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  

  

 
Alex Tagliani scored his best oval track result of the 2019 season with a third place finish on Saturday night in round nine of the NASCAR Pinty's Series held on the one-third mile Riverside International Speedway (RIS) oval track in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The Quebec driver started the Bumper to Bumper 300 in seventh place and kept in touch with the leaders all race long, but the dramatic end of the scheduled 300-lap race pushed the event into NASCAR overtime where he moved into third place to cross the finish line right behind D.J. Kennington and race winner Jason Hathaway.


For Tagliani, this was his second consecutive podium finish of the season. Jason Hathaway from Appin, Ontario led only one lap, the 305th and last lap after returning a chrome horn bump on Kevin Lacroix that sent him down to sixth place. Lacroix had been the dominant driver leading 195 laps. Tagliani was followed at the finish line by LP Dumoulin, with Alex Labbé rounding out the top five.


"That was quite a performance for the 22 Racing Team tonight with a second consecutive podium finish, only six-hundredths of a second behind second place," said Tagliani after the race. "We fought hard until the end and I came so close of going by D.J. (Kennington) on the last lap. The team has made tremendous progress on the Chevrolet EpiPen-RONA-St Hubert-Spectra Premium oval car program. I was very happy with its performance in qualifying, as there was only one-tenth of a second gap between my seventh place on the grid and the polesitter. That was very positive.


"The result of this race is very promising for the upcoming final three oval races of the season. If the team continues to improve the car bit by bit for each of these races, the results could be very interesting. We hope to finish the season on a strong note. We needed that kind of success after a difficult start of the season on this type of track.


"Next week will be a very busy weekend for me at Mosport road course with a race with the Kyle Busch Motorsports Team in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and of course a very important race in the NASCAR Pinty's Series with my number 18 car. I look forward to do very well in both races,"
concluded Tagliani.


Only 14 drivers started the RIS race with 12 crossing the finish line at the end of the Bumper to Bumper 300.  Nine cars finished on the lead lap. The 305-lap race was under full course caution nine times for a total of 53 laps. The Riverside International Speedway race will be televised on TSN on Saturday, August 24 at 1:30 p.m.


In his four NASCAR Pinty's races at Riverside, Tagliani has finished twice in the top five and four times in the top 10. In 80 NASCAR Pinty's starts, Tag has claimed ten poles, won 9 races, finished 35 times in the Top-5 and 55 times in the Top-10.


In the driver standings:
No major changes in the driver top five standings, but the noose is tightening up on leader Andrew Ranger who finished seventh at Riverside. Ranger is still leading, but gap has been reduced to 11 points over Kevin Lacroix (374) and to 17 on LP Dumoulin (368). By finishing ahead of all the rivals ahead of him in the standings, Tagliani shaved four points from Ranger's lead. He is still fourth with 352 points, 33 points back. D.J. Kennington rounds out the top five with 328 points.


NEXT STOP: CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK IN ONTARIO
The NASCAR Pinty's Series returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park famed road course in Bowmanville, Ontario for round 10 of the season the weekend of August 24. Tagliani will be a busy driver on Sunday, August 25 competing in the 51-lap NASCAR Pinty's race scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. and then at 2:30 p.m., driving for 64 laps in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at the wheel of the number 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. For the truck race, CanTorque, RONA and Spectra Premium will sponsor Tagliani's Tundra.


THE NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES RACE will televised live on FOX Sports Racing, available on cable with Videotron (792), Bell TV (1421), Cogeco (742), Eastlink (713) and Rogers (409). Pre-race show starts at 2 p.m. Race time: 2:30 p.m.


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 Total Quartz 200 live stream on TSN.ca and on the TSN app on Sunday, August 25 at 11:05 a.m. Eastern. Check NASCAR Pinty's listing for exact time. The United States fans can watch all the races live on FansChoice.tv.


Summer of TAG
During his 2019 season, Alex Tagliani will race across Canada promoting the sixth annual Summer of TAG, which raises awareness about food allergies, and the importance of educating those afflicted. Alex and Food Allergy Canada, with the support of Pfizer Canada, are committed to creating a safer world for people with potentially life-threatening allergies.


