Challenge final, Russell showed he was the class of the field by besting Barbato on both the east and west courses. With the win, Russell earned enough points to take home his first season-long Super Challenge title. In the third-place runoff, Hill completed the podium positions after beating Stuart.
“The first couple rounds I got lucky,” Russell said. “The other drivers threw up a couple red lights, which really helped. I then met up with Strelnieks, and we were close in the Championship standings. So, that match-up would pretty much decide the season-long winner.
“After the first run I was 0.1-second quicker than him. On the second run, I’m still not sure how I was able to hold him off. After that is was just all about being smooth and fast.”
Whitener (Ladies Class 3, Black Armor Helmets/Texas Track Works Honda Civic) entered the head-to-head Challenge bracket at the top qualifier after taking the win in class competition. Whitener began her march to the final by after scoring the opening round win against Laura Campbell (Ladies Class 3, Honda S200).
In the quarter-finals, Whitener faced off against Linda Duncan (Ladies Class 2, MiniUSA MINI Cooper). Whitener came out on top beating Duncan to finish line on both the east and west mirror-image courses.
The win promoted Whitener to a semi-final matchup against Jocelin Huang (Ladies Class 2, The Alignment Guy Porsche GT3). Whitener eliminated Huang from the competition for the bracket win, earning her a final showdown with Gwen Habenicht (Ladies Class 2, Audi TT).
From the No. 15 seed, Habenicht did what it took to win her matchup against No. 2 seed Christine Grice (Ladies Class 1, Berry Family Racing/Chase Cam Mitsubishi Evo IX). Her next win came against Rachel Baker (Pixie Posse Racing Karcepts, Honda CRX) in the quarter-finals.
Habenicht earned her spot in the bracket final after eliminating Chris Peterson (Ladies Class 2, Atomic Empire Toyota Spyder).
In the final, Whitener got the best of Habenicht and came away with the win and 2014 ProSolo Fletcher Cup as the Ladies Challenge Champion. This title makes Whitener the third woman to win three ProSolo Ladies Challenge Championships in a row. In the third-place runoff, Peterson took the win over Huang and completed the podium positions.
“The Ladies Classes are hard,” Whitener said. “When I started out I was at the bottom of the pack. Running against top-notch competition makes one a better driver. You can look through the record book and see all the National Championship drivers you are competing against.
“We made some setup changes last night, which really helped us today. Luckily, we had the CAM Invitational to dry the courses out. The courses were fun and fast, but also technically challenging.”
Information on the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Finale can be found at http://www.scca.com/events/index.cfm?eid=6994. More information on the entire Tire Rack SCCA Solo program is available at www.scca.com/Solo.
Follow SCCA on Twitter @SCCAOfficial and like the Club on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial.
Image: Paul Russell, foreground, lines up against Nick Barbato in the Super Challenge Final of the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Finale.
Credit: Rupert Berrington
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JOHN FORCE WINS TRAXXAS SHOOTOUT AGAIN

INDIANAPOLIS – John Force drove his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang to victory in the time NHRA Mello Champion faced fellow teammate and son-in law Robert Hight in the final round and ran a solid 4.061 second pass at 317.19 mph to Robert’s slightly off-pace 4.178 second run at 304.32 mph. This was John’s second Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory as he won the inaugural event in 2012. This was also John’s eighth victory in an NHRA all-star bonus event and earned $100,000 for the win today.

“I want to thank the fans for sticking this out, it was a killer crowd last night and today and we need these crowds as they stayed with us all did with on again and off again rain. I also want to thank the driver and the teams in our sport and also NHRA, Mello Yello and Mike Jenkins from Traxxas for putting up the money. They do such a fantastic job putting on these events. We’ve been working hard all week and putting in long hours but that what it takes. My granddaughter Autumn wanted her daddy (Robert Hight) to win but I promised her if I won, her grandpa would give her the trophy. It was a win-win situation for us going into the Traxxas final, we couldn’t lose,” said John Force.

