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  

  

 

Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, and its championship-winning FTR750 earned its 14th win of the 2019 American Flat Track (AFT) season at the Williams Grove Half-Mile in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Indian Wrecking Crew Rider and current points leader Briar Bauman secured his fifth win of the season, while Indian Motorcycle Privateers Brandon Price and Davis Fisher placed second and third, respectfully.

 

The 2019 Williams Grove Half-Mile Twins Main event began with a battle between Bauman and AFT Twins Defending Champion Jared Mees. As each muscled to maintain the lead, Bauman strategically slid into first during lap six. Early on, Price secured the second position, while Fisher made impressive passes on his way to third. Near the half way point, Bauman maintained a one-second lead ahead of Price, which he retained until the finish. Mees finished the race in fourth, and is now 35 points behind Bauman, who leads the series with 305 total points.

 

“Briar continues to showcase his talent and determination to win a Twins championship,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “He’s maintained his focus throughout the entire season and is running his best races we’ve ever seen.”

 

With two races remaining, Bauman remains the series points leader with 305 points, while Mees is second with 270 points, and fellow Wrecking Crew teammate Bronson Bauman is third with 221 points.

 

The season continues on September 21 with the Minnesota Mile at Canterbury Park in Minneapolis, MN. For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

For more information on Indian Motorcycle Racing’s sponsors, visit their websites: Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, S&S Cycle, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets and J&P Cycles.

 

The SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® Northeast Conference has wrapped up its 2019 calendar. More than 800 racers took part in the Conference’s 12-round season that visited six different venues. Drivers who excelled have earned a 2019 Northeast Conference championship.

Special kudos goes to longtime SCCA racer Scott Rettich. This year in the Northeast Conference he managed to scoop up two championships. One was in Spec Racer Ford Gen3 where he bested more than 100 other competitors. He also managed to gobble up the Formula Enterprises 2 championship, too, taking seven victories along the way.

The Northeast Conference saw several hotly contested championships this year. Formula Vee® was decided by only one point as Gary Kittell and his Caracal D/SB just barely came out ahead of Roger Siebenaler in a Mysterian M2 racecar. Siebenaler had more wins on the season with five, but Kittell had more points thanks to competing in more races.

Two points was the winning margin in two other Northeast Conference classes. In American Sedan® it was Jason Smith who edged out James Jost, 155 points to 153 points, with both competitors driving Ford Mustangs. And in B-Spec it was David Oliveira who claimed the title over Frank Schwartz, 114 points to 112 points, with both of those drivers hustling MINI Coopers. Drew Strickland, piloting a Honda Fit, was only seven points behind Schwartz in third place.

The margin of victory in another two Northeast Conference classes came down to only three points. In a class contested by nearly 120 drivers, Nick Leverone won out in Spec Miata by three points over Nicholas Bruni. And in Super Touring® Under it was the Honda Prelude of Matthew Benazic who took the championship by three points over John Weisberg in a Mazda Miata. Mark Liller, in a Dodge Neon SRT-4, took third only three points back of Weisberg.

Five points made all the difference in Prototype 1 (P1) as Greg Bell, driving a Stohr WF1, claimed the P1 Northeast Conference championship with 80 points as compared to the 75 points of runner-up William Munholland and his Elan DP-02 car. Five points was also the winning margin in Formula Mazda as Mike Anderson brought home the title over Anthony Victor Seaber. Robert Noell finished third in the standings only three points behind Seaber.

Other close Northeast Conference championships included E Production where Donald Walsh and his Mazda RX-7 won out over the Honda Civic Si of Greg Amy by seven points, and nine points was the winning margin in Formula 1000 as John Homan took the championship in a RFR F1000 over the Elan DB08 of runner-up Kevin Boeckle.