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.

Team Penske driver Will Power earned his first NTT IndyCar Series victory of the season, extending his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one victory to 13.

This victory came in Sunday's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, the 2.5-mile track where he won for the third time in four years. Power's streak is second only to Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon, who has won NTT IndyCar Series races in 15 consecutive seasons.

MEDIA LINK: Official Results

Driving the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet, Power was leading this race at Lap 128 (of 200) when the inclement weather arrived. Power had taken the lead from Dixon on Lap 115 and pushed the advantage to 6.1 seconds before the caution waved for lightning in the area.

The victory gave Power sole possession of seventh place in career victories with 36, breaking a tie with the legendary Bobby Unser. The Australian said this win came amid "the toughest season of my career."

"Absolutely over the moon to finally win a race this season," he said. "The guys working on the car, they've worked their (tails) off this year - just had bad runs. Yeah, (it's) awesome, awesome - great feeling."

Dixon finished second in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda, giving him finishes of second, second, first and second over the past month. The strong run, coupled with the fifth-place finish of Team Penske's Josef Newgarden, tightened the championship chase, which has four drivers within 52 points heading to the final three races.

Newgarden started the race from the pole in the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet after Saturday's qualifying session was rained out. He expanded his series lead to 35 points as his closest challenger, Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi, was collected in a first-lap, multi-car accident in Turn 2.

The cars of Rossi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato and Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay came together approaching the corner, and their contact collected James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and series rookie Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing. There was a 45-minute red flag for cleanup, and all drivers were cleared of injuries. Of the group, only Rosenqvist was transported via ground to a local hospital for further evaluation. All tests were negative and he was released late Sunday afternoon.

Rossi's crew repaired the No. 27 MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda, but he was unable to gain any positions. He finished 18th, losing 19 points to Newgarden.

"Unfortunately, the weather came and the race was called one lap before we could gain another spot," Rossi said. "We have a couple days to rebound and go for race wins now - that's all that matters."

Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske jumped from third to first on the opening lap and led a race-high 64 laps, but he settled for a third-place finish in the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet. Pagenaud is 40 points out of the series lead, Dixon is 52.

"It's good to be in it," said Pagenaud, who like Dixon (five times) and Newgarden is a former NTT IndyCar Series champion. "There's three races to go, all the chances in the world for our team. We're going to keep pushing; that's what we've been doing. Just keep pushing, doing what we do, try to win races. That's going to be the name of the game until the end. I love it."

Series rookie Santino Ferrucci tied his career-best with a fourth-place finish in the No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda.

The NTT IndyCar Series gets back to racing this week with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. NTT P1 Award qualifying will be held Friday at 6:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (XM 209, Sirius 217, Internet/App 970). The 248-lap race is Saturday with NBCSN's coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 8:45 p.m., with the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network available on all affiliates plus XM 209, Sirius 98 and Internet/App 970.

Bryce Menzies and Toyo Tires® have won the Best In The Desert series Vegas to Reno off-road race overall this last weekend.  Menzies finished in a time of 08:10:35.985… more than 8-1/2 minutes faster than the second-place finisher.  His all-wheel-drive #7 Red Bull / Toyo Tires / KMC Ford Trick Truck relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to help achieve his win.

Menzies started the weekend by qualifying first, placing him at the front of the field for the start of the race. This represents the first win for Menzies as a Team Toyo® driver, having joined earlier this year.  It is also the first time Menzies has won the Vegas to Reno overall and is the first win ever for his new-era all-wheel-drive truck.

At approximately 550-miles in length, the Vegas to Reno is considered “the longest off-road race in the United States” and this year’s event was held over a single day, rather than being run in two stages like in the years prior.  The high-speed course provided extra challenges after a rainstorm exposed jagged rocks in many areas.  The start of the race was located outside the remote town of Beatty, NV.  It paralleled the Nevada Test Site and then crisscrossed State Hwy 95 before arriving near the town of Dayton, NV which is on the outskirts of Reno.

