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After a disheartening season in 2018, the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season has been one of resurgence for Munford, Alabama’s Bret Holmes.

A full-time college student who also spends time working with his father’s excavation business that helps fund the family-owned race team he drives for, Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) went from parking his racecars before the season ended last fall to challenging for the series championship in a year’s time.

Holmes has been fast over the course of his career. But last year’s inconsistency caused frustration for Holmes and his father Stacy and brought about an early end to their season.

Rather than throw in the towel, Holmes reloaded. Long-time crew chief and former driver Shane Huffman joined the team after a successful run with the 2018 championship-winning MDM Motorsports organization. Huffman brought with him the vocabulary to speak to Holmes driver-to-driver, but also brought with him years of experience building race-winning racecars and calling the shots from the pit box.

The results were immediate.

Holmes has scored seventeen top-ten finishes in nineteen ARCA Menards Series starts in 2019, more than any other driver including the two fighting for the series championship, Christian Eckes and Michael Self. The only two races he failed to finish among the top ten were the two restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega.

Seven of those top-ten results have been among the top-five, including career-best third-place finishes at Michigan and Chicagoland.

The improved performance and consistency have taken Holmes to third in the championship point standings heading into the final race of the season, Friday’s ARCA Kansas 150 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, 135 points out of the lead and 95 points ahead of fourth place Travis Braden.

“We’re proud of that for sure,” Holmes said. “We have a lot of top fives, top tens, and we’ve completed more laps than anyone. That’s all because of the guys. We haven’t had a failure all year. We’ve always had a reason in the past that we didn’t finish races. We’ve stayed out of trouble this year too. We’ve had a couple I wish we could take back but overall we’ve had a really good season. It’s been a big improvement over the past.”

The one thing that has been missing throughout this resurgent season for Holmes is a visit to victory lane. That’s the final piece of the puzzle and one he hopes to slip into place on Friday night.

“We were expecting a couple of wins this season,” he said. “We are going into Kansas with that mindset. We tested there last week. We expected a little more but things don’t always work out. That’s just what part of being with a new team. Those two guys in front of us have been with the same team for the last couple of years so they’ve had an advantage because they’ve had that same feel in their cars. There’s been a big difference and feel in the cars has been so different than anything I’ve had previously. We had a good test and I am feeling really good about our chances to go and get our first win to close out the season.”

The ARCA Kansas 150 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway will close the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season on Friday, October 18. Practice opens the day at 1 pm ET/12 n CT followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT. The 100-lap/150-mile feature event will go green at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT and will be shown live on FS2 with an immediate replay on FS1. ARCA for Me members can follow live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates throughout all on-track sessions free at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.

AMS PR

To say 12-year-old Kody King had a successful season would be an understatement.

The native of Clear Lake, Iowa, earned a fourth-place finish in the overall INEX National Bandolero Bandit standings. His strong season-long performance in multiple states across the country was also enough for him to win the INEX Bandolero Bandit National Touring championship.
 
“Finishing fourth in the overall National championship is a great accomplishment, especially since we live in the Midwest. It’s hard to find the amount of races to run like the guys down in the Southeast. To win the National Touring title on top of that makes this season even better,” said King, a Lee Faulk Racing and Development developmental driver. “Winning races is great and I love it, but the National Touring championship shows we were really good all across the country and that means a lot to me.”
 
In addition to claiming the INEX Bandolero Bandit National Touring crown, King continued to win races by collecting three-straight victories at Minnesota’s Elko Speedway in his final starts in a Bandolero in recent weeks.
 
In 41 races across the United States, King earned 11 victories at six tracks in six states, including Minnesota, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Michigan. He also earned 24 podium finishes and 32 top-five finishes.
 
“We kept ourselves really busy all year, but we had a few goals in mind and one of them was the National Touring title. We were able to meet one of our goals by winning the National Touring title,” said King. “I got to see a lot of great places, travel to a lot of different states along the way. I bet most kids my age can’t say they’ve seen as many states as me. That’s really cool.”
 
