Racing News
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 

Emerging from a two-lap shoot out to claim the checkered flag, Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli driver Rafa Matos captured his second consecutive flag-to-flag victory in the TA2 powered by AEM class at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. 

Driving the No. 88 3Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, Matos earned the maximum points for the weekend to close the gap on the TA2 powered by AEM points-leader Marc Miller. Matos’ perfect points weekend kept the defending champion’s title chances alive. 

Scott Lagasse Jr. in the No. 92 SLR/Fields Racing/M1 Racecars Chevrolet Camaro matched his best result of the season with a run to  second place, with Thomas Merrill in the No. 81 Skip Barber Racing School/ Big Diehl Racing Ford Mustang crossing the line third to match his podium performance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Today was one of the hardest Trans Am races I’ve done,” Matos said. “We were flat out from the start, we were expecting more yellows. When the yellow came with five laps left, I knew it was going to be tough to keep Scott (Lagasse) behind me. I wasn’t sure if I had enough there at the end because our car was set up for the long run, but it all turned out great for us. It was a good day.”

While Matos led the entire race with little contention, there was non stop action happing in his mirrors with drivers fighting for the last two podium spots. Three different competitors held second place and five different drivers maintained third as the TA2 class delivered another highly competitive race all the way through the field. 

Early in the race, Miller, starting second in the No. 40 Prefix / Stevens-Miller Racing Dodge Challenger, shifted his focus from trying to snatch the lead from Matos to defending his starting position from NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Ty Gibbs. 

Knowing the championship implications, Miller saw Gibbs take the spot on lap 8, but remained relentless in his pursuit of another podium as he pressured Gibbs. The pair eventually made contact entering the first turn in The Loop, which sent Gibbs spinning with Miller dropping four wheels off track into the grass. Both drivers continued but lost several positions, ending their chances at a podium finish. Mechanical issues stemming from the original contact saw Miller lose and regain positions until the race ended on his way to a ninth-place finish.

The battle between Gibbs and Miller opened the door for a prowling Lagasse Jr. The NASCAR veteran driver capitalized on Gibbs and Miller’s misfortune and slid into second where he stayed for the duration of the race. 

“These things are fun around The Glen,” said Lagasse Jr. “Hats off to Tyler (Kicera) on his first race. He was fun to race and raced me clean and hard the entire round. I thought I had more for Rafa at the end, but he has raced me so clean for the last two years, I had to return the favor. We raced side-by-side and put on a show those last few laps.”

Starting from fourth, Merrill bounced back to fifth before taking third after the late-race restart. 

Merrill made his TA2 debut driving in the West Coast Trans Am Championship earlier this year and then moved to the national tour after winning the combined West Coast and National championship round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. 

“The race was really exciting, super exciting, and I could not believe we didn’t have more cautions than we did,” said Merrill. “Sometimes there just isn’t enough race track and we only gained one position on the restart, but that was enough for podium today. I am having a great time and I have a lot more to give to these national drivers.”

Recovering from a qualifying incident that damaged the front end of his the No. 4 Carbotech Brakes/Kicera Motorsports Ford Mustang, series newcomer Tyler Kicera showed  his strength behind the wheel, capturing a fourth place finish. The hard work from his crew to prepare him for the race also yielded thee Cool Shirt Cool Move of the race for entertaining Watkins Glen race fans as he entertained the Watkins Glen fans with his veteran-looking drive against the TA2 regulars.

“We had a tough start, and was really at a deficit on the back straight,” said Kicera. “I bobbled a couple times trying to pass Scott (Lagasse) before the yellow and on the restart Merrill caught me on the back straight. But, it was a blast to step up and be here against this level of and to do as well as we did in our first outing is very exciting for our future.”

Doug Peterson in the No. 87 3Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang earned the TA2 Masters Award after finishing the race in seventh. 

“It was a great race from my seat,” said Peterson. “The race got a bit dicey with drivers passing me in The Bus Stop and figured that this race could end in tears so I said ‘Grandpa’s had enough of this.’ So I flew by and held it to finish with a top-10 result.”

The next stop for TA2 is at Virginia International Raceway Sept. 20-22. The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli TA/SGT/GT classes will participate in qualifying later today and take the green for the multi-class 100-mile feature starting at 11:20 a.m. Eastern on Sunday.