“This win has been a long time coming and it feels even better than I imagined,” said Menzies.  “To finally put the truck my Dad and I dreamed up together on the top spot and to validate the AWD system feels extra nice.  I couldn’t be more stoked to continue Toyo’s win streak and have some momentum going into next month’s SCORE Baja 400.”

“Toyo Tires congratulates Bryce Menzies on his dominant victory this weekend in the Vegas to Reno off-road race,” said Stan Chen, sr. manager of events and sponsorships, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “It represents his first-ever win while representing Toyo Tires and will certainly not be his last.  We look forward to his success while competing on Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires.”

Menzies is a three-time SCORE Baja 500 winner, former SCORE International® Series Champion and two-time Mint 400 winner in the Best In The Desert series.  Also proficient in short course off-road racing, Menzies won the TORC Series Pro2 class championship three years in a row, 2011 – 2013.  He has also competed successfully in the Pro 2 and Pro 4 classes of the Lucas Oil® Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS).

With this weekend’s win by Menzies, Toyo Tires has been on a streak in both desert and short course off-road racing.  Andy McMillin has won both the 33rd Annual SCORE San Felipe 250 and the 51st SCORE Baja 500 with his #31 Red Bull / Toyo Tires / KMC Wheels / Rigid / Fox Chevrolet Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck to take the early lead in the 2019 SCORE points championship.  (It should also be noted that McMillin and Toyo Tires won the 2016 Vegas to Reno overall in 2016.)

In the Lucas Oil® Off-Road Racing Series, Kyle LeDuc and his #99 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires / WD-40 Pro 4 class Ford truck is well in the lead of the 2019 championship points and has the potential to win his sixth championship with Toyo Tires at the end of the season.

To learn more about Team Toyo and the full line of Toyo Open Country tires tailored to your lifestyle, go to ToyoTires.com.

Loenbro Motorsports took on the biggest names in the world of rallycross in Friday and Saturday’s Nitro Rallycross, one of the most thrilling and spectacular events of this year’s Nitro World Games from Utah Motorsports Campus. With the support of cbdMD, also a Nitro World Games event sponsor, as primary sponsor on both of the team’s Ford Fiestas, Loenbro Motorsports drivers Steve Arpin and Ken Block fought the competition in the most spectacular standalone rallycross race in the world.

In the end, Block appeared set to earn a podium finish in his only rallycross appearance of the season. Unfortunately, a cut tire ended his hopes of earning a medal in his home state, and the “Gymkhana” star and legend of action motorsport competition wound up sixth in the main event.

“Well, not the result we wanted out of Nitro Rallycross, but that’s racing!” said Block. “I had a decent start in the final, but, during lap two (and turn one?) Travis Pastrana and I may have had a bit of contact? Ha. I think we both had a lot of fun though. A big thanks to TP and the entire Nitro crew for building the BEST rallycross track in the world. I wish they were all like this! And a big thanks to all the fans who came out to see us have fun with our cars!”

Arpin, meanwhile, hoped to continue a stellar season that has already included multiple podium finishes in Americas Rallycross events by earning his first Nitro World Games medal. Unfortunately, with a new race format that featured elimination in the two Challenger races early Saturday afternoon, Arpin found himself on the outside looking in. Arpin suffered cut tires in every session on Saturday, preventing him from securing a transfer spot.

“I have to thank the entire Loenbro Motorsports crew for busting their tails for Ken and me all weekend,” said Arpin. “We’ll come out of this race stronger and refocused with the goal of chasing down the ARX title in our final two events of the year. We’re incredibly grateful to cbdMD for their support of us this weekend—they’ve been a huge supporter of Nitro World Games, and they stepped up to support both of our cars this weekend. I also have to thank Travis Pastrana and everyone at Nitro World Games for building us an incredible track to race on, and I’d like to offer my best wishes to Scott Speed for a speedy recovery after his back injury—can’t wait to get back on track with you soon!”

Although the event didn’t end in medals for either driver, both Block and Arpin were impressed with a strong fan turnout for the event. Nitro World Games, as an offshoot of Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus, aims to bring action sports competition to the next level, and the return of the event to Utah Motorsports Campus for the second year in a row brought bigger crowds and even more excitement than last year’s debut.

