All posts by ARP Trish

A CHANGE OF SCENERY: Max Blair Teams Up with Boom Briggs for 2023, Reflects on Rookie Season

The Centerville, PA driver earned two wins in his Rookie season with the World of Outlaws Late Models

CONCORD, NC – December 7, 2022 – Max Blair finally achieved his dream of running a national tour when he joined the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series in 2022. However, when the Centerville, PA driver unloads his Rocket Chassis at Volusia Speedway Park during Sunshine Nationals on Jan. 19-21, it comes with a change of scenery.

Earlier this year, Series veteran Boom Briggs announced Blair would join the Briggs Transport team in 2023—positioning the two Keystone State drivers as teammates.

For Blair, it’s a new atmosphere he’s excited about, primarily because of who he gets to work with.

“I’m excited. I can’t wait,” Blair said. “So far, working with Boom and Steve (Briggs) has been awesome. Working with Chub (Frank) has been awesome. When I shared the news, one of the coolest things growing up where I grew up in this little part of the country, I’m now getting the chance to run on a national tour with Rob Blair and Chub Frank in my corner. 

“That’s a pretty awesome thing for someone who grew up where I did.”

While a new team means some changes for Blair, some things will remain the same for the 32-year-old driver. 

His dad Rob also returns to the crew in 2023—a tandem that began when Max started racing. 

“I wouldn’t do it if Dad wasn’t with me,” Blair said. “We’ve done this together my entire life, and that’s the only way I know how to do it. I don’t think I would be able to do it if he wasn’t with me for multiple reasons. When me and Boom talked, that was the first thing we talked about. 

“I get to keep Trey (Armel) with me too. Last year was his first year going out on the road as a crew guy, and he’s learned a ton. He’s come a long, long way, and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get going.”

With a little more than a month until the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models season begins, Blair hopes to build off his third-place finish in the 2022 standings. 

Despite having two wins, 11 top-fives, and 26 top-10s, he stated he felt he could’ve been better after grading his season.

“Let’s go with a B,” Blair said. “I’m pretty happy with it. I mean, I ran third in points my first year, but we just had to be a little bit better there in the final stage of the year, and we could’ve come away with a rookie title and second. 

“I feel like I kind of let my guys down. We could’ve finished strong toward the end, but we kind of picked it back up at the end before Charlotte, but we weren’t consistent enough in the second part of the year.”

Even though he came up short in his bid for Rookie of the Year against Tanner English, he’s still excited for what’s to come in 2023—as he continues to sustain his dream no matter the scenery around him.

“I’m excited,” Blair said. “I’ve seen a lot of the places before and understand the grind a little bit more, maybe going into last year. Like I said, I raced a lot before. We just didn’t travel as much. The biggest thing we had to get used to was just driving up and down the road so much.”

Blair begins his tandem with Boom Briggs when the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models kick off their 2023 season at Volusia Speedway Park for Sunshine Nationals on Jan. 19-21. 

Longhorn Chassis Tops Miller Multimatic Chassis Builder’s Challenge

Longhorn Chassis Tops Miller Multimatic Chassis Builder’s Challenge
BATAVIA, Ohio (December 6, 2022) – The North Carolina-based Longhorn Chassis ruled the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series once again, winning the Miller Multimatic Chassis Builder’s Challenge for the second consecutive season. The Miller Multimatic Chassis builders challenge awarded points to over 30 unique chassis manufacturers in 2022. Points were awarded to the highest finishing driver of each manufacturer after every Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series A-Main.  Overall, Longhorn Chassis registered victories in 30 of the 2022 season’s 56 A-Main events and boasted six of the top ten drivers in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship standings. The Longhorn Chassis army was led by Tim McCreadie and the Paylor Motorsports team, who’s consistency brought them the tour’s $150,000 title and second consecutive championship. Longhorn Chassis will be recognized during the December 9th championship awards banquet at Lucas Oil Stadium. The top chassis manufacturer in 2022 will receive a new Miller Multimatic welder along with a $250 certificate from Summit Racing Equipment. 

NARC 2023 SCHEDULE: CALIFORNIA STAPLES, HUGE NORTHWEST SWING HIGHLIGHT CAMPAIGN

(12/5/2022) Sacramento, CA… The NARC 410 Sprint Cars are set for another busy campaign in 2023 with the unveiling of a 24-race schedule for the West Coast’s best drivers and teams as the series enters its 63rd season of racing.

For the second straight year NARC will visit all three states that comprise the West Coast at tracks as far south as Bakersfield and all the way up north nearly to the Canadian border. Overall, 13 different facilities are on the calendar.

Teams will compete for more than $800,000 in prize money throughout the entirety of the schedule, plus another $50,000 in product and cash awards up for grabs.  Shares of a lucrative championship points fund will also be on the line.

March-ing Into Chico

The season opener will see the revitalization of a historic, fan-favorite race.

On March 18th the series kicks off the 2023 campaign with the return of Mini Gold Cup at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway.

Originally starting in 1987, the Mini Gold Cup has been a spring staple in California but took a brief hiatus after the 2019 edition. Throughout its history, the event has alternated between NARC and World of Outlaws sanctioning. With the 2023 edition being a NARC event, it again gives locals a shot at Mini Gold Cup glory and placing their name alongside some legends of sprint car racing.

The Classics

The state of California has established a handful of “Classic” races that have become fan-favorites, and per usual some of those coveted events have found a home on the NARC schedule.

The first of five Classics on the calendar is on the second weekend of April and will be the third edition of the Anthony Simone Classic at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford on April 8th. The night honors the versatile driver known as “Mr. Excitement” and offers a $10,000 payday to the winner.

The very next weekend will be another lucrative event as Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway will host the second Dennis Roth Classic. As a nod to Roth’s iconic car, the feature winner will again be awarded $8,300. The Roth Classic has grown by a day for 2023 and will showcase two nights of racing on April 14th and 15th with the winner of the latter taking home the big check.

The wildly popular Peter Murphy Classic is set for May 12th and 13th and will take place at the site of the two aforementioned Classics. Night one will be at Thunderbowl Raceway with Keller Auto Speedway taking center stage for the $11,000 to win finale. Like last year, NARC will be joined by the Sprint Car Challenge Tour both nights.

Another one of the most anticipated races of the campaign can be found in July as the Howard Kaeding Classic continues as a summertime staple. Unlike recent years, the event will now feature two nights of the NARC 410 Sprint Cars at Ocean Speedway as opposed to 410s only partaking on the final night. “The HK” is slated for July 14th and 15th.

On August 26th the series heads to Stockton Dirt Track for the Champions Classic. After a cancellation this year due to the tire shortage, teams will be eager for its return and to fight for a $6,000 payday by visiting victory lane.

A Busy Road To Dirt Cup

For the second straight year NARC will hit the Road to Dirt Cup, but this year’s edition will include a few more stops and double as the Fastest Four Days in Motorsports.

In lieu of making a pair of trips to the Pacific Northwest like in 2022, the series will make one extended journey to make logistics easier on the teams.

The four straight nights of action begins on Thursday, June 15th at Central Point, Oregon’s Southern Oregon Speedway. The next night it’s up to Douglas County Dirt Track in Roseburg, Oregon, a track that was converted from pavement to dirt over the off-season under the new promotional leadership of Roseburg Racing Promotions. Night three is a visit to Lebanon, Oregon’s Willamette Speedway, where Justin Sanders set a new track record when NARC invaded last year. And the Road to Dirt Cup meets an end at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Washington on June 18th.

Overall, the trip promises to provide four fantastic nights of racing at four different facilities and will feature a special bonus to any driver that can sweep all four events.

Dirt Cup

After a wildly successful 2022 Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup, NARC will again support the West Coast crown jewel as it enters its second year of a return to 410 sprint cars at Burlington, Washington’s Skagit Speedway.

The Dirt Cup will again feature a trio of nights (June 22nd – 24th) with the final night’s winner taking home a whopping $50,000.

Last year the race attracted more than 40 competitors as promoters Peter Murphy and Kevin Rudeen restored a ton of prestige to one of the most historic events on the left-coast.

*On Tuesday, June 20th there will be a Dirt Cup Tune-Up race at Skagit, but it will not be a NARC event.

Making History

A pair of historic races with winners lists that read like a California Hall of Fame will again be a part of the NARC campaign with many drivers hungry to add their names in one of those coveted slots.

The 32nd Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial Race will occur on June 3rd at the scenic Placerville Speedway, marking the third straight year the El Dorado County track has hosted one of the most prestigious races in California.  With lap money and other awards, this show features one of the largest one-day purses of the year.

The season finale will see a historical race enter another decade of existence as Stockton Dirt Track hosts the 40th Tribute to Gary Patterson on November 4th.

And More

A few other racetracks and events help complete the 2023 schedule.

Petaluma Speedway has a pair of dates with the Salute to First Responders set for May 20th and the Salute to Baylands Raceway Park scheduled for July 8th.

The second race of the season will be the fourth annual Asparagus Cup on April 1st at Stockton Dirt Track with the SCCT joining the card.

Silver Dollar Speedway’s second and final NARC race of 2023 will be on April 29th as the series will again partake in the David Tarter Memorial.

The fourth edition of the Morrie Williams Memorial will be run on September 30th at Keller Auto Speedway. The unique event will again showcase a twin-20 lap features to conclude the evening.

NARC will make its lone trip to The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park on October 28th for the Halloween Spectacular.

NARC 410 Sprint Cars 2023 Complete Schedule

March 18: Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA) – Mini Gold Cup

April 1: The Stockton Dirt Track (Stockton, CA) – Fourth Annual Asparagus Cup w/SCCT

April 8: Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA) – Anthony Simone Classic ($10,000 to win)

April 14: Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA) – Dennis Roth Classic

April 15: Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA) – Dennis Roth Classic ($8,300 to win)

April 29: Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA) – David Tarter Memorial

May 6: RAIN DATE

May 12: Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA) – Peter Murphy Classic w/SCCT

May 13: Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA) – Peter Murphy Classic ($11,000 to win) w/SCCT

May 20: Petaluma Speedway (Petaluma, CA) – Salute to First Responders

June 3: Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA) – 32nd Annual Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial

June 15: Southern Oregon Speedway (Central Point, OR) – Fastest Four Days in Motorsports/Road to Dirt Cup

June 16: Douglas County Dirt Track (Roseburg, OR) – Fastest Four Days in Motorsports/Road to Dirt Cup

June 17: Willamette Speedway (Lebanon, OR) – Fastest Four Days in Motorsports/Road to Dirt Cup

June 18: Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA) – Fastest Four Days in Motorsports/Road to Dirt Cup

June 22: Skagit Speedway (Burlington, WA) – Super Dirt Cup

June 23: Skagit Speedway (Burlington, WA) – Super Dirt Cup

June 24: Skagit Speedway (Burlington, WA) – Super Dirt Cup ($50,000 to win)

July 8: Petaluma Speedway (Petaluma, CA) – Salute to Baylands Raceway Park

July 14: Ocean Speedway (Watsonville, CA) – Night One of the 13th Annual Howard Kaeding Classic

July 15: Ocean Speedway (Watsonville, CA) – Night Two of the 13th Annual Howard Kaeding Classic

July 29: OPEN

August 26: The Stockton Dirt Track (Stockton, CA) – Champions Classic ($6,000 to win)

September 30: Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA) – Morrie Williams Memorial Twin-20s w/SCCT

October 28: The Dirt Track at KCRP (Bakersfield, CA) – Halloween Spectacular

November 4: The Stockton Dirt Track (Stockton, CA) – 40th Annual Tribute to Gary Patterson w/SCCT

November 5: Championship Awards Celebration at Brookside Country Club (Stockton, CA)

Dominic Scelzi Invading Merced Speedway for Final Two Races of Season

Inside Line Promotions – FRESNO, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2022) – Dominic Scelzi will wrap up the 2022 season this week at a two-day sprint car event at Merced Speedway.