Going into Monday’s final eliminations, John will race from the top half of the field from the No. 8 spot. Unfortunately, he will once again face his teammate Hight in the opening round due to Robert qualifying No. 9. Both drivers have identical 4.042 second elapsed times but Force gets the better position based on miles per hour 319.75 mph to 316.15 mph.

“I was mentally all screwed up the last couple of days. I got so confused going up against Capps last night in that Brainerd final. We pulled the car back to make the show but it has a personality but it didn’t on that run with Capps and we lost. Then today against Wilkerson in the opening round of the Traxxas Shootout, I asked Jimmy (Prock, crew chief) ‘how are we going to race it, we got whipped yesterday and we still didn’t qualify and we’re not in now,’ that’s why I got confused on what sessions counted and what sessions didn’t and we thought the final session counted and not the other but we got the Traxxas win and the money. I wanted to three-peat but I’ll never get Brainerd back but all-in-all, the fans are great to us,” said John Force.

For crew Jimmy Prock, the weekend has been challenging in tuning the 8000 horsepower Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang. With five qualifying sessions mixed in with a rescheduled final round match-up and the Traxxas Shootout, a lot of factors come into play when setting up the engine, clutch and chassis during the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

“The car didn’t run very well in the final last night with Capps, the engine was down on power. The temps were warmer today and we adjusted for that and going into the final, Hight’s crew and us just adjust to the conditions,” said Jimmy Prock

With 233 final round appearances, John Force is chasing win number 142. A Funny Car title win at the NHRA U.S. Nationals would be John’s fifth at this prestigious event and his 79th victory behind the wheel of his Ford Mustang. This would eclipse the record legendary Blue Oval Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden and make John Force the winningest Ford backed driver in history.

In the opening session of the day Robert Hight blasted past Cruz Pedregon for a first round win in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout and he also solidified his qualifying spot at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. He posted a 4.042 second run at 316.15 mph. He will go into race day as the No. 9 qualifier and will race John Force.  Hight is 2-1 against Force this season beating him in the final round of Gainesville and Denver.

“Tomorrow will be a tough race but whoever wins first round will be the No. 1 seed going into the Countdown. That is a big deal. I have changed my approach to racing him. He has won everything multiple times so you know he is never nervous. He has done it all. I want to get some of his records so I just put the pressure out of my mind and go up there relaxed and ready to go,” said Hight, the defending U.S. Nationals winner.

Hight lost the Traxxas Shootout final on Saturday to Force when a magneto went out on the Auto Club Ford Mustang killing the power to one of the ignition switch and robbing Hight’s Mustang of some much needed power. The first time specialty race finalist was philosophical about the loss.

“John Force Racing won today so that is what matters. The money all goes to the same place. I knew when I hit the throttle we were in trouble. We just didn’t have enough power. I don’t know if we would have outrun him but it would have been a lot closer. It was a big win for our team and a nice boost to the moral going into Monday’s race,” said Hight.

Today was a better day for Courtney Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team. The third-year driver came into Sunday’s events not qualified in the top twelve and starting from scratch on their qualifying runs.

“It was extremely nerve-wracking coming into today with the Traxxas Nitro Shootout coming up and having a car that was not yet qualified in the field. We wanted to get down there and we wanted to make a decent run for our qualifying efforts and we wanted to go after that $100,000. Our Traxxas team got this car put together and we had run a 4.10 the day before so we knew it was capable of making a pretty good pass,” said Force.

Force staged her Traxxas Ford alongside Brainerd winner Ron Capps in the fourth qualifying session which also posed as the first round of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car. Being Force’s sponsor’s race, the pressure was on.  The 26-year-old took down the veteran driver without an issue, posting a 4.005 ET at 322.73 mph to Capps’ 4.043 ET at 319.37 mph. Force’s 322.73 is also the track speed record for Funny Car at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianpolis.