For live timing and scoring, event photos and post-race recap videos visit GoTransAm.com. For live race updates follow @GoTransAm on Twitter.

The monstrous roar of the 850 horsepower Trans Am presented by Pirelli TA class echoed around the iconic Watkins Glen International road circuit and had fans on their feet on Sunday as Ernie Francis Jr. dominated the entire 100-mile feature. 

Going flag to flag for his third consecutive Trans Am victory Francis Jr. (No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang) padded his championship lead over Chris Dyson (No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang), collecting all points available for the weekend. 

Dyson continued to deliver podium performance, finishing second as Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Lucas Oil Slick Mist/Axalta Chevrolet Camaro) finished third in his first race back for Burtin Racing since Lime Rock Park. 

“This weekend went as good as it could have went,” Francis Jr. said. “Last year and the year before we had a DNF, so to go out here and get a clean sweep of the weekend, leading all the sessions, getting pole in qualifying and finishing the race in first was great. I’m looking forward to the next race at VIR.”

Starting on pole, Francis Jr. steadily distance himself from the field, leading by more than 11 seconds before the only full course yellow of the race regrouped the field. On the restart, it looked like Dyson might have had something for Francis, but the New York native’s speed faded as he also had to shake Drissi, who was stuck to his bumper. 

“I was fighting the car more than I was fighting with Tomy, I was just too loose around here today,” said Dyson. “I had a glimmer of hope on the restart, but Ernie had a great restart and we just couldn’t match his pace. I had Tomy in my mirrors and we had a good battle. We will regroup and be back in a couple week’s time at VIR.”

Drissi returned from medical leave, sporting a newly wrapped Slick Mist livery. Starting in the second row in fourth place, Drissi moved up a position to run nose-to-tail with Dyson for the second half of the race to finish third. 

“It was pretty tough for me not being here,” Drissi said. “I pleaded with the doctor, giving him some pretty ridiculous excuses to get back in the car. Ernie did a fantastic job. Dyson didn’t make any mistakes and I couldn’t get by him. Burtin Racing- you guys are great. I’m glad to be back.”

Mechanical issues plagued several players in the TA field. Amy Ruman parked her cherry red No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette after two laps. 

“We felt good on the start, went around, had some mechanical issues that I didn’t think would clear up, so I decided to park it early to save what I could,” Ruman said. “We made some adjustments from qualifying that I thought would have worked in the right direction, but unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to test them out. 

Boris Said faced teething problems in a newly prepared Pancho Weaver Dodge. Starting second after overcoming issues with the nose box, Said turned three laps in front before losing power completely from a bad alternator. 

“This was really the first run for the No. 2 Dodge,” Said commented. “I really thought on the first lap that we had something for Ernie, and I was pretty confident after Lap 2 that I was going to be able to get him, but unfortunately it let us down.”

Adam Andretti only had to take the green in the No. 17 Engineered Components Company/Anchor Bolt Chevrolet Corvette to clinch the Trans Am Northern Cup title. 

Following a great start, Andretti broke a shift linkage in Lap 2 which forced him to the pits for the duration of the race. However, he accomplished what he came to The Glen to do, take the Trans Am Northern Cup Championship. 

“We’ve had a trial and tribulated weekend, and we knew that coming in,” said Andretti. “We had some metal in the oil and didn’t know how long the motor would last during the race, but knew it wouldn’t be anything catastrophic so we started. We had a good run until the shift linkage snapped. Our whole objective was to seal up the Trans Am Northern Cup Championship. If we didn’t have that to focus on, we would have ran all the sessions, and would have found a simple gremlin like that.” 

Karry Hitt  (No. 19 Advanced Composite Products Inc. Cadillac CTSV) received the Masters Award in the TA class after finishing eighth. 

Veteran driver Simon Gregg missed Round 8 of competition to be with family. 

Eleven SGT-class cars took the green with Aaron Pierce going flag to flag for his first victory of the season in the SGT category. SGT championship leader Mark Boden (No. 46 Beverage Flavors International Porche 991 GT3 Cup) finished second. Tom Herb in the No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup edged out Adrian Wlostowski in the No. 96 F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang on the final lap on his way to a third-place finish. 