Lee Faulk Racing and Development Director of Operations Michael Faulk shared his excitement for King, who will be making the move to Legend car competition with the Denver, N.C.-based squad.
 
“You can’t help but be impressed by what Kody did this year. He raced all across the country and won 11 times, finishing in the top-three 24 times,” Faulk said. “If you’re not impressed by those numbers, then I don’t know what to tell you. The next logical step is to get him in a Legend car and I can’t wait to see how he does when he makes that next step.”
 
Kody King is supported by his partners 4 Wide Promotions, Heitz Racing Engines, House Motorsports, Omans Performance, Capital Sign Company, Sparrow Ranch on the Island and McCallister Precision Marketing.
MPM PR

The NASCAR GP Italy will have a new home in 2020. Rome will host a brand new American Festival at Vallelunga’s Autodromo Piero Taruffi on September 12-13, headlined by four double-points-paying NASCAR Whelen Euro Series playoff races, thus bringing Euro NASCAR to the heart of Italy.

“We are very happy to bring the NASCAR show to the Roman fans and I’m sure this event will become one of the highlights of the championship, especially with a double-points Playoffs race! The track layout is amazing to provide a great racing experience to both fans and drivers and the facilities are at really high standards! NASCAR has found a perfect new home is Italy!” said NWES President - CEO Jerome Galpin.

Located just 30 minutes from the Eternal City’s center, Rome’s fast and sweeping 4,085-km race track, featuring an exciting mix of seven right-hand and seven left-hand turns, will pose a whole new challenge to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers. Turns like the Roma, the Ciminis and the Semaforo will soon make their way in every NASCAR fan’s mind, while those attending the event will enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Euro NASCAR paddock, with open access to drivers and teams and a whole weekend of family entertainment. Rome will become the 17th different European city to host a NASCAR event.

“We are really happy and honoured that Vallelunga is entering the “NASCAR world” with the first edition of a new event. We want it to be a true festival celebrating North American culture and US motorsports, full of passion, music and unique colors. We are sure fans from Rome and all around Italy will answer with great enthusiasm and we will be ready to welcome them,” said ACI Vallelunga President Carlo Alessi.

Vallelunga’s rich history began in 1951, when a horse racing racetrack was converted to host the first motorsport events on an oval with a sand surface. The initial asphalt road course layout was designed in 1957 by an icon of motor racing, Formula 1 legend Piero Taruffi, and expanded in 1963, when Vallelunga hosted the Formula 1 Gran Premio Roma. Since then, the track hosted many international competitions both for cars and motorbikes, including the World Sportscar Championship and the World Superbike Championship. 

The latest improvements, beginning in 2005, brought Vallelunga’s total length up to 4,085 kilometers to enrich the fans’ experience and the top-level facilities, including also an off-road track and a Safe Driving Center, bring every year a large number of activities to the track. The Autodromo Piero Taruffi, owned by the ACI (Automobile Club Italia), is also the home of the Italian Federation’s official racing school.

The first edition of Rome’s new American Festival will take place on September 12-13. The rest of the 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar will be released at a later date.

NWES PR

Capitol Raceway scored a close win over home track Maryland International Raceway at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Division 1 (Patriots) Summit Team Finals completed Monday.

 

Capitol Raceway ended with 55-51 points to keep Maryland International Raceway from repeating as Division 1 champions.

 

Leading up to the main event, racers participated in a Gambler’s race, Bogey, Golf Cart, and Big Wheels race and “best of” awards.

 

Main Event:

 

Top

Frank Lecates (US 13 Dragway) had a winning effort with a .005 reaction time combined with a 4.787 elapsed time at 142.57 mph on a 4.78 dial-in. Runner-up Bobby Spence (Capitol Raceway) had a .015 reaction time and made a 4.307-second pass at 158.39 mph against a 4.30 dial-in.

 

Mod

Frank Thompson Jr. (Maryland International Raceway) used a 6.011-second pass at 109.34 mph against a 5.99 dial-in with a .010 reaction time to win. Mike Keyton (Roxboro Motorsports Park) matched his 5.82 dial-in at 118.02 mph, but was slower at the tree with a .099 start.

