|ST. LOUIS (Sept. 25) — Three-time and reigning D3 champion Mike Coughlin took a big step towards defending his North Central Division Top Dragster title with an impressive victory over one of his chief rivals Thursday night at World Wide Technology Raceway. Finishing the final two rounds of an event that began in late August in Bowling Green, Ky., Coughlin outlasted three championship hopefuls to earn his 15th Wally at the divisional level. “What a great way to start a very important weekend,” said Coughlin, a 29-time winner in all NHRA competition. “We have a unique chance to win three races in one weekend and you can’t win all three if you don’t win the first one so we’re very happy to earn this trophy. It’s certainly a heckuva confidence booster.”|
Mike Coughlin shows off the hardware
Winning this race was simply a continuation of a dominant outing at Beech Bend Raceway where Coughlin qualified No. 1 with 6.108 at 224.77 mph and powered through a bye run and victories over Phillip Oakley and John Biagi to reach the semifinals before the event was postponed. Picking up where he left off on Thursday, Coughlin was able to cruise past Al Peavler and John Strassweg — who both fouled out at the starting line — to reach the winner’s circle for the first time this season. “We had a little luck come our way with back-to-back red lights in the other lane to get this win,” Coughlin said, “but I’ll take it with a smile. There is no question we’ve been on the other end of luck plenty of times, so it always feels good when things even out in your favor every once in a while. I’m pretty sure (Strassweg) had an electrical issue in the final but we’ve also suffered that same fate ourselves in the past. It probably all evens out over time.” Although the official points haven’t been posted yet, Coughlin certainly improved on the third-place ranking he held prior to the event, when he trailed leader Danny Nelson by 45 points and Patrick Forester by 20. He’s also added some space between himself and fourth-place Peavler and fifth-place Strassweg, who beat Nelson in the semifinals. Forester had previously lost in the first round of eliminations. Mike Coughlin’s JEGS.com Top Dragster
Thursday’s victory also was a great way to start a weekend where two more D3 trophies are up for grabs. The originally scheduled St. Louis doubleheader will conclude the Division 3 schedule for the season. “Greg Cody, Tony Collier and Ryan Micke have this JEGS Dragster running so consistently it’s a real pleasure to drive,” said Coughlin, who previously won the D3 Top Sportsman championship in 2007 and 2009. “We didn’t need to do much to prepare the car for this race. Just a few adjustments to the boost and EFI and we were good to go. “We did get two qualifying runs for (Friday’s) race before we finished the Bowling Green race and we ran a 6.103 to qualify second so I knew I had a car capable of winning. Now we need to go out there tonight and get No. 2.”
NASCAR CUP SERIES LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SOUTH POINT 400 TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT SEPTEMBER 25, 2020
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 LLUMAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference to discuss his outlook going into the first race of the Round of 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the confidence he has in his team going into the second round of the Playoffs, and more. Transcript: WHERE DO YOU THINK YOUR TEAM IS AT? WATCHING, YOU GUYS CERTAINLY DID ENOUGH TO GET THROUGH TO THIS ROUND, BUT IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’RE RUNNING IN THE TOP- THREE OR FOUR EVERY WEEK.“I think we’re in a good place, for sure. Darlington went really well for us. Richmond we knew was probably our weak point of the Playoffs. Bristol was going to be a solid top-five night until we had that tire issue. The last couple of weeks, I think we’ve been really strong. Darlington, we had an issue on pit road that cost us a top-five, but I think we still finished sixth. We’re in a good spot. We’re going to some race tracks that are notoriously really good for us compared to where we’ve been over the last couple of weeks. I’m really confident. I think Greg (Ives, crew chief) and the guys are working really well together and we should be really good.”
DO YOU THINK LAS VEGAS WILL RACE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS IT DID IN FEBRUARY OR WITH RIGHT-SIDE TIRE CHANGE, DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES AND SO MUCH HAPPENING SINCE THEN THAT IT’LL BE MUCH DIFFERENT?“I think the tires are probably the most crucial part of what we do, so for it to be different, it’s definitely a big unknown. It’s supposed to be a little bit more grip. So, if it’s more grip, I’d say the race will be similar to February, just in the sense that the track is going to have less, so maybe it will even out a little bit. But it’s going to be really hot and really slick, so it’ll be interesting to see how the tire fall-off is and just how it reacts.”
YOU WERE REALLY SOLID ON 1.5-MILE RACE TRACKS EARLIER. ARE YOU CONFIDENT IN THE LAST HOW MANY RACES THAT WE HAVE LEFT, THAT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS PICKED UP ENOUGH SPEED WHERE THEY CAN BE COMPETITIVE WITH THE OTHER RACE TEAMS?“I think we’re always trying to find more speed and more power. Our engine shop works really hard to constantly try to find whatever they can find. I think we definitely fell off through the summer and we looked in all areas to just try to improve every area and engines were definitely one. I hope we have enough speed. I think at Darlington and Bristol, we definitely showed we have enough speed. Going to a place like Las Vegas, you look at how we were in the spring there – if we can go and do that again and finish it off this time, that’d be great. But it’s really hard to say. Even for us, not having any practice and just going to so many different race tracks to start the Playoffs, I’m really not quite sure how our 1.5-mile program is going to stack up. But I’m really confident in it and think we’ll be really good.”
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PENALTIES THAT CAME DOWN YESTERDAY AND YOU LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR, DO YOU THINK LOSING THE AMOUNT OF TESTING NASCAR IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY WILL EFFECT YOU MORE WITH PEFORMANCE OF THE CURRENT CAR OR PERFORMANCE GOING FORWARD WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR? “It’s kind of hard for me to answer – obviously I’m not really involved in wind tunnel testing. But I know that it was an internal error and that we self-reported it. But, other than that, I don’t know how the restrictions really work and how that’s going to impact us next year. I know we’re going to have a chunk of time less of wind tunnel testing that we can do next year, which is never a good thing. It’ll impact us somewhat, for sure. It’s never good to have less of that. But, at the same time, it is what it is and we’re just focused on what’s in front of us.”
YOUR THOUGHTS ON IF BRISTOL PUT DIRT DOWN – HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE POSSIBILTY OF SEEING THAT IF IT EVENTUALLY HAPPENS?“I’d race lawn mowers if I had to. A Cup car on dirt – it doesn’t sound so bad to me. Bristol is a little interesting one. It’s a great race track and to see that race track kind of lose a race, in a sense, would definitely be a bummer. But I’m just interested to see, I feel like I’ll find out about it when you guys do – but, if something like that were to happen, how it would all play out. It’s really interesting to kind of read the rumors and what everybody’s saying. I think it would be a lot of fun – I’m all for running Cup cars on dirt. I never ran the Truck race at Eldora, but I did run some ARCA stuff at the Springfield Mile and that was a blast. Obviously, a very different race track, but that was a lot of fun.”
CAN YOU POINT TO ONE THING THAT YOU’VE LEARNED FROM BEING TEAMMATES WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON?“I get that question quite a bit and I feel like the biggest thing is just how he treats people, treats everybody at the shop, and just how he is as a person. He’s so humble. He’s had more success than anybody currently racing has and he’s still the nicest guy in the garage, the easiest guy to talk to and just a really good person. Just how he carries himself – we should all definitely be a little more like Jimmie sometimes.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HIS PROSPECTS ONCE HE GETS INTO INDYCAR, SPORTS CARS OR WHATEVER IT IS THAT HE DECIDES TO DO WITH POST-CAREER DRIVING?“I’m jealous that he’s going to get to drive so many different types of cool race cars. It obviously sounds like he’s going to have a lot of fun. But I think he’ll do really well. He’s going to be successful in whatever he gets in. He’s so talented and I’m just pumped to get to watch it – I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
WITH THE PLAYOFF SCHEDULE BEING THROWN THROUGH A BLENDER THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR, DOES THAT BENEFIT YOU MORE SO THAN LAST YEAR OR DOES IT NOT MATTER?“I think this second round – last year we said how good it was going to be for us because we had ran second at every track going into it in the spring and we didn’t make it through the Round of 12. So, it’s hard to say. I feel like there’s some really good tracks for us and every round has an opportunity for us to win, which is definitely good. But it’s tough – it’s never easy. The Playoffs are hard. You have one bad race and the whole thing is kind of blown apart if you don’t have a ton of Playoff points to lean on. I don’t think it’s any better or worse for us. I’m glad we have a shot to win in every round. If we make the Round of 8, we’re going to probably need to win to make the Round of 4. So, it’s definitely good to have those opportunities.”
WE HAD BRAD KESELOWSKI HERE YESTERDAY AND HE SAID ABOUT LAS VEGAS, THAT IT’S THE SECOND-MOST IMPORTANT RACE OUTSIDE OF PHOENIX TO WIN THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SEASON BASED ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE RACES WE HAVE COMING UP IN THE ROUND OF 12. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?“Yeah, I think that makes sense to me. Vegas is probably your best shot at controlling your own destiny over the next three races. Talladega, there’s nowhere to hide – anything can happen and we all know how those races can go. The Roval is obviously a wild card. We’ve run really well there in the past. The HMS road course program is really, really good. I’m not the best road course racer, but we have some good finishes there and I think that comes from some really great race cars. It’s hard to say, but I think it’s definitely a really important race for us.”
WHERE YOU SIT IN POINTS COMING INTO THE ROUND OF 12, DO YOU THINK VEGAS IS POSSIBLY A MUST-WIN SITUATION OR DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A GOOD POSSIBLITY OF POINTING YOUR WAY IN?“Yeah, I think we can point our way in. It sure would be nice to go win Vegas, but we’re above the cutline right now. I think we finished seventh in points the last round. We’re obviously closer than I want to be, but at the same time, I think we have every opportunity to point our way in if we just have a good, solid round and execute every week. We just can’t beat ourselves.”
NEXT WEEKEND IS THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE 2000 WINSTON 500, WHICH WAS DALE EARNHARDT’S FINAL VICTORY. DID YOU EVER WATCH THAT RACE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THE LASTING LEGACY AND IMPACT THAT RACE HAS?“I would have been seven, so I probably watched, but don’t really remember watching it at that time. That’s the race where Kenny Wallace pushed him to the win, right? I feel like I’ve seen that highlight reel a bunch of times. That’s probably about it. Obviously, Dale (Earnhardt)’s legacy at Talladega, speedway racing in general, and every race track – he won a bunch of those things. Definitely big there, but as far as what that race has carried over, it’s kind of hard for me to speak on. But, it definitely was a good one, for sure.”
|Richard Childress Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway… In 70 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has 11 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. The Welcome N.C. organization has also found success in the NASCAR Xfinity Series capturing four wins, 14 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes in 54 starts. |
NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs… Austin Dillon is in the midst of his fourth NASCAR Playoffs appearance and currently ranks eighth among the 12 remaining Playoff-eligible drivers. Dillon advanced out of the Round of 16 following three strong performances in the opening round of the NASCAR Playoffs (second at Darlington Raceway, fourth at Richmond Raceway, and 12th at Bristol Motor Speedway). The Round of 12 begins this weekend with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs… The Richard Childress Racing No. 21 Chevrolet team, led by crew chief Andy Street, qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Owner’s Playoffs following an impressive regular season with four rotating drivers (Anthony Alfredo, Myatt Snider, Kaz Grala, and Earl Bamber). The Round of 12 begins this weekend with the Alsco 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Catch the Action… The NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Alsco 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be televised live Saturday, September 26, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Don’t forget to follow the action on social media, with live updates at twitter.com/RCRNXS and twitter.com/RCRracing.
The NASCAR Cup Series’ South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be televised live Sunday, September 27, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Don’t forget to follow the action on social media, with live updates at twitter.com/RCRCup and twitter.com/RCRracing.
