All posts by ARP Trish

Kinser Victorious on Night 1 of the Boot Hill Showdown

Kinser Victorious on Night 1 of the Boot Hill Showdown
‘The King’ picks up career Outlaws win No. 573 at Dodge City Raceway Park
DODGE CITY, Kan. – June 22, 2012 – The spin seemed like it was in slow motion.
Polesitter Jason Sides, who led the first 12 laps on a gusty Night 1 of the Boot Hill Showdown on Friday at Dodge City Raceway Park, looped it in turn one just prior to the midway point. As Sides kept his car under power, Steve Kinser dodged the melee to capture the lead and eventually the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory, which was career No. 573.

“I was pretty sure we were going to drive by him,” said a grinning Kinser, who also won the first-ever Outlaws event at Dodge City Raceway Park in 2004. “He did get a little sideways. It made it a little bit easier.”

For Sides, it was the latest heartbreak during a season when he has started on the pole of a World of Outlaws feature a series-best four times.

“We ran in behind a lapped car going into turn one there and I ran in way faster than I thought he was running,” he said after finishing third. “I had to pitch it sideways to keep from running over him. I thought I was going to be able to save it, but once it started to come around I just had to stand on it and keep it going and hope for the best.”

However, the race was anything but over following the spin. One lap later the fourth-and-final caution bunched the field up for a shootout during the second half of the 30-lap feature.

Kinser choose the outside lane on the double-file restart with Sammy Swindell and Lucas Wolfe between himself and Sides. Kinser got a solid jump with Swindell tucking into second and Sides sliding by Wolfe for third place on the restart.

Kinser sailed into a big lead with Swindell dramatically cutting into it once they reached traffic with 10 laps remaining. Swindell’s best opportunity to win came in the closing laps as he reeled Kinser within a car length.

As the duo entering turn three coming to the white flag Swindell nearly pulled to the inside of Kinser, but traffic slowed his momentum and Kinser utilized the preferred line to cruise to the victory.

“Just too much traffic and it didn’t work out for us,” Swindell said after finishing second. “We were just as quick as he was. He had the line and I had to kinda go somewhere else. That’s just the way it is sometimes.”

Wolfe was fourth and Donny Schatz earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 13th to fifth. Chad Kemenah ended sixth, Joey Saldana seventh, Kerry Madsen eighth, Tim Kaeding ninth and Craig Dollansky rounded out the top 10.

Kraig Kinser was the quickest in qualifying with a lap of 13.481 seconds, but was caught up in an opening-lap crash during his heat race. Kinser failed to finish and was relegated to the Last Chance Showdown, which he dominated for the second time this year.

Kaeding, Kemenah and Rose each picked up a heat race win.

Introducing Racing to Remember

Racing to Remember started last year when Rich Bodmer ( driver) was approached by Racing World Magazine to build a rally
cross car from the ground up. The idea was to fabricate a car and document it step by step so that anyone could do it themselves without any difficulty.

Last year, of course, was the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 so Rich came up with the idea of building a tribute car to the 343 firefighters who perished (this was an issue very close to his heart; Rich witnessed first-hand the devastation of the attacks and had spent all day at Ground Zero helping out as much as he could.) He went to Racing World Magazine with the idea (which they liked) and that’s pretty much how it started. Rich contacted Rally America and changed his car number to 343, and began to search for a charity that firefighters could really benefit from. He approached Friends of Firefighters with the idea, and they immediately came on board.

The car has been in two races so far, and is doing a number of appearances in various locations in New Jersey. Proceeds from any of the races or decal sales that we make during any event goes to Friends of Firefighters. Our goal is to put garner as much attention and funds as we can for Friends of Firefighters (

Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Embarks On 3-Race Tour

Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team heads to one of drag racing’s oldest and most storied
facilities this weekend, Lebanon Valley Dragway in upstate New York, for the first of back-to-back-to-back events. Driver Todd Veney won his first race for the Follow A Dream team here two years ago and reached the semifinals
last year.