 

Junior Dragster

Gayge Farrell won with a 12.375 against an 11.90 dial-in with a .022 reaction time. Zach Parlett had a 10.414 elapsed time against an 11.90 dial-in with a .067 reaction time.

 

Other Results

 

Pit Vehicle Race

Ray Snoots (Maryland) defeated Bradley Tippett (Maryland) with a .002 reaction time and 9.03-second pass against a 9.00 dial-in. Tippett went down the track in 11.315 seconds against a 11.30 dial-in, along with a .049 reaction time.

 

Friday’s Gambler’s Race

Top — Bobby Bladen III (Capitol Raceway) 5.012 on a 5.00 dial-in, .001 reaction time defeated Jena Martin (Maryland International Raceway) 4.654 on a 4.67 dial-in, .045 reaction time.

 

Mod — Daryl Beauchamp (US 13 Dragway) 7.571 on a 7.59 dial-in, .016 reaction time defeated Ed Talbert (Capitol Raceway) 6.83 on a 6.83 dial-in, -.006 reaction time.

 

Junior — Allen Jenkins (Maryland International Raceway) 12.375 on an 11.90 dial-in, .022 reaction time defeated Zach Parlett (Maryland International Raceway) 10.414 on an 11.90 dial-in, .067 reaction time.

 

Saturday’s Gamblers Race

Top — Jerry Langley (Maryland International Raceway) 4.733 on a 4.72 dial-in, .006 reaction time defeated Ben Calhoun (Capitol Raceway) 4.708 on a 4.68 dial-in, .012 reaction time.

 

Mod — Kris Bunch (Summerduck Dragway) 8.979 on a 7.63 dial-in, .010 reaction time defeated Tony Mattera (Maryland International Raceway) 6.648 on a 6.65 dial-in, -.007 reaction time.

 

Junior — Cole Foskey (US 13 Dragway) 8.948 on an 8.91 dial-in, .010 reaction time defeated Zach Parlett (Maryland International Raceway) 9.38 on a 9.02 dial-in, .095 reaction time.

 

Friday Bogey Race:

 

Top — Ben Garnett (US 13 Dragway)

Mod — Steven Truitt (US 13 Dragway)

Junior — Keith Riddle (US 13 Dragway)

  

Special Awards:

 

Best Appearing Full Bodied Car — Doug Minter, Maryland

Best Engineered Full Bodied Car — Buddy Mcgowan, Capitol Raceway

Best Appearing Junior Dragster — Cole Foske, US 13 Dragway

Best Engineered Junior Dragster — Ryan Davis, Capitol Raceway

Best Appearing Open Body Car — Brianna Lukhard, Richmond Dragway

Best Engineered Open Body Car — Jason Kirby, Maryland International Raceway

Best Team Spirit — Richmond Dragway

Best Appearing Sponsor Banner — Motor Mile Dragway

Best Appearing Grandstands — US 13 Dragway

Best Appearing Team — Motor Mile Dragway

 

Team Standings

 

1. Maryland International Raceway          63

2. US 13 Dragway                                    37

3. Capitol Raceway                                  29

4. Richmond Dragway                              25

5. Sumerduck Dragway                            23

6. Motor Mile Dragway                               3

 

Steve Torrence took over the Top Fuel points lead in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship when he defeated Doug Kalitta at the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
 
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won in their respective categories at the third of six races in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 21st of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
 
Defending world champion Torrence won this event for the second year in a row with a final round pass of 3.772-seconds at 323.19 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to beat Kalitta. He also picked up wins against Lex Joon (who did not appear in the first round), Clay Millican and Justin Ashley on the way to his ninth win in 2019 and his 36th win in his Top Fuel career. 
 
Kalitta beat Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett and Brittany Force on his side of the ladder before facing Torrence. The runner-up showing puts him second in the points race.
 