|This Week’s DOWFROST Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … In 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dillon has two top-five and two top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place finish in his most recent appearance at the track in February. He is a former winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2015) and NASCAR Truck Series (2010). Dow brings a science and engineering crew who is driven by limitless curiosity to the RCR Team …Austin Dillon and the RCR team are again supported by Dow’s materials science expertise and technologies this season. Backed by the power of data analysis and virtual modeling, Dow develops and manufactures high-performance components and materials custom-made for the No. 3 car. Dow and RCR’s partnership has expedited innovation and shortened testing time in the automotive industry by recreating in the lab one of the most extreme environments – the racetrack. After seven years of collaboration, Dow scientists and RCR engineers are continuing to work together to make the No. 3 car faster, safer and more precise. Stay up to date with Dow’s exciting developments at www.dow.com/sports and follow us on Twitter @DowSports & @DowNewsroom. DOWFROST™ Heat Transfer Fluids … A race car requires exceptional care to run at peak performance – your HVAC system is no different. DOWFROST™ glycol-based fluids have been helping systems achieve peak performance since 1929. With Dow, you’re not investing in just a heat transfer fluid. From the initial stages of assessing your system for the right fluid, to supporting that system years down the road, Dow delivers trusted products and total peace of mind for you. Connect with us at dow.com/fluids NASCAR Playoffs … Dillon is currently competing for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, where he ranks eighth. The four-round postseason consists of eliminations after the Round of 16 (Darlington, Richmond, Bristol), the Round of 12 (Las Vegas, Talladega, Charlotte Roval) and the Round of 8 (Kansas, Texas, Martinsville). The Championship 4 will compete for the title at Phoenix. AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:What are your thoughts on Las Vegas Motor Speedway?“I love Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Statistically, it has been one of my best tracks, and I’m excited to go there and try to maximize points and win a race to solidify our spot in the Round of 8. Our goal as a team is to be consistent and to try and score Stage points early. I think Stage points will play a big part of advancing out of each round in the NASCAR Playoffs. There’s a lot on the line.” It seems like Las Vegas Motor Speedway is getting more and more worn as the years go by. How careful do you have to be with your tires there now compared to the past?“You definitely have to take care of them. You have to keep track position and have a car that holds on for the long run. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is becoming much more similar to Chicagoland Speedway in terms of the amount of tire wear you see.”Did you feel like you were overlooked coming into the playoffs a little bit? “I get overlooked some, probably more than most, but I don’t know why. I always feel like I perform pretty well in pressure situations, and RCR as a whole can step up. I have total belief in the 3 team and probably more belief this year than I’ve ever had because we’ve brought consistent speed to the track, and we might not have gotten every finish that we should have gotten this year but we’ve gotten a lot of good finishes. It’s been one of my best years statistically. Chevy has stepped up. Everybody that puts work in at RCR does a really good job. I think the smaller group has been good for us, with less distractions at the track. As a whole, our group really works together well.”|
|Tyler Reddick and the No. 8 Cat Mining Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Tyler Reddick has one previous NASCAR Cup Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, having had a strong run at the 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. Reddick has four previous NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas and won last year’s fall race in dramatic fashion after the team gambled on their fuel mileage strategy. Reddick also has one win and two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Truck Series at the 1.5-mile speedway. About Cat Mining … Success in the mining industry takes more than the best equipment. It takes a partner who goes beyond the iron to help you address your toughest challenges and take advantage of your biggest opportunities. That partner is Caterpillar. Caterpillar will work with you to find ways to improve your mining operation – developing comprehensive solutions that combine products, technologies and services to help you work more efficiently and consistently, boost productivity and keep people safe. We are focused on being a true business partner and helping you optimize your operation at every level – from machines to individual sites to the complete mining enterprise. Learn more by visiting cat.com/mining. TYLER REDDICK QUOTE: You had a solid run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season. How are you and the team looking to improve this weekend?“Our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was fast when we visited Las Vegas in the spring. We really just had to tweak the handling during the race a little bit to get it to where I needed it to be. This time around, we have a better baseline going into the weekend since we now have some notes to refer back to. One thing we’ll be looking to improve on specifically is our short-run speed and handling. We just seemed to lack a little bit taking off during the race weekend at Las Vegas earlier this year, which ended up hurting us during that final restart, but we’ve had a lot of time as a team this year to work on these cars to make them better. I expect our No. 8 Cat Mining Chevrolet to fire off really well on Sunday and am looking forward to the race. I’ve had a lot of success at Las Vegas over my career, so I’m excited to get back there this weekend.”|
|Anthony Alfredo and the No. 21 Sim Seats Chevrolet Camaro at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Following a strong sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, Anthony Alfredo is scheduled to be back behind the wheel of the No. 21 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing for this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Alfredo has two career NASCAR Truck Series starts at Las Vegas, both coming in 2019. |
About Sim Seats … Since 2009 we’ve been designing and fabricating high quality made in USA driving simulators including motion systems, complete turn-key iRacing packages, and custom fabrication. Our customer base includes all racers from amateur to the pro ranks. Every one of us at Sim Seats is a weekend racer too. Our passion for racing drives us to build better sim racing equipment and leaves us feeling that the weekend just doesn’t cut it. Join us for the thrill of racing any time, any day, any car, any track. As we like to say, don’t limit your track time to the weekend! Visit us at simseats.com. Fast Start for Fast Pasta … Running a limited schedule in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing, Alfredo has secured seven top-10 finishes. He also won an eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Saturday Night Thunder Race at Dover International Speedway during NASCAR’s hiatus from on-track competition. ANTHONY ALFREDO QUOTES: You have been strong on every 1.5-mile race track you have competed on this season. What excites you the most about going to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend? “I’m really excited to head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend in our No. 21 Sim Seats Chevrolet Camaro. Not only have we had impressive speed at the 1.5-mile race tracks this year, but I actually ran at Las Vegas twice last year in the Truck Series. There hasn’t been many tracks this year that I’ve been to previously, so that gives me a little bit of added confidence heading into the race. What are some key differences that separate Las Vegas Motor Speedway compared to some of the other 1.5-mile racetracks? “Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a little different than most tracks because it doesn’t have as much tire fall-off as some of the other 1.5-mile tracks. It still is important to have a car that handles well, mainly because of the big patch of bumps heading into turn 1. It also can provide multi-groove racing which really fits my driving style. With the speed our whole Richard Childress Racing team has been bringing to the race track every weekend, I would not be surprised if we parked our No. 21 Sim Seats Chevrolet in victory lane on Saturday night.”
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE SOUTH POINT 400 LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY LAS VEGAS, NEVADA SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
LAS VEGAS: RACE #30The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) heads west to the Silver State for the second time this year for the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located about 15 miles northeast of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The popular 1200-acre complex has hosted the NCS since 1998; and most recently, since 2018, the venue has held annual NCS races in both the Spring and the Fall. Despite the pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the two Las Vegas stops have retained their originally scheduled dates.
The excitement will be high as the 400-mile, 267-lap South Point 400 at the 1.5-mile circuit opens the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which also marks the 30th of 36 races in the 2020 season.
The three-day race weekend begins on Friday, September 25th, with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series World of Westgate 200 at 9:00 p.m. ET, followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 on Saturday, September 26th, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 caps the weekend on Sunday evening, September 27th, at 7:00 p.m. ET.
In compliance with local and state COVID-19 restrictions, the race weekend will be held without spectators.
ROUND OF 12:Four Chevrolet drivers are among the 12 in contention for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship through three of 10 Playoff races. Entering Race 4 of the Playoffs, the Las Vegas Round of 12 opener, here are their current Playoff standings & statistical highlights:
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE – 5th in Standings (3,021 points)Victories: 2 (Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona Road Course)Top-Fives: 11; Top-10’s: 16; Laps Led: 669Stage Wins: 7At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 2; Top-10’s: 3; Average Finish: 21.4
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Llumar Camaro ZL1 1LE – 7th in Standings (3,009 points)Victories: 1 (Auto Club Speedway)Top-Fives: 3; Top-10’s: 10; Laps Led: 389Stage Wins: 4At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 0; Top-10’s: 1; Average Finish: 20.7
Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOWFROST Camaro ZL1 1LE – 8th in Standings (3,005 points)Victories: 1 (Texas Motor Speedway)Top-Fives: 4; Top-10’s 9; Laps Led: 135Stage Wins: 0At Las Vegas: Top-Five’s: 2; Top-10’s: 2; Average Finish: 14.7
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE – 12th in Standings (3,001 points)Top-Fives: 4; Top-10’s: 15; Laps Led: 111Stage Wins: 1At Las Vegas: Wins: 0; Top-Five’s: 0; Top-10’s: 2; Average Finish: 22.5
BOWTIE BULLETS:The South Point 400 marks the 26th NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 1998, and Chevrolet has seven wins at the 1.5-mile oval. The Bowtie Brigade recorded its first victory on March 3, 2001, when Jeff Gordon drove a Monte Carlo to Victory Lane for Hendrick Motorsports after a 24th place starting position.
· Current Chevrolet drivers that have recorded wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway include:Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE, leads the series with four wins (2005, ‘06, ‘07, & ‘10).Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE, has three wins: (2003, ‘04, & ’13).
· Team Chevy has sat on the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway four times. Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE, holds the track qualifying record of 196.378 mph / 27.498 seconds set on March 4, 2016.
· In the Round of 16 of the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE, led all drivers with the best average running position of 5.37.
· In all seven years of the NASCAR Playoffs, Chevrolet team Hendrick Motorsports has had at least two drivers advance to the second round.
STARTING LINE-UP:For the remainder of the 2020 NCS season, the starting lineups will be determined by a competition-based formula, combining the following metrics from the previous race event: 15% of a fastest lap time position, 25% of the driver’s final race finish position, 25% of the owner’s final race position and 35% of the Owner points position. Here are Team Chevy’s top-20 starters for Saturday Bass Pro Shops Night Race:3rd Chase Elliott, No. 9 Unifirst Camaro ZL1 1LE7th Austin Dillon, No. 3 DOWFROST Camaro ZL1 1LE8th Alex Bowman, No. 88 Llumar Camaro ZL1 1LE9th Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1 1LE14th Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Cat Mining Camaro ZL1 1LE18th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1 1LE20th Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1 1LE
TUNE-IN:NBCSN will telecast the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 27th, at 7:00 p.m. ET to kick-off the Round of 12 for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Live coverage can also be found on the NBC Sports Gold app, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
QUOTABLE QUOTES:ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 LLUMAR CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 7th IN STANDINGS“Clinching a spot in the Round of 12 last weekend in Bristol was exactly what we needed to do as a team. Although we didn’t have the greatest finish last week, it was something that was completely out of our control. We have some strong tracks in the Round of 12 that will be good for us. Our main goal this season was to make the Round of 8 and I really feel like this team is on track to do that. We have to continue putting solid races together and getting strong finishes.”
“Las Vegas is a strong track for us. We ran really well in the spring event this season, so I am ready to get back to the track this weekend. Our intermediate program at Hendrick Motorsports is really strong and we need to have a strong race this weekend. Greg (Ives) and the LLumar team have been working extremely hard on our cars and I really think it is showing.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOWFROST CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 8th IN STANDINGSWHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?“I love Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Statistically, it’s been one of my best tracks, and I’m excited to go there and try to maximize points and win a race to solidify our spot in the Round of 8. Our goal as a team is to be consistent and to try and score Stage points early. I think Stage points will play a big part of advancing out of each round in the NASCAR Playoffs. There’s a lot on the line.”
IT SEEMS LIKE LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS GETTING MORE AND MORE WORN AS THE YEARS GO BY. HOW CAREFUL DO YOU HAVE TO BE WITH YOUR TIRES NOW COMPARED TO THE PAST? “You definitely have to take care of them. You have to keep track position and have a car that holds on for the long run. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is becoming much more similar to Chicagoland Speedway in terms of the amount of tire wear you see.” DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE OVERLOOKED COMING INTO THE PLAYOFFS A LITTLE BIT? “I get overlooked some, probably more than most, I don’t know why. I always feel like I perform pretty well in pressure situations, and RCR as a whole can step up. I have total belief in the 3 team and probably more belief this year than I’ve ever had because we’ve brought consistent speed to the track, and we might not have gotten every finish that we should have gotten this year, but we’ve gotten a lot of good finishes. It’s been one of my best years statistically and just the ability behind the cars are better. Chevy has stepped up. Eric Warren, RCR, all of the mechanics and everybody that puts work in do a really good job. I think the smaller group has been good for us, with less distractions at the track. As a whole, our group really works together well.” WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 14th IN STANDINGSBYRON ON RETURNING TO VEGAS SINCE THE PANDEMIC:“It’s crazy to think how far things have evolved since we went to Vegas earlier this year. It was just the second race of the year and before everything changed with the pandemic. That race, we had a lot of speed even though everything was still new and fresh for the year. We had a fast car and we just have to continue that when we get Vegas this weekend.”
BYRON ON HOW THE TRACK CAN CHANGE THIS TIME OF YEAR:“The track definitely does change, even with a slight change in temperature. We’re used to going to Vegas at the beginning of September when it’s still really hot. I think being closer to the end of September it will have started to cool off a bit. That will make it unique for us, especially with the late start time Sunday. This race is going to have some different elements that everyone will need to overcome.” TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CAT MINING CAMARO ZL1 1LE – 19th IN STANDINGS“Our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was fast when we visited Las Vegas in the spring. We really just had to tweak the handling during the race a little bit to get it to where I needed it to be. This time around, we have a better baseline going into the weekend since we now have some notes to refer back to. One thing we’ll be looking to improve on specifically is our short-run speed and handling. We just seemed to lack a little bit taking off during the race weekend at Las Vegas earlier this year, which ended up hurting us during that final restart, but we’ve had a lot of time as a team this year to work on these cars to make them better. I expect our No. 8 Cat Mining Chevrolet to fire off really well on Sunday and am looking forward to the race. I’ve had a lot of success at Las Vegas over my career, so I’m excited to get back there this weekend.”
Batavia, OH (September 23, 2020) – The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series visits Brownstown Speedway for the first time in 2020, after postponed and canceled trips earlier in the year, with back-to-back shows. The Jackson 100 weekend features a $10,000-to-win show Friday, September 25th, and $15,000-to-win on Saturday, September 26th.
In 2019, Hudson O’Neal captured one of the biggest wins of his career, in front of his home town crowd, after leading the last 30 laps of the Jackson 100. The race saw multiple lead changes and side-by-side racing action, which can all be expected again this year. With a rich history of racing at Brownstown Speedway, since 1952, and long standing history of the Jackson 100, since 1980, fans from near and far make this event a must on their schedule, year after year.
On track action is set to begin at 6:30 pm EDT, on both Friday and Saturday. Lucas Dirt is joined by Pro Late Models, Modifieds, and Pure Stocks on Friday, while Modifieds and Super Stocks are support divisions in contention on Saturday.
To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.brownstownspeedway.com or call 603-501-0517. For anyone unable to make it out in person, both nights will be live on LucasOilRacing.tv with a yearly subscription.
Brownstown Speedway Information: Phone Number: 812-358-5332Location: 476 East CR 100, Brownstown, IN 47220Directions: Located on Highway 250 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds 1 mile south-east of Brownstown, IndianaWebsite: www.brownstownspeedway.com
Left Rear/Fronts – Hoosier Rib (28.5) 1350Right Rear – Hoosier (29.0) 1350 NRM, (29.0) 1350 NRMW, (92) LM40
*Must use the same set of 4 tires for Time Trials, Heat Races, and B-Mains.
*For the A-Main, competitors may use 2 new rear tires.
*Flat tire must be replaced with a used tire of the same compound and construction to retain starting position.
1. $10,000, 2. $5,500, 3. $3,500, 4. $2,750, 5. $2,250, 6. $1,800, 7. $1,500, 8. $1,300,
9. $1,200, 10. $1,100, 11. $1,075, 12. $1,050, 13. $1,025, 14. $1,000, 15. $950, 16. $925, 17. $900,
18. $875, 19. $850, 20. $825, 21. $800, 22. $800, 23. $800, 24. $800
41st Annual Jackson 100 Purse:
1. $15,000, 2. $6,500, 3. $3,500, 4. $3,000, 5. $2,500, 6. $1,900, 7. $1,700, 8. $1,600, 9. $1,550, 10. $1,500, 11. $1,450, 12. $1,400, 13. $1,350, 14. $1,300, 15. $1,200, 16. $1,100, 17. $1,000,
18. $1,000, 19. $1,000, 20. $1,000, 21. $1,000, 22. $1,000, 23. $1,000, 24. $1,000
Brownstown Speedway LucasOilRacing.tv air times:Friday, September 25th – Night Before the Jackson: 6:30 PM EDT (yearly subscription)Saturday, September 26th – 41st Annual Jackson 100: 6:30 PM EDT (yearly subscription)
|NASCAR CUP SERIES LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SOUTH POINT 400 TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 |
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference and discussed the heat and other challenges of the upcoming Las Vegas race, the pressure of the next 2 races at Talladega and the Roval, the importance of points, and more. Full Transcript: GOODYEAR HAS CHANGED THE RIGHT-SIDE TIRE FOR LAS VEGAS FROM WHAT YOU RAN EARLIER THIS YEAR, TO HAVE MORE GRIP. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT?“I feel like each race track we go to and each tire combination, and then the PJ1 spray compound, and even the application of how they spray it, changes it each and every week. And so, we’ve learned to just be on our toes. We researched through the Truck races, the Xfinity races, and it’s not a proven science on what all the combinations led to, and again, you have to adapt and roll with it. So, we’ll see how it plays out. I was hoping the Bristol tire would have a little bit more grip like they had said, but it was fairly close to where we were with the previous race. So, a lot of factors where temperature and other things all come into play.”