Pierce in the No. 26 Sam Pierce Chevrolet/Logical Systems Inc. Chevrolet Corvette is a veteran of racing winged sprint cars, and had to adjust quickly to the Watkins Glen road course. 

“The team has come a long way since we’ve started,” Pierce said. “They’ve busted their butts on this race car. We’ve ran well everywhere we’ve been to. I’ve not been to most of the tracks, and it took me some time to adjust to this track since it’s my first time here. Things got a bit hairy on the straight but we pulled it together and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Milton Grant in the No. 55 Sentry Self Storage/Fairfield Inn Porsche 991.3 GT3 Cup received the Masters Award after finishing sixth in the SGT class. 

Steven Davison in the No. 22 Davinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage wheeled his way to another victory in the GT class. 

“This was a personal best race for me in terms of time,” said Davison. “Last year I smashed myself into the Esses. It was clean racing from all the SGT guys and a privilege to run with Trans Am.”

The Cool Shirt Cool Move of the Race was awarded to Vincent Allegretta in the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette. 

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to action at Virginia International Raceway Sept. 20-21.

For live timing and scoring, event photos and post-race recap videos visit GoTransAm.com. For live race updates follow @GoTransAm on Twitter.

Veteran driver Scott Steckly came of out retirement and returned to competition at Autodrome St. Eustache on Sunday after a four-year hiatus from the NASCAR Pinty's Series. The legendary Team 22 Racing owner was subbing for an ill Alex Tagliani in Round 11 of the series held on the 0.4-mile short track. The four-time NASCAR Pinty's Series champion, who also manages the EpiPen/RONA/St Hubert/Spectra Premium number 18 Chevrolet Camaro of Tagliani, started the race from 10th place following the lone practice session held on Saturday afternoon. That session eventually set up the starting grid as rain forced the cancellation of qualifying and the scheduled Saturday night Lucas Oil 250 race, which was postponed to Sunday.


On race day, the Milverton, Ontario driver ran the Chevrolet EpiPen/RONA/St Hubert/Spectra Premium in the top 10 all race long, moving up to eighth place several times but finally finishing 11th. Jason Hathaway from Appin, Ontario, led the final 84 laps to score his second win of the season at the conclusion of the Lucas Oil 250 ahead of Kevin Lacroix of St. Eustache. Andrew Ranger, Alex Labbé, who led the most laps with 123, and Donald Theetge round out the top five.


Steckly took over from Alex Tagliani who was sidelined after contracting a minor myocarditis viral infection. The Quebec driver followed the strict advice of his doctor who ordered him to refrain from any physical activity this weekend, including car racing. The good news is that there will be no long-term effects.


"It was a fun day", said Scott Steckly, "but not the result we wanted. It's a competitive series and on a last-minute driver change, we will accept our finish and move on. We hope Alex gets well soon. I did the best I could for EpiPen, RONA and Spectra Premium but we still have work to do on our oval track program. We will be working very hard to make it better. We will keep digging and try to finish the season strong."


This was the NASCAR Pinty's Series final visit at the 0.4-mile short track, as it will close at the end of the 2019 racing season.


Seventeen drivers started the NASCAR Pinty's race with 13 getting the chequered flag at the end of the race.  Seven cars finished on the lead lap. The 250-lap race was under full course caution four times for a total of 29 laps. The Lucas Oil 250 will be televised on TSN on Sunday, September 14 at 3:30 p.m.


In the car owner standings:
With Scott Steckly running the EpiPen/RONA/St Hubert/Spectra Premium number 18 Chevrolet Camaro of Tagliani in St. Eustache, the Racing 22 Team is still fourth in the Owner Standings with 427 points, only nine away from Marc-André Bergeron who runs LP Dumoulin's car.


In the driver standings:
Kevin Lacroix is the new leader in the driver standings with 464 points, two more than Andrew Ranger. Unless something drastic happens to these drivers, the hunt for the championship should be played out between them. LP Dumoulin is still third, but 28 points back, followed by St. Eustache winner Jason Hathaway, who now totals 411 points (-53) and D.J. Kennington (-61). As for Tagliani, he is now out of the title hunt in sixth place. Things could worsen for the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee if his condition forces him to miss the final two races.