The Northeast Conference began its 2019 schedule with an exciting Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at VIRginia International Raceway. Round 3 and Round 4 then took place at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia, followed by a single race weekend in May at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. June also saw a single event, which was a Hoosier Super Tour at Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York. The calendar then closed out in July with Round 9 and Round 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut before the final weekend of racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight finishes at Northeast Conference races count towards a driver’s point total.  Below are Northeast Conference champions with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan®: Jason Smith; Troy, NY; Mohawk Hudson Region; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: David Oliveira; Moosup, CT; New England Region; Mini Cooper
-E Production: Donald Walsh; Orrtanna, PA; Susquehanna Region; Mazda RX-7
-F Production: Charlie Campbell; Corry, PA; Mohawk Hudson Region; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Enrik Benazic; Farmingdale, NY; Glen Region; Honda Civic Si
-Formula 500: Russell Strate Jr.; Alden, NY; Western New York Region; QRE F-500 QRE Invader
-Formula 1000: John Homan; Ashburn, VA; North Carolina Region; RFR F1000
-Formula Atlantic®: Matthew Gendron; Monson, MA; New England Region; Pro Mazda
-Formula Continental®: Alex Tollefsen; Brooklyn, NY; New England Region; Van Diemen RF99
-Formula Enterprises: Justin Huffman; Herndon, VA; Washington DC Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Scott Rettich; Columbus, OH; Ohio Valley Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Tyler O'Connor; New Hartford, CT; New England Region; Mygale SJ14
-Formula Mazda: Mike Anderson; Temecula, CA; Texas Region; Star Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee®: Gary Kittell; Tully, NY; Glen Region; Caracal D/SB
-GT-1: James McAleese; Leesburg, VA; Washington DC Region; Chevrolet Camaro TA1
-GT-2: Kevin Allen; Anderson, SC; Buccaneer Region; Nissan 300ZX
-GT-3: Joe Kristensen; London, ON; Detroit Region; Honda Civic
-GT-Lite: Graham Fuller; Martinsburg, WV; Washington DC Region; Honda CRX
-Prototype 1: Greg Bell; Ottawa, ON; Atlanta Region; Stohr WF1
-Prototype 2: Paul Omichinski; Burlington, CT; New England Region; Stohr 04D
-Spec Miata: Nick Leverone; Mendon MA; New England Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Scott Rettich; Columbus, OH; Ohio Valley Region; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring® Lite: Bob Beede; Northampton, MA; New England Region; Honda Civic Si
-Super Touring® Under: Matthew Benazic; Whitestone, NY; New York Region; Honda Prelude
-Touring 1: Hugh Stewart; Milford, CT; New England Region; BMW M3
-Touring 2: Kurt Rezzetano; Phoenixville, PA; Philadelphia Region; Pontiac Firebird
-Touring 3: Marshall Mast; Narvon, PA; Philadelphia Region; Ford Mustang
-Touring 4: Owen Schefer; Warrenton, VA; Washington DC Region; Mazda RX-8

The U.S. Majors Tour is one pathway to the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held Oct. 8-13 at VIRginia International Raceway along the border of North Carolina and Virginia. U.S. Majors Tour drivers qualify for the Runoffs by participating in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends and starting at least three U.S. Majors Tour races in the same car class over the course of the season.

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944 and currently celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Hagerty, the Official Insurance Partner of SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.

Photo: Scott Rettich claimed two U.S. Majors Tour Northeast Conference championships, one in FE2 (pictured) and the other in SRF3

Photo Credit: Mark Weber

Today, NHRA officials released the 2020 national event schedule for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. This exciting series featuring an eclectic mix of powerful vehicles will compete at 12 of the 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
 
Pro Mod cars excite and intrigue fans as competitors can use superchargers, turbochargers, or nitrous-oxide injection to run more than 250 mph. In 2020, these fierce competitors will visit a few new stops including the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., and the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas.
 
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 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 E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
 
March 12-15 - AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 24-26 - NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 29-31 - Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.
June 12-14 - Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 19-21 - NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.
July 9-12 - Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago
July 17-19 - Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver
Aug. 13-16 - Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
Sept. 2-7 - NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Oct. 2-4 - AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 15-18 - AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 - Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
With an off weekend from NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) competition, veteran racer Gus Dean (@gusdean) has accepted an invitation to compete in Saturday night’s Speed51 Super Select race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
 
Dean, 25, will drive his famed No. 56 Baker Distributing Chevrolet for the event. Dean was invited to participate in last year’s race, but Mother Nature washed out the originally scheduled date last September.
 