"To race Doug Kalitta, that guy is a legend," said Torrence. "I look up to him as a driver. So when you go up against him and to have the backlog of what led us to that point, coming in behind him in the points, making up some points in qualifying and then coming all the way down to the final round... a few years ago I probably would've gone up there and choked, letting that affect me and get into my head. With the success that we've had you build confidence in yourself. You trust in the team and the good Lord and you just go do the best you can. I knew that we had a car that could run with him and if I did my job, we could be right there with him on the tree. You can't let what or who is in the other lane influence you and that's what I was able to do today because you've got one of the best ever right there beside you."
 
Funny Car’s Hight went 3.917 at 329.02 in his Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS to win the final round when Jack Beckman went red at the starting line. This marks Hight's 500th round win, a distinction shared by only 19 other drivers. This win also puts him in the lead in the Countdown to the Championship. Hight faced Mike McIntire Jr., Tim Wilkerson and Matt Hagan on his way to the final round against Beckman.
 
Beckman, the No. 1 qualifier this weekend, got round wins against Dale Creasy, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps before meeting Hight in the final round.
 
“The Auto Club Chevy team really pulled together and did a good job,” said Hight. “We’ve changed some things over the last few races. We’ve been struggling, but we went down the track every run this weekend. Great job to Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham (Crew Chiefs), and all the Auto Club guys.”
 
In Pro Stock, Kramer went 6.541 at 211.33 in the final round in his American Ethanol Novozymes Chevrolet Camaro to snag his second victory in 2019 and fourth of his career beating Matt Hartford in the final. He reached the final round with wins against Kenny Delco, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Aaron Stanfield.
 
Hartford competed in his second consecutive final round after defeating Fernando Cuadra Jr., Chris McGaha and No. 1 qualifier Erica Enders.
 
“Our motto around the pit is, ‘Just don’t screw up. Make them beat you,’” said Kramer. “And that’s what a lot of today was. Nothing was super stellar; nothing was super fast. But I was able to hold on just long enough and got to 1320 first and that’s all she wrote.”
 
Hines picked up his eighth Pro Stock Motorcycle win of the season in his Harley-Davidson when his pass of 6.805 at 199.37 defeated Karen Stoffer in the final round. He secured wins against Michael Ray, Scott Pollacheck and Hector Arana Jr. before facing Karen Stoffer in the finals for the second consecutive time this season. Stoffer took the victory when they met in St. Louis in September.
 
Stoffer raced to her third final round of the season after defeating Kelly Clontz, Eddie Krawiec and No. 1 qualifier Steve Johnson.
 
“It was a tough day,” said Hines. “We were sitting around during the rain delay yesterday talking about this Pro Stock Motorcycle class and how stacked it is right now. If you look at the top ten in qualifying, any one of those people could be number one at any given time. You just never know when that’s going to happen, so these races right now are hard fought and hard earned.”
 
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Oct. 17-20 with the fourth of six races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Dallas.
 
Stevie “Fast” Jackson doubled up today when he claimed the world championship in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service and the event win at zMAX Dragway Monday during the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals.
 
The series was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association (RPM) in at the 12th annual NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals and marked the 11th of 12 races in 2019.
 
A round win in the semi-finals clinched the first Pro Mod championship for Jackson when his pass of 5.734-seconds at 251.20 mph defeated Michael Biehle II. However, he only had a quick moment to celebrate before getting back to the pits to prepare for the final round of the event where he would face Steven Whiteley.
 
“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team,’ and we never give up,” said Jackson. “This championship started when I was lying in a hospital bed, looking up at the ceiling after crashing here (in April 2018), and I told these guys we were going to get it. It’s awesome to tie a bow on the season here.”
 
Jackson punctuated his winning weekend just minutes later when he defeated Whiteley in his Bahrain1 Racing Camaro with a pass of 5.731 at 252.10 in the final round on Monday, his sixth of the season.
 
“Everybody’s got hot rod cars and these guys are driving the wheels off them,” said Jackson. “Pro Mod is, I believe, the most exciting class out here. You’ve got top notch equipment. You’ve got real drivers who are real people.”
 