NEXT STOP: NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Pinty's Series will go south of the border for the second year in-a-row for their annual trek at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the "Visit New Hampshire 100" race on Saturday, September 21 at 12:05


TSN and TSN Direct subscribers can watch all NASCAR Pinty's Series races live on TSN.ca and the TSN app. Watch NASCAR Pinty's "Visit New Hampshire 100" live stream on TSN.ca or on the TSN app on Saturday, September 21 at 12:05 p.m. Eastern. Check NASCAR Pinty's listing for exact time. The United States fans can watch all the races live on FansChoice.tv.


For more information on Alex Tagliani, please visit
www.tagliani.com, follow him on Twitter at @TAGLIANI, @tagliani18 on Instagram and like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tagliani.
Today, NHRA officials released the 2020 schedule for the Pro Stock category of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pro Stock teams will compete at 18 of the 24 events on the series. Throughout the year, NHRA will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this exciting and competitive class.
 
Pro Stock returns to several venues in 2020 including the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals in Houston, the NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta and the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kan. Additionally, fans in Bristol, Tenn. and Epping, N.H. will see Pro Stock in action at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and the NHRA New England Nationals. 
 
Also of note, Pro Stock will compete in five events in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Points will be adjusted accordingly.
 
NHRA’s two nitro categories – Funny Car and Top Fuel – will participate at all 24 national events in the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Stay tuned all week to NHRA.com as we announce the national event specialty series schedules for the 2020 season including Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Mod, Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley. The national event schedule for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will be released later this fall.
 
2020 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES PRO STOCK SCHEDULE
 
NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock Regular Season
 
Feb. 6-9 - Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.
Feb. 21-23 - Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix
March 12-15 - AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 3-5 - DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas
April 17-19 - Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals, Houston
May 15-17 - NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta
June 12-14 - Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 19-21 - NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
June 25-28 - Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 24-26 - NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
July 31-Aug.2 - Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
Aug. 21-23 - NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.
Sept. 2-7 - NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
 
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown To The Championship
 
Sept. 17-20 - Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.
Sept. 25-27 - NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte
Oct. 15-18 - AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 - Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 12-15 - Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.

Two champions of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Davy Jones and Geoff Brabham, have filed entries for Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s (SVRA) Vintage Race of Champions (VROC) Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch at Virginia International Raceway. The September 21 Charity Pro-Am is the deciding round of the VROC series and both legendary drivers feel they have unfinished business. Jones is the points leader in the chase for the B Production (BP) championship and Brabham looked like a sure winner last month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway round of the series before mechanical maladies with his A Production (AP) Corvette dashed his chances.

“With due respect to all the epic sports car races in the world, I think everyone agrees that winning overall at Le Mans is the pinnacle of achievement,” said SVRA CEO Tony Parella. “To think we have not one, but two great drivers who have scaled that mountain is an honor to our series. I know that Davy is determined to take the B Production championship and Geoff feels the racing gods owe him one after coming so close at Indy.”

Brabham was a master of sports car racing and the star driver of the dominant Nissan team that won four successive IMSA GTP championships from 1988 through 1991. During this time, he scored an amazing 27 overall victories.  He also won the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1989 and 1991 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1981 Can-Am series championship. Geoff’s outstanding career earned him six invitations to compete in the elite IROC series where he won two races. He began racing Formula Fords in Australia in 1973 and won the 1975 Australian Formula 2 championship and the 1979 Formula Super Vee championship before reaching the top levels of the sport. Geoff was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Australian Hall of Fame in 2018. Brabham is a 10-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, with a best finish of fourth in 1983. He was active in the Indy car series during the 1980’s recording eight podium finishes and 31 top tens. Another highlight of his career is his victory at the 1997 Bathurst 1000 in his native country of Australia.

Chicago-born Davy Jones first gained notice when he placed third in the 1983 British Formula 3 championship behind Ayrton Senna. Bernie Ecclestone tested him for a Brabham Formula 1 seat the same year. Jones later competed in the New Zealand Formula Atlantic series, winning that country’s grand prix in 1984 and ’87. In 1986 he scored BMW McLaren’s only IMSA GTP victory at Watkins Glen. A top-tier sports car driver, he brought home the overall win in both the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona. In an Indy car career spanning nine seasons, including six Indianapolis 500s, his best finish came at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 1996 when he was second. Jones currently holds a two-point lead over Wally Dallenbach, Jr. in the VROC Pro-Am championship.