A large turnout from one of the team’s valued associate sponsors, the Porter and Chester Institute, will join the Follow A Dream crew at Lebanon Valley. “We’re very excited to have them,” Blake said. “I made 15 presentations for Porter and Chester last week – three a day every day of the week – and the whole team is really looking forward to seeing hundreds of students from Porter and Chester in our pit this weekend.

“I had the best day of my drag racing life two years ago at Lebanon Valley,” Veney said. “I’ll never forget that day – winning the first round in the first pair after the National Anthem, racing Frank Manzo in the semifinals, and racing Eric Lourie in a really close final – and the whole team is ready to do it again.”

Qualifying gets underway at 2 p.m. Friday and concludes with a final session that evening at 6. Eliminations are set to go off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, with the semifinals scheduled for 2 p.m. and the final at 4 p.m. From Lebanon Valley, the team heads straight to Chicago for the Route 66 Nationals and from there to Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.

Road America Next Venue for Subaru Road Racing Team

Road America Next Venue for Subaru Road Racing Team
– Drivers and Crew Eager to Capitalize on Performance Potential in Subaru WRX STI –

Phoenixville, PA. – June 22 – Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante (AJ) and Bret Spaude look with enthusiasm to the second half of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Championship racing season as they travel to round six; hosted on the famed Road America track, located north of Milwaukee and near Elkhart Lake, Wis.
A third place finish at Miami, a win at New Jersey, and a run as high as second place at Mid-Ohio have given Aquilante and Spaude a quiet confidence mainly grounded in expectations of their #35 SRRT WRX STI around the 4.048-mile race course this weekend.
“Road America is a very fast track with long straights that seem to stretch to the horizons, plus breathtaking downhill runs into a heavy braking,” said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., which prepares the team’s Subaru WRX STI racecars.  “The all-wheel-drive capability from our Subaru will give AJ and Bret a lot of ’dig’ coming out of the turns.”
As is the case all season, team driver Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., will qualify the Subaru at Road America. Spaude will start the race until it is time to slot teammate Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., into the cockpit for the charge to the checkered flag.
“We have momentum, confidence, and determination in our Subaru WRX STI and ongoing race preparations by each of our team members,” added Joe Aquilante. “Our race starts have been strong and we want to continue to show that consistency.”
James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc. said, “SRRT’s efforts and preparations haven’t always played out in race results, but our car’s performance is highly consistent and accessible.  Our all-wheel drive WRX STI is a great foil to the rear-wheel drive-based eight-cylinder cars which make up the bulk of the Grand Sport field.  We’ll approach the balance of this season determined to make good on the performance that our Subaru shows in qualifying.”
The two-and-a-half hour race takes the green flag Friday at 6:15pm (CT).

Tough Weekend for Hoek at The Big House

Tough Weekend for Hoek at The Big House
Holland, MI (June 2, 2012) – Ross Hoek Motorsports was looking forward to getting the #21 Ignite Racing Fuels/Venom Energy/Allstar Performance Ford back on track at Crandon after an up and down weekend of racing at Red Bud. The Big House as Crandon’s race track is so aptly named, has been host to some of Ross Hoek’s greatest finishes, including a World Championship ring. Unfortunately forces beyond his control saw the team labor through the annual Spring Run in Crandon.
The days leading up to the race weekend saw heavy rains put enough moisture in the 1.75 mile long track to create ideal short-course racing conditions. The Friday afternoon qualifying session saw the team take a conservative approach to the session and stopped the watches tenth fastest in the fourteen truck field.
The next morning race teams awoke to partly sunny skies and above normal temperatures. The weatherman predicted rain for later in the evening, so it looked to be a great day for Northwoods style short-course off-road racing. The race schedule had the PRO-Light group competing mid-afternoon and very few racers figured rain would be an issue. Unfortunately the weatherman was wrong as rains hit the area just before Saturday’s PRO-Light race and lasted into the evening.
The Pro Light race started with dry skies, but the race track was wet and really muddy just about everywhere. The landrush start saw the Ignite Racing Fuels Venom Energy Ford exit Turn One safely in tenth place. The opening five laps showed Ross gain control of the muddy track as he worked his way up to fourth place at the mandatory caution. As the green flag flew Ross was ready to challenge for the podium when heavy rains began to fall making visibility impossible. Somehow, Hoek stayed out of any major contact and finished Round 5 in seventh place.
“The vision was a problem before the rain came,” remarked Ross Hoek. “But the heavy rain made it impossible to race. After the mandatory caution I had used up all my tearoffs and I had to race with the helmet shield up. Somehow we made it to the end, but my eyes are trashed.”