The action at the bullring in Merced, Calif., runs Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s tiny, one of the smallest places in California,” Scelzi said. “I love it. It reminds me of Grand Forks (in North Dakota). I’ve been there when the track is really wet and when it’s really dry. I think I’ve raced there five times since they reconfigured it. We’ve ran second I think three times and third once when I tried to be the hero going for the win.”

Scelzi posted an eighth-place result at the track in March.

“I feel as confident as ever rolling in there this week,” he said. “There will be a bunch of good drivers. I’m excited for the challenge and hopefully we can run well.”

Scelzi is coming off back-to-back ASCS Southwest Region victories in Arizona during his most recent weekend of competition. The two wins give him 11 trips to Victory Lane this season.

“We are happy to achieve double digits in the win column this year and hopefully we can add another one or two this week,” he said. “I think ending the season on a positive note is huge as everyone works hard throughout each offseason. We’d love to keep the momentum rolling.”

SEASON STATS –

58 races, 11 wins, 31 top fives, 41 top 10s, 48 top 15s, 51 top 20s

UP NEXT – 

Tuesday and Wednesday at Merced Speedway in Merced, Calif.

DOUBLE ZERO DELIGHT: Dotson Dominates Ninth Annual Reutimann Memorial Finale at Volusia

BARBERVILLE, FL – Nov. 19, 2022 – One start, one win. Not a bad record at Volusia Speedway Park for one of DIRTcar UMP Modified racing’s newest breakout racers, Ethan Dotson.

After breaking an 11-year-old track record in Qualifying Friday night, Dotson continued his display of speed into Saturday night, taking the lead five laps into the 50-lap Feature and driving the rest of the way unchallenged to secure the $7,000 check and his first career Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial Feature win.

Dotson, the 23-year-old Longhorn Chassis house car driver from Bakersfield, CA, credited his crew and leaders for the efforts they put in to prepare and assist throughout his first race weekend at the historic half-mile oval.

“We got lucky on practice night,” Dotson said. “We tweaked on stuff and made it really good. I’ve got a lot of good help – [lead engineer] Kevin Rumley, all the guys back at the shop that I can call and ask questions to. That all helps a bunch.

“I had [team owner] Steve [Arpin] here this weekend helping, and it just makes my job super easy whenever I’ve got people like that to be able to watch the car and help me whenever I make a mistake.”

Coming from fourth on the starting grid, Dotson made his way to second behind early race leader Brandon Kinzer in three laps. After crossing the line to complete Lap 4, Dotson threw a big slide job on Kinzer into Turn 1 and made it stick, taking the lead away for good. It was then he hit the boost and drove away from the field, opening-up an advantage of over two seconds before the race’s second caution on Lap 12.

From that point forward, Dotson began opening advantages of over four, five or even six full seconds in a small handful of laps after each proceeding restart, quickly distancing himself from the rest of the field.

Not once did Dotson let any of his competitors even come close to catching him throughout the night. The field went green on the final restart with 15-to-go, and by the time Dotson passed under the checkered flag, he was already sifting through lapped traffic again – 4.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Ashton Winger.

“I just wish Hoffman was here, and Strickler and some other guys,” Dotson said. “It’d be cooler to beat those guys here. They’ve run so many laps here.”

Chasing Dotson the hardest was Winger, making his UMP Modified debut in the Jeff Mathews Motorsports No. 33W. The young Super Late Model pilot from Senoia, GA, started on the front row but had to work his way back into a podium spot in the early going.

He slipped back to fifth at one point but made the most of a restart on Lap 15, shooting up the running order to second with a move down low on Chris Arnold to snag the spot and defending it the rest of the way home to lock-up $3,000 in prize money.

“When [Arnold] picked the top, it put me on the top, and then I got to third,” Winger said. “We set our race car up to run the middle-to-bottom, and the racetrack just allowed that top to be there the whole time.

“When you could enter on that top, I definitely think I just had to overdrive and would make a couple more mistakes. That’s a little bit how Chris [Arnold] got by me – I kinda got lost in the racetrack and made a couple mistakes.”

Arnold came home with the final podium spot after chasing down Winger for the entire second half of the race. It’s a new personal-best finish for the driver from Matoaca, VA, topping his previous best of fourth last year.

“I think I probably had a second-place car; I was kinda running Ashton down at the end,” Arnold said. “Overall, I’m happy. Fourth last year and third this year, it’s only got to go forward from here.”

RESULTS

UMP Modifieds Feature (50 Laps): 1. 00-Ethan Dotson[4]; 2. 33W-Ashton Winger[2]; 3. 99A-Chris Arnold[5]; 4. 09-Michael Leach[15]; 5. 33M-Jeff Mathews[9]; 6. 72-Todd Neiheiser[3]; 7. 24-Zeke McKenzie[6]; 8. 54-Jason Jack[23]; 9. J82-Treb Jacoby[20]; 10. 2D-Devin Dixon[7]; 11. 14-Mavrick Varnadore[24]; 12. 00B-Buzzie Reutimann[21]; 13. 18-Eric Moon[26]; 14. 25-Jason Altiers[16]; 15. 24B-Dillon Buhr[19]; 16. 3S-Josh Sanford[29]; 17. 6B-Dave Baldwin[17]; 18. 2A-Matt Altiers[25]; 19. (DNF) 18X-Brandon Kinzer[1]; 20. (DNF) 00D-David Reutimann[14]; 21. (DNF) 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[28]; 22. (DNF) 17G-Nevin Gainey[8]; 23. (DNF) 15-Hunter Gustafson[12]; 24. (DNF) 99R-Ryan Rackley[30]; 25. (DNF) 64-Austin Sanders[18]; 26. (DNF) 33G-Seth Geary[27]; 27. (DNF) 51-Dalton Lanich[10]; 28. (DNF) 205-Travis Varnadore[11]; 29. (DNF) 2J-Troy Johnson[13]; 30. (DNF) 2-Joshua Kunstbeck[22]

UMP Mod Last Chance Showdown 1 (10 Laps): 1. 00B-Buzzie Reutimann[2]; 2. 54-Jason Jack[5]; 3. 2A-Matt Altiers[4]; 4. 33G-Seth Geary[16]; 5. 3S-Josh Sanford[10]; 6. 12-Robert Gast[13]; 7. 117-Clinton Gillen[1]; 8. 17-Patrick Vareika[7]; 9. 60-Jim Manka[12]; 10. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[8]; 11. 23B-Ethan Boomsma[6]; 12. (DNS) 97-Mitch Thomas; 13. (DNS) 4M-Tim Monroe; 14. (DNS) 34-Rob Giffen; 15. (DNS) 27G-Jason Garver; 16. (DNS) 57P-Zach Permann

UMP Mod Last Chance Showdown 2 (10 Laps): 1. 2-Joshua Kunstbeck[1]; 2. 14-Mavrick Varnadore[2]; 3. 18-Eric Moon[3]; 4. 2C-Ronnie Chance[9]; 5. 80-Paul Shead[8]; 6. 27-Jason Floyd[13]; 7. 11P-Charlie Phillips[17]; 8. (DNF) 99R-Ryan Rackley[7]; 9. (DNF) 99-Justin Haley[14]; 10. (DNF) M41-Steve Maisel[4]; 11. (DNF) 57-Fletcher Mason[6]; 12. (DNF) 29C-Joey Cotterman[11]; 13. (DNF) 3D-Makayla Tyrrell[10]; 14. (DNS) 8-Trevor Senterfitt; 15. (DNS) 3-Tony Campbell; 16. (DNS) 222-Cory Hupp; 17. (DQ) Z06-Garret Stewart[5]

TICKETS PUNCHED: McKenzie, Neiheiser, Dotson, Winger Win Reutimann Memorial Showdowns at Volusia

Fifty-lap, $7,000-to-win finale goes green Saturday night on DIRTVision

BARBERVILLE, FL – Nov. 18, 2022 – In a field 54 cars deep, 20 of the best DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers at Volusia Speedway Park are now locked into Saturday night’s main event – the ninth annual Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial.

Four individual, 15-lap Showdown Features hit the track Friday night after a round of Qualifying laps, locking the top-five finishers into the Feature and taking the top-two to the redraw on Saturday.

A matured track record was broken and four different home states went to Victory Lane, setting the stage for a redraw, Last Chance Showdown and 50-lap, $7,000-to-win Feature Saturday night – shown live on DIRTVision.

Showdown Feature #1

He’s been a count-on driver for February’s DIRTcar Nationals roster. But this fall, Zeke McKenzie decided to make the trip southward once more from his home in Warsaw, IN, for his first appearance in the Reutimann Memorial, and it’s already paid dividends.

McKenzie made the most of his quick Qualifying lap, topping all of Group A and going on to dominate Showdown Feature #1 by leading all 15 laps to cash-in on the $500 bonus.

“I’m just so happy for the opportunity,” McKenzie said. “John Carpenter gave me the opportunity to drive his car in the last few weeks, and we work really well together.”

He wheeled the Minnesota team-owned car to Volusia Victory Lane for the first time in his career after getting the jump on the start, never once faltering on the restarts. He held off a hungry Brandon Kinzer in the final laps to bag the victory and a spot in Saturday’s redraw.

Showdown Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 24-Zeke McKenzie[1]; 2. 18X-Brandon Kinzer[3]; 3. 33M-Jeff Mathews[5]; 4. 2J-Troy Johnson[2]; 5. 6B-Dave Baldwin[8]; 6. 117-Clinton Gillen[11]; 7. (DNF) 97-Mitch Thomas[4]; 8. (DNF) 54-Jason Jack[6]; 9. (DNF) 33-Kenny Mihalik[7]; 10. (DNF) 17-Patrick Vareika[14]; 11. (DNF) 4M-Tim Monroe[9]; 12. (DNF) 34-Rob Giffen[12]; 13. (DNF) 12-Robert Gast[10]; 14. (DNS) 57P-Zach Permann

Showdown Feature #2

Todd Neiheiser did something all 53 of his opponents could not Friday night – represent the home state of Florida in Victory Lane.