Chopard, the Swiss artisan of luxury timepieces, and the Official Watch of SVRA, will present an SVRA-branded watch to the champions of AP and BP, both professional and amateur, at VIR. It is modeled after their prestigious Grand Prix De Monaco Historique Race Edition timepiece. Since 2002, Chopard has served as sponsor and official timekeeper at the renowned Grand Prix De Monaco Historique.

The VROC Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch is a Saturday feature event at VIR and will benefit IGNITE – the Autism Society of North Carolina’s community center for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production.  The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers. Amateurs will start the race and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps. In addition to the Pro-Am, the Speed Tour VIR weekend is a festival of other activities, including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “cars & caffeine” car corral, and 300+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12.

The No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R duo of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande head to the West Coast for Sunday’s penultimate IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season feeling the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California, owes them – big-time.

 

A year ago at the scenic 2.238-mile, 11-turn hillside road course, they were clicking on all cylinders through practice and qualifying, leading two of the three practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, and then qualifying on the pole at the hands of Taylor on Saturday afternoon.

 

But then came Sunday afternoon when, just 39 minutes into the two-hour, 40-minute main event, Taylor radioed from turn five, just as he was about to start the steep climb to the highest point on the course, that the racecar had lost drive. He helplessly crept ever so slowly up the hill before finally coming to a stop. A freak, catastrophic failure had ended what was a hugely promising weekend, leaving Taylor, van der Zande and the defending series championship-winning team wondering what might have been.

 

As they return to the scene of last year’s misfortunes for Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship, the general feeling is not surprisingly upbeat. Once again, the team is playing host to the typically large contingent of Konica Minolta sponsors and guests at one of their favorite stops on the tour. And Laguna Seca is a track where, despite just a 2013 victory since the team’s inception in 2007, it has started from the pole in three of its last four outings, and has stood on the podium after six of the last nine races.

 

And for added measure, the famed Corkscrew series of turns seven through eight is where van der Zande made his now-legendary pass to win the 2017 WeatherTech Championship race while driving for the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona team. It was a head-turning, jaw-dropping maneuver that not only drew the praises from throughout the worldwide road racing community, but helped bring him to the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team the following season.

 

Van der Zande, who was to be last year’s closing driver at Laguna Seca, never got a chance to try and relive his late-race heroics from the previous season as the racecar was retired long before he was scheduled to get in.

 

So, as they set up shop for the weekend on the beautiful outskirts of Monterey Bay, Taylor, van der Zande and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R team hope to finish the job that so cruelly eluded them a year ago.

 
Practice for the IMSA Road Race Showcase begins Friday with DPi-class qualifying set for 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday with live streaming video at IMSA.tv and the IMSA mobile app beginning at 3:30 p.m. The green flag for Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race flies at 3:05 p.m. with live television on NBC beginning at 3 p.m. Live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions is available at IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app.

Two years ago, Racing to End Alzheimer’s unveiled its first tribute race car at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with a livery featuring 77 names of people affected by Alzheimer’s. This weekend, two cars in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series will be carrying names, paying tribute to more than 120 people.

 

The names are more than just a way to honor loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is also the primary way Racing to End Alzheimer’s raises money to fund the cure and fund the care for the disease. Each year, 100% of proceeds goes to organizations working toward those goals. Back in 2017, with the help of matching corporate sponsors, Racing to End Alzheimer’s donated $43,500 to UCLA’s Cognitive Health Clinic and the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist Hospital. In 2018, the number of names grew to 101 and the donations topped $100,000.

 

This weekend, the #23 FastMD/Legistics/FEL Audi RS3 of Nick Galante and James Vance will be competing in the GS class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series. Names have been added to the car all season long. In addition, BimmerWorld team owner James Clay has decided to join forces with Racing to End Alzheimer’s, too. The special livery for the #82 BMW M4 GT4 of Clay and Devin Jones will be unveiled this weekend, adding additional names to the tally. 