The next morning cooler temperatures and clear skies prevailed and thanks to Mother Nature and the great work of the Crandon track crew, the race track was in near perfect condition for Round 6 action.
Based on his Saturday finish, the #21 Ford started in the middle of the front row. The first half of the race was uneventful as Hoek was running mid pack waiting for second half of the race to make the charge for a podium finish.
As the race trucks headed in single file formation for the starter’s flag one of the front running trucks hit the brakes (commonly known as brake checking) causing the majority of the field to run into each other. The race officials waved off the start because of the incident, but it was too late for Ross Hoek. When the accordion effect happened, the truck behind Hoek got underneath the rear bumper and broke a brake line on the orange #21 Ford. Realizing there wasn’t any possible quick fix, Hoek just cruised the final four laps looking to stay out of everyone’s way, finishing in eleventh place.
“The restart saw someone up front brake checking, and it ruined a lot of equipment,” commented Ross Hoek. “They need to start throwing black flags for this BS. Only then will it stop. We didn’t tear much up today, because we really didn’t get the chance. The restarting incident caused us to lose the brakes, so all I could do was coast around the track. The issues we had this weekend we not of our own doing, our race program is really on the upward swing. Chicagoland is a lot like Charlotte so I look forward to a couple of great finishes.”

Honda Racing Prerace: Iowa Corn 250, Iowa Speedway

Iowa Corn 250, Iowa Speedway
June 23, 2012
7:30 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network

• Saturday night’s race at Iowa Speedway will be the fifth consecutive week of IZOD IndyCar Series racing, and Honda-powered drivers have claimed the top two finishing positions at three of the four races contested during that run. Iowa is the second and final short oval on the 2012 schedule, and the first to feature three, 30-lap heat races, which will be run on Friday night to set the field for Saturday night’s 250-lap feature event.

• The Honda winning streak started May 27 at the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500, won by Dario Franchitti ahead of his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon in a thrilling race.

• The following week, Dixon dominated the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap for his first victory of 2012, followed by Franchitti. Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports completed a podium sweep for Honda by finishing third.

• For the third consecutive race, Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway. Justin Wilson came from 17th on the starting grid to chase down late race leader Graham Rahal, claiming the lead and the victory after Rahal brushed the Turn 4 wall with just two laps remaining. Despite sustaining rear suspension damage, Rahal held on to finish second for Honda’s third consecutive 1-2 result.

• The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.

• Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 57 points, to 63 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 32 points.

• Dixon has led an IZOD IndyCar Series-high 329 laps this season, more than double the laps-led total of any other driver. Dixon led all 60 laps at Detroit, and race-high totals of 133 at Texas, 37 at St. Petersburg and 38 at Barber Motorsports Park. Will Power is ranked second with 135 laps led.

• Honda-powered drivers have led a total of 584 laps this season, while Chevrolet drivers have led 325 laps. Race lap leaders for Honda include Dixon (329), Franchitti (92) Takuma Sato (58), Rahal (28), Pagenaud (26), Wilson (26), Alex Tagliani (22) and Charlie Kimball (3). Dixon has led more race laps by himself than all Chevy drivers combined.