With fall like weather expected this weekend, the Bluffton, S.C. is eying the $10,000 prize and the opportunity to deliver a win against a stacked field.
 
“I’m very honored to have been invited to compete in this weekend’s Speed51 Super Select race,” said Dean. “I can’t thank Mr. (Bob) Dillner enough for the invite and for our longtime partner Baker Distributing for stepping up to support us for the race.
 
“It’s a talented field with a lot of good drivers and great race cars but that should make it a great show for the race fans. For me, it’s an opportunity to go out with my Dean Racing crew with no pressure except to have fun and see if we can bring home the check and trophy.”
 
Dean has prior experience at Lucas Oil Raceway in ARCA Menards Series competition. With one top-five and two top-10s in the books from 2017 and 2018 seasons respectively, the Truck Series rookie knows his Late Model will drive different than his ARCA but admits there is some satisfaction in knowing he has laps around the Indiana short track.
 
“You have to get up on the wheel with these Late Models,” explained Dean. “You can’t drive them like a truck or an ARCA car. You have to wrestle them and work with the throttle at the same time. We should have a good car for this weekend.
 
“My prior experience at Lucas Oil will help when it comes to laps at the track, but once I climb into that No. 56 Baker Distributing Chevrolet, I’m not thinking about this or thinking about that. I’m focused to go out there and run as fast as I can and finish as close to the front as possible.”
 
While Dean has been busy with his duties for Young’s Motorsports in Trucks and Win-Tron Racing in ARCA, the Georgian is excited to dial back to his roots and compete against some of the best short track racers in the country.
 
“Late Model racing is a lot of fun,” added Dean. “You look at the entry list and I know a lot of these drivers first-hand and respect them as race car drivers. Once I put that helmet on though, the friendships go out the window and the competitor in us comes out.
 
“I’m going to race everyone hard and clean but at the end of the night, the only thing that matters is that checkered flag.”
 
Following Indianapolis, Dean will shift his attention to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for a return visit to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway for the World of Westgate 200 on Sept. 13 aboard the No. 12 LG Air Conditioning Technologies Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports.
 
Five races remain in Dean’s freshman season of Truck Series competition. 
 
The Speed51 Super Select is set for Sat., Sept. 7, 2019, with practice beginning at 3:00 p.m., qualifying at 6:00 p.m. and the Speed51 Super Select 75-lap race at approximately 8:45 p.m. Coverage of the event will be exclusive on the Speed51 Network.
 
For more on Gus Dean, please visit his GusDean.com or like him on Facebook.  
 
Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
 
For more on Baker Distributing Company, please visit bakerdist.com.

 

 Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced its 2020 Scout lineup, highlighted by two new models that pay homage to the 100-year legacy of the iconic Indian Scout – the Scout Bobber Twenty and the limited edition Scout 100th Anniversary. Also for 2020, Indian Motorcycle is introducing a selection of new Scout touring accessories, including a color-matched quick release fairing with a two-inch windshield and weather resistant semi-rigid quick release saddlebags.  New Indian Motorcycle performance accessories include a stage 1 shorty slip-on muffler kit, and an all-new 2-into-1 full exhaust system, both of which will provide a significant performance upgrade.

 

“The Indian Scout has stood the test of time as one of the most influential, iconic and recognizable motorcycles in the world,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “100 years is an incredibly special milestone, and it made perfect sense to honor Scout’s history and legacy with these two heritage-inspired 2020 models.”

 

In 1919, Indian Motorcycle announced the world’s first Scout motorcycle with the 1920 model year Scout. In celebration of the Scout’s 100th birthday, Indian Motorcycle has created a premium and collectible Scout 100th Anniversary model, limited to 750 produced globally. The special anniversary edition takes styling cues from the original Scout, highlighted by its striking paint scheme of Indian Motorcycle Red with Anniversary Gold trim.  The bike’s finishing touches include a desert tan genuine leather solo saddle seat, color-matched Scout 100th Anniversary badge, black wire wheels, beach bars, luggage rack and chrome finishes to complete the heritage-inspired throwback styling. The Scout 100th Anniversary is priced at $15,999. 