 

When the 2-hour race gets the green flag on Saturday, September 14 at 3:05pm PDT, Racing to End Alzheimer’s will have two moving tributes on track. Founder Phil Frengs started Racing to End Alzheimer’s in 2017 after his wife Mimi was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. To see two cars on track together and so many tribute names is especially meaningful to him.

 

“This is really beyond my initial vision,” says Frengs. “This year our former team and friends at BimmerWorld are putting names on their car, too. So we’ll have over 120 names on cars, raising more than $100,000. The camaraderie among our racing friends is extraordinary.”

 

WeatherTech Raceway is the home track for Galante, who is a caddy at Pebble Beach. “Being a part of this great cause connects with me in many ways,” says Galante, whose family has experienced Alzheimer’s firsthand. “It’s something that directly touches not only my family but millions around the world.”

 

For Vance, this weekend is a chance to educate a big audience about Alzheimer’s. “I am expecting a big turnout in support of the incredible initiative that Phil Frengs has put together,” he says. “In regard to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, I love it—I love the track, the fans, and the vibe around the event all week long. I think with our current form we will be coming out the gate swinging and ready to get the job done in the penultimate round of this year’s IMSA championship.”

 

Fans can watch the race live at IMSA.com and add the name of their own loved one to the car at r2endalz.org.

 

Today, NHRA officials released the 2020 schedule for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pro Stock Motorcycle riders will once again compete at 16 of the 24 events on the series. This exciting class, which recently broke the 200 mph barrier, will be competing at several new locations in 2020.
 
For the first time in NHRA history, Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete in all three events that make up the famed Western Swing as they add the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Wash., to their 2020 tour. Additionally, fans will get to check out this highly-competitive group at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals in Houston as well as the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. 
 
Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete in five events in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Points will be adjusted accordingly.
 
NHRA’s two nitro categories – Funny Car and Top Fuel – will participate at all 24 national events in the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Stay tuned all week to NHRA.com as we announce more national event specialty series schedules for the 2020 season including Pro Mod, Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley. The national event schedule for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will be released later this fall.
 
2020 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE SCHEDULE
 
NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock Motorcycle Regular Season
 
March 12-15 - AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 3-5 - DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas
April 17-19 - Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals, Houston
May 15-17 - NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta
May 29-31 - Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.
June 19-21 - NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
June 25-28 - Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 17-19 - Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver
July 24-26 - NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.
July 31-Aug.2 - Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle
Sept. 2-7 - NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
 
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown To The Championship
 
Sept. 17-20 - Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.
Sept. 25-27 - NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte
Oct. 2-4 - AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 - Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 12-15 - Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.
The first year of WeatherTech Sprint Cup competition couldn’t be more competitive as the deciding event looms Sunday. The slimmest of margins, one point, separates the leaders heading into the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
 
The race will be the seventh and last in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship, added this season for the GT Daytona class (GTD) in its non-endurance events. Zacharie Robichon, co-driver of the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, enters the Laguna Seca weekend with a 175-174 advantage in the standings over Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman, drivers of the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3.
 
While Farnbacher and Hindman also could clinch the overall GTD championship under the right scenario, the inaugural Sprint Cup title will be determined by which of the two cars – the No. 9 or the No. 86 – finishes better in Sunday’s race.
 
For the trio of drivers in the hunt, it’s like a childhood dream realized.
 
“For a lot of folks my age, what is now known as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is part of those legendary tracks on a certain video game that most guys my age sort of grew up playing and racing on,” said Hindman, the 23-year-old American in his first full season of WeatherTech Championship competition.
 
“I’ve been fortunate to go there a lot over the years, and anytime I get to go there, it still kind of gives me the goosebumps, just thinking about the 4- or 5-year-old Trent playing Gran Turismo 2, Gran Turismo 3, sitting on a couch with a hand controller, hoping that I’m racing there one day.
 
“It’s another evolution in the sense that, hey, we’re not going to this place to just race, but to race for a championship. That’s something that any kid who’s ever picked up a PlayStation controller and played that game was probably hoping for at some point in their lives. Just the fact that I’m able to sort of live out that dream and even have the opportunity is something that I find very special.”
 
Robichon, the reigning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama champion also in his rookie WeatherTech Championship campaign, has a similar affinity for the iconic road course in Northern California – though this weekend will be his first time on the 2.238-mile circuit.
 