Neiheiser, the UMP Modified veteran racer from Panama City, FL, bagged his first career Showdown Feature victory leading flag-to-flag, ripping the high side around the half-mile oval and fending off pressure from Nevin Gainey behind him in the final laps.

“It was pretty easy,” Neiheiser said. “I went around the high side. I was going to stay up there because it looked pretty good.”

Gainey started fourth and fell back to sixth in the early going but climbed his way back to second in only six laps. He spent remainder of the race chasing down Neiheiser but was unable to get the momentum necessary on the bottom to make the pass and settled for second, punching his ticket into Saturday’s redraw with Neiheiser.

Showdown Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 72-Todd Neiheiser[1]; 2. 17G-Nevin Gainey[4]; 3. 205-Travis Varnadore[5]; 4. 09-Michael Leach[2]; 5. 24B-Dillon Buhr[7]; 6. 00B-Buzzie Reutimann[8]; 7. 2A-Matt Altiers[3]; 8. 23B-Ethan Boomsma[10]; 9. 11Z-Zane Oedewaldt[11]; 10. (DNF) 3S-Josh Sanford[6]; 11. (DNF) 60-Jim Manka[9]; 12. (DNS) 27G-Jason Garver; 13. (DNS) 7G-Seth Geary

Showdown Feature #3 – Ethan Dotson

Ethan Dotson turned several heads across the DIRTcar UMP Modified world this year and may have turned a few more Friday night, breaking an 11-year-old track record in Qualifying and going on to a 4.5-second victory in the third Showdown Feature.

The first-year UMP Modified talent from Bakersfield, CA, had never turned a single lap around the half-mile facility before practice on Thursday night. His second laps around on Friday night proved to be the fastest turned in a UMP Modified in track history, smashing Clint Bowyer’s previous record from 2011 by almost a half-second at 17.031.

“Breaking the track record is pretty cool, I’ve never done that before,” Dotson said. “Crate racing my whole life, you don’t get a lot of chances to have a track record. That was cool to be able to do that, especially at this place – holds a lot of Mod races.”

Armed with a starting spot inside Row 1 for his Showdown, Dotson took off in a hurry, opening up a near six-second advantage on second-place Chris Arnold before the race’s first caution just past halfway. That did not rattle the 23-year-old, however, as he took off again on the restart and towed out to a 4.5-second gap on Arnold before the checkered flag, punching his ticket into Saturday’s redraw.

“The redraw is what it is – if you can’t win from the first few rows, you probably weren’t good enough to win anyway,” Dotson said. “I think if we just go, and draw second row honestly, and are able to keep a good pace with them, and not wreck in lapped traffic, I think we’ve got a good shot at it.”

Showdown Feature 3 (15 Laps): 1. 00-Ethan Dotson[1]; 2. 99A-Chris Arnold[2]; 3. 51-Dalton Lanich[4]; 4. 00D-David Reutimann[3]; 5. 64-Austin Sanders[5]; 6. 2-Joshua Kunstbeck[6]; 7. 18-Eric Moon[7]; 8. Z06-Garret Stewart[11]; 9. 99R-Ryan Rackley[8]; 10. 2C-Ronnie Chance[9]; 11. 29C-Joey Cotterman[10]; 12. 27-Jason Floyd[12]; 13. 3-Tony Campbell[13]; 14. (DNF) 11P-Charlie Phillips[14]

Showdown Feature #4 – Ashton Winger

Not many dirt track racers in the country can say they’ve won in their first competitive start in a UMP Modified, but Ashton Winger now can.

The 22-year-old Super Late Model regular from Senoia, GA, recently teamed up with Florida racing veteran and former Reutimann Memorial winner Jeff Mathews and decided to give the Modified a try for the occasion. His debut went well, Qualifying sixth-fast in his group and driving from third to the win in the final Showdown Feature to stake his claim into the big show Saturday.

“These cars are a ton of fun to drive, and there’s a lot of awesome people that have come by and helped me,” Winger said. “Jeff’s done an awesome job. I’ve got my cousin Will here, Wyatt, Bob’s been working his ass off. Nick [Hoffman] has come down and been a big help.”

NASCAR Cup Series regular Justin Haley jumped out to the early lead with Devin Dixon and Winger in tow before breaking a distributor on Lap 2, cutting the power to his Elite Chassis No. 99 as he slowed to a stop and brought out the caution. This led to a mad dash into Turn 1 on the ensuing restart between Winger and Dixon.

“I was kinda focused on racing Devin, and I actually felt like we were pretty even, and then I looked up and saw Justin broke,” Winger said. “We had that restart, and I think Devin just made a mistake getting into Turn 1 – I don’t think I was a whole lot better than him.”

Dixon appeared to bobble slightly on the high side, which opened the door just enough for Winger to slip by with the lead on the bottom. It was the move that made him $500 richer and a first-time winner in a DIRTcar UMP Modified, as he led every lap the rest of the way.

Showdown Feature 4 (15 Laps): 1. 33W-Ashton Winger[3]; 2. 2D-Devin Dixon[2]; 3. 15-Hunter Gustafson[5]; 4. 25-Jason Altiers[4]; 5. J82-Treb Jacoby[8]; 6. 14-Mavrick Varnadore[7]; 7. M41-Steve Maisel[9]; 8. 57-Fletcher Mason[12]; 9. 80-Paul Shead[10]; 10. (DNF) 3D-Makayla Tyrrell[6]; 11. (DNF) 8-Trevor Senterfitt[13]; 12. (DNF) 99-Justin Haley[1]; 13. (DNS) 222-Cory Hupp

BUILT BY BUNDY: An Unexpected Journey From Motorcycles To Midgets, Xtreme Outlaw Championship History

CONCORD, NC (Nov. 18, 2022) – Walk into Bundy Built and you can’t miss it.

Residing atop the tallest toolbox in the center of the 3,000 square-foot shop, a Mona Lisa amongst silver tools and plastic bottles, is the inaugural 2022 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota championship trophy.

Mesmerized by the hardware, Bundy Built Motorsports team owner John “Bundy” Mitchell asked, “You know the best part about it?”

“It’s not with one of the high-dollar teams. It’s here, in our little shop. That’s f**king cool.”

The road to that accomplishment was far from linear. More like a mountain side rally. Twists and turns came up regularly. A near death experience came into play. But overall, there was a passionate team at every segment, eager to help push Mitchell’s dreams into reality.

THE JOURNEY
When Mitchell began that journey, Midget racing was never the destination. Car racing wasn’t even on his radar.

Growing up in Chattanooga, TN, Mitchell developed a passion for dirt bikes around 10 years old. He tried racing them, but it didn’t take long for him to realize he didn’t have the funding, (or the talent, as he said) to make that dream a reality.

Instead, he turned to working on them. Unable to hire someone to do the work for him, he had to learn on his own. Eventually, he made it a skill and became good enough that others started paying him to work on their bikes – all before he turned 16.

Through his little business, Mitchell met fellow Tennessean Nathan Ramsey – now a World Supercross champion. The two sparked a friendship and Mitchell became Ramsey’s go-to mechanic for his bikes – a relationship that would launched Mitchell into his wild journey.

Ramsey got hired to ride for the Factory Suzuki team and because of Mitchell’s stellar reputation as a dirt bike mechanic, specifically for Ramsey, they got called to the team together. The next day, they moved from Tennessee to California.

After a year with Suzuki, Ramsey got hired by Kawasaki to join the pro circuit and, again, brought Mitchell with him. In their four years with Kawasaki, the duo brought the team a championship in 1999.

Then, Mitchell got the rare opportunity to help develop a new engine when Ramsey went from Kawasaki to Yamaha (the two had been so successful together that Ramsey made sure it was in his contract that where he went, Mitchell could go with him).

“Yamaha was the first to build a four-stroke engine,” Mitchell said. “Back then, everything was two-stroke. Nathan was known to be a really good test rider. So, Yamaha hired him to test the four-stroke. I got to go to Yamaha with him to test it. The way it works in Japanese culture, they send a team of five engineers to live in America for the entire season to go to all the races and support the new projects. So, I got to work with these engineers on this bike.”

Eventually, Honda entered the ring with their own four-stroke engine and stole Ramsey and Mitchell from Yamaha to help develop it. So, Mitchell got to work with another set of five engineers on perfecting 250cc and 450cc engines.

“I got a really cool head start into, basically, F1-type four-stroke engine technology,” Mitchell said.

Then, in the early 2000s, a twist in the road. A new opportunity emerged. Mitchell was hired by Coy Gibbs – Joe Gibbs’ son – to work in Joe Gibbs Racing’s motocross vertical, building engines, establishing an amateur motocross team and basing it all off a retail business.

TWO TO FOUR WHEELS
After 20-plus years of living in California, Mitchell moved his family to Mooresville, NC – NASCAR land. However, he’d never seen a NASCAR race (and to this day has never been to an asphalt race).

His first day on the job, the first person that walked through the door was Mike McLaughlin – who won multiple NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JGR and is in the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame.

“Coy is like, ‘Whatever you do, take care of this guy. Treat him like gold,’” Mitchell said. “Of course, I didn’t know anybody. I was still living in a hotel room.”

And while McLaughlin was looking for help with his CR125 motorcycle engine, it wasn’t for a dirt bike. It was for his son Max’s kart he was racing at Millbridge Speedway – a 1/5-mile dirt oval.

Knowing nothing about the car or dirt oval racing in general, McLaughlin invited Mitchell and his son, Ethan, out to Millbridge to see what it’s all about. From there, Mitchell and McLaughlin grew to become best friends and Ethan sparked an interest in racing at Millbridge.

With an abundance of resources at Joe Gibbs Racing, Mitchell turned the business into one of the biggest vendors for Outlaw Kart engines, selling them around the world.

“They completely took off,” Mitchell said. “They dominated everything. That’s when Coy was like, ‘Dude, I’m giving you a business.’ It didn’t go toward the motorcycle direction; it went more toward Outlaw Karting and other stuff. So, he was like, you can have the whole thing.”

Not wanting to be in the retail business anymore and seeing what Mitchell built their program into, Gibbs paid Mitchell and the two employees under him three months’ salary and gave him all the tools and equipment from the shop to help him set up his own business. Gibbs’ only request was he couldn’t use the Joe Gibbs Racing name.

“Someone said, ‘Well, it’s all going to be built by Bundy now. Just call it Bundy Built,” Mitchell said. “All the sudden, Bundy Built was created.”

The business continued working on engines for motocross and supercross teams – and continues to today, including riders like motocross star Josh Hill – along with engines for dirt oval racing, now highlighted by Midget engines.

NEW VENTURE
Ethan rose through the ranks at Millbridge, along with Max. When it came time to move up to a bigger class, Max found his way into the Big Block Modifieds – currently a full-time Super DIRTcar Series driver for Heinke-Baldwin Racing – while Ethan searched.

He ran a couple races in a UMP Modified, including a race at the World Short Track Championship for Nick Hoffman. And got to try a Crate Late Model. Neither fit his style.

It was dirt Midget racing that finally piqued his interest.