 

The “Twenty” in Scout Bobber Twenty also pays homage to the original 1920 Scout, as do several of the bike’s unique features, including wire wheels and a floating saddle. The 2020 Scout Bobber Twenty delivers ‘old school’ bobber style with relaxed ergonomics. Scout Bobber Twenty features an old-school mix of chrome and blacked-out finishes, 10-inch ape hanger handlebars, and comes in three colors: Thunder Black (ABS or non-ABS), Sagebrush Smoke (ABS) and Burnished Metallic (ABS). Pricing starts at $11,999 for non-ABS and $12,899 for ABS.

 

In addition to the two new heritage-inspired Scout models, the 2020 Scout lineup also includes the return of Scout, Scout Sixty and Scout Bobber. All 2020 Scouts receive key feature upgrades, including new floating rotors, calipers and master cylinders for improved braking performance. All Scout Bobbers will receive new Pirelli MT60RS tires, while the 2020 Scout features a sport seat and passenger pegs.

 

2020 Scout models with ABS will be available in several new colors.  The Indian Scout Sixty, starting at $8,999, is available in Thunder Black, Burgundy Metallic and Pearl White over Titanium Metallic.  With a starting price of $11,499, the Indian Scout is available in Thunder Black, White Smoke, Deepwater Metallic, Metallic Jade over Thunder Black and Indian Motorcycle Red over Ivory Cream with Gold Pinstripe. The Indian Scout Bobber, with an exciting new starting price of $10,999, is available in Thunder Black, Thunder Black Smoke, Deepwater Metallic, Bronze Smoke and White Smoke. All non-ABS Scout models will be offered exclusively in Thunder Black.

 

The 2020 lineup of new exhaust and muffler options significantly modify the overall look of the Scout family while increasing horsepower by over 10%. The new options include the stage 1 2-into-1 full exhaust system and the stage 1 shorty slip-on muffler kit – both available in chrome or matte black. The new exhaust options expand on Indian Motorcycle’s existing array of Scout performance accessories and fit with any 2019 and 2020 Scout model.

 

For riders looking to tour on their Scout, Indian Motorcycle is introducing a handful of new accessories that will help the trip last longer. A brand new, color-matched quick release fairing with a two-inch windshield is available for all model years of Scout and Scout Sixty and comes with the option to change to either a five-inch or seven-inch windshield. To complete the touring package, riders can add the solo luggage rack (available in chrome and now in gloss black) and a solo rack bag. In winter 2019, riders can add the brand new semi-rigid quick release saddlebags. With additional Indian Motorcycle accessories, a rider can customize their Scout Bobber with a rider comfort seat or add more aggressive style to Scout and Scout Sixty with bar end mirrors, smoked turn signal lenses, tinted windshields, and varying handlebars and foot controls to achieve the perfect fit for the rider and passenger.

 

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

More than two weeks before entries open for the second Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway, Riley Motorsports already has confirmed its plans to participate with a pair of Mercedes-AMG race cars for the event scheduled for Nov. 9-10, 2019.
 
The four-hour endurance race will feature LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR race cars competing for purse money and Michelin tire credits for the 2020 season.
 
Riley Motorsports currently fields Mercedes-AMG race cars in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class as well as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class.
 
“Right now, we’re going to enter the Encore with the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 car driven by Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach,” Team Owner Bill Riley said. “We think it’ll be a good way for us to start working with Lawson and Gar getting ready for the 2020 season. The second entry we have, we’re working on that right now on what class we’re going to enter. It’ll be with an AMG, and we don’t know if it’ll be a GT3 or GT4 car, so we’re working on getting that entry secured also.”
 
The announcement that Robinson and Aschenbach would be racing in the 2020 GTD class with Riley’s team came at VIRginia International Raceway last month. Riley acknowledges the Michelin Encore will be a significant opportunity for the new team to work together.
 