THE MGM GRAND IN VEGAS HAD A PICTURE OF YOU AND YOUR BROTHER ON THEIR MARQUEE. WHEN YOU SAW THAT, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS?“Yeah, I thought it was fabulous. As a kid, I always had a dream or vision and a push to try to be on the marquee of any of the hotels. To have that on there and to not have fans at the race track, it’s all kind of the way that all different things are looked at right now with advertising. And so, I saw the NBC Sports logo at the bottom, the MGM Resorts chain of hotels helps with putting that up there, of course. It’s just neat to see the love for the hometown boys. And with NASCAR in town without fans at the track, we’re hoping people tune-into NBCSN. You’ve got to find different ways to advertise and to pump people up and to get the word out. And so that was great from MGM Resorts.”
KYLE BUSCH HAS POSTED VIDEO OF HIS SON BREXTON, AND YOUR DAD AND MOM, AND THE WHOLE FAMILY. DOES THAT REMIND YOU OF WHEN YOU WERE LEARNING TO RACE WITH YOUR MOM AND DAD GOING TO ALL THE TRACKS?“Yeah, it’s great memories. Ashley and I were over at the dirt track on the first few of his outings to make sure we were there on the first trip to go watch him drive on the track and hold the pedal down and go fast. It immediately brought me back to when I saw my little brother do the same thing and head out onto the track for his first time. And I know it does that for my dad and my mom when they see a grandchild out there racing. So, it’s just neat to see the timeline. I need to find more time to separate on whether it’s the Tuesdays over at Millbridge (Speedway, in Salisbury, NC) or on Saturdays over at the other track. I just need to find my time to be a better uncle and to be more involved.”
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO FINALLY GET A WIN AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY AND TO DO IT WITHOUT FANS?“The Vegas track has definitely been one of the tough ones for me over the years with results and finishes not where I would have expected them to be. And, the teams that I’ve race for just have never quite found that right magic set-up or combination. And then for me, It’s a track that I just have that trouble with. There are a few tracks like Indianapolis and Martinsville; those are a few places where I struggle. And so with Vegas, I always put that little extra hometown pressure on myself and I would love to win there. I would love to win through the spirit of the camera and everything on NBC Sports; and I know the fans there, local, will be watching and cheering on the Busch brothers. So, that’s where I would connect. And hopefully do it through the TV side of it. We’ll get fans back one day and we’ll come back and race.”
ON ROSS CHASTAIN JOINING CHIP GANASSI RACING IN 2021:“I feel like Ross Chastain is a perfect addition to Chip Ganassi Racing. Ross has done an incredible job to race hard and to promote himself and to battle through this perseverance. Some of the sponsorship changes at Ganassi over the years left him somewhat out of a ride with the Xfinity side of things. The kid is one of those true family-man workers that helps with the family business and has this passion for racing, and he reminds me a lot of myself; and just has true grit and the way that he just keeps pushing and has now landed that first big time contract. So, I’m very proud of Ross and I know he’ll bring that same tenacity and drive to the organization as a teammate. And I couldn’t think of a better kid to try to help out to get him established in the Cup Series.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS COMING OUT OF THE LAS VEGAS IN GOOD SHAPE WITH THE UNCERTAINTY OF TALLADEGA AND THE CHARLOTTE ROVAL?“That’s why they’re all in this mix and that’s why they are Playoff race tracks in this round, or in any of the rounds. They are all difficult tracks. They’re all a challenge for their own reasons. And, a 1.5-mile, you could look at as being sort of a standard type of flow with pit calling and pit stop and racing. But a place like Vegas fits into a track like Texas, as well; where you can change just left-side tires like we saw Austin Dillon do to win the Texas race earlier this year. So, there are all the different strategies and different things playing out. There are two Hendrick cars now not in the Playoffs, but they’re fast. Same thing with Gibbs. You’ve got the No. 20 car, Eric Jones, not in the Playoffs but he’s fast. Those are points that those guys could take away from the contenders that are still left in the situations they’re in. So, you’ve just got to race hard and race smart. There are three ways to get points each and every weekend: Stage 1, Stage 2, and the finish of the race. And, that happens at all the race tracks.”
WHERE IS SUPERSPEEDWAY RACING RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF ALL THESE DIFFERENT ELEMENTS THAT WE’VE SEEN OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS?“I remember winning Daytona a few years ago. I had this Adrenalin quote of something I can’t even remember I said. The more that we race on these restrictor-plate tracks, the more they become unpredictable, to be predictable and to not be predictable. I don’t even know what I said. It kind of sounded right but again, there is no constant in these superspeedway races. I was running fourth behind William Byron with 15 laps to go a few weeks ago for that Playoff cutoff race to get in. And, he peels off and pits, and I’m like, where’s he going? That’s the stupidest call I’ve ever seen. We just now bumped-up a row. After the restart, I was leading the inside lane. And then, I get wiped-out in a wreck the next lap. And there he is with fresh tires, just navigating through everybody, and comes back and wins it after he pitted from third place with 15 laps to go. And that’s what all the restrictor plate races have turned into being.”
THE WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO BE HOT AT LAS VEGAS. HOW MUCH HAVE YOU BEEN HYDRATING TO PREPARE? DOES THE HEAT ALSO MEAN THE TRACK WILL BE SLICK?“Yeah, Vegas, I’m glad it’s back a couple of weeks from where it was last year for the first time in the Playoffs. It’s going to be a 105-degree heat index. We had that earlier this year at Texas. And guys had some trouble there. Austin Dillon, the winner, and myself; we needed fluids after the race. At the Daytona road course, tons of guys had trouble in that 110-degree heat index. So, Vegas, it’s dry heat. It’s a little different. But still, it’s one of these races that you have to hydrate, you have to stretch, you have to acclimate your body to the heat going into the race. By sitting in your hot motor home or your hot rental car to try to have your body forewarned that extra heat is coming. And so, it’s a sequence. And I have a great trainer with Josh Wise at Ganassi, that helps all the drivers in the Chevrolet camp be their best when they get to the race track. And the track will be hot as well. It’ll be super-slick compared to where it races in February and March.”
YOU HAVE TAKEN ON A LEADERSHIP ROLE AT CHIP GANASSI RACING. HOW MUCH DO YOU EMBRACE THAT ROLE AND DOES IT HELP YOU INSIDE YOUR CAR TO BE THAT ‘VETERAN QUARTERBACK’ FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM?“I figured it was time for some change and to adapt to my age and utilize my experience the best way possible. And that’s to create that level headedness, to create the leadership/mentor role; I feel like it’s this time in my life it’s great to give back to young engineers and young crew members to help them come up through the ranks quicker and better and stronger. And so, it’s just a nice fit as well, with Chip Ganassi. Racing for a legend like him who has that tenacity and who has that fire and desire to win every single week. There’s only so much room for those big egos and he helps me moderate mine. And that’s part of the combination of why it works so well and being able to deliver good results over there.”
WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM SITS RIGHT NOW IN THE ROUND OF 12?“What I like is we have had better lap times at all three races so far compared to maybe the five or six races leading into the Playoffs. So, I look at Darlington as a pretty solid result. We had one really good pit stop and one bad one mixed together and that’s where we fell back to eighth place. I feel like our lap times at Richmond were solid; but we were on a pit strategy from our engineering crew. And from our data that said we should go this route, and it took us from running sixth, we led some laps, but it took us all the way back to 13th. So, that was a big mistake on losing points. And then at Bristol, we were running pretty strong. I felt like we were a Top 5 car and then ended up with a loose wheel. And so, we had to battle back. But a lot of other guys had trouble as well at Bristol. So, we’re on to the next round. We know that our cushion is gone. We ended Bristol with 33-points to the good. And now we start Vegas minus four. So that’s just part of the system and now we have to be perfect. We have to get every point possible that we’re able to get on our own at Vegas, Talladega, and the Roval. And, that should help us advance.”
YOU ARE A TECHNICALLY MINDED DRIVER. IN YOUR POST-DRIVING CAREER HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF PUTTING ON THE CREW CHIEF HAT?“That is probably the toughest position in NASCAR. I think it’s the most under-rated position. And, for me to be a crew chief, I tried it one time for my little brother when he was in an ARCA car at Charlotte. And I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had no idea what was going on, all the expectations, all the responsibility. I don’t see myself being a crew chief. I even struggle to this day with pit strategy calls from the race car. And so, I think more of a mentor or a driver coach would be down the right avenue; not a crew chief.”
NASCAR CUP SERIES LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SOUTH POINT 400 TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 UNIFIRST CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference to discuss his outlook going into the first race of the Round of 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, how the temperature change can have an effect on the track, the importance of capitalizing on stage points, and more. Transcript: WE’VE HAD THE SITUATION WHERE TALLADEGA IS THE CUTOFF RACE AND NOW IT’S GOING TO BE THE MIDDLE RACE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT – NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN POSITION, THERE’S TIME TO RECOVER A LITTLE BIT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG OR BASK IN THE GLORY IF SOMETHING GOES RIGHT AT A PLACE LIKE TALLADEGA? “Yeah, certainly how it plays out is a little different I guess than what we’ve seen last year and in years past. But I look at – you have Vegas and that to me, I feel like, is the first opportunity and you really need to kind of take it a week at a time because I think we would be messing up to already be looking ahead to Talladega. We have an opportunity this weekend to try to perform and try to get a win. And if we can do that, then the rest of (this round) doesn’t matter near as much, as far as pointing your way through. So, that’s the goal right now and we’ll take it as they come.”
ON THIS WEEKEND, IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S GOING TO BE SIGNIFICANTLY HOTTER THAN WHEN YOU VISITED EARLIER IN THE YEAR. HOW SENSITIVE IS THIS TRACK TO TEMPERATURE CHANGE?“Yeah, it definitely seems like it’s been some time since we’ve been Vegas. It’s going to be a good bit hotter. I feel like all these tracks can be temperature sensitive, for sure. I think this race, as early as it gets dark out, it will probably end at night like it did last year. So, that’ll be interesting and I’m sure it will have a pretty big swing from the beginning of the race to the end. Hopefully we’re on top of that and try to have things rolling.”
WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHT ABOUT LAP TRAFFIC, FRIENDS ON THE TRACK, AND LETTING PEOPLE GO IF THEY ARE FASTER THAN YOU?“I honestly feel like there are times where if it’s not your day, it’s not your day and that’s kind of the way I see it. If I’m getting lapped, it’s not my day and I get that, I feel like. I know for dang sure that if I’m getting lapped by the leaders and the race is coming to a close, I feel like I have strived to make sure I am out of the way for the simple fact that I would want that returned to me if I was ever in the other position racing for a win and trying to get through lap traffic. I feel like you want all the help you can get. So, I just do it as I would want it done to me on the other end and kind of deal with it that way. It’s really up to the individual. I’m not sure that there’s a written rule or an unwritten rule that says what’s right or what’s wrong. But I think as a racer, you know when it’s your day and you know when you’re struggling, have damage or whatever it may be. So, I think you have to take it case by case, but it’s certainly up to the individual. That’s really all it comes down to – is the person and who they’re dealing with.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT FRIENDS WHO ARE DRIVERS COMPETING WITH YOU ON THE RACE TRACK? YOU’RE A GOOD ONE TO ASK – YOU AND (RYAN) BLANEY ARE FRIENDS. SOME DRIVERS SAY YOU BRING YOUR OWN FRIENDS TO THE RACE TRACK.“I don’t necessarily go to the track to make friends. Ryan (Blaney) and I were friends long before we started racing in NASCAR. So, I think that one’s a little unique. I feel like my friendships that I have around the track were made when I was a kid and it just so happens to be that way because I grew up around the race track. I can’t say I’ve really made any friends since I’ve been racing with the rest of them and I really don’t have a relationship with very many of the guys on the circuit. I definitely can understand the side of no, we’re not there to make friends. And that’s not how we should race each other. I feel like Ryan and I race each other hard regardless. But I try to race him with respect as I feel like he’s raced me with respect over the years. So, it’s really just more of a respect thing, I think, than it is a friendship or not a friendship situation with guys on track. If you respect somebody, I feel like the right thing is to show them that, especially if it’s mutual. And if it’s not, that’s typically where problems come in and there certainly are different views of things and guys have different ways of approaching and solving problems. A lot of times, you can butt heads and whatnot, which is fine – that’s entertainment too. So, I think it’s really not as much of a friendship situation as it is ‘hey, do I really respect this guy or not and how does he race me’ and how am I going to in-turn race him. I think that’s really what it comes down to more so than it is being friends or not.”
YOU TALK ABOUT FOCUSING ON VEGAS. IS THE FOCUS ON VEGAS, AS FAR AS STAGE POINTS, MORE URGENT BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF TALLADEGA AND THE ROVAL? “Stage points are huge and everybody knows that now. Ten or twenty points in a stage – that’s a ton. So, I think everybody knows how important stages are and what they can mean, especially stage wins. Getting that extra bonus point is a huge thing, too. I think everybody knows that and that’s certainly a game that’s been played. I don’t know that it was as much played that very first year that we had this, but really ever since that first year, I think it has been known and everybody really gets that. And it’s just gotten more and more aggressive, I feel like, as time has gone on to perform well in stages. So, I think it makes it important to run good throughout the entire race. I thought that our stage results at Richmond and Bristol were good and that’s really what allowed us to get through. I haven’t moved to the mindset of Talladega next week. The way I kind of look at it is I’m probably going to crash – I think that’s just the odds probably point that direction. I hope not, but I’d say anything more than crashing would just be icing on top is how I’m going to look at it. I’m going to go into this weekend and really focus on Vegas. I’m not going to dwell on next week yet. We have a whole race here at Vegas this weekend to try to perform, get a win and move on the right way.”