“I didn’t know anything about Midgets,” Mitchell said. “That was so far out of my league.”

They bought a $9,000 car that came with everything but a motor. And with a high dollar on the top-tier Midget engines, Mitchell decided to build one himself.

“I was taking all the money the business was making and sinking it into this $9,000 Midget,” Mitchell said. “Mainly the motor. I was trying to save up money and trying to figure out what we were going to do. Every night I was reading, studying four-cylinder motors, deep dive into the engineering of them all.

“I knew we had kind of an advantage over most engine builders because we are double overhead cam, four valve specialists. That’s what I got taught by those engineers.”

While initially based off a Honda engine, Mitchell engineered something that’s become his own creation – a true Bundy Built engine.

“It made like 365 (horsepower) to the rear wheels on Engler (Machine & Tool) and Cozzolino’s (Motorsports) dynos up in [Indianapolis],” Mitchell said. “And both guys, Cozzolino and Engler were both like, ‘Holy shit, this dumb redneck, this guy’s got some f**king juice!’”

The car sat for a year, before the father-son duo had everything in place to attempt their first Midget race. They were able to test it a couple times at Millbridge and with the confidence it would hold together, they planned their trip: the Kokomo Smackdown in 2018.

“I was like, ‘OK, first race, here we go!’” Mitchell said. “That was obviously a mistake.”

Knowing nothing about the cars, Mitchell tried setting the car up with the set up blocks placed under the frame. It wasn’t long until he realized there was an error, seeing his car sitting much lower than all the others.

Then, when Ethan went to make laps, the motor was only turning 6,000rpm, rather than the 10,000 number it should’ve been reaching. They tried gear combination after gear combination to no avail. Again, with help from others, they realized they had the wrong rear end in the car.

Each year, their knowledge grew. Their cars ran better, and their engines continued to perform. However, still on a limited budget, hindering the speed of their growth. With the help of Dennis Kiser, who manages the finances of the shop, the business never went in debt – even during times Kiser said he wasn’t sure if they could continue the Midget program.

The business stayed successful and with the Midget program building steam, it attracted the likes of Zach Daum, who went from only wanting to buy to motor to driving a second car for the team and bringing them the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series championship.

“We showed up, got our ass whipped, came home and made changes,” Mitchell said. “Then, we went racing, got our ass kicked, came home and made changes. Went racing, got our ass kicked, came home and made changes. Now, we have a championship.”

However, before the season started, there was a grave uncertainty if Mitchell – and the team – would be around to see it.

XTREME YEAR
In December, Mitchell suffered a heart attack that nearly killed him and left him out of commission for several months. Just now, in November, he said he feels he’s finally back to a state where he be maneuverable and have a coherent conversation.

When he went down, that left Ethan, now 20 years old, and Kiser to keep the business stable and run a Midget team – along with the help of volunteering crew members Brian Garlow and Chad Johnston.

“Dad’s heart attack… going through something like that, almost losing somebody, I think it changes a person,” Ethan Mitchell said. “I think it changed me for the better, I believe, made me grow up a lot quicker than I was expecting to. When he was down, obviously, Dennis here at the shop, and myself, had to step up and keep the business rolling, along with others that put in a lot of hours of work to keep the business afloat while my dad was down. On top of that, me and our helper guy, Brian, he’s been a big help, as well, helping me go racing without dad.

“It’s tough having to go through that. But, at the end of the day, it makes you appreciate a lot more and not take as much for granted and I think I’m a more knowledgeable person because of it. I had to learn more about chassis setup and more about life in general… All the little things you take for granted like a tight bolt. ‘Here, Dad, come help me. Come loosen this bolt for me.’ Well, when your dad ain’t there to loosen the bolt for you, you have no option but to loosen it yourself.”

As much as the credit is given to Daum for wheeling the car to a title, Mitchell also gives a lot of credit for the championship to Ethan, who also ran the Xtreme Outlaw tour. He helped lead the team all year, making sure they got from race to race with two cars, and while Daum worked on the car during the race nights, Ethan and Brian did most of the wrenching and maintenance throughout the week.

Though Ethan didn’t find Victory Lane and its not his name on the $10,000 championship check, the amount of work he put into making sure they could bring the championship trophy home to sit on top of their tallest toolbox is still a triumph he’ll always cherish.

“I’m equally invested in Zach’s car as I am my own,” Ethan said. “Zach will meet us at the race track and I’ll let him do his own thing at the race track, but as far as actual work that goes into his car and my own car, and the equipment, that’s all me and Brian here at the shop. I’m heavily invested in his championship I’d say. I felt proud about it, we could bring home the championship and get the win at Port City (Raceway). I was super pumped.

“Even though it wasn’t myself who got the win and the championship, I was equally proud to be the team owner I’d say.”

Looking at the large checks hung on the shop wall and then back at the championship trophy in the middle of the small shop, surrounded by a bare Midget chassis, parts and engines waiting to be assembled, the years, the sacrifices, the endless hours of work and the triumphs all flood together for Mitchell.

“I’ll start crying, I told you I’m an emotional person,” he joked when asked what it means.

“I worked my f**king nuts off,” Mitchell said. “So did my son. He endured a lot. My business endured a lot. I spent 18 hours a day for four years trying to figure out how to make a Midget go around a racetrack.

“It is something I am super proud of. I felt like I stepped into something that I had no idea about. And I literally was jumping up and down, stomping on my own dick. Just way over my head. Like, you have no business here whatsoever. But I wasn’t going to give up. I just wanted to do it. And we’ve done it.”

Progressive AFT Sets New Viewership Record of 3.4MM Viewers During 2022 Season

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 17, 2022) – Progressive American Flat Track is thrilled to confirm a season of record-breaking viewership numbers. The sport reached an all-time high of 3,377,919 total viewers throughout the remarkable 2022 campaign, with 2,861,000 P02+ viewers tuning in to the sport’s debut season on FOX Sports alone.   The 2022 Progressive AFT season saw the series join forces with FOX Sports in a blockbuster new multi-year agreement, in addition to relaunching the popular FansChoice.tvlivestreaming hub halfway through the year.    “We are thrilled by the response to this year’s coverage on FOX Sports and appreciate their commitment to helping us grow the sport,” said Gene Crouch, COO of AMA Pro Racing. “On the heels of this successful debut season on FOX Sports, combined with the relaunch of FansChoice.tv and next season’s action-packed schedule, Progressive AFT is well positioned for another year of strong growth in 2023.”  FOX Sports provided 150 hours of linear television coverage for the sport in 2022. FS1 showcased the sport to a hungry audience of fans, both old and new, in highly desirable time slots for each round’s televised premiere and followed that up with 133 re-airs on FS1 and FS2. As a result, the 2.9MM P02+ viewers tuning in to AFT on FOX Sports delivered the highest linear television viewership for the series to date.  Viewership totals for the 2022 Progressive AFT season: FOX Sports Viewers: 2,861,000 P02+ (an increase of 1MM viewers over last season)Television Exposure: 150 hours on linear television (up from just 23 hours in 2021)Total Viewership: 3,377,919 (all-time high) For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com. To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.  How to Watch  FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice

HEART OF A CHAMPION-PART I: Dennis Erb Jr, Heather Lyne Turn Years of Hard Work Into First World of Outlaws Championship

CONCORD, NC – November, 16, 2022– Dennis Erb Jr. added the most significant piece to his dirt Late Model resume in 2022—a World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series championship.

However, what makes his title unique is his path to get there. 

Unlike many teams in today’s dirt Late Model landscape, the Carpentersville, IL driver owns his equipment and races on a budget. It’s something Erb said makes the accomplishment sweeter, knowing years of hard work have paid off.

“We race against high-dollar teams, and I’ve never steered away from it,” Erb said. “I know what we’re dealing with. I know the costs, the work, and it’s nothing that I ever complain about. We just go out and do our thing.

“It does make it a lot more satisfying knowing that we’ve accomplished this, owning everything myself with the budget that I have, making back money to put back in and keep fighting for it. It’s definitely a real good feeling knowing the way we got this done.”

While it’s the veteran driver’s first championship, it’s also the first title for his longtime crew chief Heather Lyne. She became the first female championship-winning crew chief in a national dirt Late Model series and North American motorsport series.

Because of the way Erb and Lyne operate their team – as the only two crew members – Lyne called the “Dynamic-Duo” underdogs.

The two have been working together since 2001, when she volunteered to join the team. Since then, they’ve accomplished many feats, including the 2016 Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora and three consecutive DIRTcar Summer Nationals championships. 

Those accomplishments paved the way for the duo’s first championship on a national tour.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Lyne said. “It’s been a pretty awesome and amazing feeling. I’m very proud of our accomplishments. We have worked hard; we haven’t had the funding and help that many other teams had, so we kind of classify ourselves as underdogs to some extent. But we make up for it in our work ethic and our planning.”

That planning led to a renewed focus at the start of the season for Erb, who said he felt the team was in a place to push for a championship. 

He opened the season with a top-five finish at Volusia Speedway Park during Sunshine Nationals, leading to a Series-high 22 top-five finishes.

“It’s like I said earlier in the year, I had a focus on going out and doing it this year,” Erb said. “I feel like we’ve been getting better each year, and I think we were at the point where things were in place at the beginning. 

“It started off real good, and we kept rolling real good, and I just think after a few weeks I had a really good idea that we had a good shot of doing this.”

One of the things that helped Erb and Lyne on the path to the championship was changing their approach.

Lyne has the challenge of balancing her full-time job as an engineer and being a crew chief for a full-time national Late Model team. While not an easy balance, she’s mastered its obstacles and still found ways to keep the team more efficient than ever this year.

“We were really starting to focus and get a better and more efficient process going up and down the road,” Lyne said. “We kind of blocked out a lot of the distractions that we had previously. With myself working as well, I always have that added stress and the extra workload, but I was not putting as many hours in as in years past, so we could really start focusing on this.”

That efficient approach helped fuel Erb’s consistency in 2022. Along with his 22 top-fives, he added four wins and finished outside the top 10 only eight times throughout the near 50-race season.

Erb mathematically secured his first championship at US 36 Raceway with three races remaining, allowing some weight to come off his shoulders before the World of Outlaws World Finals championship finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

“It was a big relief, knowing that we finally got it locked up,” Erb said. “All of the hard work has paid off and then we could go into Charlotte and not worry about anything. It’s racing. Anything can happen. You can get a run of bad luck and things could turn around really quick.

“Just to be able to hear that it’s clinched and knowing all of the hard work that’s been put in throughout the season and over the years to get to this point, it really made me feel good.”

A World of Outlaws CASE Late Models title will always be remembered, no matter who wins it. But for Erb and Lyne, it’s a unique path they can cherish for the rest of their lives.

However, as Lyne mentioned, even though they won a championship, there’s still work to be done.

“We’ve set the bar, and now we’ve got to clear it,” Lyne said.

Part II of Erb’s championship journey will be out on Wednesday, Nov. 23, highlighting Lyne’s story as his crew chief.