“We tuned it up a little and we were able to take down Capps in the first round of the Traxxas Shootout, which was kind of nice. He beat my dad last night and it was cool to get the win today over him, especially since he’s got such a good hot rod out there. It’s nice to be able to outrun him. After that round, knowing we were qualified and set the track speed record which was the run that put us in the top half of the field in the No. 3 spot made us feel good and helped us to move forward and focus on the second round,” said Force.

Force moved on to face her teammate and brother-in-law Robert Hight in the next round of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, the fifth and final qualifying session of the weekend. It was a pedal fest when both cars had trouble getting a full pull down the race track. Force posted a 5.374 ET at 162.31 to Hight’s 4.768 ET at 264.08 mph.

”We weren’t able to get around Robert, our car went up and spun the tires, but we’re going to learn from it and look at the positives, the fact that we had two good runs down this race track.

“I really wanted to get that win for Traxxas. It would have been exciting for my team since they are my primary sponsor, but luckily two of our John Force Racing cars went to the final round and my dad was able to get the win. A big thank you to Traxxas for bringing back the excitement of Indy, having the race within a race and bringing back the chance for that big $100,000 paycheck. Thank you to them and we look forward to hopefully getting it next year,” said Force.

Force’s 4.005 ET from the fourth qualifying session will line her up to race Bob Tasca III in the first round of eliminations. This will be the 12th time the two have matched up in eliminations, the third time this season and the seventh time they have squared off in the first round. Force is 9-2 to Tasca in previous events.

“We have a tough competitor in the first round against Tasca. It’s the U.S. Nationals, it’s all tough. We’re excited and we’re ready for it and we’re hoping for a good race tomorrow,” said Force.

Brittany Force and her Castrol EDGE Dragster will race from the top half of the field during Monday’s final eliminations at the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. The 2013 NHRA Auto Club Rookie of the Year qualified in seventh position with a solid run of 3.786 seconds at 328.30 mph. Force will face Larry Dixon in the opening round and is looking for revenge as she lost a close race to him just two weeks ago in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Having secured a birth in the Countdown to the Championship, Brittany Force would like to go rounds tomorrow and make another trip to the finals. The sophomore Top Fuel driver and the Castrol EDGE team has improved dramatically during this season under the guidance of Todd Smith and Dean “Guido” Antonelli.

“We know the conditions we qualified in today will be the same as tomorrow’s eliminations. Todd Smith and Guido Antonelli are working on tuning the car and getting it to run in these conditions come Monday. On our first run today, it hazed the tires so my guys made some adjustments. On our final qualifying session, the Castrol EDGE dragster ran a 3.856 and was on a good pass until something broke just before the finish line. We ran that great 3.78 pass on Saturday night but we’re not going to see those conditions tomorrow,” said Brittany Force.

With this being Brittany’s second U.S. Nationals racing in Top Fuel, she’s just a pumped as she was during her rookie season. She knows her car is capable of winning this historic race and would like to claim the first Top Fuel victory for Castrol EDGE and John Force Racing at the historic “Big Go” NHRA U.S. Nationals.

“It’s definitely still exciting and it will be years from now just because it’s out biggest race of the season and it’s Indy. I remember coming out here and watching my dad win the Big Bud Shootout and other bonus races. It’ll always be the biggest race of the season and it’s the one we look forward to all year. There’s so much going on, I love it and I’m excited to be out here and we’re hoping to go some rounds and win this tomorrow,” said Brittany Force.

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KEVIN HARVICK WINS GREAT CLIPS 300 TO BENEFIT FEED THE CHILDREN

Kevin Harvick led 159 laps Friday night to win the Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed The Children, his second straight NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was Harvick’s third career Nationwide win at the superspeedway, tying him with Mark Martin for the track’s all-time win leader.

“It’s just one of those race tracks where I like the challenge of everything you get to do here, and (crew chief) Ernie (Cope) and I have found a great setup here over the years, and it’s still working today,” Harvick said. “This thing was bad-fast. The car was flawless.”

Joey Logano came on strong at the end to finish second, while Kyle Larson was third.