LOOKING BACK AT LAST YEAR AT THE ROVAL – CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH WHERE YOU WERE AS A TEAM PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT, PRIOR TO THAT RESTART, AND HOW THINGS WERE GOING FOR YOU PRIOR TO THAT MOMENT?“Everything was really going really well, I thought to that point. We had a fast car, had got up to the lead, was making laps, and trying to get a little better and push certain areas to try and improve. I felt like the margin to the competitors was certainly going to close up as the race went on. So, both myself and our team, we were just kind of pushing in all the little small areas that we thought we could to get better. That was where my mistake ended up coming. I was trying to find an extra little bit for a late-race restart if we were in that position or whatever it may be. Leading up to all that, things were going good and we were just fine-tuning, which was really nice.”
AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALIZE THAT EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OK ONCE YOU BACKED OUT OF THE TIRE BARRIERS?“I didn’t, really. I pretty well thought it was destroyed, so I didn’t think there was any chance. I thought it was over, initially. And then once we kind of got back going, the thing was still driving pretty good. It still had some damage and it didn’t drive as good as it did, but it was still pretty solid. We started marching our way up through there. There was still a fair amount of time left in the race. Not enough time to mess around by any means, but there was a fair amount of time to march our way back forward. We were slowly clicking laps off and were able to make some passes. At that point, once we got back into the top-five there with the last couple later race restarts, if I recall correctly, I’m like ‘hey, we have another shot at it’. Tried to just mentally reset as much as I could and, luckily, things went our way. I had a couple good restarts, cars stayed together and we got really fortunate to have all those things go our way. To hit the tires as hard as we did and it not tear it up bad enough to keep going was probably a miracle. I don’t take that one for granted. That was definitely a piece of fortune in our direction, for sure.”
NEXT WEEKEND IS GOING TO BE 20th ANNIVERARY OF THE 2000 WINSTON 500, WHICH WAS EARNHARDT’S FINAL VICTORY. I KNOW YOUR DAD WAS IN THAT RACE. DO YOU EVER GO BACK TO WATCH THAT RACE? WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE LASTING IMPACT AND LEGACY OF THAT RACE?“I’ll be honest, I’ve never gone back and watched it. I was very, very young – I don’t remember the race. I haven’t gone back to really see or watch what happened or how it unfolded. I’ve seen a photo of Kenny Wallace there running second to Dale (Earnhardt) as the race was winding down. That’s really about all my memory serves of that event. Like I said, I was so little, I don’t really remember it at all.”
VEGAS HAS BEEN ONE OF THOSE TRACKS THAT HAS BEEN UP AND DOWN FOR YOU. JUST LOOKING AT YOUR PAST RACES AT VEGAS, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO BE THE DIFFERENCE IN YOU GETTING A TOP-10 RESULT/WIN OR YOU POSSIBLY FINISHING NEAR THE BOTTOM?“That’s a great point because I feel like Vegas has been super hit or miss for us. We’ve crashed a bunch out there, I feel like, and had some really bad finishes. I thought we had our best run going here in the spring race this year. I forget – we had a flat tire or something there in the middle of that last stage or towards the end of the race. I think the key would be to run like we were in the spring and not have a flat tire. That would be a fantastic opportunity, I think, to have a solid day.”
CHEVROLET AT GAINESVILLE What: Amalie Motor Oil NHRA GatornationalsWhen: Saturday, Sept. 26 – Sunday, Sept. 27Where: Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, FloridaTV: FS1 will telecast qualifying from 5-7 p.m. ET Saturday and eliminations Sunday from 2-5 p.m. ET.
Chevrolet Pro Stock Drivers in Tight Race at the Top Heading to Gainesville Enders’ win at U.S. Nationals propels defending champ ahead of Coughlin and Line DETROIT (Sept. 24, 2020) – The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to the site of the first event cancelled due to COVID-19 back in March, the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. The event, which was originally scheduled for March 12-15, will be contested with the major portion of the schedule including the Pro Stock division this weekend. Following her win at the U.S. Nationals earlier this month, reigning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders is looking for more success from her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro race team. The win in Indy was her second of the season, which matches her win total from all of 2019 when she took home her third Pro Stock title. “Our win at Indy was monumental, especially considering how close we were to sealing the deal last year,” said Enders. “We have a great Chevy Camaro right now and I’m driving well, which should be a mean combination in Gainesville.” Hovering just behind Enders in the standings are two multi-Pro Stock champions who are racing in their final full-time Pro Stock season. Enders’ Elite Motorsports teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr., also a two-time winner this season and driver of the Jegs.com Chevrolet Camaro, sits just seven points behind heading into the “Gatornationals. Coughlin posted his career-best elapsed time of 6.484 seconds and career-best speed (214.62 mph) at Gainesville in 2014. Coughlin is a two-time winner in Gainesville and a five-time Pro Stock champion. Three-time Pro Stock champion, Jason Line is 11 points behind Enders. Line, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro, is tied with KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson for four wins at the Gatornationals. FOX Sports 1 will telecast eliminations from 2-5 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 27.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, MELLING PERFORMANCE/ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (2019 champion; winner at Phoenix; first in standings): “Our win at Indy was monumental especially considering how close we were to sealing the deal last year. We have a great Chevy Camaro right now and I’m driving well, which should be a mean combination in Gainesville. I look forward to finishing this crazy year really strong. We have five events left and like I always say, my money is on us.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “The good news from the last race is that my Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro is back to healthy, and that’s a good feeling going into Gainesville. After a full schedule at the U.S. Nationals, we’re back to two qualifying sessions at this one, and I actually kind of like that. I seem to do better at two-day races. Gainesville has a cool history, and it’s been pretty good to me. I’m a big fan of anywhere you can run fast, and we’ve been able to run fast there in the past. This time is a little different because we’re going there in September, but it’ll be my last time racing there in Pro Stock, so I’d like to do well.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “This weekend will be different; we’ve gotten kind of used to racing Indy. But I think our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros are ready to run no matter where we go. We can run fast – it’s just a matter of maintaining the focus on Sunday. We need to do a better job of driving and adapting to the racetrack on race day. We’ve made a lot of strides in the last three or four months, both engine wise and car wise, and we’ve got fast racecars – but you still have to do it right every time you go out there. You can’t make a mistake. We have to clean up those mistakes, and we’ll be winning races again. We’re close, we’re very close. We just have to put it all together.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS “There’s certainly a lot of exciting things going on. We are looking to rebound from a U.S. Nationals where things didn’t go as planned and after some pretty extensive testing in Tulsa (Okla.) we feel as though we’re back to where we’ve been all season. The Gators is a marque event and it’s the perfect place for us to get back to our winning ways. The Universal Studios Florida design makes the car look very stealthy and aggressive. It’s ready for the fight. We had the chance to visit the park in February and it was an amazing experience. From the old school rides we all remember to the modern day experiences with all the latest technology, I didn’t know what I was stepping into. I was completely blown away and can’t wait to get back.”
BATAVIA, OH (September 24, 2020) – The NAPA Know How 50 – Presented by Lucas Oil from Tri-City Speedway is live tonight on MAVTV Motorsports Network at 9 PM EDT, with a re-airing at 12 AM EDT. As heavy storms passed through Granite City, IL a few days before the race, track crews worked hard and it paid off.
A three-way battle for the lead ended badly for a front row starter, but one driver walked away with his second win of 2020, and second win at the 3/8th mile track, just outside of St. Louis. The Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the race ended up in the top 10, after taking a Lucas Dirt series provisional and advancing 14 spots. The broadcast will include driver interviews, in-car cameras, and various technical segments.
Owned and operated by Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV Motorsports Network is a television network deeply rooted in the automotive world. MAVTV is available to over 35 million homes on U-verse, DIRECTV (channel 214), Fios by Verizon, Vidgo, TIKILIVE, fuboTV, Spectrum, and other nationwide providers. MAVTV will broadcast 5 live events and 34 original tape-delayed airings. To find a full list of providers, visit: mavtv.com/get-mavtv/providers.
The entire 2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series TV schedule can be found on the series website at: www.lucasdirt.com/schedule/tv-schedule/.
|Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Championship Battles Reach Critical Juncture in Arizona|
|CHANDLER, Ariz. (September 24, 2020) – The 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Presented by GEICO kicked off its run to crown this season’s eight champions with another thrilling tripleheader weekend from Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. A brand new, innovative track design greeted the world’s finest short course off road racers for the Super Clean Duel in the Desert Presented by Toyota, and it resulted in a three-day spectacle filled with some of the best action of the year. In the end, each respective championship battle moved one critical step closer to its conclusion, setting the stage for a dramatic end to the 2020 season.|
|The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series began its stretch run of the 2020 season |
with a tripleheader from Arizona’s Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Reigning Pro 2 Champion and point leader Jerett Brooks entered the weekend action at Wild Horse Pass hoping to put more distance between he and Doug Mittag, his main rival who has provided a fierce challenge throughout the 2020 season.
Brooks and Mittag started on the front row to kick things off on Friday morning and as racing got underway on the new clockwise layout Brooks was able to establish himself at the head of the pack, leaving Mittag to deal with Ryan Beat. As the race wore on Mittag lost valuable ground to Brooks and eventually dropped from second to fourth behind Beat and RJ Anderson. Beat then looked to put pressure on Brooks for the lead until a miscue sent him up on two wheels and into the wall.
From there Brooks was able to build an insurmountable lead over Mittag in the closing laps, taking his fourth win of the season by almost six seconds over his rival, with Anderson in third.
Friday Results#77 Jerett Brooks#81 Doug Mittag#37 RJ Anderson#78 Ricky Gutierrez#65 Dave Mason Jr.
|Jerett Brooks captured his fourth Pro 2 win of the season on Friday.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
As the field returned to the track on Saturday it was Beat who led the field to green from pole position, with Mittag alongside on the front row. Brooks started third on the grid. As the trucks came to life to at the drop of the green Mittag got the jump to move out front, forcing Beat to fend off Brooks for second. A determined Beat battled back and successfully got by Mittag to take control of the top spot.
The top three settled in through the halfway point of the race, separated by about a truck length each. When the second half got underway Beat held off early pressure to keep his challengers at bay. As Brooks looked to challenge the lead duo he encountered loose bodywork that hindered his vision, causing the point leader to lose third to Anderson and drop back even further.
Despite heavy and persistent pressure Beat prevailed with his first Pro 2 victory by less than a second over Mittag, with Anderson in third. Brooks lost another position late to finish fifth.
Saturday Results#51 Ryan Beat#81 Doug Mittag#37 RJ Anderson#78 Ricky Gutierrez#77 Jerett Brooks
|An exciting Pro 2 race on Saturday saw Ryan Beat (left) capture his first win in the class.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
With two different winners in the first two days it was anyone’s guess as to who might prevail in Sunday morning’s tripleheader finale. Coming off a less-than-ideal finish on Saturday Brooks was in an ideal position to start the last race, lining up on pole alongside Anderson, with Beat and Mittag in the second row.
As soon as the green flag waved Brooks dropped the hammer and charged out to an early lead on the field. Beat and Anderson battled for second, but after Anderson over-rotated a corner it allowed Beat to assume second and Mittag third. When the race reached its halfway point Brooks enjoyed a commanding lead and looked to reestablish that advantage on the restart.
Despite the best efforts of both Beat and Mittag, they were unable to maintain the pace Brooks was putting down. After making his way by Beat to take control of second, Mittag put in one final push to try and close the gap to Brooks, but it wasn’t enough. Brooks carried on to season win number five by 4.7 seconds over Mittag, followed by Beat in third.
Despite wins in two out of three races over the weekend, Brooks’ fifth-place finish on Saturday caused him to lose control of the point lead to Mittag, who completed an exceptionally consistent weekend with three straight runner-up finishes. The lead duo sit just two points apart with two rounds remaining.
Sunday Results#77 Jerett Brooks#81 Doug Mittag#51 Ryan Beat#65 Dave Mason Jr.#36 Rodrigo AmpudiaPro 2 Points (Round 8 of 10)#81 Doug Mittag – 410#77 Jerett Brooks – 408#51 Ryan Beat – 379#37 RJ Anderson – 356#78 Ricky Gutierrez – 322
|Brooks (77) outlasted Doug Mittag (81) to end the weekend with a big Pro 2 win.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Brock Heger couldn’t have captured a wave of momentum at a more opportune time in Pro Lite than coming into the weekend tripleheader in Arizona. He entered Chandler with a six-point lead over Christopher Polvoorde, thanks largely to Heger’s four-race podium streak anchored by a pair of wins.
As the trucks rolled onto the track for the first time Friday morning Heger found himself exactly where he wanted to be on the front row alongside Polvoorde. As the race got underway it was Polvoorde, who overcame some electrical issues prior to the start, who seized control of the lead, with Heger all over his rear fender. Unfortunately, after leading the first handful of laps of the race the electrical gremlins returned for Polvoorde and dropped him out of contention, handing the lead over to Heger, with Ronnie Anderson in second.
Heger led the field to the halfway point and picked up where he left off when racing resumed. He continued to build on that lead and easily brought home his third win in the last four races by 3.9 seconds over Anderson, with Madix Bailey in third.
Friday Results#12 Brock Heger#52 Ronnie Anderson#29 Madix Bailey#59 Jimmy Weitzel#50 Mason Prater
|Brock Heger was impressive on his way to the Friday Pro Lite win.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
It was Heger and Polvoorde once again on the front row to start Saturday’s action, this time with Heger on the preferred inside position. Both trucks got great jumps and entered the first turn side-by-side, but Heger emerged with the lead. Polvoorde stuck with his championship rival and was able to stay within one or two truck lengths, while Cole Mamer attached to the leaders from third as the race reached the halfway point.
When racing got back underway Heger was able to maintain his hold of the lead, but behind him the battle for second reached a tipping point when Mamer over-rotated a corner, causing Polvoorde to run into him. Polvoorde got the worse end of the incident, losing several spots, while Mamer continued in second, with Anderson in third. Out front, Heger carried on to his third consecutive victory and fourth win of the season by less than a second over Mamer, with Anderson in third.
Saturday Results#12 Brock Heger#35 Cole Mamer#52 Ronnie Anderson#29 Madix Bailey#50 Mason Prater
|Heger made it back-to-back Pro Lite wins with another impressive drive on Saturday.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Heger entered Sunday’s third and final race in search of the weekend sweep, and he was in a favorable position to do so by starting on the front row alongside Mamer. As the field came to green things got wild almost immediately as Heger got sideways and nearly went off the track. Anderson experienced similar issues, but wasn’t as fortunate and was forced off track. The early excitement allowed Bailey to move into the lead, while Heger recovered to assume second.