• Honda’s popular “Fastest Seat in Sports” sweepstakes makes its eighth stop of the 2012 season at Iowa Speedway this weekend. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk will take Alfred Arlic of Roanoke, Indiana, for the ride of a lifetime around the high-banked 1.5-mile oval in a two-seater IndyCar, in advance of the green flag for Saturday night’s race. Interested fans can find out more information on the “Fastest Seat in Sports” at

• As the single engine supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2006-2011, Honda has powered all five previous winners at Iowa Speedway. The 2012 race will be the first with manufacturer competition from Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus.

• Previous Honda-powered race winners at Iowa include Franchitti, at the inaugural 2007 event and again in 2009; the late Dan Wheldon in 2008; Tony Kanaan in 2010 and Marco Andretti in 2011, the first night event here.

• A fleet of new 2012 Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last year’s Honda Indy Toronto. That first Civic has now been joined by additional coupes and sedans, replacing the Honda Accords formerly used by the series.

• Cars start out as standard Civic Si models, and one coupe has been developed into an IndyCar Series Safety Car by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.

• Modifications installed at HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18

RCR Post Race Report — Michigan International Speedway–Sprint Cup

RCR Post Race Report — Michigan International Speedway   
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series   
RACE:      Michigan 400      
TRACK:    Michigan International Speedway  
DATE:       June 17, 2012  
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 10th (Kevin Harvick), 21st (Jeff Burton), 22nd (Paul Menard) and 24th (Austin Dillon).
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Harvick made 74 green-flag passes and spent 90 laps running in the Top 15 while maintaining a 16.675 Average Running Position throughout the race.  
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Burton made 90 Green-Flag passes ranking him fourth in the category.
According to NASCAR Loop Data Statistics, Menard logged three of the Fastest Laps Run out of 153 green-flag circuits.
Menard ranked 10th in the Loop Data category Laps in the Top 15 (125 laps) while maintaining an average position of 15.730.
Dillon posted a top-25 finish in his second career Sprint Cup Series start and his first at Michigan International Speedway.
Dillon made 56 green-flag passes during the 200-lap event.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Michigan 400, and was followed to the checkered flag by Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson.  
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the Sonoma 350 on Sunday, June 24, televised live on TNT and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.   

Line Pleased with Progress Made During Semifinal Run in Bristol

Line Pleased with Progress Made During Semifinal Run in Bristol

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Sunday, June 17, 2012

Having only made eight test runs with their new Chevrolet Camaro prior to coming to Bristol Dragway, Jason Line and the Summit Racing Pro Stock team knew they would face a steep learning curve during this weekend’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  As expected, the team responded to challenge, posting some of the quickest times throughout qualifying and securing the fourth starting position.

Line was equally solid on race day, using a 6.682-second, 205.69 mph pass to defeat Warren Johnson in the opening stanza. After eliminating V. Gaines in the second round, he then squared off against hometown favorite and No. 1 qualifier Allen Johnson in the semifinals.

Although Line was able to make his best run of eliminations at 6.677 seconds with a top speed of 206.54 mph, it was not enough to hold off his opponent’s 6.659-second charge, putting a premature end to his day. Even so, the reigning Full Throttle champion was pleased with how quickly his team was able to adapt to their new ride.

“I am very pleased with the progress we made this weekend with this new car,” said Line.  “I think this Summit Racing Camaro is a good piece and it’s only going to get better.  I could have done a better job of tuning and driving it, and we’re only completely satisfied when we win, but all in all, I’m really happy with our performance, especially considering how few runs we have on it.

“As I have said repeatedly, nobody could have done a better job with this new Camaro than what our guys on this KB Racing team did this weekend.  With as little track time as we had coming into this race, it ran quite well, and we were able to qualify fourth and make it all the way to the semis.  I made notes of areas I wanted to address throughout the weekend, which we’ll do between now and the next race in Chicago, building on what we learned here.  I’m really looking forward to what we can do with this car.”