The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models kick off their 2023 season at Volusia Speedway Park for Sunshine Nationals Jan. 19-21. For Tickets: CLICK HERE.

McCreadie Triumphant in Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup

McCreadie Triumphant in Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup
BATAVIA, Ohio (November 16, 2022) – Consistency was the key that led Tim McCreadie to the Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup title in 2022. The Arizona Sport Shirt Crown Jewel Cup is a mini-series within the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule that comprises the 13 events that pay $30,000 or more to the winner. Of those 13 events, McCreadie finished in the top ten on 11 occasions, recorded 8 top five performances, and went to Victory Lane once. The Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Champion will receive a $15,000 cash bonus at the Championship Awards Banquet on December 9. Finishing second through fifth in the final Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup were Ricky Thornton Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Brandon Sheppard, and Hudson O’Neal. Those drivers earned $6,000, $4,000, $3,000, and $2,000 respectively. About Arizona Sports Shirts:Founded more than four decades ago, Arizona Sport Shirts has provided bold, unique, and effective apparel for race teams, businesses, and special events. Today, Arizona Sport Shirts continues its commitment to providing cutting edge apparel and merchandise found nowhere else. More information on Arizona Sport Shirts, including online ordering details, is available at: www.ArizonaSportShirts.com2022 Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Events:May 28, 2022- Lucas Oil Speedway- 30th Annual Show-Me 100 June 4, 2022- West Virginia Motor Speedway- Historic 100June 18, 2022- Smoky Mountain Speedway- Mountain Moonshine Classic June 25, 2022- Lernerville Speedway- 16th Annual Firecracker 100July 3, 2022- Muskingum County Speedway- Freedom 60 July 9, 2022- Deer Creek Speedway- Gopher 50 July 23, 2022- I-80 Speedway- Silver Dollar NationalsAugust 13, 2022- Florence Speedway- 40th Annual North/South 100August 20, 2022- Batesville Motor Speedway- 30th Annual Topless 100August 27, 2022- Port Royal Speedway- Rumble by the River September 17, 2022- Knoxville Raceway- 18th Annual Late Model Nationals September 29, 2022- Tyler County Speedway- 54th Annual Hillbilly 100 October 15, 2022- Portsmouth Raceway Park- Dirt Track World Championship

CORVETTE RACING AT BAHRAIN: Straight Into 2023 Prep

CORVETTE RACING AT BAHRAIN: Straight Into 2023 PrepFIA WEC test in Bahrain sees Keating, prospective drivers behind wheel of C8.R SAKHIR, Bahrain (Nov. 16, 2022) – Shortly after closing its season with a heroic runner-up class finish in the Eight Hours of Bahrain for the FIA World Endurance Championship, Corvette Racing was back on-track for a one-day test ahead of the team’s 2023 campaign.
Ben Keating, already confirmed to drive the Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R next year in the WEC, got his first laps in the mid-engine racer Sunday along with two prospective teammates: Axcil Jefferies and Nicolas Varrone. Once a final decision comes, the three will focus on winning races and a championship in the GTE Am category – the first season for Corvette Racing in the class after a decade-plus as part of GTE Pro.
FIA WEC test in Bahrain sees Keating, prospective drivers behind wheel of C8.R SAKHIR, Bahrain (Nov. 16, 2022) – Shortly after closing its season with a heroic runner-up class finish in the Eight Hours of Bahrain for the FIA World Endurance Championship, Corvette Racing was back on-track for a one-day test ahead of the team’s 2023 campaign.
Ben Keating, already confirmed to drive the Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R next year in the WEC, got his first laps in the mid-engine racer Sunday along with two prospective teammates: Axcil Jefferies and Nicolas Varrone. Once a final decision comes, the three will focus on winning races and a championship in the GTE Am category – the first season for Corvette Racing in the class after a decade-plus as part of GTE Pro.
The sporting rules of the GTE Am category require at least one Bronze-level driver – Keating in this case – as rated by the FIA. One professional-level driver – Catsburg – is allowed along with a second Bronze or Silver-rated driver. That trio will contest the full seven-race WEC calendar including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Corvette Racing ended its first full FIA WEC season with a runner-up finish by Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy in the No. 64 Corvette. The team will open the 2023 season with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on March 17.
LAURA WONTROP KLAUSER, GM SPORTS CAR RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “First off, thanks to Nick Tandy for the two years he spent with Corvette Racing and what he did to elevate the team and our program in both IMSA and the WEC. Having he and Tommy Milner as part of our lineup for our first season in WEC was a great experience with some fantastic results.”(On 2023): “We’re really excited based on the results of our preliminary testing for 2023. Ben got in the car and was strong right off the bat, which is exactly what we expected. We know Nicky (Catsburg) does well based on his history with us. The pace of the silver-rated drivers we tested was good. We’re eager to decide on the right fit to complete our lineup. There is a lot to look forward to in our return to the WEC next year with a competitive team and car in a new class. I feel like we are off to a good start.”
BEN KEATING: “Those first laps were really good. The feel of this car is significantly different than the Aston Martin that I’ve been driving the last two years and the last three days. I don’t know how many laps I did… maybe 10 laps this morning and I’m still learning a lot about the car. It’s very impressive. It’s fun for me as a driver. I think I’ve driven almost every single GTE car now, and they’re all a little bit different in the way you find speed. Obviously the Corvette is no different. You have to learn where to find the speed and how to work the car. It’s been really interesting. In looking at the data, and as an example I was one gear too low in every single corner; I was over-slowing the car in every single corner than what I needed to because my brain isn’t calibrated to how quickly the Corvette can go through a corner. That’s just an example of the things I need to learn, and I’m excited to do that.”(Outlook for 2023): “I’m really looking forward to running in the Corvette. I pay for all of this racing by selling cars, and I’m super excited to get back into racing a car that I sell back in Texas at my Chevrolet dealerships. I’m super excited to race for an American manufacturer with an American team. Almost everyone in the garage sounds like I do! When we win a race next year, we’ll get to hear the American national anthem. That’ll be special. I’m very excited about what next year holds for us as we learn to gel and as Corvette Racing learns what it’s like to be in GTE Am for the first time.”
NICOLAS VARRONE: “I’m really delighted. Thanks to Ben Keating and Corvette Racing for the opportunity. It’s just an amazing car… a pure racecar that I enjoyed driving. It’s really fun. The brakes surprised me. The braking efficiency is really amazing. There was a learning experience because I’m used to other cars, but the team helped me a lot during the day to try new things and improve every time I went on track. It was good and I enjoyed it a lot.”
AXCIL JEFFERIES: “Honestly the car feels great. Not only that but the team is fun to work with. It’s a really nice group of guys. It was nice getting up to speed with the car. I expected quite a lot from the car. Obviously it’s a factory program and I expected everything set to the highest level, and it really delivered. It would be great if this opportunity could happen in WEC. Let’s see what how it works. I tried my best, and now the decision will be up to the team and Ben.”

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: UMP Modified Champions, NASCAR Talent Headline Reutimann Memorial at Volusia

Buzzie & David Reutimann, Stewart, Haley and more scheduled to compete

BARBERVILLE, FL – Nov. 15, 2022 – One of motorsports’ most storied families will be honored this weekend with the biggest DIRTcar UMP Modified marquee event on the fall calendar – the ninth annual Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial, Nov. 18-19.

On the line for the all-star field of DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers – a toy tractor trophy, a $7,000 winner’s check, and Volusia Speedway Park immortality.

The program gets underway with a practice session for all divisions Thursday night, Nov. 17. Hot Lap/Qualifying and Showdown Features for the UMP Modifieds highlight Friday’s program alongside a full show for 602 Late Models, Street Stocks and Thunder Stocks. Modified redraw, Last Chance Showdowns and the 50-lap main event are on-tap for Saturday, while DIRTcar Pro (604) Late Models and 3/4-Modifieds support the show.

All tickets will be sold at the gate on race day. If you can’t be at the track, watch every lap of Friday and Saturday live with a FAST PASS subscription to DIRTVision.

Here are the drivers to watch and storylines to follow this weekend…

JUST A NUMBER – The red/white #00 has graced the door panels of race cars in the Reutimann family for over 50 years, collecting an abundance of wins and championships over the course of history. Its legacy continues this weekend, representing the 2022 Volusia UMP Modified track champion – Buzzie Reutimann.

The 81-year-old racing legend from Zephyrhills, FL, won the Blazing Guns 25 main event on Aug. 6, capitalizing on his opponents’ misfortunes in the closing laps to grab the lead and hold on for one of the most popular victories of the season amongst the local crowd. The win was enough to shoot Reutimann into the track points lead, which he sustained through the final points race of the year on Sept. 26 to be crowned track champion.

Buzzie will carry the torch into the marquee event that honors his family alongside son David Reutimann, the Beak Built Chassis owner/founder, who won the event in 2015 and 2016.

HORNS UP – With three Feature wins in his last five starts, Ethan Dotson comes into his Volusia debut behind the wheel of the Longhorn Chassis house car with a big opportunity for his first career marquee UMP Modified event win.

The 23-year-old from Bakersfield, CA, scored back-to-back Feature wins with the Renegades of Dirt Modified Tour at Atomic Speedway two weeks ago, banking a $15,000 check in the Saturday night finale. The weekend prior, Dotson went to Victory Lane in the World Short Track Championship All-Star Invitational Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte before a runner-up effort in Saturday’s main event.

Dotson also carries the knowledge of team owner and former Volusia DIRTcar Nationals champion Steve Arpin, and the technical backing from Longhorn’s lead engineer Kevin Rumley with him as he aims for Longhorn’s third Reutimann Memorial win in the last five years.

DAYTONA-TO-DIRT – In three career Reutimann Memorial starts, Justin Haley has finished inside the top-10 on all three occasions, and a fourth could be coming later this week.

The NASCAR Cup Series full-timer debuted his brand-new Elite Chassis three weeks ago at the World Short Track Championship, running third to runner-up Ethan Dotson and winner Taylor Cook in the main event. He’ll make his fifth UMP Modified outing of the season this weekend, aiming for the first UMP Modified marquee event win of his career.

Haley, of Winamac, IN, climbed from 17th to an eighth-place run in last year’s event, following his fourth-place finish in 2020. He’s part of an exclusive list of entrants to win at the half-mile oval, taking the checkers on “All Features Night” of the 2019 DIRTcar Nationals.

GEARED-UP – Five different drivers won a UMP Modified Feature at Volusia this year. Seth Geary was one, capturing the checkered flag three times, tying reigning track champion Garret Stewart for most in 2022.

Geary, the 2022 DIRTcar Deep South Region champion from Apollo Beach, FL, clinched the regional title on the back of eight total Feature wins at four different tracks – the most by any driver in his region.

He aims to top his best career finish in the event from last year – a seventh-place run for the 22-year-old.

ONE MORE SHOT – Five-time Volusia UMP Modified track champion Garret Stewart is scheduled to return to the seat of a UMP Modified this weekend after several weeks away while transitioning into a 604 Late Model.