Jackson walked away with two trophies at the conclusion of the event thanks to round wins against Eric Latino, Justin Bond and Biehle.
 
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service concludes with its final event of the season in Las Vegas at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
   
 
It was a shocking start to the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship for reigning Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence. But the talented Texan has more than made up for it at the past two races, looking back in championship form as he heads to his NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series home track with another world title on his mind.
 
Torrence started the six-race playoffs with a first-round loss – his first opening-round loss since February and first in the Countdown to the Championship since 2016 – but those concerns immediately went by the wayside. He rebounded with a final round appearance in St. Louis and a victory on Monday in Charlotte, regaining the points lead in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster and putting Torrence back on track for a possible second straight title heading to Texas Motorplex for this weekend’s 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
 
“You have to go rounds and you need to win races,” said Torrence, who has nine wins in 2019. “I think we need to win two more races to be pretty solid and have an opportunity to win another championship. We’ll just do the best we can do. I’m looking forward to going to Dallas. It’s a good time right now having the momentum going back-to-back. We need to try to go there and carry this momentum and see if we can be successful.”
 
Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) in 2019, including live final eliminations coverage 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Oct. 20. It is the fourth of six playoff races and 22nd of 24 races during the 2019 NHRA season, and Torrence appears to be building toward another big finish after his Charlotte win.
 
Torrence qualified No. 1 at the race and then beat his closest competitor, veteran Doug Kalitta, in the final round. It gave him 36 career wins, with 28 of those coming since 2017. It’s an incredible pace he’s kept, but Torrence has simply tried to stay in the moment. He credits crew chiefs Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana for keeping him locked in, especially as the pressure rises with each race during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
 
“You can allow yourself to succumb to the pressure or you can look at the situation for what it is,” Torrence said. “You don’t do anything differently in the last six races that you did the first 18 (in the regular season). You just keep that mindset and you can’t lose focus with what you’re doing. You just have to block out who that guy is, whether it’s Doug Kalitta or Tony Schumacher or Doug Kalitta, or whoever. You can’t let what or who’s in the other lane influence you.”
 
Torrence will aim to be ready for the task at hand in Dallas, where he will look for a second career Top Fuel win. He stretched the lead to 30 points over Kalitta with the Charlotte victory, but it is far from over. Brittany Force, the 2017 world champ and Dallas winner, is still in contention and remains 92 points behind Torrence. Kalitta is hungry for his first career world title, but Torrence is simply worried about pushing forward and maintaining consistency. It’s a formula that’s worked almost perfectly the last two seasons, and Torrence has no reason to change it.
 
“We don’t run the big numbers, but we go out and try to race to win,” Torrence said. “I’d rather turn win lights on than have pretty time slips. We didn’t have the start to the Countdown we wanted, but we got it turned around. Ultimately, you need to go out and try to win all of them. We just need to maintain our consistency. We stumbled in Reading and maybe we had relaxed a little too much. We redirected our focus and got back on the same page (in St. Louis) and went back to what got us to that point.”
 
Funny Car points leader Hight won for the second straight year and fourth time overall at Texas Motorplex last year. He’ll look to continue that against teammate John Force, who has seven Dallas wins, Reading winner Jack Beckman and Ron Capps.
 
Pro Stock’s Jason Line opened the playoffs with a win, but Erica Enders has taken over the points lead. She’ll look to keep it against standouts like Bo Butner, Alex Laughlin and Matt Hartford.
 
Eddie Krawiec has three wins in the past six years in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the track, but he’s seeking his first win of 2019. He’ll try and get it against teammate and points leader Andrew Hines, as well as playoff winners Karen Stoffer and Jerry Savoie, and defending world champ Matt Smith.
                            