Race Winners Week Ending June 17, 2012

Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher
Funny Car — Ron Capps
Pro Stock — Mike Edwards
Pro Modified — Rickie Smith
Stock Eliminator — Russell Johnson
Super Stock — Peter Biondo
Super Comp — Tyler Caheely
Super Gas — Emily Lewis
Top Dragster — Steven Furr
Nitro Harley — Tommy Grimes

24 Hours of le Mans
Marcel Fassier, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer- Audi

World of Outlaws
Sammy Swindell

Milwaukee IndyFest- Ryan Hunter Reay

Rain Eater Wiper Blades 200- Chris Buescher

British Grand Prix at Silverstone- Jorge Lorenzo

Nationwide Series- Alliance Truck Parts 250- Joey Logano
Sprint Cup Series- Quicken Loans 400- Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Starworks Wins Le Mans LMP2 for HPD

Starworks Wins Le Mans LMP2 for HPD

For the second time in three attempts, Honda Performance Development has won the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the American-based Starworks Racing claiming the category victory in its first Le Mans start.

Starworks, which earlier this year won LMP2 at the 12 Hours of Sebring, made it’s 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in the most impressive way possible, with drivers Ryan Dalziel, Tom Kimber-Smith and Enzo Potolicchio piloting their HPD ARX-03b to a seventh overall finish, one lap ahead of the next LMP2 entry. In 2010, HPD’s first attempt at Le Mans, it was British-based Strakka Racing winning LMP2 in its HPD ARX-01c with a commanding margin of seven laps and LMP2 record fifth overall finish. This year’s race was far more dramatic, but just as rewarding for HPD.

Starting ninth in LMP2 and 22nd overall after electing to focus on race preparation rather than making an outright qualifying run, the Starworks trio also made a conservative start to the 24-hour endurance racing classic. But by the six-hour mark, the team had moved into the top-10 overall and third in LMP2. As night settled over the Circuit de la Sarthe, LMP2 settled into a multi-car battle between the HPD and several Nissan-powered teams.  But three hours later, at midnight, the Starworks HPD ARX-03b chassis and HPD HR28TT twin-turbo V6 engine combination was in the LMP2 lead and – although challenged for the remaining 12 hours by several Nissan-powered teams – Starworks was more than capable of defending it’s hard-won advantage, and maintained a steady, if narrow lead for the remaining 12 hours to take the LMP2 victory
over TDS Racing.

For the first time, HPD also fielded a pair of entries in the headline LMP1 class, utilizing the new ARX-03a chassis and normally aspirated HR-LM V8 engine. Strakka Racing moved up from LMP2 for 2012 and driver Danny Watts qualified the new combination seventh overall on Thursday, fastest of the “privateer” teams doing battle with the full manufacturer-supported teams from Audi and Toyota. Another British team, JRM Motorsports, started 11th in their ARX-03a.

JRM had a steady run in their first Le Mans attempt, after winning the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011. The driving trio of David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck moved into the top-10 in the opening hours, and seventh overall at the 16-hour mark. Other than a few minor delays, JRM pressed on for an excellent sixth-place finish, behind only the four “works” entries from the winning Audi effort and the first of two Rebellion entries.

Meanwhile, for Strakka, it was a drama-filled 24 hours. A transmission oil leak discovered shortly before the race start left drivers Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Watts still in their garage area as the green flag waved, with Kane finally starting 22 minutes later, six laps down on the leaders. The team rapidly went to work making up that deficit, climbing through the GT field, making up 35 positions in the first six hours.

At the 18-hour mark, Strakka was up to 10th overall, behind JRM and the Lolas of Rebellion Racing in the battle for independent team honors. But overheating issues slowed Strakka’s pace in the final hours, and the team settled for an eighth-place finish in LMP1.