“Nitro Rallycross represents everything that we want our sport to be, both right now and in the future,” said Arpin. “We met lots of amazing fans over the weekend, and I had so much fun giving a ride-along to my buddy Jayson, who has been fighting illness all year and made our race his first trip after getting out of the hospital. It’s moments like those that make all of this worth it!”

Loenbro Motorsports’ next scheduled event is the penultimate round of the Americas Rallycross season, September 28’s visit to Circuit of the Americas. Arpin and Travis PeCoy will return to the team’s two cars for that weekend, with Arpin looking to replicate a podium finish from this event last year. Tickets are available now at www.arxrallycross.com.

 

Over the next two weeks, Jim Beaver eSports will face the busiest stretch of the 2019 eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series season, with three races in a 10-day span. Drivers Michael Guariglia and Eric J. Smith will kick off the action in their Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR/GoPro Motorplex Ford Mustangs tonight at Bristol Motor Speedway. One week later, the series will head to Darlington Raceway for its first playoff race of 2019, while August 29 will see the team return to national television as part of NASCAR America on the NBC Sports Network.
 
The eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series hasn’t competed at Bristol in a number of years, making tonight’s regular season finale a major wild card. Last Saturday’s real-world NASCAR Cup Series event saw plenty of thrilling excitement, and there’s no reason for fans to expect any less from eNASCAR’s virtual counterparts. The .533-mile oval has produced a number of dramatic finishes over the years in the real world, and will likely do the same in tonight’s 250-lap race.
 
After Bristol concludes the regular season, next week’s playoff run begins at Darlington, home of the legendary Southern 500 every Labor Day weekend and more recently the home of NASCAR’s annual Throwback Weekend. Jim Beaver eSports will get into the spirit by giving fans the opportunity to choose one of the following four throwback paint schemes for next weekend’s event:
 
  • Michael Waltrip’s 2001 Daytona 500-winning #15 car
  • Dale Earnhardt’s 1982 Bud Moore Engineering #15 Ford
  • Rowdy Burns’ Days of Thunder #51 car
  • AJ Foyt’s 1976 Gilmore Racing #51 car
 
 
 
Voting will take place on Jim Beaver's social media channels and www.downanddirtyshow.com through Friday evening. The winning paint scheme will run next Tuesday at Darlington and in next Thursday’s NASCAR America broadcast, while the other driver will run a throwback paint scheme inspired by Jim Beaver’s real-world Trophy Truck.
 
“We’ve really gotten into the spirit of NASCAR Throwback weekend with our special paint schemes,” said Beaver. “But it was really important to us to bring the fans in and give them the opportunity to help us choose which classic NASCAR paint scheme they wanted us to run. I’m thrilled to bring my old-school Trophy Truck wrap to one of our Ford Mustangs, and I’m very excited to honor a NASCAR legend of the fans’ choosing with our second car next week.”
 
Be sure to tune in to watch Jim Beaver eSports drivers Michael Guariglia and Eric J. Smith compete in eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series action from Michigan International Speedway. The live stream will begin at 9PM ET/6PM PT and can be seen on the iRacing eSports Network and the Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR website (www.downanddirtyshow.com).
 
 

 

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway has a new name this season but the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval situated in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, Mo., this weekend will provide the same unique challenge as in years past for the top two rungs on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will both race on Saturday in support of the NTT IndyCar Series, with coveted and lucrative championship titles still on the line as the 2019 campaign reaches toward its conclusion. Just four races will remain after this weekend, comprising a pair of road course events for each series at both Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Ore., on August 31/September 1 and then the series’ finales three weeks later at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif.

Askew Seeks to Extend Indy Lights Lead
A recent string of three consecutive wins has taken Oliver Askew into a commanding 45-point lead in the quest for a champion’s scholarship which will guarantee entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events in 2020, including the 104th Indianapolis 500. Saturday’s Cooper Tires Indy Lights Oval Challenge of St. Louis will represent the second and final oval race on the schedule, offering a 50 percent points bonus with 45 points available to the winner, plus additional points for pole position and leading the most laps during the race.