Bailey looked poised at the head of the pack, holding off Heger to lead the field to the halfway point. When racing got back underway Bailey once again withstood early pressure from Heger to hold onto the lead. As the laps wound down, Heger came under fire from Mamer, who successfully made the pass for second and set his sights on the lead. A late caution bunched the field up one last time and Mamer took advantage of the opportunity to make the pass on Bailey on the restart, while Heger encountered trouble and soon pulled off the track.
Mamer charged to the checkered flat to take his third win of the season by 1.7 seconds over Bailey, while Jimmy Weitzel finished third.
Heger’s pair of wins over the weekend helped him maintain his lead atop the Pro Lite standings, where he holds a 22-point lead over Bailey with two rounds remaining.
Sunday Results#35 Cole Mamer#29 Madix Bailey#59 Jimmy Weitzel#8 Carson ParrishBronsen ChiaramontePro Lite Points (Round 8 of 10)#12 Brock Heger – 402#29 Madix Bailey – 380#35 Cole Mamer – 367#94 Christopher Polvoorde – 367#52 Ronnie Anderson – 347
|Cole Mamer prevailed with his third Pro Lite win of the season on Sunday.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
After a dominant outing at the previous event reigning Pro Buggy Champion Eliott Watson entered the Wild Horse Pass weekend in control of the division. A comfortable 23-point lead accompanied Watson into Friday morning’s action, where he started one the front row alongside polesitter Matthew Brister.
When the action got underway Brister was able to take advantage of his starting position to quickly establish a big lead over Watson and the rest of the field. He maintained that advantage through to the halfway point of the race, and when racing resumed Brister was able to maintain his hold of the lead. However, Watson started to pick up his pace as well and soon started to apply pressure on Brister. The pair engaged in a tight battle for the position, with Watson eventually getting the upper hand after Brister suffered a flat rear tire.
Watson went unchallenged the rest of the way and took his fourth straight win by two seconds over Darren Hardesty Jr., while Trey D. Gibbs took advantage of Brister’s misfortune to capture third.
Friday Results#1 Eliott Watson#99 Darren Hardesty Jr.#15 Trey D. Gibbs#5 Matthew Brister#24 Bradley Morris
|Eliott Watson extended his Pro Buggy winning streak to four races on Friday.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Saturday’s race saw Brister and Gibbs occupy the front row, while Watson was forced to start right behind them from the fourth starting spot. When the green flag waved to kick things off Brister mirrored his efforts from Friday by charging out to an early lead over Gibbs, Dale Ebberts, Watson, and the rest of the field. The action intensified from there as Watson made his move to the front, eventually finding his way into second. Once there, the champ was able to put the pressure on Brister, who successfully fended off the challenge through to the halfway point.
When the field came back to life Brister got the jump he needed to put a gap on Watson, but with just a couple laps to go Brister again suffered a flat rear tire, which allowed Watson to close the gap and make the pass on the final lap. Watson captured his fifth consecutive victory by just over a second ahead of Brister, with Ebberts in third.
Saturday Results#1 Eliott Watson#5 Matthew Brister#7 Dale Ebberts#74 Brady Whitlock#24 Bradley Morris
|Watson’s dominance continued on Saturday with a fifth consecutive Pro Lite win.|
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Watson found himself in a position to earn back-to-back tripleheader sweeps entering Sunday’s weekend finale, and he would do so starting from the front row alongside his weekend rival Brister. When racing began for the final time at Wild Horse Pass it was Watson who came away with the early lead, while Brister gave pursuit. Watson established a comfortable margin over Brister, who appeared to encounter trouble with his buggy after just a handful of laps, allowing Ebberts to move into second and Gibbs into third.
The excitement ramped up in the closing stages of the race as Gibbs was able to make a run on Watson and looked for a way around, but Watson ultimately extended his reign of dominance over the division with a sixth straight win. The champ took the checkered flag by less than half a second over Gibbs, with Brady Whitlock in third.
Watson now enjoys a commanding lead atop the Pro Buggy standings, 50 points ahead of Gibbs with two rounds to go.
Sunday Results#1 Eliott Watson#15 Trey D. Gibbs#74 Brady Whitlock#56 Zachary Drapkin#24 Bradley MorrisPro Buggy Points (Round 8 of 10)#1 Eliott Watson – 434#15 Trey D. Gibbs – 384#5 Matthew Brister – 372#74 Brady Whitlock – 348#99 Darren Hardesty Jr. – 344#7 Dale Ebberts – 344
|Watson wrapped up his second tripleheader sweep|
and extended his Pro Buggy win streak to six races.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
|Turbo UTV & Production 1000 UTV|
A hotly contested Turbo UTV title fight saw the duo of defending champion Corry Weller and Ronnie Anderson lead the way into the tripleheader at Wild Horse Pass. Both drivers had been a picture of consistency in 2020, but Weller brought in some added incentive coming into her hometown race.
The action on Friday morning saw Anderson start on the front row with Weller lining up right behind him. As the green flag waved Anderson quickly opened up a big lead on the field while Weller had to fight her way through traffic. Out front, Anderson looked impressive and had the setup on his Polaris dialed in. He cruised to his first win of the season by a significant margin over Chance Haugen in second, while Weller followed in third.
In Production 1000 UTV a similar rivalry has been unfolding all season long between former champion Brock Heger and Myles Cheek. The pair have traded wins all season long and both looked to gain an edge on the other coming into Chandler.
Both drivers had their work cut out for them on Friday morning starting on the second row behind Robby Hornsby and Dallas Nord. As the green flag waved both Heger and Cheek pounced and quickly took control of the race, passing both Nord and Hornsby, who flipped before the end of the opening lap. With a clear track the championship rivals went at it in a head-to-head battle. Cheek put heavy pressure on Heger for the lead and made the pass happen. From there Cheek pulled away to take his fourth win of the season by 6.6 seconds over Heger, with Nord in third.
Friday Turbo UTV Results#752 Ronnie Anderson#718 Chance Haugen#1 Corry Weller#703 Trevor Leighton#704 Dan KellyFriday Production 1000 UTV Results#957 Myles Cheek#912 Brock Heger#974 Dallas Nord#988 Anthony Santos#912 Lance Root
|Ronnie Anderson (left) took his first Turbo UTV win on Friday, |
while Myles Cheek (right) took his fourth Production 1000 UTV win.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
With a win under his belt Anderson was in search of more as Turbo UTV returned to the track on Saturday. He started on the front row while Weller started right behind on Row 2 and when the field came to take the green flag Anderson was able to move into the lead, while Weller once again had to come through the field. Anderson nailed the setup again on his Polaris and easily controlled the pace of the race, dominating en route to a second straight victory by 12 seconds over Weller, with Robert VanBeekum in third.
After his dominant win on Friday Cheek carried all the momentum into Saturday’s Production 1000 UTV race, looking to build on his advantage over Heger. The pair once again started on the second row and when they green flag waved they settled in behind Nord, who jumped out to the early lead. Heger soon made his way to the front and Cheek followed through into second, setting the stage for another showdown. Much like Friday, Cheek was able to find a way by Heger and pull away for a second straight win by a margin of 1.9 seconds, with Hornsby completing the podium in third.
Saturday Turbo UTV Results#752 Ronnie Anderson#1 Corry Weller#764 Robert VanBeekum#718 Chance Haugen#715 Trey D. GibbsSaturday Production 1000 UTV Results#957 Myles Cheek#912 Brock Heger#916 Robby Hornsby#912 Lance Root#929 Orion Rodriguez
|Anderson (left) took another big Turbo UTV win on Saturday, |
while Cheek (right) went back-to-back in Production 1000 UTV.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
By stealing the momentum in the title fight Anderson came into Sunday’s final Turbo UTV race of the weekend with an eye on positioning himself for a championship run. While Weller hadn’t shown the pace of her rival, she was doing what she needed to minimize the damage and looked to turn things around Sunday. Fittingly, the pair started on the front row for Sunday morning’s battle and when the race got underway Weller was able to take advantage of her pole position to jump out to the early lead over Anderson. Weller held onto the top spot for the first few laps but Anderson was able to patiently wait for his opportunity and make the pass happen. Once out front Anderson never looked back and completed the weekend sweep by a margin of 5.1 seconds over Weller, with Trey D Gibbs in third.
Anderson’s three-race win streak moved him to the top of the Turbo UTV standings at a critical juncture in the season as he now holds a seven point lead over Weller with two rounds remaining.
While Cheek has gotten the better of him after the first two Production 1000 UTV races, Heger came into Sunday’s tripleheader finale ready to leave it all out on the track in hopes of stopping the momentum surge. Heger and Cheek led the field to green on the front row for the weekend finale and Heger once again put his Yamaha out front early on. As he had all weekend long, Cheek bided his time and waited for his opportunity to make the pass, which he did in the early laps. From there Cheek was able to log consistent laps and bring home the weekend sweep for his fifth win in the past six races. He took the checkered flag 4.6 seconds ahead of Heger, with Orion Rodriguez earning a podium finish in third.
Cheek’s hot streak has allowed him to build a 25-point lead over Heger in the Production 1000 UTV standings and he’s put himself in a comfortable position to potentially wrap up his first division title with two rounds remaining.
Sunday Turbo UTV Results#752 Ronnie Anderson#1 Corry Weller#715 Trey D. Gibbs#733 James Maki#777 Chelsea HaugenTurbo UTV Points (Round 8 of 10)#752 Ronnie Anderson – 414#1 Corry Weller – 407#703 Trevor Leighton – 350#718 Chance Haugen – 346#715 Trey D. Gibbs – 327Sunday Production 1000 UTV Results#957 Myles Cheek#912 Brock Heger#916 Robby Hornsby#929 Orion Rodriguez#919 Kenny HoltProduction 1000 UTV Points (Round 8 of 10)#957 Myles Cheek – 441#912 Brock Heger – 416#916 Robby Hornsby – 356#974 Dallas Nord – 331#923 Jim Price – 286
|Anderson (left) and Cheek (right) each wrapped up weekend sweeps |
of Turbo UTV and Production 1000 UTV, respectively, on Sunday.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
|Mod Kart, JR2 Kart & RZR 170|
A hotly contested title fight accompanied Mod Kart into the Wild Horse Pass tripleheader, as Braden Chiaramonte, Trey Eggleston, and Connor Barry had all enjoyed victory this season and sat separated by just 11 points entering Arizona. Friday’s opening race proved to be an opportunity for Barry to gain some ground on his rivals as he dominated the action with a wire-to-wire performance that saw him capture his third win of the season by 2.8 seconds over David Gasper, with Ethan Ebert in third.
Rhyan Denney was the focal point of JR2 Kart coming into Chandler, where her consistency allowed her to carry a double-digit point lead into the tripleheader weekend. The point leader was going to have her work cut out for her on Friday morning, starting mid pack, while her closest rivals started closer to the front. When racing got underway it was Olive Hoover who controlled the lead all the way until the final lap when Talan Martin made an impressive pass to steal the win just ahead of Hoover, with Logan Leggitt in third.
The rivalry in RZR 170 between point leader TJ Siewers and defending champion George Llamosas was destined to continue at Wild Horse Pass, in what has been one of the most exciting classes to watch all season long. On Friday morning, both drivers would have their work cut out for them as they started on the third row. As the racing got underway it was polesitter Declan Shields who seized control of the lead and paced the field for nearly the entirety of the race until a miscue with two laps to go handed the lead to Llamosas, who carried on to his third win of the season ahead of Siewers in second and Ryder VanBeekum in third.
Friday Mod Kart Results#528 Connor Barry#576 David Gasper#577 Ethan Ebert#584 Karaston Hernandez#507 Cade MartinFriday JR2 Kart Results#411 Talan Martin#488 Olive Hoover#481 Logan Leggitt#486 Tyli Olsen#460 Rhyan DenneyFriday RZR 170 Results#188 George Llamosas#101 TJ Siewers#164 Ryder VanBeekum#155 Carson Greco#176 Jaxon Leaming
|(Clockwise left) Connor Barry captured his third Mod Kart win on Friday, |
while Talan Martin (middle) made a late pass on Olive Hoover (front) to win JR2 Kart,
and George Llamoasas took his third RZR 170 win.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
As the Mod Kart field returned to the track on Saturday morning there was a lot of excitement surrounding what kind of action would unfold. Barry had the momentum after his Friday win and would have the opportunity to start on the front row for the second race. As soon as the green flag waved Barry put himself at the head of the pack again and comfortably paced the field for the majority of the race. The battle up front tightened considerably in the closing laps but Barry withstood the challenge to take his second win of the weekend by a half second over Gasper, with Braden Chiaramonte in third.
The second JR2 Kart race featured even more unpredictable action. After starting on the front row Lake Adler was able to grab control of the early, with Denney right behind. Unfortunately for Denney she found herself upside down shortly thereafter. That proved to be the help Adler needed as he went unchallenged for the remainder of the race to capture his second win of the season ahead of Hoover and Talan Martin.
As the RZR 170 field returned to the track for Saturday’s race all eyes were on Llamosas and Siewers to see if the defending champ could continue to close in on the current point leader. When racing got underway it was Carson Greco who capitalized on his front row starting spot to take the early lead, but Llamosas applied pressure immediately. The persistent pressure to hold off Llamosas caused a miscue by Greco that resulted in a tip over, which allowed Llamosas to move out front and charge home to his second win of the weekend ahead of Siewers in second and VanBeekum in third.
Saturday Mod Kart Results#528 Connor Barry#576 David Gasper#573 Braden Chiaramonte#514 Brody Eggleston#511 Talan MartinSaturday JR2 Kart Results#499 Lake Adler#488 Olive Hoover#411 Talan Martin#497 Jessie Owens#401 Dane CulverSaturday RZR 170 Results#188 George Llamosas#101 TJ Siewers#164 Ryder VanBeekum#158 Declan Shields#124 Zoe Easton
|(Clockwise left) Connor Barry (front) went back-to-back with a ModKart win|
on Saturday, as Lake Adler (front) prevailed in JR2 Kart,
while George Llamoasas (front) won again in RZR 170.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
As Mod Kart entered Sunday ready to close out the tripleheader weekend Barry was eager for the chance to wrap up the weekend sweep and give a big boost to his title hopes. He started on the front row for Sunday’s race but gave way to Gasper as the green flag waved. Gasper had been the only driver to really threaten Barry’s dominance all weekend and the clear track provided the kind of advantage he’d been looking for all weekend. Despite heavy pressure from multiple drivers Gasper prevailed with his first win of the season by 1.5 seconds over Barry, with Brody Egglesotn in third.
Barry’s stellar weekend vaulted him to the top of the Mod Kart standings, where he now holds a 23-point lead with two rounds remaining.