“Being a track that’s quite famous, it’s been on all the video games for the last 20 years,” Robichon, 27, said. “I probably spent hours on it when I was 10 years old, so I kind of know the layout. But that doesn’t give you the real impression of what you’re going to get. I’ll approach it like I do any other track and be cautious when I get there, and lean on more experienced guys around me.”
 
Robichon catapulted into the Sprint Cup lead on the strength of back-to-back GTD wins at Lime Rock and Road America. He and co-driver Scott Hargrove know what’s at stake this weekend but they haven’t placed any emphasis on it.
 
“It’s crazy to think we’re leading the championship right now in the Sprint Cup,” Robichon said. “But I’m trying not to get too hung up on that and just focus on keeping doing what we’ve been.”
 
Meanwhile, Farnbacher and Hindman have a dual purpose at hand this weekend. They could potentially win the Sprint Cup crown without winning one of the races, as long as they gain at least two points on Robichon. The No. 86 duo could also wrap up the overall GTD title if they leave Laguna Seca with a gap of more than 35 points on the nearest competitor. They take a 37-point lead over Robichon into the weekend.
 
“Our focus is not, ‘Hey, we need to finish in this position to win a championship,’” Hindman said. “Our focus is on we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and if we have the opportunity, we’re going to go for a race win.”
 
What they have been doing is consistently running near the front. While the only 2019 win for the No. 86 came at Watkins Glen in late June, it’s been followed by three second-place finishes in the four races since. And knowing that the No. 86 won last year at Laguna Seca with Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente at the wheel gives the Acura drivers more confidence.
 
"Laguna is the final race of the Sprint Cup and we have a lot of opportunities to perform well there,” Farnbacher said. “We just need to keep our focus and have a clean weekend because anything can happen and all of our competitors are very strong. It will be interesting, for sure, but we will never give up. The race isn't over until the checkered flag is waved, and we will be fighting until the very end against the field."
 
The Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren airs live at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, the first IMSA telecast on the major network as part of IMSA’s long-term partnership with NBC Sports. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with the race call also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
 
Tickets are available now at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 

 Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced its 2020 Thunder Stroke lineup, packed with a host of new features and benefits. With the Thunder Stroke 116 engine now available in select models, a completely redesigned Ride Command system, and the introduction of the aggressively-styled Roadmaster Dark Horse and redesigned Springfield Dark Horse, the Indian Motorcycle 2020 Thunder Stroke lineup is bigger, better and badder than ever.

 

“These new features and upgrades are a result of our consistent communication with riders, listening to their feedback and incorporating it into our ongoing product development efforts,” said Reid Wilson – Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “Today’s rider wants more power and expects cutting-edge technology. That’s exactly what we’re delivering in 2020.”

 

Thunder Stroke 116  

For the first time in the company’s history, Indian Motorcycle will offer a 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke engine in select models. Straight from the factory, the new 116 cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin engine features a new high-flow cylinder head that delivers class-leading performance with 126 ft-lbs of torque.  The Thunder Stroke 116 is now standard on the Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster and Roadmaster Dark Horse. 

 

Ride Command with Connected Services

For 2020, Indian Motorcycle introduces exciting updates to their Ride Command system with Connected Services – a completely redesigned version of its industry-leading infotainment system. Still measuring seven inches, with glove-touch technology, Ride Command now features a new quad-core processor to provide the fastest infotainment experience available. New connected features include traffic and weather overlays, so riders can plan their ride to avoid traffic and poor weather conditions. 

 

Additionally, Ride Command features intuitive destination search capabilities and improved customizable ride screens. Indian Motorcycle’s Ride Command is the industry’s largest, fastest and most-customizable infotainment system on two wheels. 

 

Roadmaster Dark Horse

Drawing inspiration from the overwhelmingly successful Chieftain Dark Horse, the Roadmaster Dark Horse brings a modern and aggressive attitude to Indian Motorcycle’s premium touring motorcycle. With blacked-out finishes and just enough chrome to stand out from the 2020 lineup, the Roadmaster Dark Horse features a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, 19-inch front wheel with an open fender, an extended reach rogue gunfighter seat, blacked-out engine and matte paint color schemes. Powering this mean touring machine is the Thunder Stroke 116, while premium touring amenities abound, including a touring trunk, lower fairings, heated grips and a mid-adjustable windscreen.