“When you look at the schedule for the weekend of the Encore, it’s pretty compressed, but it’s a lot of track time,” said Riley. “That helps us two-fold. One, it helps us get used to making quick decisions, and getting the car turned around quickly with the driver input. And, with a four-hour race, it lets the drivers get to see how they do over a long run with the setups we’ve been using and see how it all unfolds and what we need to build on going forward to Daytona.”
 
The benefits of competing at the Michelin Encore will extend past the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, as the WeatherTech Championship, Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge all will return to Sebring in March for the iconic Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts event week.
 
For Riley, whether it’s the Michelin Encore of the Twelve Hours of Sebring, he’s confident in the Mercedes-AMG product at the 3.74-mile circuit.
 
“We had a strong car at Sebring,” said Riley, who won the 2017 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the GTD class with drivers Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and then-endurance driver Mario Farnbacher. “The AMG is always strong at Sebring, so I’m pretty confident we’ll have a pretty decent car for the Encore and the Twelve Hour. But it does at least make sure the feedback we get from Gar and Lawson is the same direction we’ve had over the last three years with AMG.”
 
Similar to the inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring in 2018, teams will be required to field a minimum of two drivers per car and a maximum of three. No Platinum-rated drivers will be allowed to compete and no driver lineup may have more than one Gold-rated driver. Driver lineups will be subject to IMSA approval.
 
Refueling, tire and driver changes all will be allowed to take place at the same time during pit stops (no timed stops). A maximum of three crew members will be permitted over the wall to provide any service, and only the exiting driver will be allowed to assist during driver changes.
 
The purse includes $10,000 for the winner in each class, as well as three sets of MICHELIN® Pilot Sport GT tires. Second place in each class will receive two sets of tires while third-place finishers will receive one set.
 
Should any class have less than five cars, IMSA will reserve the right to modify or exclude the class before the event.
 
Entries for the 2019 Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring and Porsche GT3 Cup events open on Sept. 18 and will close Oct. 22.
 
The event will be streamed live on IMSA.com and schedule and ticket information will be made available in the near future.
 

American Flat Track will immediately follow up its titanic Springfield tripleheader with a stop at another of the sport’s hotbeds. This weekend the series arrives at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the Williams Grove Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson on Saturday, September 7.

 

Based in one of the world’s most fertile grounds when it comes to producing elite dirt track talent, there will be no shortage of hometrack favorites to root for this weekend. All three classes are loaded with frontrunners who consider Williams Grove to be their home round. This fact is sure to produce a particularly strong performance in front of fans, friends and family, and could potentially see a tip in the balance in any one of the title fights.

 

Reigning AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) drew to within striking distance of title leader Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) with his double victory in Springfield. Mees will not be lacking for motivation to keep the pressure this weekend at a venue that’s less than an hour’s drive from where he was born and raised.

 

Meanwhile, both of the leading contenders for the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys title -- points leader Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) and defending class champ Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) -- are native Pennsylvanians.

 

Like Mees in 2017, Bromley got to experience clinching a championship with the home crowd cheering him on here a year ago. But this time around, he finds himself chasing Gauthier, who holds a narrow 5-point advantage heading into Round 16 of 18.

 

It’s a similar story in the AFT Production Twins championship fight. It’s led by local ace Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07), who leads Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07), who hails from just a few hours north of Williams Grove in New York state and yet another Pennsyvanian in Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Varnes Racing/RoyBuilt Kawasaki Ninja 650).

 

Also included among the staggering number of podium-contending riders hungry to do well at home this weekend are Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750), Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and Brandon Price (No. 192 Roof Systems of Dallas TX, DPC Racing Indiant FTR750) in AFT Twins, Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450) and Cameron Smith (No. 44 Basciani Foods/Hyatt Racing Honda CRF450R) in AFT Singles and Jordan Harris (No. 17 RRCF Racing/Iowa City Brake Kawasaki Ninja 650) in AFT Production Twins.

 

There will be plenty to keep fans entertained beyond the two-wheeled action. The “hometown heroes” theme extends beyond the racing, as it will be First Responder's Night at Williams Grove Speedway, honoring the bravery and sacrifice of local police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. Additionally, the Colt Wilbur Band will be performing its blend of real country music, bluegrass, southern rock, and the blues.