Askew, 22, from Jupiter, Fla., has won six of the 13 races held so far this season for Andretti Autosport, including a dramatic last-gasp victory at the Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Askew also set the pace during two of the three test sessions held at the track last week before sliding to fourth on the overall charts when he elected to concentrate on longer runs during the final period.

“The next five races will be the most important of my career, and Gateway will kick off this home stretch with one oval race worth 50 percent extra points,” noted Askew. “Andretti Autosport and myself will be putting all of our effort and time this week into making sure we leave nothing on the table.”

The man Askew edged to victory at Indianapolis, Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Norman, from Aurora, Ohio, will be out for revenge this week. Norman’s confidence will be high after claiming a brilliant first-ever victory last year at the Gateway oval following an intense battle with then-teammate and current NTT IndyCar series standout Colton Herta.

Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., also is expected to be a leading contender aboard a third Andretti Autosport Dallara-AER IL-15. Megennis won earlier this season on the Indianapolis Grand Prix road course and qualified fastest for the Freedom 100.

The team owned by former IndyCar star Michael Andretti currently holds a virtual stranglehold on the Team Championship, 430-282 over Juncos Racing, such that another one-two sweep – a potential sixth of the season – could be enough to clinch a second successive title with four races remaining.

One man anxious not to let that happen is teenaged Dutch sensation Rinus VeeKay, who has already won three times this season and is determined to find his way back to Victory Lane in order to bolster his own championship aspirations. VeeKay also will be seeking to maintain his record at World Wide Technology Raceway after scoring a clear win for Juncos Racing last year on his way to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship crown.

Belardi Auto Racing and HMD Motorsports also have high hopes of upsetting the Andretti applecart. After winning at Gateway two years ago, Belardi will field a single entry for Brazilian rookie Lucas Kohl, while the newly named and restructured HMD team (formerly BN Racing) displayed tremendous form in last week’s test with Englishman Toby Sowery (HMD/Team Pelfrey) and David Malukas, from Chicago, Ill., posting the fastest times.

“I’m quietly optimistic going into the race weekend,” said Sowery, who has scored two second-place finishes from his last three starts. “I don’t want to jinx it, because I really do want that first series win, but I think we’ve got the car under us, it’s just a matter of putting all the pieces together.”

HMD will carry fresh support on both cars from Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, which aims to empower children with special needs and improve their quality of life.

A solitary 45-minute practice at 3:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 23, will allow the teams to prepare for single-car qualifying at 7:30 p.m. that same evening. The 75-lap race will take the green flag at 3:25 p.m. on Saturday, August 24.

In the U.S., the race will air live and on demand on NBC Sports Gold with practice and qualifying coverage carried via live streaming on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV, indylights.com and indycar.com. Internationally, practice, qualifying and the race will be live streamed on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV and at indylights.com. Additional coverage can also be found on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts which airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 216, XM 209, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile App powered by NTT Data.

Lindh Set to Defend Indy Pro 2000 Points Lead
The battle for this year’s Indy Pro 2000 championship and a scholarship valued at close to $600,000 to assist in the progression to Indy Lights for the 2020 season is shaping up nicely. Teenager Rasmus Lindh, from Gothenburg, Sweden, currently holds the edge for defending champion team Juncos Racing, but a run of five wins from the last six races for RP Motorsport USA has brought Kyle Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Fla., to within just 13 points with five races remaining.

Neither of the championship protagonists has raced previously at World Wide Technology Raceway, although both were among the leading contenders during a one-day test last week. Lindh, 18, set the pace for the first two sessions before Kirkwood, 20, vaulted to the top in the final 60-minute period – by a mere 0.0278 second over Lindh. Both were considerably faster than the 32.0991-second lap (139.738 mph) with which RP’s Harrison Scott secured the pole position in 2018.

DEForce Racing teammates Kory Enders, from Sugar Land, Texas, and Moises de la Vara, from Guadalajara, Mexico, posted by far their most competitive performances of the season during the test, ending up with the third and fourth best times. Both were within 0.2-second of the benchmark time.

Lindh’s Juncos Racing teammate, Sting Ray Robb rounded out the top five at the test. Robb, from Payette, Idaho, is still seeking an elusive first Indy Pro 2000 win.

Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports), from Red Deer, Alb., Canada, and Danial Frost (Exclusive Autosport) from Singapore, remain in the championship hunt after claiming victories earlier in the year. Frost will be looking to regain the form which saw him dominate the only other oval event on this year’s schedule at Lucas Oil Raceway in May. The pair of title rivals will have support from respective teammates Jacob Abel, from Louisville, Ky., who finished fifth at Lucas Oil Raceway, and Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin, who carries momentum from a fourth-place drive in the last event at Mid-Ohio.

Another Russian, Artem Petrov, from St. Petersburg, will make his North American debut for RP Motorsport USA after competing previously in European Formula 4 and Formula 3, as well as in the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series. Petrov, 19, made steady progress during last week’s test to end up with the ninth fastest time.

Canadian Antoine Comeau, now a resident of Chicago, Ill., will continue his learning curve with Turn 3 Motorsport. Comeau, who has raced Radical sports cars in recent years, followed up a promising debut at Mid-Ohio last month with a strong oval test one week ago.

The Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge of St. Louis will get under way with a 30-minute practice session at 2:15 p.m. CDT on Friday, followed by qualifying at 6:30 p.m. The green flag for a 55-lap race is set to fly at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 24. All sessions will be live-streamed on the Road to Indy TV App, RoadToIndy.TV, indypro2000.com and indycar.com.

Road America has been very good to the Lux Performance Group over the years. Each season, the Oregon-based Trans Am Series race team travels 2,053 miles east to America's National Park of Speed. Typically, the load is heavier on the trip back to the Northwest because lead-driver Cindi Lux (Aloha, Oregon) has raced her way to the Road America podium and brought the trophy back with her. The 13-time Road Racing champion returns to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin this weekend with the intention to add to her victory hardware at the 4.0-mile track behind the wheel of the No. 45 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACR-X. Also returning to the team for the August 24 Ryan Companies 100 will be Dirk Leuenberger (Redmond, Washington) in the No. 35 Dodge Viper ACR-X.
 
Cindi Lux is back looking to add to her Road America trophy case.
Image courtesy of and in fond memory of our friend John Thawley
Now in her fifth-season of Trans Am, Cindi drove this same V10 beast to Road America podium finishes the last two Trans Am seasons. The black and red Viper narrowly missed victory last year finishing in second-place, only 0.7-tenths of a second behind the leader when the checkered flag fell. She was third in 2016. In 2015, the program raced the pair of American-made machines to a track qualifying record and captured the top-two steps on the Trans Am Series' SGT - then TA3 - class podium. Going further back, in 2004 and 2006, Lux won the prestigious June Sprints driving a Corvette and Viper respectively.
 
In her career, Lux has earned 13 road racing championships including last year's Trans Am Series Northern Cup Championship, SGT Class - then known as TA3. In 1999, Lux fought to the inaugural American Le Mans Series Women's Global GT Series championship and was SCCA NorPac T1 Class Champion from 2003 - 2006. The success on the track and skill behind the scenes earned her factory driver status with Dodge Motorsports from 2005 -'07, a Mopar factory driver position in 2008 and the same position with SRT in 2012. To-date, she has four Trans Am Series wins along with 21 podiums and six pole positions in the production-car based class. All of the success brought her recognition in the industry as well. She was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Motorsports Museum Assoc., was the Oregon SCCA National Driver of the Year ('03), Pro-Driver SCCA Driver-of-the-Year Award ('99) and the Northwest Pat Piggot Memorial Award winner for the most outstanding driver in 1992. In her career, Lux has more than 80 victories, over 160 podium finishes and more than 50 pole positions.
 
Fred and Cindi Lux.
Image courtesy of and in fond memory of John Thawley
 
With a race scheduled for 100-miles, Lux will have work to do. The packed entry list of sports cars - the largest SGT class of the season to-date - makes for heated competition with each machine having a variety of speed and braking differences. That puts a premium on the brake systems and the drivers who regulate their use. While the meaty disc brakes are the best on the market for Trans Am competition, the challenge for the drivers is to make them last. Lux has long been known as an ace at managing her car while husband Fred Lux is renowned throughout the paddock as "The Mad Scientist" with panache for perfect preparation.
 