The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals will also feature thrilling competition in SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, which makes its final stop of 2019, as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which showcases the future stars of the sport. For the first time, the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) will stage an unprecedented 16-car, eighth-mile exhibition race presented by Atomizer Racing Injectors. This exciting field will compete throughout the weekend including a final round of eliminations on Sunday in front of the NHRA raceday crowd. After Nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can also watch the spectacular “Lone Star Lightning” Jet Dragster driven by Tammy Gatlin and “The War Dance” jet car driven by Ralph Snyder. Jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
 
NHRA fans can take part in the Mello Yello Walking Tour to see the cars and teams hard at work in the pits. Fans can also attend Pro Stock Motorcycle School and Nitro School to learn how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds. Texas Motorplex will also host a Mello Yello autograph session and allow fans to meet their favorite drivers as well as the Sealmaster Track Walk hosted by NHRA announcer Joe Castello. Another can’t-miss experience is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes. NHRA fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the event as they celebrate their victories.
 
As always, fans can interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
 
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
   
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:45 and 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 12:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
 
To purchase tickets, call 800-668-6775. Military and first responders can save 20% on adult single day tickets at NHRA.com/govx. Tickets also are available online at www.texasmotorplex.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.  

INDYCAR took another important step in the development of its cockpit-protecting Aeroscreen with Tuesday's two-car test at Richmond Raceway, a 0.75-mile short oval that will play host to the NTT IndyCar Series next June. 

This was the third of four scheduled Aeroscreen tests this fall and it went so well that recently crowned NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske needed only a handful of laps to adjust to the new cockpit surroundings.

"Perception-wise, it was a little different when I first got in (the car) but it took maybe 30 or 40 laps and after that you're pretty used to it," Newgarden said. "It's pretty normal at this point."

The Richmond test also included five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who also took part in the initial Aeroscreen on-track test with Team Penske's Will Power on Oct. 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to testing Firestone tires, Dixon said the Aeroscreen works well on ovals and is nearly ready for action now.

"A little different look with the Aeroscreen," Dixon said. "It seems like everything is going well with all the testing (INDYCAR has) done. For sure (here), the car's fine."

The Aeroscreen is scheduled to make its race debut March 13-15, 2020 at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and will be used in competition at all 17 races next season, including the June 26-27 event at Richmond Raceway. It will mark the first series race at Richmond Raceway since 2009.

INDYCAR President Jay Frye continues to be pleased with the ongoing development of the Aeroscreen.

"We've learned something every time we've tested," Frye said. "It's about checking the boxes and once the teams get a hold of it they'll make it even better. They'll take it to a whole other level."

The Aeroscreen was developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies to reduce the risk of driver injury from flying debris or other objects striking the cockpit area. Anchored by titanium framework, the Aeroscreen consists of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies.

The titanium framework mounts in three areas around the cockpit: the chassis centerline, two rear side mounts and roll hoop integration to provide enhanced load-bearing capabilities. The load-bearing is expected to be 150 kilonewtons (kN), which equals the FIA load for the Halo design currently used in Formula One. A kilonewton is equal to approximately 225 pounds.

The visit to Richmond Raceway was the third consecutive week of on-track testing of the Aeroscreen, with each coming on a different type of layout. Previously, INDYCAR staged an Aeroscreen test at a superspeedway - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and followed with the second at the Barber Motorsports Park permanent road course in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 7.

The fourth scheduled test will be Nov. 5 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, a track that simulates street circuits. Four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan and James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will be the drivers at Sebring.

A focus of this test was to make driving the car a more comfortable experience by redirecting the airflow inside the cockpit through the use of interior inlets.

"That was an improvement," Dixon said, "especially around the legs and body."

While the Aeroscreen adds about 60 pounds to the car, Newgarden said he noticed little difference between driving here and without the Aeroscreen at Iowa Speedway, a similar short oval track.

"When I first went out my perception of how much grip the car and how much control I had was slightly different, but I think that's because it felt foreign," he said. "You're not used to having a screen over your head, but after 20 or 30 laps after you got used to it the car feels very similar in terms of how I drive the car or how the car feels compared to a place like Iowa or Gateway -- it feels very similar.