“The last six, seven laps the light switched turned on and I started catching him, and I just ran out of time,” Logano said. “I wish there was five or seven more laps – I could have got to him and tried to do something with him. We were catching him two to three tenths a lap there at the end, having some fun with it, but (it was) too little, too late.”

The win was Harvick’s third of the season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, leaving crew chief Cope to wish he had the veteran for a full season. Instead, Cope has several different drivers taking turns at the helm of the No. 5 car, forcing him to set up the car completely different based on each driver’s different driving style.

“I love racing with Kevin,” Cope said. “You know you’ve always got a chance to win when he’s driving the car. We got done with practice last night, and I said, ‘Are we all right?’ And he said, ‘I’m gonna smash ‘em tomorrow night.’”

It’s that kind of confidence, along with his domination on track, that makes team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. happy to have Harvick as part of the team, regardless how big or small the role.

“He’s not only a great driver who gets in and drives the heck out of it, but he raises the whole company, and that’s pretty unique,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

Chase Elliott started on the pole position and fell back as he fought loose conditions throughout the night, finishing fifth position as the top rookie of the race.

“We started off good, and just kind of waited on the 5 (Harvick) to get there, and then when he did, just tried to learn a little bit from him,” Elliott said. “I feel like we did.”

Racing action continues Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500, slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. Great seats are available for a thrilling night of racing action by calling (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visiting atlantamotorspeedway.com.

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J.D. Johnson Breaks Four Year Drought, Claims NCRA Sprint Win!

Park City, Kansas – August 30, 2014 – J.D. Johnson took the lead coming out of turn two on the start and never looked back as he led wire to wire in claiming his first tour victory since 2010 in winning the National Championship Racing Association of Park City, Kansas presented by Precise Racing Products sprint car feature Saturday night at 81 Speedway in Park City as the tour kicked off the first of two nights of racing action this Labor Day weekend.

Nebraska’s Tyler Drueke and Ty Williams started on the front row for the twenty-five lap feature but it was Johnson using the low line in turns one and two to take the lead as the green flag fell. Johnson would open up a half stretch lead by lap two while fourth starting Jeremy Campbell worked passed Drueke for the runner up position.

Johnson, aboard the Jeff Whitehead owned #8 Whitehead Motorsports sprinter, began approaching slow cars on lap eight allowing Campbell to lose to within five car lengths of the leader.  Johnson made quick work of the slower cars and once again opened a half stretch advantage at the races midway point.

Campbell, who came into the night with a 35 point lead over defending tour champion C.J. Johnson, would lose the runner up position on lap thirteen as motor gremlins that struck him during heat race action, slowed his pace once again allowing Drueke to reclaim the second position.

Drueke looked to run down the leader and there was no stopping J.D. Johnson on this night as he went on to take the half stretch victory for this first series triumph since July of 2010.

C.J. Johnson would get by Campbell for third with four laps to go while Williams rounded out the top five.

The two, eight lap heat races for the fourteen car field were won by Drueke and Williams.

The tour will now load up and head north to the Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kansas for their annual Sunday night, Labor Day weekend event.

NCRA Sprints

81 Speedway/Park City, Kansas

August 30, 2014

14 Cars

1st Heat: 1) Tyler Drueke, 2) Raymond Seeman, 3) J.D. Johnson, 4) C.J. Johnson, 5) Rick Wright, 6) Jeff Stasa, 7) Kaden Taylor

2nd Heat: 1) Ty Williams, 2) Jeremy Campbell, 3) Scott Lehman, 4) Jon Freeman, 5) Cody Forshee, 6) Jake Greider, DQ) Jimmie Hobbs

A Feature: 1) J.D. Johnson, 2) Tyler Drueke, 3) C.J. Johnson, 4) Jeremy Campbell, 5) Ty Williams, 6) Jon Freeman, 7) Raymond Seeman, 8) Jeff Stasa, 9) Cody Forshee, 10) Rick Wright, 11) Scott Lehman, 12) Jake Greider, 13) Kaden Taylor

 

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