The Fruitland Park, FL-racer sold his Modified equipment earlier this year and has already dug-in hard on the Crate-engine Late Model, recording his first top-10 through three Feature starts at Volusia. He’s scheduled to pull double-duty this weekend with his Late Model and a special Modified ride set up just for the Reutimann Memorial.

Fellow Floridian veteran Larry Mott will field a Lethal Chassis No. Z06 for Stewart as he gets one more shot in one of the only Volusia events he’s yet to win. Formerly an Elite Chassis driver, Stewart brings many years of Modified experience to the table in pursuit of what would be one of the biggest wins of his career.

PAST WINNERS:

• 2014 – Austin Sanders
• 2015 – David Reutimann
• 2016 – David Reutimann
• 2017 – Jeff Mathews
• 2018 – Kyle Strickler
• 2019 – David Stremme
• 2020 – Tyler Nicely
• 2021 – Nick Hoffman

Chevrolet wins NHRA Manufacturers Cup for 27th time

Drivers of the Chevrolet Camaro SS, COPO Camaro contribute to season success
DETROIT (Nov. 15, 2022) – Chevrolet has been recognized as the top manufacturer in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for the record-extending 27th time.
The award was presented Nov. 14 during the NHRA Awards Ceremony in Temecula, California.
It is the sixth consecutive year and eighth time in the past 10 seasons that Chevrolet has won the award presented to the automobile manufacturer whose current-year models earn the most points for qualifying and category victories at NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series national and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional and divisional events.
Points are awarded to entries in Funny Car, Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock Eliminator classes, plus the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series.
Points accumulated by Chevrolet Camaro SS and Chevrolet COPO Camaro drivers in the professional and Sportsman classes were more than triple the closest manufacturer.
Chevrolet first earned the award in 1966, and no other manufacturer has won it more times. GM brands Oldsmobile and Pontiac combined to win 24 titles between 1971 and 2006.“I’m so proud of the hard work by the Chevrolet teams that delivered valuable points toward the Manufacturers Championship again this year,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, Performance and Motorsports. “Thanks to the owners, drivers and crews in the professional classes and Sportsman classes for another year of high-performance results every time they showed up at the track.”
Erica Enders earned her fifth NHRA Pro Stock world championship — all with Chevrolet — by driving the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS to a career-best 10 victories and three runner-up finishes in the 19 races.
“I remember when Erica won her first race at Route 66 Raceway in July of 2012,” Campbell said. “We had the opportunity to celebrate that milestone win at SEMA later that year. Since that first one, she’s added 42 more wins and five championships. She’s an inspiration to so many drag racing fans.” 
Chevrolet has amassed 18 Pro Stock driver championships and 366 victories, including 247 with the Camaro nameplate.
Aaron Stanfield, Dallas Glenn, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Greg Anderson also visited the winner’s circle as competitors won every race driving a Chevrolet Camaro SS. Anderson, who has driven a GM product to five Pro Stock championships, became the second driver in the professional classes to reach 100 wins and won the season finale for No. 101. John Force with 155 Funny Car victories is the all-time leader.
Chevrolet Camaro SS Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso was voted the NHRA Rookie of the Year. It is the second year in a row in which a Chevrolet driver has received the award and third time in the past four years. Dallas Glenn of KB Racing won in ’21 and Austin Prock of John Force Racing won in ‘19.
David Barton of Reading, Pennsylvania, driving the Saw Mill Auto Chevrolet COPO Camaro, claimed the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series title for the second time. Drivers of the COPO Camaro won five of the eight races, including three by Barton and one each by two-time champion Aaron Stanfield and Len Lottig. Chevrolet has won the past three championships.
“It’s been an incredible season with driver championships in Top Fuel, Pro Stock and the Factory Stock Showdown combined with winning the Manufacturers Cup,” Campbell said.
Funny Car drivers Robert Hight and John Force made important points contributions to the Manufacturers Cup championship. Hight, driving the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, amassed a career-high eight victories and six top qualifier honors. Sixteen-time Funny Car champion Force, driving the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, won the four-wide race at Charlotte.
Additionally, national event Stock Eliminator wins were recorded by Leo Glasbrenner (Pomona1, Phoenix, Las Vegas2), Jeff Strickland (Gainesville), Ryan McClanahan (Las Vegas1), Darren Poole-Adams (Charlotte1, Bristol) and Tyler Cassil (Topeka).
The Top Fuel class does not contribute points to the Manufacturers Cup standings, but Brittany Force and Austin Prock produced multiple highlights during the season in their Chevrolet dragsters.
Force won the Top Fuel championship for the second time. She recorded five victories, 10 No. 1 qualifiers and set the national event speed record of 338.91 mph in the season finale at Pomona. Prock, returning to full-season competition for the first time since his rookie of the year campaign in 2019, won two races and earned his initial Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier honor at Dallas.
The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season begins March 10-12 with the 54th Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. FOX will telecast eliminations live at noon ET Sunday, March 12.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Unveils Mega 2023 Schedule

BATAVIA, Ohio (November 11, 2022) – The 2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule is slated to be bigger and better than ever before.  The nation’s premier tour for dirt late models will bring 56 events to 32 tracks across 16 states from January to October with over $5 million in purse money up for grabs along the way. Per usual, the 2023 campaign will launch with 13 events during Georgia-Florida Speedweeks and conclude with the 43rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship.  The 2023 schedule is highlighted by a colossal 18 races that pay $25,000 or more to the winner, including the return of 11 crown jewel events that boast a $50,000 or more top prize.  Like years past, Golden Isles Speedway kicks off the season with the Super Bowl of Racing on January 25-28. From there, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is back at Bubba Raceway Park for two nights on January 29-30 before heading to All-Tech Raceway, February 2-4. The 47th Annual Wieland Winternationals will close out Speedweeks, February 5-11, at East Bay Raceway Park. In addition to the return of several iconic venues, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will make its inaugural appearance for the $18,049 to win Melvin L. Joseph Memorial at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway on April 28; the $25,000 to win Farmer City 74 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway on May 12; and the $30,000 to win FALS Spring Shootout Presented by Titan Industries at Fairbury (Ill.) Speedway on May 13. One of the richest events on the tour, the 13th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals, will shift to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D. in 2023. The traditional format will continue, culminating in the $53,000 to win, $5,300 to start, finale on Saturday, July 22. The season-long grind will come to an end with the 43rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship. However, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series finale will have a new home. The famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio will be the destination for the $100,000 to win crown jewel starting in 2023. “We believe we’ve set the stage for an incredible season,” said Rick Schwallie, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Director. ”The 2023 schedule is a commodity of the continued commitment of our teams, promoters, marketing partners, and loyal fans. We are incredibly proud of what we’re able to offer drivers and fans alike next season and excited to celebrate these new milestones.” The complete Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule can be viewed below or at www.lucasdirt.com/schedules/.  2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Schedule:
About Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt SeriesFounded in 2005, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series showcases the talents of the top dirt late model drivers from across the country. In 2022, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will sanction 65 events across 18 states, including some of the biggest marquee events in the industry, providing dirt slinging, sideways, door-to-door racing action lap after lap.  The series receives national exposure through a television package filmed, produced and edited by Lucas Oil Production Studios. Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events will be streamed live on MAVTV Plus, with broadcasts on MAVTV Motorsports Network.   The in your face excitement of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is second to none in motorsports. For more information, including the latest news, tour schedule, driver information, and more, visit the official website at: www.LucasDirt.com.

CORVETTE RACING AT BAHRAIN: Closing the Gap

No. 64 Corvette continuing to make progress ahead of season, GTE Pro finale MANAMA, Bahrain (Nov. 11, 2022) – Corvette Racing will start the final race for the GTE Pro class in the FIA World Endurance Championship fifth in the category. Nick Tandy set a lap of 1:57.539 (103.023 mph) around the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday evening in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R that he will share with Tommy Milner.
It’s the first trip to Bahrain for the Corvette Racing and the mid-engine C8.R as the team and its fellow WEC competitors close the season in the Middle East. 
The single-car team worked throughout Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions to try and come to grips – literally and figuratively – with the circuit layout and racing surface. The high temperatures in the desert present a challenge to tire life with high levels of degradation expected to factor in Saturday’s race.
Corvette Racing’s two manufacturer competitors – Porsche and Ferrari – have the benefit of multiple years of experience at Bahrain, especially having contested a doubleheader a year ago at the circuit. As a result, the gap to the front is considerable – nearly 1.4 seconds – but Corvette Racing engineers were hard at work after the session pouring over data to make further improvements before Saturday’s race.
The goal is to add one more victory in GTE Pro competition to its tally of 32 around the world, taking into account the category in the WEC as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, which ran from 2014-2021.
The Eight Hours of Bahrain for the FIA World Endurance Championship is scheduled for 2 p.m. Arabian Standard Time (AST) / 6 a.m. ET Saturday from the Bahrain International Circuit. The race will air live on MotorTrend with live streaming coverage of the race on the MotorTrend Plus app and Radio Le Mans’ online audio coverage.
NICK TANDY, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTE PRO: “Obviously the point staring us in the face is that we are slowest in the class, which is sad for everyone. We did a lot of work from Free Practice Three to qualifying, and actually the car was fantastic. My lap in qualifying was one that I was pleased with and probably was one of the best I’ve done this season. The gap to the front, while at almost 1.5 seconds, is the closest we’ve been all weekend. So as a team, we’ve done a terrific job. It doesn’t take away from the fact that we’re going to start from the fifth position. To end qualifying in GTE Pro like this is frustrating. But we can all be proud as a team for continually progressing and making the car better for us drivers. It was really pleasurable to be out there again in this C8.R in qualifying trim and driving fast.”

Scelzi Captures KWS/NARC Championship Before Sweeping ASCS Weekend in Arizona

Inside Line Promotions – SOMERTON, Ariz. (Nov. 14, 2022) – November has been a great month for Dominic Scelzi, who has earned a podium result during each of his four feature starts.

Scelzi posted a pair of third-place results on Nov. 5 during the Tribute to Gary Patterson, which was hosted by the Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif. His podium during the King of the West-NARC Fujitsu Series main event capped his second straight championship with the series.

“It was a really good night,” he said. “We were second quick in the 410 and quick time in the 360. We ran well in the heats and that put us in the dashes. As the night went on the track got rougher and more narrow.”

Scelzi placed third in the 410 dash to line up on the inside of the second row in the A Main.

“The race went green and we jumped right into second, but they called the start back,” he said. “After that I ran third for the majority of the race. I was right behind Tim (Kaeding) when he hit a hole and I got by him. A couple of laps later I hit a hole and he got back by me. It was just a hard track to pass on.”

Scelzi won the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360ci sprint car dash to garner the pole position for the feature.

“I stumbled a little on the initial start,” he said. “That allowed the outside guy to get by me. Then we went into turn one, hit a hole and fell to third. We ran third the rest of the way.”

Last weekend was a step forward for Scelzi, who swept an ASCS Southwest Region doubleheader at Cocopah Speedway. The two triumphs pushed Scelzi into the double digits victory mark for the second straight season.