 

Tickets for the Williams Grove Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson are on sale now at tickets.americanflattrack.com. Advance General Admission tickets start at just $29, and kids 12 and under are free in the General Admission areas with the purchase of one adult ticket.

 

Military/First Responder tickets are $20 with GovX registration. Spectators who would like to take in the action from a private, premium-viewing area can purchase a VIP Experience pass, which includes complimentary food and beverage, along with a commemorative race program souvenir. 

 

For fans watching remotely, FansChoice.tv will provide live coverage of the Williams Grove Half-Mile starting with the day’s first practice session at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. PT. Opening Ceremonies are slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m PT. The rider autograph session/open paddock period will start at 6:40 p.m. ET/3:450 p.m PT, followed by the Main Event program at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

 

Catch the feature broadcast of the Williams Grove Half-Mile on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of the Main Events, enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage. The broadcast will debut on Saturday, September 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT and will re-air on Tuesday, September 24, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

 

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

How to Watch:

NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2019 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT's digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.

As 2019 began, Alec Udell was searching for the right opportunity to take the next step in an impressive career that began at the age of five. He closed his first year of international competition hoisting the SRO GT4 European Silver Cup championship trophy into the air amidst the spray of champagne. In doing so, the resident of The Woodlands, Texas became the first American driver in the history of the road racing series to win the GT4 championship for drivers. The 23 year-old Clemson University graduate took three wins and two additional podium-finishes in the No. 25 MDM Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 with teammate Simon Knap (The Netherlands) on his way to the Silver Cup championship.
 
The title is Udell's second major auto racing championship. He won the 2016 SRO GT World Challenge GT Cup title while taking a full class load for the Mechanical Engineering degree he earned in 2018. Prior to moving behind the wheel of a race car at the age of 15, Udell earned the 2008 Rotax National Championship in karting and concluded his karting career in 2010 earning a double class championship in the Rock Island Grand Prix.
 
Making Udell's 2019 Championship even more impressive is it came in a car he had never driven prior to a single day test with MDM and on a schedule comprised entirely of tracks the Texan had never seen before. He began conversations with MDM Motorsport team management in February and traveled to their home base in The Netherlands to meet with the team and test the BMW M4 GT4 in March. The test at the Zandvoort Circuit was successful and the former karting champion signed to co-drive the No. 25 with veteran Knap for the full 12-race, six-weekend schedule... a season that started in April.
 
Each weekend brought new challenges for Udell. Not only completely new to the series, car and team, he had never seen the tracks he would contest the championship on. His first race would place him at one of the great tracks of the world: Monza in Italy. Udell would take his first podium finish - third-place - in Race 1 and settle-in to be a regular among the longtime participants of Europe's leading GT4-specification series. In the third event weekend of the season, Udell won his first race at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France, matching the best result any driver from the United States had achieved in the series. He set his name apart by taking a second win at Paul Ricard the next day and a third victory came at Zandvoort in the penultimate weekend of the season. All were records for an American in the SRO GT4 European Series. Fifth and sixth-place finishes with Knap in the season-finale at the Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit clinched the title for the Texan and Dutch drivers.

CrowdStrike enjoyed a successful weekend at Watkins Glen International for the resumption of the SRO America’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America Championship. 

 

The Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for SRO America, CrowdStrike also held the position of event presenting sponsor and collected some hardware to boot on the racetrack.

 

CrowdStrike Racing fielded entries in two SRO classes: George Kurtz and Colin Braun drove the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/Accel/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America while CJ Moses and James Sofronas teamed in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Audi R8 LMS prepared by Global Motorsports Group (GMG) for the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX category.

 

Moses, Sofronas Finish on GT4 SprintX Podium

Moses and Sofronas closed the weekend with a third-place class finish in Sunday’s GT4 SprintX race to conclude Moses’ first season of professional competition. Each of the weekend rounds were one-hour races with a mandatory pit stop and driver change. 

 

Moses drove the first 25 minutes and ran a measured pace throughout before handing the car over to Sofronas to the end. A late-race yellow and early checkered flag thwarted his charge through the field. Still, the pairing managed to gain four spots from the start in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Audi R8 LMS GT4.