"From a tuning standpoint, it didn't take that much to get it back into the correct window as far as the balance - the balance is very good even with the screen on. From that point, I don't think the cars are going to change that much going into next year."

Frye said INDYCAR will stage an open test at Richmond Raceway in late March, bringing all full-time competitors.

INDYCAR took another important step in the development of its cockpit-protecting Aeroscreen with Tuesday's two-car test at Richmond Raceway, a 0.75-mile short oval that will play host to the NTT IndyCar Series next June. 

This was the third of four scheduled Aeroscreen tests this fall and it went so well that recently crowned NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske needed only a handful of laps to adjust to the new cockpit surroundings.

"Perception-wise, it was a little different when I first got in (the car) but it took maybe 30 or 40 laps and after that you're pretty used to it," Newgarden said. "It's pretty normal at this point."

The Richmond test also included five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who also took part in the initial Aeroscreen on-track test with Team Penske's Will Power on Oct. 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to testing Firestone tires, Dixon said the Aeroscreen works well on ovals and is nearly ready for action now.

"A little different look with the Aeroscreen," Dixon said. "It seems like everything is going well with all the testing (INDYCAR has) done. For sure (here), the car's fine."

The Aeroscreen is scheduled to make its race debut March 13-15, 2020 at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and will be used in competition at all 17 races next season, including the June 26-27 event at Richmond Raceway. It will mark the first series race at Richmond Raceway since 2009.

INDYCAR President Jay Frye continues to be pleased with the ongoing development of the Aeroscreen.

"We've learned something every time we've tested," Frye said. "It's about checking the boxes and once the teams get a hold of it they'll make it even better. They'll take it to a whole other level."

The Aeroscreen was developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies to reduce the risk of driver injury from flying debris or other objects striking the cockpit area. Anchored by titanium framework, the Aeroscreen consists of a polycarbonate laminated screen that includes an anti-reflective coating on the interior of the screen, an anti-fogging device through an integral heating element and tear-offs, all of which will be produced by integrated third-party companies.

The titanium framework mounts in three areas around the cockpit: the chassis centerline, two rear side mounts and roll hoop integration to provide enhanced load-bearing capabilities. The load-bearing is expected to be 150 kilonewtons (kN), which equals the FIA load for the Halo design currently used in Formula One. A kilonewton is equal to approximately 225 pounds.

The visit to Richmond Raceway was the third consecutive week of on-track testing of the Aeroscreen, with each coming on a different type of layout. Previously, INDYCAR staged an Aeroscreen test at a superspeedway - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and followed with the second at the Barber Motorsports Park permanent road course in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 7.

The fourth scheduled test will be Nov. 5 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, a track that simulates street circuits. Four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan and James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will be the drivers at Sebring.

A focus of this test was to make driving the car a more comfortable experience by redirecting the airflow inside the cockpit through the use of interior inlets.

"That was an improvement," Dixon said, "especially around the legs and body."

While the Aeroscreen adds about 60 pounds to the car, Newgarden said he noticed little difference between driving here and without the Aeroscreen at Iowa Speedway, a similar short oval track.

"When I first went out my perception of how much grip the car and how much control I had was slightly different, but I think that's because it felt foreign," he said. "You're not used to having a screen over your head, but after 20 or 30 laps after you got used to it the car feels very similar in terms of how I drive the car or how the car feels compared to a place like Iowa or Gateway -- it feels very similar.

"From a tuning standpoint, it didn't take that much to get it back into the correct window as far as the balance - the balance is very good even with the screen on. From that point, I don't think the cars are going to change that much going into next year."

Frye said INDYCAR will stage an open test at Richmond Raceway in late March, bringing all full-time competitors.

IndyCar Series PR

He spent the summer stretch of races being hunted. Now, second in points heading into the ARCA Menards Series season finale at Kansas Speedway, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) is the hunter.

He'd much rather be out front. But if he has to come from behind, he's confident he can do it at the 1.5-mile Kansas tri-oval. He should be comfortable there, afterall, he's the 2017 winner of the race and finished third there last season.