“It was such a great weekend to have,” he said. “The first night we went fourth to first in our heat race, which put us as the high-points driver. We redrew the No. 4 for the feature. I had a really good start and got into third right away. Ryan (Timms) and I battled for three or four laps. As we got into traffic he was glued to the cushion and I was searching. We went to split a lapped car. He went high and I went low. I was able to pass him and the lapped car that pushed up the track a bit. I got by the leader in the next corner. From there we were unchallenged until about four laps to go when Ryan slid me in turn two. I turned underneath him and pulled back away. It was neat to get my first win in Arizona and the 10th of the season.”

Saturday’s event finale featured similar success for Scelzi.

“We started last in our heat race,” he said. “The track was really wet early. Everyone dropped to the bottom. I stayed up around the outside and was able to go from seventh to third basically down the front straightaway. We were high points again and this time drew the No. 3 to start the feature third.

“The track was beautiful. It was slick and wide with a little grip on the bottom. I fell to fourth on the start, but worked my way to third in a couple of laps. I rolled the bottom and passed for second. Then I slid the leader into turn one when the yellow came out so I went back to second. When we went green I got next to him in turns one and two on the bottom. I slid him into turns three and four. He slid me back into turn one and I crossed him back over. Then I protected through turns three and four.”

Scelzi led the remainder of the feature to cap the stellar weekend that led to his first triumph in Arizona – the eighth state he’s won in – as well as his 60th career sprint car victory.

The season concludes Nov. 22-23 at Merced Speedway in Merced, Calif.

QUICK RESULTS –

Nov. 5 – Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif. (410 sprint car) – Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 3 (4); Dash: 3 (3); Feature: 3 (3).

Nov. 5 – Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif. (360 sprint car) – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 3 (4); Dash: 1 (3); Feature: 3 (1).

Nov. 11 – Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz. – Heat race: 1 (4); Feature: 1 (4).

Nov. 12 – Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz. – Heat race: 3 (7); Feature: 1 (3).

SEASON STATS –

58 races, 11 wins, 31 top fives, 41 top 10s, 48 top 15s, 51 top 20s

UP NEXT – 

Nov. 22-23 at Merced Speedway in Merced, Calif.

MEDIA LINKS –

Website: http://www.GaryScelziMotorsports.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DominicScelzi41

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scelzi41

BRITTANY FORCE GOES TO NO. 1, SETS NATIONAL SPEED RECORD FRIDAY AT NHRA AUTO CLUB FINALS

POMONA, CA (Nov. 11, 2022) – For the second time during the Countdown, Top Fuel points leader Brittany Force set the NHRA national speed record Friday and, in the process, claimed the provisional No. 1 qualifying position for herself and her Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team at the season-ending 57th Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. John Force and Robert Hight were fourth and fifth quickest on the first day in their Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Cars and Austin Prock was sixth in Top Fuel in his Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster.
Brittany grabbed six of a maximum eight qualifying bonus points on the first day, thereby extending her lead ever so slightly over Justin Ashley.  After a solid 3.742-second run in the first session, Brittany drove the David Grubnic and Mac Savage-tuned dragster through the 1,000 foot timers in 3.641 seconds and a finish line speed of 338.44 mph, bumping up the record of 338.43 she set last month at St. Louis ever so slightly.
“Setting another new speed record is pretty incredible,” she said. “I’m just very proud of this Monster Energy team and what we’ve accomplished. We’re chasing a championship that’s going to lock up on Sunday and I’m excited about it. My mindset is where it’s been all season long. The confidence that I have with this team. We know how to get this car down (the track). We know how to turn win lights on. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m confident with these guys that we can get the job done. It’s going to be fun.”
After an uncharacteristic misstep in the first qualifying session (7.538 seconds at only 85.87 mph), Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California team stormed back in Q2 with a solid run of 3.866 seconds at 333.25 mph that sends them into Saturday’s final two qualifying session in the No. 5 position. It was an admittedly conservative effort on the part of crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham.
“We had to get down the track (on the second run),” Hight said. “Jimmy told me it should run 3.86 and that’s what it did. We knew that wouldn’t stand up (for low of the session), but it gave us a place to start and it puts us in the show. It was a handful because we were driving into the sun. It was hard to see. But it was a good rebound for this Auto Club team and we’re looking for more tomorrow.”
John Force made two solid qualifying laps Friday in his PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy, following an opening 3.893-second effort in Q1 with a 3.864 and 333.49 in the second session. 
“I need a miracle to win (the championship),” acknowledged the 16-time champ who starts No. 4 in points behind Hight, Matt Hagan and Ron Capps, “but Robert and Brittany are right in it. We’ll just have to see where it goes. I feel good. The car’s good. I’m really excited for Brittany and that Monster / Flav-R-Pac team. Robert? They didn’t get down the first run, so they had to pull it back in Q2. They’ll be fine tomorrow. Today it was 70 degrees; supposed to be 66 tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens. I still like driving; still love getting in the seat at 73. It’s crazy, but I still love it.”
In the midst of a strong Countdown performance that included a win at Reading, Pa., runner-up at Dallas and a trip to the semifinals two weeks ago at Las Vegas, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / RMT dragster will go into Saturday qualifying in the No. 6 position in Rahn Tobler’s last weekend as crew chief with Joe Barlam. After a dismal 4.498 to start, the third generation driver laid down a 3.705 and 332.43 Friday night to put himself back in the conversation.
“Not the start we wanted for r this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team,” he said, “but that was a nice rebound in Q2 and we’re looking for even more improvement tomorrow. Conditions should be as good as they were today.”
Competition at the NHRA Auto Club Finals continues with qualifying Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eliminations are slated to begin Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Television coverage of the event will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) Sunday beginning with qualifying at 2 p.m. ET and eliminations at 4 p.m. ET.
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AUSTIN PROCK, 27, Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist DragsterQualifying:6th; 3.705-seconds; 332.43 mphBonus Qualifying Points:0BRITTANY FORCE, 36, Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac DragsterQualifying:1st; 3.641-seconds; 338.94 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+6 (third quickest Q1 & quickest Q2) 

AUSTIN PROCK AND MONTANA BRAND / RMT FINISH SEASON WITH VICTORY AT ATUO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2022) – Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster team rallied to their second win of the season Sunday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. With a standout Countdown to the Championship performance that included two wins in three final rounds, Prock will finish the season third in points after entering from the No. 11 spot. 
Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team won the 2022 Camping World Top Fuel world championship en route to a semifinal finish. Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS will finish the season No. 2 and John Force and his PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro SS will wrap up the season in the No. 5 after they both had a second-round exit.
Austin Prock started his day with a victory over veteran race Shawn Langdon. Prock would have a clean pass of 3.711-seconds and 329.34 mph while Langdon would smoke the tires for a 7.377 at 87.80. In the second round, Prock would stay consistent with a. 3.704-second pass at 329.18 to end Leah Pruett’s day after she went 3.721 at 324.20. With the win, Prock would line the Montana Brand dragster up with teammate Brittany Force in the semifinals.
Prock would pilot his Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler tuned dragster to stout 3.642-second pass at 335.48 mph to send newly crowned Top Fuel world champion Force and her solid 3.676 at 337.58 mph home in an exciting side-by-side duel. Poised to take on three-time champion Antron Brown in the finals, Prock and the Montana Brand team would stay on point with another blistering run of 3.641-seconds at 336.23 mph to take the win over Brown’s 3.701 at 320.74. The run would be a career-best and mark Prock’s third national event win of his career.
“I’m so happy for Rahn Tobler who is retiring this year. I’ve had a blast working with him. He’s an absolute legend in the sport and to go out like he did tonight speaks volumes for what he’s done for the sport,” Prock said. “That was the quickest run he’s ever made in history and it was his last one. Then during the semifinals, we were the quickest side-by-side run ever. I’m really proud of Rahn and I still get butterflies when I watch him roll him into the staging beams. He’s accomplished so much in the sport and he believes in me to drive his race car. He came out of retirement to come work with me and that means a lot to me. It gives me a lot of confidence and I’m glad we went out on top with him.”
Having solidified her second Top Fuel world championship with her 3.701-second pass at 334.90 mph to defeat Steve Chrisman’s 4.794 at 176.53 in the first round, Brittany Force would handle the Monster Energy hot rod to 3.687 seconds at 337.58 mph to send Clay Millican and his 3.864 at 283.97 home in the second round. With the win, Force would meet teammate Austin Prock in the semifinals. Force would have a stout 3.676-second pass at 337.58 mph but it wouldn’t be enough for Prock’s 3.642 at 335.48.
“This season has been outstanding for this Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team. Coming into 2022 I said it would be one of the toughest years of competition. We did really well all season long. Had the top spot, lost for a little but then gained it back but then heading into the Countdown, this thing we’ve been preparing for all season long, we struggled, and it just felt like that championship we had worked so hard for was slipping away from us,” Force said. “We turned it around, kept ourselves in the top bunch and then really made a move with a win in Vegas and then coming here to Pomona, we gained points in qualifying, enough that we would have enough of a lead to get the job done with a win in the first round. It was a strong season start to finish. Very proud that my teammate Austin Prock was able to get the win here today, happy we get to share the winner’s circle with him.”
Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevy entered race day form the No. 4 position with a 56-point lead over his closest challenger, Ron Capps. Hight would pick-up up a first-round win with a 3.872-second pass at 330.47 mph bettering Chad Green’s 3.914 at 327.82. With only Capps still in contention with him after the first round, Hight and the Auto Club Chevy would have a rare mishap smoking the tires for only a 6.292 at 110.92 while Bob Tasca III would manage a 4.262 at 224.96. Capps would go onto runner-up closing the book on Hight’s 2022 championship chances.
“It’s a tough way to go out. We had a great season. This Auto Club team, they worked hard all season long. We weren’t happy with our performance last year, and we set out to change it, and we did,” Hight said. “We knew it was going to come down to Pomona, we knew we’d need at least seven or eight wins, we knew we needed eight perfect runs this weekend. We came up short but that doesn’t take away from the amazing season we had, if anything, it motivates us even more to do even better next season. This team has it in them, they know how to get the job done and now we just hope the off-season goes by quickly.”
John Force and the PEAK Chevy picked-up a first-round victory over Blake Alexander when he went 3.919-second s at 317.49 mph while Alexander smoked the tires for a 5.548 at 128.71. Force’s 2022 season would come to an explosive end in the second round when after an engine failure blasted the body off. Force would cross the finish line at 6.495 and 70.93 while eventual event winner Cruz Pedregon would have a clean 3.876 at 330.96. 
“What a season, what a final weekend. Brittany got the job done with that Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team and Austin capping it off with a win for Montana Brand. Robert, No. 2, I know he’s not happy with that but what a season they’ve had,” Force said. “We all finished top five, that’s impressive. Did we want to go more rounds today, yeah, but it wasn’t in the cards. I know that second round was pretty spectacular but for the wrong reasons. We’ll just pull it all together for next year.”
The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season will begin with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway March 9-12.
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AUSTIN PROCK, 27, Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist DragsterQualifying:5th; 3.689-seconds; 333.08 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+1 (fourth quickest Q4)Race Results:Beat Shawn Langdon, Leah Pruett, Austin Prock and Antron BrownBRITTANY FORCE, 36, Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac DragsterQualifying:1st; 3.641-seconds; 338.94 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+13 (third quickest Q1; quickest Q2 & Q3; second quickest Q4)Race Results: Beat Steve Chrisman, Clay Millican; Lost to Austin ProckJOHN FORCE, 73, PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SSQualifying:4th; 3.864-seconds; 333.49 mphBonus Qualifying Points: +4 (second quickest Q1 & fourth quickest Q2)Race Results: Beat Blake Alexander; Lost to Cruz PedregonROBERT HIGHT, 53, Auto Club Chevy Camaro SSQualifying:5th; 3.866-seconds; 332.43 mphBonus Qualifying Points:+5 (second quickest Q3; third quickest Q4)Race Results:Beat Chad Green; Lost to Bob Tasca III 
Photo Credit: Gary Nastase, Auto Imagery
Unofficial NHRA Camping World Final Top Ten Points Standings
TOP FUEL – 1. Brittany Force, Monster Energy/FLAV-R-PAC dragster, 2596; 2. Antron Brown, 2534; 3. Austin Prock, Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster, 2514; 4. Justin Ashley, 2510; 5. Mike Salinas, 2461; 6. Steve Torrence, 2443; 7. Josh Hart, 2419; 8. Clay Millican, 2348; 9. Shawn Langdon, 2339; 10. Doug Kalitta, 2335; 11. Leah Pruett, 2295; 12. Tony Schumacher, 2277. FUNNY CAR – 1. Ron Capps, 2682; 2. Robert Hight, Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS, 2679; 3. Matt Hagan, 2587; 4. Bob Tasca III, 2504; 5. John Force, PEAK/Blue Def Platinum Chevy Camaro SS, 2490; 6. Cruz Pedregon, 2410; 7. Alexis DeJoria, 2372; 8. J.R. Todd, 2344; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2343; 10. Blake Alexander, 2199; 11. Jim Campbell, 2198.