After tight battles for the win through the first two days, the weekend finale in JR2 Kart was up for grabs for whichever driver could take the biggest advantage of their track position. When the green flag waved it was Brodie Martin who capitalized on his front row starting spot to take the early lead and pace the field. Despite pressure from his cousin, Talan Martin, all race long, Brodie never put a wheel wrong and became the third different JR 2 Kart winner of the weekend ahead of his cousin, with Chaden Zane Minder in third.
With such a diverse collection of results from the weekend, the JR2 Kart title fight is tighter than ever. Talan Martin’s consistency has put him atop the standings, where he holds a slim six point lead with just two rounds remaining.
After a pair of late passes George Llamosas was hoping to make things easier on himself for the third and final RZR 170 race of the weekend. Llamosas started on the second row to start the Sunday finale, with Siewers right ahead of him on pole position. When the green flag waved both Siewers and Llamosas quickly grabbed control of the top two spots, with Siewers out front. The top two were never separated by more than a car length and a patient Llamosas waited for his opportunity before making the pass happen just past the halfway point. Once out front the champ never looked back and successfully wrapped up the weekend sweep ahead of Siewers, with VanBeekum in third.
Llamosas’ winning weekend paid big dividends in the championship standings, where he closed his deficit to Siewers. Just 11 points separate the lead duo with two rounds to go.
Sunday Mod Kart Results#576 David Gasper#528 Connor Barry#514 Brody Eggleston#554 Luke Knupp#577 Ethan EbertMod Kart Points (Round 8 of 10)#528 Connor Barry – 402#573 Braden Chiaramonte – 379#514 Brody Eggleston – 349#576 David Gasper – 347#590 Trey Eggleston – 338Sunday JR2 Kart Results#413 Brodie Martin#411 Talan Martin#415 Chaden Zane Minder#460 Rhyan Denney#429 Irie BaileyJR2 Kart Points (Round 8 of 10)#411 Talan Martin – 370#460 Rhyan Denney – 364#413 Brodie Martin – 357#481 Logan Leggitt – 349#401 Dane Culver – 348 Sunday RZR 170 Results#188 George Llamosas#101 TJ Siewers#158 Declan Shields#124 Zoe Easton#195 Tatum FoersterRZR 170 Points (Round 8 of 10)#101 TJ Siewers – 425#188 George Llamosas – 414#102 Ian Torfi – 354#164 Ryder VanBeekum – 335#124 Zoe Easton – 329
|(Clockwise left) Barry (left) and David Gasper (right) battled for the ModKart win on Sunday |
with Gasper prevailing, while Brodie Martin (front) took the JR2 Kart win,
and George Llamoasas (right) outlasted TJ Siewers (left) to sweep RZR 170.
Photo: Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
|The 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series will return to action in October with one more three day tripleheader to close out the season in dramatic fashion from Southern California’s Glen Helen Raceway. The final two rounds of the season will ultimately see eight champions crowned on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17. On Sunday, October 18, the highly anticipated Lucas Oil Challenge Cup will bring the year to an emphatic conclusion with a series of special showcases for big prize money and bragging rights.|
For information about the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series please visit LucasOilOffRoad.com and be sure to follow all of the LOORRS social media channels for exclusive content and additional information on the latest news:
September 23, 2020
With seven races left on the 2020 Cup Series schedule, the goals have shifted a bit for Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Duracell team, but the determination to succeed remains unwavering.
They were among the four teams eliminated from the Cup Series Playoffs at the end of the Round of 16, but there are still significant accomplishments to pursue, among them a race win and a choice spot in the final points standings.
The work begins this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Sunday’s South Point 400. It was at Las Vegas back in February, where DiBenedetto, riding on older tires but having track position due to a strategy call, scored a runner-up finish in his second race in the Wood Brothers Mustang.
“I can’t wait for Vegas, especially after finishing second there earlier this year,” DiBenedetto said, adding that he’s ready to put the disappointment of dropping out of championship contention behind him. “I’m bummed we didn’t make it through the first round of the Playoffs and had a few rough races, but I’m excited to go to a strong track for us and to finish the season strong in this Menards/Duracell Mustang.”
DiBenedetto will have some extra motivation this weekend as the Menards/Duracell Mustang will be honoring a cancer hero, Marnie Howiler, as part of the Nominate a Cancer Hero program spearheaded by the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
Howiler, from Cornelius, N.C., is the granddaughter of the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Isaac. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms Tumor at five years old and underwent eight months of treatment.
Howiler was nominated by Robbie Isaac, daughter of the late NASCAR champion, who said she reconnected with the Wood Brothers at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and now cheers, along with her family, for DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Mustang.
In her nomination, Isaac wrote: “Since there isn’t a No. 71 [her father’s car number], in the field, being with Matt, the Wood Brothers and the No. 21 car is the perfect place for Marnie. They are all survivors and winners.”
Isaac described DiBenedetto as “a person everyone would love to see win.”
She had similar praise for Howiler. “Marnie is my cancer hero because she chooses to be happy every day and enjoy life. She is a wonderful person, and I couldn’t love her more.”
Sunday’s South Point 400 is set to get the green flag just after 7 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on NBCSN.
|Troy Jr. will have a special ‘passenger’ in Florida|
|GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 23) — Five-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. has a laundry list of reasons why he’s excited about this weekend’s 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, and perhaps the most exciting one of all involves his teammate and nephew Troy Coughlin Jr..|
At the top of the list is the recent announcement that Troy Jr. and his beautiful wife Brenna are adding another member to the Coughlin family in the months ahead, and it’s a girl! Secondly, Jeg Jr. is just seven points off the NHRA championship points lead, meaning he has a great chance to regain the No. 1 spot he’s held for the majority of the 2020 season at this event. Next, his powerful JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will have a special design this race promoting Universal Studios Parks & Resorts in Orlando & Hollywood, his family’s No. 1 go-to theme park destination. Finally, both Jeg Jr. and Troy Jr. have the honor of flying the colors of Mia’s Miracles on their respective hot rods, bringing worldwide attention to PGA Tour professional Camilo Villegas and his wife Maria’s very special charity that honors their daughter Mia, who passed away in July after battling tumors on her brain and spine. Jeg Coughlin Jr.
“There’s certainly a lot of exciting things going on,” Jeg Jr said. “We are looking to rebound from a U.S. Nationals where things didn’t go as planned and after some pretty extensive testing in Tulsa (Okla.) we feel as though we’re back to where we’ve been all season. The Gators is a marque event and it’s the perfect place for us to get back to our winning ways. “The Universal Studios Florida design makes the car look very stealthy and aggressive. It’s ready for the fight. We had the chance to visit the park in February and it was an amazing experience. From the old school rides we all remember to the modern day experiences with all the latest technology, I didn’t know what I was stepping into. I was completely blown away and can’t wait to get back.” In the first five races of the year, Jeg Jr. has raced to two victories in three final-round showings. Dating back to last year’s playoffs, Jeg Jr. has been to six finals in eight races, collecting three wins along the way. “We don’t know what the future holds so we’re very focused on regaining the top spot from our Elite teammate Erica Enders with a big-time showing this weekend,” Jeg Jr. said. “We’ve had an aggressive mindset dating back almost a year now, since the start of last year’s playoffs, and we’re going to stick to that program. “Having a chance to bring attention to Mia’s Miracles is another huge motivator for us. Our friend Camillo Villegas and his wife Maria’s loss has staggered all of us and we’re hoping to get as much TV time as possible and get the word out about their charity, which helps others in similar situations to the tragic situation they endured. “I’m actually wearing a special Nick Pastura-designed helmet with a Mia’s Miracles theme this weekend and I’m going to present it to Camillo and Maria after the race. “On a much brighter note, we’re all celebrating Troy and Brenna’s big news. I know my nephew is going to be a great father and Brenna is always awesome. We can’t wait to see her.”
Jeg Jr.’s special Universal Studios Parks & Resorts in Orlando & Hollywood design
Troy Jr. will have a constant reminder of his daughter’s pending arrival in his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Ford Mustang as he plans to adorn the dashboard with the latest 3D ultrasound images of his little girl. “Talk about motivation,” Troy Jr. said. “It’s just such a blessing to have a little baby coming into our lives. We can’t wait to see her 20 weeks from now. My dad (three-time Pro Mod champion Troy Coughlin Sr.) says having a kid changes everything and I’m starting to realize he’s right. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.” Troy Jr., who collected two regional championships in Top Alcohol Dragster in the last two years, has competed at four of the five Pro Stock races this year. His best outing came at the third Indy race where he surprised everyone by reaching the finals, eventually taking runner-up honors behind his uncle Jeg Jr. “I’m trying to keep everything simple,” Troy Jr. said. “I’m focusing all my attention on the next pass and not thinking beyond that. The idea is to be the best I can be in the car each time I go down the track. I want to hit my shift points and bring good data back to my crew chiefs, Rick Jones and Mark Ingersoll. “Last week we went testing and I was the only driver able to go so I got to make 13 passes in one day. That’s by far the most driving I’ve done at one time. I tested my car, my Uncle Jeg’s car, and Bob Benza’s Camaro. It was a ton of work for the crew guys — Eric Luzinski, Mike DePalma, Robert Freeman and Kelly Murphy — and to see their dedication made me that much more determined to race hard this weekend. “Being at Elite is like playing basketball with Michael Jordan. There’s so much about it that naturally elevates your game.”
|ST. LOUIS (Sept. 22) — This drag racing season has been very different with schedule constrictions necessitating more double-up weekends than ever before. But for reigning Division 3 Top Dragster champion Mike Coughlin and a few others, this weekend’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway will present three chances to visit the victory circle. Due to a late-round rainout on August 30 at the last D3 race in Bowling Green, Ky., Coughlin and his fellow remaining survivors from Beech Bend will start this extended weekend by finishing the last few rounds of the previous race. Together with the regularly scheduled double-header, Coughlin knows this year’s Division 3 championships will likely be decided under the famous St. Louis Arch. |
“It’s going to be a really exciting four days,” Coughlin said. “I’ve always enjoyed double-header weekends because they’re like bracket races where you’re just constantly on the go. This weekend will be even more crazy with three races. I’ve never had three NHRA races in a weekend before. I actually doubt it’s happened very often. I just know we won’t have a chance to catch our breath until Monday. It’ll be awesome.” After qualifying No. 1 with a stout 6.108 at 224.77 mph in Bowling Green, Coughlin used a bye run and wins over Phillip Oakley and John Biagi to reach the semifinals before rain drove everyone back to their pits. Several delays later, the race was postponed, leaving Coughlin and fellow D3 championship hopefuls Danny Nelson, Al Peavler and John Strassweg dreaming of finishing the job in St. Louis. “It’s great to still have a chance and considering the four of us that are left are all in the top five in the current standings, it’s obviously very important to finish this one off with a win,” Coughlin said. “”Then we need to turn right around and go deep into eliminations in the other two races. It’s all or nothing at this point.
“My crew chief Greg Cody, along with Tony Collier and Ryan Micke, have been very pleased with the JEGS Dragster and how it’s been responding so we don’t have any plans to change what we’ve been doing. We like to stay within our plan and race one round at a time, which is what we’ll be doing again in St. Louis.” Currently, Coughlin is third in the D3 Top Dragster championship points. He trails Nelson by 45 points and Patrick Forester by 20. Peavler is just 11 points behind Coughlin in fourth, and Strassweg is 10 more back in fifth place. “We’ll keep racing until they tell us to stop,” said Coughlin, who also has two D3 titles in Top Sportsman, earned in 2007 and 2009. “We’ll know a lot more about where we all stand by Sunday afternoon and then we’ll go from there. I’m planning on coming back to St. Louis next weekend for the national event and maybe we’ll go to Dallas also. We’ll have to see how everything shakes out. It’s a very exciting time.”
· The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) returns to Florida for the 51st annual Amalie Oil Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway after a six-month delay
· The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye-themed livery remains on Matt Hagan’s Funny Car and Leah Pruett’s Top Fuel dragster for the Gatornationals
· Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) quartet of Funny Car drivers look to extend their streak of nine-consecutive event wins at the Gatornationals
· DSR driver Leah Pruett arrives in Gainesville second in the Top Fuel Championship standings with a runner-up finish at NHRA U.S. Nationals
· Mark Pawuk drives Empaco Equipment Mopar Drag Pak to Gainesville staging lanes second in Factory Stock Showdown championshipSeptember 22, 2020, Auburn Hills, Mich. – After four National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events were held consecutively in Indianapolis following the mid-July restart of the revamped 2020 season, the championship battle now moves to Florida this weekend for the 51st annual NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge SRT race cars were headed to the staging lanes at Gainesville Raceway when the pandemic brought a sudden halt to competition, but even a six-month delay hasn’t lessened the anticipation and excitement that comes with competing at the historic event.
Ron Capps has put his DSR Dodge Charger in the winner’s circle at the Gatornationals three times, including back-to-back Wally trophies in 2006-2007 and a victory in 2015, Jack Beckman won in 2018, and Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. are hoping to be first-time winners. Leah Pruett is also looking for her first Gatornats event win in either Top Fuel or Factory Stock Showdown competition.
Also returning to the drag strip is the “Demon-possessed” Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye-themed DSR race cars of Hagan and Pruett. For a fifth straight event Hagan’s Funny Car and Pruett’s Top Fuel dragster will feature the fierce-looking red, black and chrome paint scheme in tribute to the new 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
Adding to the anticipation of competing at the Gatornats this weekend is the opportunity for the DSR quartet of Dodge Charger Funny Cars to extend a nine-event winning streak that dates back to the October 2019 FallNationals at Texas Motorplex with Hagan’s victory aboard the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody. All four DSR Dodge entries have contributed to the continuous string of victories with Hagan leading the charge with four wins, Beckman adding three, while Johnson and Capps each providing a Wally trophy to the count. Three of those occasions featured an all-DSR Dodge final round battle for the win.
The only previous time in series history that a team swept 10 consecutive race wins in a single NHRA category was during the 2017 season when the same lineup of DSR Funny Car drivers contributed to that streak. Capps posted six of those 10 wins, with Beckman adding two, while Hagan and Johnson had one each.
The chance to claim a 10th consecutive win in the Funny Car category at the GatorNats comes after the team achieved an unprecedented milestone of 350 NHRA national event victories at the U.S. Nationals with Beckman’s winning drive behind the wheel of his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It also comes with just five national events left to fight for the 2020 NHRA Funny Car Championship title and all four DSR drivers in a fierce battle atop the top five positions in the standings. Beckman leads with a pair of wins and has Hagan on his heels with a 35-point deficit and two victories of his own. Johnson stays close in third place just 22 points behind Hagan, while Capps rounds out the top five.