Joining Black Rock on the No. 45 Viper will again be CoolShirt Systems, Forgeline Wheels and Motion Control Suspension.
 
CBS Sports Network will broadcast the Ryan Companies 100 on a tape-delayed basis. Check local listings for exact times in your area.

Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, and its championship-winning FTR750 earned its eleventh win of the 2019 season on Saturday night in Illinois at the Peoria TT.  Wrecking Crew Rider Briar Bauman was able to widen his lead atop the point standings by securing first place, while teammate Bronson Bauman placed second.  The top-two finish also secured a third consecutive Manufacturer’s Championship for Indian Motorcycle Racing, its third since joining American Flat Track competition.

 

The Bauman Brothers were locked in a fierce battle at the outset of the Main.  They remained neck and neck, each taking the lead several times early on until Briar decisively seized control on lap 9, propelling himself to his 4th win of the season. Bauman’s triumph ties him with defending AFT Twins Champion Jared Mees for most wins in the 2019 season. Mees finished in fifth place, less than a second behind Indian Motorcycle Racing Privateer Robert Pearson.

 

“We’re extremely proud of our team’s commitment to excellence over the course of the last three years,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle.  “The Manufacturer’s Championship is a great honor and to begin with three out of the gates is extremely humbling. We’re excited to see our guys continue to compete for the riders championship over the next five races.”

 

Through thirteen races, Briar Bauman remains the series points leader with 243 points. Mees is currently in second with 205 points and Bronson Bauman maintains third with 183 points.

 

The AFT Twins season continues on August 31 and September 1 with back to back Springfield Miles at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, IL. 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.

 

Earlier this week, 20-year-old Max Root was driving from his home in San Diego to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California as he begins his third year at the university majoring in business administration with an emphasis on commercial real estate.
 
Anybody who’s driven on the highways between San Diego and Malibu will tell you it can be a challenge, but Root is more than equal to the task. After all, he’s spent the past season-and-a-half driving the No. 7 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
 
And he’s done it pretty well. He’s currently second in the championship standings in the Platinum Cup class, for 911 GT3 Cup cars built in 2017 or later. He’s finished on the podium seven times this year – actually, seven times in the past eight races – and he returns to action in this weekend’s pair of 45-minute GT3 Cup Challenge USA races at VIRginia International Raceway with high expectations and fond memories of his first visit to the track last year.
 
In the second race of last year’s GT3 Cup Challenge USA doubleheader, Root did something nobody else was able to do in the second half of the 2018 season, except when he did it again in the penultimate race of the year at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. He took the lead from Zacharie Robichon in the No. 19 Moorespeed Porsche and stayed there for 12 laps before Robichon got it back.
 
Root eventually finished sixth in that race, falling from a podium spot on the final lap. But his performance coupled with the fact that he finished third in the first race at VIR – one of five podium results in his rookie GT3 Cup Challenge USA season – has him optimistic heading into this weekend.
 
“Coming off last year, we had a strong performance,” Root said. “It was fun battling with Zach at the front there and leading a majority of the race.”
 
As much fun as it was to battle Robichon, Root also enjoyed the overall challenge of the 3.27-mile, 17-turn layout at VIR.
 
“That’s a really cool, raw American track that we have, something that is far and few between after traveling to a lot of tracks in North America,” he said. “There’s a lot of corners, like the top of the Esses, where it’s inch perfect.
 
“Anything past that is a pretty big off, so I enjoy that aspect of it. I think it’s a track that suits our ideology at Wright Motorsports really well, and it’s something that I personally enjoy. I’m smiling ear-to-ear, lap-to-lap, so that’s a good aspect of it.”
 
Root came into GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition in 2018 as the recipient of the prestigious IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Scholarship. Befitting of his status as a student – both at Pepperdine and on the racetrack – it’s been a nonstop learning experience.
 