Self led the series standings from May, when he took over the lead after finishing second to teammate Chandler Smith in the season's sixth race at Toledo Speedway, through the 19th race of the season two weeks ago at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis.

It was no coincidence that Self led the standings for so long. He and his Shannon Rursch-led team have excelled on each of the types of racetracks that make up the 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule. Self collected wins at Five Flags Speedway and Salem Speedway, two paved short tracks, at Michigan International Speedway, a two-mile intermediate superspeedway, and on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Unfortunately for Self, there has been some misfortune along the way.

Accidents at Daytona and Nashville were accompanied by mechanical woes at Pocono and the second Salem race. And there were two post-race technical infractions that resulted in points penalties that cost him 75 points early in the season.

But none of that matters now. Just 15 points behind his Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota), Self heads to Kansas with one goal in mind: beating Eckes head to head.

The scenarios are numerous, but for Self it's just that one goal.

"We have to be ahead of Christian if we are going to win the championship," he said. "Nothing that happened prior to this race really matters. It's all about what happens in this race. We're going to do what we've done all season long and go out and try to win. I like the style of racing on the big tracks. We won earlier in the season at Michigan and had really good cars at Charlotte and Chicago. If we do that, we'll have done all we can and we'll see how it shakes out."

The ARCA Kansas 150 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway will close the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season on Friday, October 18. Practice opens the day at 1 pm ET/12 n CT followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT. The 100-lap/150-mile feature event will go green at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT and will be shown live on FS2 with an immediate replay on FS1. ARCA for Me members can follow live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates throughout all on-track sessions free at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.

AMS PR

Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) Hailie Deegan (No.55 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota) will make her sixth career ARCA Menards Series start and first ever appearance at Kansas Speedway when the series takes to the track for the final time in 2019 under the lights Friday night in the series finale. 

“I’m excited,” says the Temecula, California native. “I’ve never raced on a mile-and-a-half track before so I think it’s going to take a little bit getting used to especially since I’m not testing. Hopefully I’ll pick up on it quick – do some simulator work and hopefully have another strong finish. It’s been a great season and I’ve learned a lot. Really looking forward to this next race.”

Deegan, who joined Venturini Motorsports midway through the 2019 ARCA season is coming off a career best fifth-place finish after last competing two weeks ago at Lucas Oil Speedway. The 18-year old continues to impress during the early stages of her stock car career.

Competing full-time in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West over the past two seasons, Deegan made her splash onto the ARCA scene back in May at Toledo Speedway. In just five career series starts she’s posted one top-5 and three top-10’s during her brief ARCA career. 

Coming up through the ranks racing on short tracks, Kansas will be Deegan’s first ever race on an intermediate (1.5-mile) track. Earlier in the season she competed on Pocono Raceway’s 2.5-mile surface, which is considered a superspeedway - and finished seventh.  

On and off the track Hailie is one of racing’s most compelling personalities in the sport today, despite not yet competing in any of NASCAR’s top-three national series, last month the Sports Business Journal reported Deegan ranked No.3 (behind Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson) out of all NASCAR drivers in social media value this year, and ranks No.1 overall in total engagement.  

Hailie, who’s currently competing for the 2019 K&N Pro Series West championship, etched her name in NASCAR’s record book last year becoming the first female to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series event in over 30-years. The Temecula, California native backed up her record setting performance earning two more wins this season at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas and a dramatic win back in June at Colorado National Speedway. 

The daughter of legendary X Games Motocross giant Brian Deegan, Hailie began her driving career at the age of eight racing dirt on four wheels. She’s the only female driver in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Pro Series as well as the regional series to win championships in 2013, 2015 and 2016 along with being the youth ever to win the Lucas Off-Road Pro Series Driver of the Year award (2016).

The ARCA Kansas 150 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway will close the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season on Friday, October 18. Practice opens the day at 1 pm ET/12 n CT followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT. The 100-lap/150-mile feature event will go green at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT and will be shown live on FS2 with an immediate replay on FS1.

VMS PR

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