ELITE MOTORSPORTS FINISHES SEASON WITH FIVE DRIVERS IN TOP TEN

Troy Coughlin Jr. Qualifies On Top And Erica Enders Gets Runner-Up Finish At NHRA Finals In Pomona
Elite Motorsports Weekend Recap
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series
POMONA, Calif. (November 13, 2022) – In an exciting and dramatic series of events at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team walked away with five Top Ten finishes in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series points standings. The event started off on a positive note as Troy Coughlin Jr. powered his JEGS.com / Elite Motorsports Camaro to the No. 1 qualifier position with a killer run of 6.508-seconds at 210.80 mph. This is the first No. 1 qualifier of the season for the talented Pro Stock legacy.
“We made a couple of nice clean runs down the 1320 in Pomona on Saturday,” said Coughlin. “There’s nothing like being here, it’s really majestic. Hats off to Elite Motorsports and everyone at the engine shop. In all of our pits and with all of our teams, we all work together so well. There’s a lot of passion there.”
It was with that dynamic passion that the Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team entered the final event of what has been a banner year for the largest professional team in the NHRA. In the first round of competition newly-crowned five-time series titleist Erica Enders defeated Mason McGaha while Coughlin took down Shane Tucker. Cristian Cuadra was slated to race Kyle Koretsky, but Koretsky’s car would not fire up on the starting line and C. Cuadra got a bye-run into the quarterfinals. Aaron Stanfield lined up against 2022 Rookie of the Year Camrie Caruso. His Janac Brothers/JC3 Energy camaro powered past Caruso with a pass of 6.552 at 209.33. In an all-Elite pairing, Bo Butner’s #JHGDriven Camaro raced past his teammate Fernando Cuadra Jr. while Fernando Cuadra Sr. turned on the win light against Dallas Glenn.
It was a father-son standoff that would kick off the quarterfinal round of competition as C. Cuadra and Cuadra Sr. faced off against each other in their Cuadra/Corral Boots machines. Although C. Cuadra had the starting line advantage, the Cuadra family patriarch outpaced his son to get the win with a margin of victory of only three feet. Stanfield defeated Matt Hartford on a holeshot with a stunning reaction time of .011-seconds. While Greg Anderson defeated Butner in Round Two, Butner’s performance throughout the weekend proved to be enough to secure a Top Ten finish for the 2017 Pro Stock world champion. In the final pair of this round, Enders got the starting line advantage over Coughlin and held on to it to advance to the semifinals where she would face Stanfield.
In the next heat of competition, Cuadra Sr. dropped the hammer too soon, red-lighting and giving the round win to Anderson. Enders got a starting line advantage over Stanfield and her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro took it all the way to the stripe to advance to her thirteenth final round of the season.
In the end, it would be Anderson who emerged victorious while Enders took the runner-up finish to end the best-performing season of her career with 10 event wins and six No. 1 qualifiers.
Whilst Enders secured her top-place finish in Las Vegas, the rest of the Elite Motorsports team endeavored to finish strong in the points standings. Ultimately, Stanfield finished third, Coughlin finished fourth, C. Cuadra finished eighth and Butner landed in ninth.
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Photos
Troy Coughlin Jr. lays down a full smokey burnout during qualifying at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Photo credit: Auto Imagery 2022 Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro. Photo credit: Auto Imagery
Cristian Cuadra powered to a Top Ten finish in his Corral Boots Mustang Photo credit: Auto ImageryAaron Stanfield launches with the wheels up in his Janac Brothers/JC3 Energy Camaro. Photo credit: Auto Imagery
Bo Butner lays down a crowd-pleasing burnout in his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro. Photo credit: Auto ImageryFernando Cuadra Sr. advanced to the semifinal round in his Cuadra Camaro. Photo credit: Auto Imagery
Fernando Cuadra Jr.heats up the tires in his Corral Boots Mustang . Photo credit: Auto Imagery
Unofficial Pro Stock Points Standings For The Countdown To The Championship
1. Erica Enders 2,8232. Greg Anderson 2,5813. Aaron Stanfield 2,5754. Troy Coughlin Jr. 2,5385.  Kyle Koretsky 2,4596. Matt Hartford 2,3977. Dallas Glenn 2,3758. Cristian Cuadra 2,2959. Bo Butner 2,26510. Deric Kramer 2,25911. Mason McGaha 2,24112. Camrie Caruso 2,22913. Fernando Cuadra Jr. 2,22714. Fernando Cuadra Sr. 2,21415. Chris McGaha 2,164
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POMONA, CA (November 13, 2022) — A dramatic and positive season for team owner and driver Justin Ashley and the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Energy came to an end today at the Auto Club Finals. In just his third season competing in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Ashley was in championship contention heading into final eliminations today at the Auto Club Finals. As the No. 10 qualifier Ashley entered the final race of the season facing No. 7 qualifier Antron Brown, whose team shares a technical alliance. The two Toyota Top Fuel dragsters were chasing points leader Brittany Force as they entered the opening session.

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Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Energy, photo by Ron Lewis

The two championship contending drivers had to watch seven other pairs of 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters race before they took to the track. There were several upsets with championship implications, including first round losses by Mike Salinas and Steve Torrence. Ashley could keep his championship hopes alive with a victory over Brown. Both dragsters executed burnouts and pulled to the starting line. Ashley got to the jump off the starting line with a reaction time advantage of .045 to .067 seconds and both land rockets began to fly down the track.

As Ashley and the Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster approached half-track Brown was on a smooth pass and Ashley’s race car hazed the tires forcing him to give his race car a quick pedal, robbing the 2020 Rookie of the Year of valuable momentum. Brown got to the finish line first with a winning time of 3.704 seconds, the second quickest pass of the session. Ashley’s 4.070 second pass at 290.01 mph was not enough to advance to the quarterfinals.

“It could be very easy to look at this race under a microscope and that would be silly. I think it is important to look at the season as a whole,” said Ashley, who will finish the season in fourth place. “Obviously, we wanted to win the championship and we gave ourselves a chance to do that with our performance throughout the Countdown. Our Phillips Connect team has a lot to be grateful for on and off the racetrack. We accomplished a lot of really great things this season. We are going to do a lot of things in the off-season to continue to improve and carry that momentum forward. As good as the Top Fuel field was this year, I think it will only be better next year.”

This season Ashley won three national events including the season opening Winternationals, the Thunder Valley Nationals and the Texas Fall Nationals and he raced to an additional four final rounds. The second generation drag racer entered the Countdown as the No. 3 seed and raced to the points lead following a runner-up finish at the first playoff race, the Pep Boys Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Ashley held the lead until the penultimate playoff race two weeks ago at the Nevada Nationals, when a first round exit combined with a win by Force moved him to second place heading into the season finale. 

Born and raised in New York, Ashley was looking to capture a slice of history with a possible championship season. No professional driver in any of the major motorsport disciplines in North America has ever hailed from New York state. NASCAR’s Geoff Bodine from Chemung, New York, came the closest prior to Ashley with a third-place finish in 1990. Louis Meyer, of Yonkers, New York, was the 1928, 1929 and 1935 AAA National Champion, the forerunner to the IndyCar Championship.

Ashley along with the rest of the Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten finishers will be celebrated tomorrow night at the 2022 NHRA Champions Banquet at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California.

Qualifying Results

Q1: 3.765 sec; 315.19 mph; Qual. 5

Q2: 3.706 sec; 329.42 mph; Qual. 7

Q3: 3.735 sec; 335.98 mph; Qual. 9

Q4: 3.713 sec, 323.50 mph; Qual. 10

Bonus Points: 0

Race Results

First Round

Antron Brown, Pittsboro, Ind., Matco Tools Toyota dragster, 3.704, 333.82 mph def. Justin Ashley, Plainview, NY, Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by Vita C Energy, 4.070, 290.01 mph

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel

1. Brittany Force         2596

2. Antron Brown         2534

3. Austin Prock            2514

4. Justin Ashley          2510

5. Mike Salinas           2461

6. Steve Torrence       2443

7. Josh Hart                 2419

8. Clay Millican           2348

9. Shawn Langdon      2339

10. Doug Kalitta          2335

About Justin Ashley Racing
Justin Ashley Racing in partnership with Davis Motorsports fields the Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. In 2021 Ashley raced to three final rounds with a win at the Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas and ultimately finished No. 4 in the Top Fuel standings. During his Top Fuel rookie season in 2020 Justin won the NHRA Summernationals, finished in the Top Ten and was recognized as the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year.  Prior to his professional debut Ashley has three wins in Top Alcohol Dragster on the Lucas Oil Series. He is the son of multi-time NHRA national event winner Mike Ashley. In 2017, he was named to the Drag Illustrated magazine’s 30 under 30 list, highlighting some of racing’s most promising young individuals on and off the racetrack. To learn more about Justin Ashley Racing, visit JustinAshley.com.