 

“A podium finish is a great way to close our GT4 campaign with CrowdStrike, AWS and GMG Racing,” said CJ Moses. “I really enjoyed racing at such a historic track like Watkins Glen. This year has been a tremendous learning experience and one that I’ll always remember. Thanks to James and GMG Racing for a great season. It’s my hope that this is just the beginning!”

 

On Saturday, the Moses/Sofronas pairing started strong with a second-place starting position. However, an early-race caution went against the planned race strategy for the CrowdStrike/AWS Audi. Still, the duo managed a fourth-place run for another solid points haul.

 

“It was a pleasure for GMG Racing to partner with CJ, CrowdStrike and AWS on this GT4 program,” Sofronas said. “I’m glad we could come away with a couple of podium finishes in CJ’s first season. He should be very encouraged by his performance as it’s a big jump to the professional level of racing.”

 

Top-Five Results for Kurtz, Braun in GT World Challenge

George Kurtz and Colin Braun solidified their championship standings Saturday and Sunday with top-five finishes in two 90-minute races for the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series.

 

“Thanks to Colin and everyone at DXDT Racing for their continued efforts in pushing the program forward,” Kurtz said. “It was a great weekend at historic Watkins Glen and we are very happy with our participation and visibility within the SRO America championship.”

 

The duo in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/Accel/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 endured a rough start to Race One on Saturday. Kurtz, who qualified fifth in class, made a solid start and was looking to move up in his stint. Unfortunately, he had to pit on the opening lap with damage to the Mercedes from an incident not of his making.

 

Despite losing time to the extra stop, Kurtz and Braun both drove solid races to soldier home with a fourth-place class finish – just missing their third podium finish of the year.

 

Sunday’s race was a better start for Braun, who began from the sixth position. He made up a couple of spots early and continued on for the balance of his 50-minute run. Kurtz drove the final trouble-free 40 minutes to come home fifth in the CrowdStrike Mercedes.

 

“George had a great drive on Saturday and Sunday and the CrowdStrike team had great execution all weekend long," Braun said. "It was a solid weekend but we definitely want more. Looking forward to Road America in a couple weeks!”

 

Partnership with Operation Motorsport

In addition to the racing action at Watkins Glen, CrowdStrike, AWS, DXDT and GMG Racing were honored to host two former military service members as honorary crew in both the GT and GT4 programs over the weekend. The mission of Operation Motorsport is to aid and prepare military veterans for potential future careers in motorsports following their heroic service in the U.S. military. 

 

For the Blancpain GT World Challenge program, CrowdStrike Racing and DXDT Racing hosted Sergeant Major Jason Leach. His experience over the weekend was part of what he hopes is a future career as a team manager or team owner in motorsport. On the GT4 side, Sergeant First Class (SFC) David J. Meyer assisted the CrowdStrike/GMG effort by running tires and taking trackside photography. 

 

CrowdStrike returns to sportscar racing when the Blancpain GT World Challenge America visits Road America on Sept. 20-22. For more information, visit CrowdStrikeRacing.com.

 

Viewership for Formula 1 World Championship races on ESPN networks continues to grow in the championship’s second year back on ESPN.

 

Sunday’s Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix attracted an average audience of 660,000 viewers on ESPN2, an increase of 37 percent over the race on ESPN2 last year (482,000) and up 29 percent over the viewership of the race on NBCSN in 2017 (448,000). The viewership for Sunday’s race was the second-highest on record for the event, exceeded only by ESPN’s audience of 690,000 in 1995.

 

The Belgian Grand Prix audience peaked at 770,725 as Charles Leclerc won his first F1 race.

 

Through 13 races this season, Formula 1 is averaging 667,000 viewers on ESPN networks, an increase of 20 percent over the average of 554,000 for 13 races last year on ESPN networks and up 22 percent from the average of 549,000 on NBC networks in 2017.

 

All but three of the 13 races this season have seen year-over-year viewership increases on ESPN networks.

 

The Formula 1 season continues this weekend with the Heineken Italian Grand Prix. The race airs at 9:05 a.m. ET on ESPN2 on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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