Battling for a championship title in the Top Fuel category is Pruett, who has positioned her Mopar dragster in second place between competitors Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrance. She is challenging for the lead based on her runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals and while she hasn’t yet hoisted a Wally trophy yet this season, she has won a round at every event this year, something that points leader Kalitta can’t say.
Pruett is pulling double duty again this weekend as she will compete in the SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) class aboard her Mopar Drag Pak alongside teammate Mark Pawuk, with qualifying scheduled to begin on Friday. Pawuk comes into Gainesville Raceway second in points with four events left after driving his Empaco Equipment Mopar Drag Pak to a No.2 qualifying effort and runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals.
NHRA qualifying highlights will be broadcast on FS1 on Saturday, September 26, at 5 p.m. ET, while television coverage of the elimination rounds, including LIVE finals at Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, will air on Sunday, September 27, on FS1 beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
ADDITIONAL NOTES and QUOTES:
Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny CarBeckman is the current Funny Car points leader with two wins and two runner-up finishes in six races this season. He won the Gatornationals Funny Car Wally in 2018.
“With a maximum of 20 rounds of eliminations left, and the fact that this championship is the first since 2006 that will be determined based on cumulative points, a win at Gainesville could prove essential to winning this year’s championship.”
Matt Hagan, Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Funny Car Hagan is second in points with two wins and two No. 1 qualifier positions. While he did make it to a final round of eliminations, he has not yet won at Gainesville Raceway.
“I have never won Gainesville. I’ve been to the final there, Jack Beckman beat me in 2018, so I really want to put a Gainesville Wally (trophy) on the shelf. We definitely have the car to do that this year. Our Dodge Hellcat Redeye is really responding well to the adjustments (crew chief) Dickie Venables has been making. I’ve got a really strong race car underneath me, my lights have been great, and I’ve been pretty shallow and making sure we keep lane choice.
“The package we’re creating this year has been great. We’ve won a few races. The points battle is always a dogfight, but especially this year with no points reset. Everything is coming down to these last few races, and it’s going to be a battle to the end. Our DSR team cars are tough, there’s just no way around it. My teammates are good drivers, good leavers, they have good race cars, good tuners, and all of the same parts and pieces that we do, so it’ll come down to who will have the best tune-up/driver combo. I’ve won a championship with Dickie (2014), and my first in 2011, so I understand the pressure and what it takes to get there. Sometimes you just have to sit back and trust in your team and allow all of the hard work they’ve put in over the year and the winter to come to you, so I’m just going to drive this Dodge Hellcat as best as I can, and focus on putting on four win lights this weekend.”
Tommy Johnson Jr., MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny CarJohnson has one win and one runner-up finish this season along with three No.1 qualifier positions to sit third in points behind his DSR teammates Beckman and Hagan.
“The points battle has come down to three of us from the same team and the pressure is on. We know what the remaining schedule is going to be, we know how many races are left to gain as many points as we can. The U.S. Nationals didn’t go the way we had planned. We had some unfortunate parts damage first round that cost us the win and really hurt us with points. We had been looking so good. “Gainesville isn’t necessarily a must-win, but it’s a ‘must do really well’ weekend and we need to get a lot of good points so we can come out of there and still be in the race with my teammates. They’re going to be tough. I know what kind of competition they are, and what they have, and we’ll have to bring our best. It’s just like any other year; when it comes down to crunch time, you have to be on your game, and hopefully, we’ve got all of our bad luck and misfortune out of the way and we can make a real run at it these last five and see what we can do.”
Ron Capps, NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny CarCapps has one win, one semi-final appearance, and a No.2 qualifier position to put him fifth in points. His runs in eliminations have been ended by DSR teammates in five of six events this season. Capps has three wins at the Gatornationals including back-to-back wins in 2006-2007 and 2015.
“We have a great streak going with the DSR Dodge Funny Cars, but one of the things I love about Don Schumacher is that you’d never know it. He is throttle down and when you talk to him, you’d think that we haven’t won a race in two years, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean it as in, he wants you to go up there and just absolutely crush your competition, and that’s what we’re trying to do. He’s ultra-competitive. “I think with the NAPA team, you’re going to see more of what you saw at the last two Indy races, and that is, pushing it. We’re going to push it quite a bit more than we would have before. We won Indy 3 which was great, and we made up a lot of points there. Qualifying No. 1 during the first session of the U.S. Nationals, and then every other session we gathered those qualifying bonus points. We were one of the top three cars during every run, and I think that’s what you’re going to see at these last five races because really, it’s like a mini Countdown, and that’s how you have to approach it. Our teammates and J.R. Todd are ahead of us, but it doesn’t matter. When a world championship is on the line, we know we’re going to have to defeat the best cars anyways. I’m looking forward to this championship chase because I think you’re going to see a different mentality from (crew chief) Rahn Tobler and our NAPA team, and a little more aggressiveness.”
Leah Pruett, Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Top Fuel Dragster Pruett is second in points on the strength of her runner-up finish at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, three semi-final finishes, a No.2 qualifier position and three No.3 starting positions in six races to date.
“Indy is great, and we’re all very fortunate to have been able to run there as many times as we did, but the essence of traveling and seeing our various fan groups across the country is something I’ve truly missed. We traditionally have not had a great deal of racing success at the Gatornationals, which brings me to my favorite overall Gainesville memory, which was setting the stock Dodge Demon record on a cool late evening with the talented SRT team back in 2017. Now that we are continuing to adorn the Hellcat Redeye livery at the Gatornationals, I hope to create our very best memory there yet, by putting the themed dragster of Dodge’s most currently available, highest HP factory produced car, the Hellcat Redeye, in the winners circle. Something I feel we are outrageously close to doing.
“The championship math is simple. We are basically in what some would call ‘countdown weather’ without a countdown. We are aware of our position two-and-a-half rounds (50 points) behind Doug (Kalitta) and with Steve Torrence half of a round (10 points) behind us, but that is not our focus. They and the other strong competitors are not our focus. Qualifying low, heightening our adaptability and staying focused on our hot rod is what we believe will yield us the results we want.”
Mark Pawuk, Empaco Equipment Mopar Drag Pak– Factory Stock ShootoutComing off his Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) No. 2 qualifying effort and runner-up finish at “the Big Go,” Mark Pawuk drives his Empaco Equipment Mopar Drag Pak into the NHRA Gatornationals second in the FSS championship battle.
“After qualifying No. 2 and going to the finals at the U.S. Nationals, we definitely have shown that we have revived our program. I’m looking forward to the Empaco Equipment Dodge Challenger Drag Pak having another nice, long Sunday and going rounds in Gainesville this weekend. The team is going to test with Leah (Pruett) before the race to try out some new parts and pieces which we think will make us be even more competitive. (Crew chief) Kevin Helms did a great job turning our performance around from that first showing in Indy this year, and we look forward to continuing it this weekend.”
Leah Pruett, Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak – Factory Stock ShootoutPruett sits just outside two points out of the top-10 in the FSS standings with four events left.
“We have been unable to test for months until this week, which brings me great joy leading into this race. Heading into to South Georgia Motorsports Park now with some setup changes Kevin Helms has been wanting to try that will hopefully bring Mark (Pawuk) and I even closer to that win we are both hunting for. I’m proud of Mark and his success in Indy and couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”
Megan Meyer has had a season full of ups and downs this year, collecting wins in Dallas and Columbus for the regional events, and winning the U.S. Nationals at the beginning of this month while setting a new national record time. But she also has four first-round losses, which has hindered her efforts of winning the Regional Championship for the fourth year in a row. Despite having her worst outing of the year at her last event in Earlville, Iowa, she is looking forward to this weekend’s NHRA GatorNationals race.
“I am really excited to returning to Gainesville Raceway one last time. Winning this race last year meant so much to me – it’s been on my bucket list for years. I’m really hoping to take home this year’s Wally for my final GatorNationals to get a lead on the national points standings, and because this is the track where I got my Super Comp license, Top Alcohol Dragster license, and competed in my first National event. This track is sentimental to me and it would mean the world to win one last time,” Megan said.
Megan is currently sitting second in the National standings, tied for first place with rival Shawn Cowie. Both racers have one national event win this season and NHRA has revised the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series points structure this year. As a result of limited races due to COVID-19, Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car classes will be able to count their best two regional events plus their best five national events.
“If we could walk away with the 2020 World Championship, it would really show how dedicated our team is to this sport. We made some crew changes after winning the championship last year and I have an even better group of guys on my team this year. It’s a bummer we haven’t been able to flex our stuff at more races, and defend our championship, but I have a really good feeling we will be able to have some quick and fast runs in Gainesville this weekend. The weather calls for low 80’s with some cloud cover on Sunday, which is perfect conditions for our NGK Spark Plugs car to show what it can really do,” Megan said.
Joining Megan at the GatorNationals is teammate Julie Nataas, who is sitting fifth in national standings and first in the North Central Region. The Randy Meyer Racing Team will get two qualifying passes on Friday, with one on Saturday followed by two rounds of eliminations. The race will be concluded on Sunday.
|: A New Stop for Corvette C8.R|
• First visit to Mid-Ohio for mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R• Corvette Racing first and second in GTLM Drivers Championship• Gavin, Milner back at site of 2012 ALMS GT victory• Chevrolet simulator key in Mid-Ohio prep for Corvette Racing drivers
|TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Without having a ton of real-world data to go off of, you have to lean on your simulation tools – whether it’s the Driver-In-The-Loop resource or other tools the team has at the race shop. But we also are taking lessons learned from this year as well – setup things that have worked so far at some tracks and on certain surfaces. We’ll use all the tools we have in our toolbox to put us in a good spot heading into the weekend. These events have been compressed and shortened quite a bit. Trying to get all those little details figured out beforehand can make a huge difference ahead of race week.”|
· World Champions Presentation in Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle· Champions are presented their Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Champion Rings· Champions receive the Edelbrock Victor Championship Trophy· Expanded Video and Fastest Street Car Magazine Coverage for Champions The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals will celebrate the 2020 World Champions during a special Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle party on Sunday October 4, 2020, at the conclusion of the NMRA World Finals + Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival, held at the scenic Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Class champions will be presented with the special Edelbrock Victor Championship Trophy and prestigious Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Champion ring. This special celebration is the replacement for the cancelled Performance Racing Industry trade show that has hosted the NMRA Awards Ceremony since 2001. NMRA racing officials will be processing points in near real-time in order to declare category champions as quickly as possible. A second Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle will be used to properly honor the 2020 champions, their family and friends, and sponsors. The NMRA Media Division will be recording exclusive interviews with the champions, giving them an opportunity to present their champion’s speech. These videos will be produced and circulated across social media, giving our champions a platform to properly recognize their biggest supporters. In addition to the champion interviews, Fastest Street Car Magazine will be expanding its coverage to include a written speech by the champion and several pages of photos. As usual, Chris Simmons Photography will offer a special photo in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle to the 2020 champions. If a category is too close to call or protested under the guidelines in the NMRA rulebook, the video interview will be done off-site using a streaming platform once that category winner is declared. “We aren’t going to let COVID-19 keep us down, this is where having an in-house Media Division sets us apart from other sanctioning bodies. Our champions deserve to be celebrated in a grand fashion and their efforts showcased for the motorsport community to see,” said Steve Wolcott, Founder and CEO of the NMRA Ford Nationals. The special Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle celebration will be cranked up higher and louder with champion celebrations and a wider assortment of adult beverages. Please note, you must be 21 or older to consume alcoholic beverages and social distancing is required. For more information about the NMRA World Finals + Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival, please visit www.NMRAdigital.com/KY
|IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE ACURA SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE PRE-RACE MEDIA AVAILABILITY TRANSCRIPT SEPTEMBER 21, 2020|
Corvette Racing drivers Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor (No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R) met with members of the media during a Zoom conference call Monday to discuss the upcoming Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. Topics included the pairing’s championship lead in GT Le Mans, expectations for Mid-Ohio, preparation for the next two events on the IMSA calendar and other items. FULL TRANSCRIPT:
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.RYOU’RE COMING OFF A RUN OF FOUR STRAIGHT TOP-TWO FINISHES AND BACK-TO-BACK WINS AT ROAD AMERICA AND VIR, BUT THINGS DIDN’T GO THE SAME WAY AT ROAD ATLANTA. HOW CAN YOU REGAIN THAT MOMENTUM YOU HAD EARLIER IN THE SUMMER?“Obviously go faster. That’s the biggest thing. In the last race, we were lacking a little bit of pace. We saw in qualifying that all the cars were separated by only a tenth-of-a-second or two, and that really hurt if you don’t have track position. We led the race for quite a few laps but being back in the pack with about two hours to go wasn’t going to be an easy task to go by the rest of the GTLM cars. Plus on top of that, we had a puncture. When that final yellow came, I thought maybe we had a chance to flip things around but it ended up being a green-white-checker finish anyway. It’s a shame that I wasn’t really in a good position and there were many GTD cars between us and the back of our field. That’s how things go. A few races will go your way and a few others don’t. We have to forget what happened at Road Atlanta, although Corvette Racing did finish second with a strong race from the No. 4 car. We need to carry on while focusing on that while keeping up the fight.”
DOES A SUBSTANTIAL LEAD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP IMPACT YOUR APPROACH TO THIS RACE?“It’s a mistake to start thinking about the championship this early. We just went to halfway. If someone scores the same amount of points as we did in the previous five or six races, then they will end up winning, mostly likely. We need to carry on and focus race-by-race while still being aggressive. If you plan things a little too conservative, other teams will notice that and take advantage. You end up being that much more vulnerable. You need to carry on and fight for it and let everyone know you are fighting for wins and not just a good position.”
THERE HAS BEEN NO BoP CHANGE FOR THIS WEEK. DO YOU FIND IT FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU’RE BEHIND A CAR THAT HAS A LOT MORE STRAIGHTAWAY SPEED BUT YOU’RE BETTER IN OTHER PARTS OF THE TRACK?“Road Atlanta showed that it was difficult to either defend from the BMWs or be aggressive and pass them. Mid-Ohio is not any different. There will be a ton of acceleration zones. I don’t know if we will have time enough to place ourselves going into Turn Three or Turn Four. It’s not easy to balance out different cars to a laptime. As you saw, between BMW and our Corvette, we achieve our laptime in different ways. That also creates very good fights with everyone very close. Let’s see if we are all close as we were at Atlanta; a good lap or a bad lap was a difference of two-tenths. We will see if tire degradation is a little more effective and we can make a tiny bit more difference against our competition.”