“The Hurley Haywood Scholarship was kind of my catapult into it, with no real racing background in a car,” Root said. “I come from motorcycles and from a dirt background, so it was definitely a shift getting used to slicks and tires that fall off.
 
“But I think with the Wright Motorsports team and with the tools that we have and the engineers, I’ve really been able to understand the dynamics of the Porsche and how to drive it effectively and get the most out of the car. I would say the biggest hurdle for me was the tires, understanding the peak lap and how the tire falls off and understanding how to drive it at its max capabilities throughout a stint.
 
“As well as getting used to all of the tracks that I’d never driven at before with not a lot of simulator work and no experience in karting. It was a full experience from day one. There’s not a day that goes by at the track that I don’t learn something valuable to add to my toolbox.”
 
What he’d like to add to his trophy case – as early as this weekend if possible – is a first-place trophy. He’s collected plenty of podiums the past two years, but he’s hungry to win and believes it’s a realistic expectation at VIR and the remaining races this season.
 
“Every time I get in the car and I strap in, my goal is just to do 100 percent of what I can do that session, whether it’s a test day, a qualifying, a race,” he said. “So, there’s no reason we can’t be on the top of the podium in all six of those races. I think we not only have it in me, but in the team with our preparation. I think you’ll definitely see the No. 7 car on the podium these last six races.”
 
This weekend’s doubleheader of races for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at VIR kicks off Saturday morning at 11:20 a.m. ET with the first 45-minute race. The second race goes off at 9:45 a.m. ET Sunday.
 
Both races will be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will broadcast a recap of the races on Friday, Sept. 6 at 12 p.m. ET.
Portland International Raceway (PIR) has delivered many exciting Indy car races over its history. That is likely to be the case again Labor Day weekend for the Grand Prix of Portland, August 30-September 1.  
 
The NTT IndyCar Series returns to PIR and the Pacific Northwest for Round 16 of 17 of its season championship next weekend. The closest finish ever on a road or street circuit in the series’ annals occurred at PIR in 1997 when Mark Blundell passed Gil de Ferran on the final lap to win by 0.027 of a second.
 
On Father’s Day in 1986, Mario Andretti nipped his son Michael at the line by 0.070 of a second after Michael’s car ran out of fuel on the final turn of the final lap. That PIR finish was the closest ever in any Indy car race at the time when it happened.
 
Like last year’s race, the Grand Prix of Portland is also where NTT IndyCar Series title hopes can be dashed or secured as the penultimate round. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon provided proof of that after overcoming a multi-car first turn incident to retain his points lead by capturing a fifth place finish last year at PIR then going on to win his fifth series championship.
 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Takuma Sato worked a two-stop strategy perfectly and also delivered one for the record books on September 2, 2018, in the Grand Prix of Portland. He started 20th on the grid before taking the checkered flag. It was the furthest back ever at PIR an INDYCAR driver has started to go on to take the win and also ranks fourth all-time as the lowest starting position to win a race on a road or street course.
 
“The strategy worked extremely well, the car worked well and the pit stops were fantastic,” Sato said afterwards about his team and the Honda-powered No.30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic car. “It was a beautiful race. Look at these fans in Portland, so enthusiastic. I think this is one of the most beautiful days in my life again.”
 
In addition to the stars and cars of the Indianapolis 500 and the NTT IndyCar Series competing on the 1.964-mile, 12-turn PIR road course, doubleheaders will be held for all three open-wheel development series comprising the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires. The Global Mazda MX-5 Cup will provide additional full-fender action alongside the debut for the high-flying Stadium SUPER Trucks taking on the asphalt and air of PIR for the first time. Eleven races in all comprise a jam packed weekend schedule.
 
Three Day tickets are still available for purchase to secure the top seats at the best value in the grandstands for the entire race weekend. A limited number of Three Day Gold Level Grandstand offering reserved seating overlooking the famous Festival Chicane remain and include a paddock pass to get up close to the cars and drivers in the “locker room of motorsports.”
 
The Grand Prix of Portland is a tremendous family value. Children 12 and under receive free general admission to the event and free admission to the NTT IndyCar Series paddock throughout the weekend when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Visit portlandgp.com for ticket information.
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
Ok Decline