 

Springfield Dark Horse

Following extremely positive rider feedback from the 2020 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse that was launched at Daytona Bike Week, Indian Motorcycle is now offering a similar design package for the 2020 Springfield Dark Horse. While the Thunder Stroke 116 delivers unrivaled power, the bike gains an enormous level of attitude with slammed saddlebags, rogue seat, 12-inch mini apes and premium blacked-out finishes.

 

Chieftain Elite 

As it has with previous iterations, the Chieftain Elite is an ultra-premium bagger – combining style, technology and performance. The 2020 Chieftain Elite packs the Thunder Stroke 116 and Indian Motorcycle’s booming PowerBand Audio Plus system with integrated fairing and saddlebag speakers. PowerBand Audio produces crystal-clear sound that is 50% louder than Indian Motorcycle’s standard audio system. The 2020 Chieftain Elite’s premium styling includes a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint with matching motor highlights and badging, precision machined elite wheels, pinnacle mirrors, select rider floorboards, and a flare windshield.

 

Furthermore, the complete 2020 Thunder Stroke lineup features additional updates. First, the Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage will now share the same chassis as the Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse. The result is improved handling and an adjustable rear suspension for both Chief models. Secondly, the Springfield and Chief Dark Horse will each come standard with a 17-inch front wheel for improved stability. Lastly, the 2020 Roadmaster receives a lighter weight and redesigned trunk rack for added style. 

 

Pricing and color options for each 2020 Thunder Stroke model is as follows:

  • Chief Dark Horse, starting at $18,499: Thunder Black Smoke
  • Chief Vintage, starting at $19,999: Thunder Black; Willow Green over Ivory Cream
  • Springfield, starting at $20,999: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic over Titanium Metallic
  • Springfield Dark Horse, starting at $22,499: Thunder Black Smoke; Sagebrush Smoke; White Smoke
  • Chieftain, starting at $21,999: Thunder Black; Titanium Smoke (with Thunder Stroke 116)
  • Chieftain Classic, starting at $25,499: Thunder Black; Deepwater Metallic over Dirt Track Tan
  • Chieftain Dark Horse, starting at $27,999: Thunder Black Smoke; Ruby Smoke; Titanium Smoke
  • Chieftain Limited, starting at $27,999: Thunder Black Pearl; Radar Blue; Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package
  • Chieftain Elite, starting at $34,999: Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy
  • Roadmaster Dark Horse, starting at $28,999: Thunder Black Smoke; White Smoke; Ruby Smoke
  • Roadmaster, starting at $29,999: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic; Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black pinstripe; Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe

 

Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 lineup of performance accessories for the Thunder Stroke 111 and Thunder Stroke 116 significantly modify the overall look, sound, and performance of each engine. The stage 1 slip-on exhaust, available in black or chrome, improves sound for both the Thunder Stroke 111 and Thunder Stroke 116. Indian Motorcycle’s new stage 1 oval slip-on muffler kit and stage 1 performance air intake together increase horsepower by 4% with the Thunder Stroke 111 and 8% with the Thunder Stroke 116. By adding the stage 2 performance cams, riders will gain 13% more horsepower when compared to a stock Thunder Stoke 111. The Thunder Stroke 116 stage 2 performance kit, which includes cams, higher flowing fuel injectors and throttle body, produce a 17% horsepower boost when paired with both Stage 1 accessories. Riders can also upgrade any Indian Motorcycle model packing the Thunder Stroke 111 with its Thunder Stroke 116 stage 3 big bore kit, which produces 20% more horsepower when compared to a stock Thunder Stroke 111. 

 

For riders looking to add additional passenger accommodations, Indian Motorcycle offers headdress passenger floorboard pads for added cushion to combat road vibration and match the currently available headdress rider floorboard pads, 12-inch quick release passenger sissy bar and a new, more modern-styled passenger backrest pad. Additionally, Indian Motorcycle will offer 12-inch ape hanger handlebars for all Chief and Springfield models.

 

Arriving at dealerships now, riders can learn more or test ride by visiting a local Indian Motorcycle dealer. For more information on the 2020 Thunder Stroke lineup, or to find the nearest dealer, visitIndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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