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE POINTS, YOU HAVE A 14-POINT LEAD BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS SO TIGHT. IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER AVERAGE WEEKEND, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE 10 DRIVERS WITHIN SIX POINTS. HOW DO YOU VIEW THE CHAMPIONSHIP GOING FORWARD?“We are still in the position where we are leading. If someone else wants to take risks, it’s not on us. For sure we need to remain aggressive enough to carry on with what we have been doing. We aren’t even close to the last race of the year. Someone could score the same amount of points as we did in the first half of the season. So far we have three wins but I wouldn’t mind one or two more. That would make things way easier.”
DOES WORK ON THE SIMULATOR GIVE YOU A LITTLE MORE COMFORT IN GOING INTO A TRACK LIKE CHARLOTTE WHERE I PRESUME YOU HARDLY HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE OTHER THAN THE TEST?“It was really good to be able to test there. As Jordan said, the track felt a little like Long Beach for the first five to 10 laps. It was a little stressful with how fast you can go around there and how many walls you could fly by and come very, very close. Once you get into a rhythm, it’s just another racetrack. With traffic, it will be very tricky. I anticipate there will be a ton of mistakes and probably more yellows than usual. There is no room for error at certain points. Tire degradation probably is another key thing there. We also are running into the night, and we were able to run at night during the test, and it wasn’t easy. The infield was almost completely dark and wasn’t easy. It will be a question mark for everyone. I hope the preparation we did during that day and after that is enough to be competitive.”
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE A RACE LIKE THIS INSERTED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP STRETCH RUN?“You just need to carry on as it is. It’s like having a 12-hour race as the last race. Sebring won’t be like a usual Sebring 12 Hours where it’s just the second race of the year. This year, some races have taken place at different dates. We just need to adapt and race according to that.”
WITH THE SEASON BEING HALFWAY, WHERE CAN YOU IMPROVE DESPITE THE SUCCESS OF EARLIER THIS SUMMER?“I think I always have areas to improve on during the season, like being on cold tires in this new car. As drivers at Corvette Racing, we always try to improve. There is always a big point to analyze all the data we have available each time we finish a race to try to improve. Even if you win a lot as we did this year, you can still do things better and that’s the focus of the upcoming races. We need to be as prepared as possible because the rest of the field will be doing the same.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.RYOU HAVE A PRETTY SIZABLE LEAD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP BUT QUITE A NUMBER OF RACES TO GO. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ATTACK THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON STARTING THIS WEEKEND AT MID-OHIO?“So far, so good. The points gap is decently big, but it’s never big enough. Our season has 11 races, and we’re just past the halfway point. There are five races to go, and lot can happen – good and bad. We will go at it the same way we have been going at it all year, and that’s race-by-race and maximizing our efforts at each event. If you look at races like VIR or Road America, we didn’t have the quickest car and were racing for podium positions. We stuck to our program and those led to wins. We’re taking those as they come, and that will be the way we look at it the rest of the season. It’s been a great year so far with the Corvette C8.R in its first year. We’re going to go to some new tracks where it hasn’t tested, so it will be interesting.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE KEY TO SUCCESS AT MID-OHIO?“Well I haven’t won there yet, so I’m not too sure! It is a tough track to pass on, so track position is a big deal. It’s been awhile since I’ve raced there in a GT car, but traffic is always a big part of it there, especially when you get to the back side of the track. I’ve been watching a lot of last year’s race and the year before that. It looks tricky in a GTLM car. If you’re stuck behind a GTD car off the backstraight, you could be stuck there all the way to the frontstretch. Strategy-wise, staying out front is going to be a big part of it. Tire wear isn’t usually a huge thing there, but tire warm-up is usually pretty key. So there are lots of little details, but staying out of trouble is a big one. Hopefully we can start out the weekend strong in qualifying to start out with good track position and go from there.”
PORSCHE HAS BEEN AWFULLY STRONG AT MID-OHIO. THEIR CAR CHANGES DIRECTION REALLY WELL AND WORKS REALLY WELL THROUGH THE TWISTY PARTS. WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN WITH THE C8.R IN TERMS OF THOSE TYPES OF CORNERS AND HOW YOU CAN COMPETE WITH THEM THERE?“. In talking with our guys about the strengths and weaknesses of the old car, we know how much more user-friendly the C8.R is in especially battling other cars, and the raceability of it when you get into traffic and when you have a long run on the tires. Overall the C8.R a much better package at a lot of tracks so far. Porsche obviously has been strong at Mid-Ohio in the past. It’s always been interesting weather-wise at Mid-Ohio; there’s always rain at some point on the weekend. It should be good. We did some good testing at the sim last week for two days, so I think that gives us a good lea-in to the weekend.”
LOOKING AT THE TRACKS LEFT ON THE SCHEDULE, YOU TESTED AT CHARLOTTE. HAVE YOU TESTED AT MID-OHIO OR LAGUNA SECA?“I have not, and the car hasn’t been tested there either. We did do the day at the Charlotte Roval. Laguna and the Roval will be interesting. The Charlotte track was pretty unique and surprising to a lot of guys with the characteristics of the track. It’ll definitely be interesting when we go back with a full field of GT cars. By the end of the day, it was a fun track to drive on so I think it will be a fun weekend.”
CAN YOU PASS THERE?“It will be tough. It’s a lot narrower than it seems on TV. We had a couple other cars that were there for the test. When you were around someone else, it seemed like those cars took up a lot of the track. It could be tough to pass, but at least we will have another class there to mix it up.”
WITH THE SERIES SLOWING DOWN THE GTD CARS AND CREATE SOME SEPARATION BETWEEN GTLM AND GTD POWER-WISE, DID YOU NOTICE IF THERE WAS ENOUGH ROOM TO SQUIRT BY IN SOME OF THE AREAS?“I didn’t notice. Coming from prototype, it still needs to be a lot more (of a separation) just to make it easier. I remember racing around them in a prototype and thinking about how much of handful it looked like to pass a GTD car. It’s proving to be that way this year. It can be frustrating when you come up on one of the pro drivers in one who can drive well through the corners and has ABS. It makes it pretty difficult to pass.”
FOLLOWING UP ON THE CHARLOTTE TEST, WHAT SURPRISED YOU AND WHAT WERE YOU IMPRESSED BY?“I had tested there in 2017 when we were doing our endurance testing for the Cadillac prototype. Back then, it was more like a makeshift infield. Since then, the track has obviously upped it to what the Roval is now for NASCAR. It definitely was different than what I remembered, and the flow was different. A lot of it on the infield feels like a street course with a lot of walls and not a lot of room for error. That’s a lot different compared to Daytona where you have some grass and exit curbs, whereas at Charlotte some of the apexes and exit curbs are concrete walls. Learning the track was pretty stressful because there are some bumps in odd places and the flow feels a bit funny. The chicanes with the big blue curbs… we can’t really touch those. One of the other cars there in testing crashed twice just from clipping the blue curbs. Definitely there will be some attrition.”
IN A SEASON WITHOUT STREET COURSES, IS THIS THE CLOSEST THING YOU’LL HAVE TO ONE?“Maybe. It’s definitely going to be one of the tougher races. We were lucky to test there, and I’m sure a lot of other teams won’t be able to. We’ll have some of the GTD amateurs trying to learn the track on a race weekend with a tight schedule. There could definitely be some yellows. Coming up a lapping some of those guys who may not know the track as well could make it pretty interesting.”
RACERS ARE USUALLY CREATURES OF HABIT. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE A ONE-OFF INSERTED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP STRETCH RUN?“I think it’s cool. It definitely keeps everyone on their toes. It suits the team well. Corvette Racing operates at a pretty high level and can prepare for something like this pretty quickly. We tested there on Wednesday, and our guys from the Chevrolet simulator were there that day. They took pictures of the first chicane where there was a change made from a couple years ago on the NASCAR track. The next day, they had already updated the track in the simulator for the changes to the exit curbs. It was really impressive to see that happen overnight. That’s a big strength of Corvette Racing and Chevrolet where they have these tools we can use to help prepare us better than a lot of the other teams.”
WITH THE SEASON BEING HALFWAY, WHERE CAN YOU IMPROVE DESPITE THE SUCCESS OF EARLIER THIS SUMMER, ESPECIALLY TRANSITIONING FROM PROTOTYPES TO THE NEW CORVETTE?“There’s definitely a lot to learn and improve on. Atlanta wasn’t easy. Each track you go to will have a different level of difficulty. If this was last year, you would have twice as much practice. This year is pretty limited. Understanding all that and maximizing the new tire and how to make it last over a stint… there isn’t a lot of time to practice that at each event. Each track has different variables. Some don’t have any tire degradation, some wear the front tires more and some wear the rears more. It’s definitely tricky. But having good guys like Antonio and the rest of Corvette Racing to bounce questions off of and learn from has been a big help. Each track we go to is a new experience. When we come back around to Atlanta and Sebring, it will be nice to go back to those places with some experience.”
|BRISTOL, TN – September 21, 2020 – Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines win both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick from Stewart-Haas Racing had their work cut out for them throughout the race and during the final laps at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile”, both battling elite competition for the win.|
|“What a weekend in Bristol! Congratulations to Kevin, Chase, Tony, Gene, and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing Organization for the weekend sweep. These teams were well prepared and worked their strategies for the race wins,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Our team at Roush Yates Engines is looking forward to the Round of 12 in the Cup Series playoffs and the start of the Xfinity Series playoffs this weekend at Las Vegas.”|
|Brad Keselowski led the field to green in the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race and led a total of 82 laps before a power steering issue sent him to the garage. Team Penske racing teammate, Joey Logano, had a strong run finishing in the top ten in both stages while spending most of the night inside the top five. A loose wheel forced Logano to pit early and trapped him laps down, ultimately finishing P11.|
|The final laps at Bristol Motor Speedway surely did not disappoint, with two stock car racing champions, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, in a fierce battle for the win. Harvick and Busch swapped the lead multiple times before Harvick took the lead with 31 laps to go and crossed the finish line .310 seconds over Busch earning his ninth win of the 2020 season.|
|When asked about his battle with Busch, Harvick commented, “To beat Kyle Busch at Bristol, I kind of got myself in a little bit of a ringer there. I hit a lapped car and got a hole in the right-front nose, but just kept fighting. We don’t have anything else to lose. We were here to try to win a race. I know how much Rodney really enjoys coming here and, hell, how can you not enjoy coming here with all this enthusiasm.”|
|Five Ford Mustangs finished in the top-10. Following Harvick was Stewart-Haas teammates Aric Almirola in P5 and Clint Bowyer in P6. Roush Fenway’s Chris Buescher had a great run finishing P8 as well as Michael McDowell from Front Row Motorsports finishing P10.|
|The NASCAR Xfinity Series race was just as exciting this past weekend at Bristol. Both Ford Performance drivers, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe, finished inside the top five in both stages in the Food City 300. The final stage saw Austin Cindric take a comfortable lead at lap 253, until a power steering issue surfaced just 17 laps later. Cindric did a great job of hanging onto the lead until six laps to go when Briscoe made the winning pass.|
|This was Briscoe’s seventh time in victory lane in 2020, but winning at Bristol was special due to the fact that there were a limited number of fans back in the stands. Briscoe commented, “I am so thankful that we are back with the race fans. You guys are the best. It’s not the same without you guys. We can’t wait to get you back all the time, but, man what a race.”|
|The NASCAR Playoffs head out West to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the Round of 12 kickoff for both series. In the Cup series there are five Ford drivers still in the hunt for the championship (Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, and Clint Bowyer). In the Xfinity series both Ford drivers, Briscoe and Cindric, will be competing for the championship over these next seven weeks. Reference the full 2020 schedule on Roushyates.com.|
27 CHAMPIONSHIPS – 408 WINS – 364 POLES!
Boehm, Smithson Score Touring Car Americas Wins in HPD Civic Si, Type R TCR
Kevin Boehm takes his HPD Civic Si to a pair of victories and TCA points lead
Scott Smithson earns his third TCR win of 2020 in Civic Type R TCR
Victor Gonzalez scores two TCR podiums, as Honda drivers earn six on weekend
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2020) – Continuing to gather late-season momentum, Honda team and drivers racing the three Civic race cars available from Honda Performance Development – the Type R TCR, Type R TC and Si – scored three wins, three poles and six podiums at the SRO Motorsports Touring Car Americas penultimate event of 2020 this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.
Kevin Boehm opened a strong weekend at COTA by piloting his Civic SI to wins on Friday and Saturday, while the DXDT Racing Honda Civic Type R of Scott Smithson dominated Saturday’s TCR race, winning by more than 11 seconds for his third victory of the season.
Boehm, who previously earned a sweep of the Road America weekend, won his fourth race in a row on Friday with a flag-to-flag win; and then backed it up by besting the field by more than 22 seconds in a Saturday romp. He finished fourth in Sunday’s finale of a triple-header weekend, but did enough to take the series points lead heading into the October 1-3 season finale in Indianapolis.
“With these front-wheel drive cars, the trick is to find a way to make it turn, we finally found a way to make it turn really well,” Boehm said. “We have the car in a real ‘sweet spot’ right now. Everything seems to be coming together at once, and it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Jonathan Newcombe backed up his Honda stablemate in his VGMC Racing Civic Si, claiming his second podium finish of the season with a third-place result on Saturday.
In the TCR races, Smithson led the Honda contingent early in his Civic Type R TCR, using a last-lap pass to place second in Friday’s lid lifter. He spun while leading on Saturday, but shook it off and stormed to his third win of the year in Sunday’s closer, coming home more than 11 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor.
“We had a rough start to the weekend, but the team was able to get my car back together and give me a great machine today,” Smithson said. “It’s taken me a little time to get used to a front wheel drive car, but thanks to DXDT and Honda for getting me here!”
Victor Gonzalez earned a pair of podium finishes in his VGMC Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, placing third on Saturday and Sunday.
HPD has three ready-to-race Civic models for touring car competition. The line starts with the affordable and reliable Civic Si TCA race car, then leads to the Civic Type R TC racer that puts legendary Type R performance on track, and culminates with the no-compromise, championship-winning Civic Type R TCR race car. Our unparalleled trackside support at every level from HPD engineers is a unique benefit that no other manufacturer can offer. Find out more about these cars and our touring programs at: https://hpd.honda.com/Motorsports/Touring.