HPD’s second LMP2 entry, the Level 5 Motorsports HPD effort of Christophe Bouchut, Luis Diaz and Scott Tucker, suffered early disappointment in its effort to build on a third-place class finish in 2011. Communication problems during the night led to the car missing its scheduled pit stop, and running out of fuel midway around the eight-mile circuit. Unable to make it back to pit lane, the ARX-03b was retired.

Steve Eriksen (Vice President, Honda Performance Development) on this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans: “What an incredible day. I believe Starworks has confirmed their status as a world-class racing team, their effort both here at Le Mans and earlier this year at Sebring is a real testament to [team owner] Peter Baron’s dedication and ability; as well as the skill and hard work from everyone in Starworks organization. We are proud to have them as a partner. All four of our teams put in an outstanding effort this year, with Strakka’s exciting early-race charge and the consistent race-long performance from JRM Racing just two of the highlights. Level 5 also again produced a very competitive effort prior to their unfortunate problem.
Congratulations to all of our teams for their efforts, and to everyone at HPD and our technical partner Wirth Research on our second LMP2 victory in just three starts. We’re already looking forward to defending our win here next year!”

RCR Post Race Report–Michigan International Speedway– Nationwide Series

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Alliance Truck Parts 250  
Michigan International Speedway
June 16, 2012
Race Highlights:  
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fifth (Austin Dillon), eighth (Paul Menard) and 11th (Elliott Sadler).
Sadler leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over Austin Dillon by eight points. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ranks third, followed by Sam Hornish and Cole Whitt.
The No. 2 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 47 points shy of the No. 18 car’s lead, with the No. 3 team third in the standings and the No. 33 team fourth.
Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, RCR entries posted the fastest lap of the race for 31 circuits with Sadler (13), Dillon (nine) and Menard (nine).
Combined, the RCR entries led 51 of 125 laps.
The RCR entries ranked third (Menard), fourth (Sadler) and fifth (Dillon) in the NASCAR Loop Data Category for Fastest Drivers Late in a Run.
The RCR entries ranked second (Menard), third (Sadler) and fourth (Dillon) in the NASCAR Loop Data Category for Green Flag Speed.
Dillon earned his first career Nationwide Series pole award and set a new track record at Michigan International Speedway.
Dillon made 52 green-flag passes during the 125-lap race, ranked fifth among all drivers.
Menard and Sadler spent 100 percent of the race in the top 15.
Joey Logano earned his fifth win of the 2012 Nationwide Series season and was followed to the finish line by James Buescher, Kurt Busch, Cole Whitt and Dillon.
The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Sargento 200 at Road America on Saturday, June 23. The 14th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Swindell Slides to Fifth World of Outlaws Feature Victory of Season

Swindell Slides to Fifth World of Outlaws Feature Victory of Season
Kemenah a close second in first Outlaws race at Red River Valley since 2009
FARGO, N.D. – June 16, 2012 – Sammy Swindell parked his dust-covered sprint car next to the grandstands and hopped onto the rear bumper, waving five fingers in the air to the roar of the crowd located only a couple feet away.
Victory Lane was almost as close as the racing on Saturday at Red River Valley Speedway, where the near-capacity crowd was treated to a handful of slide jobs in the final 10 laps and side-by-side racing throughout the first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature at the 3/8-mile track since 2009.

“We were real close, but we weren’t roughing each other up,” Swindell said. “It was just good, clean fun. Even if I hadn’t have won, it still would have been fun because we did race each other hard and close and clean. I look forward to doing that every night if I can.

“As far as racing wheel to wheel that was definitely the best race.”

Swindell led the first eight and the final eight of the 30-lap feature en route to his fifth Outlaws victory of the season and 281st of his career. It’s the most World of Outlaws wins Swindell has earned in a season since 2000.

However, his road to victory was anything but smooth and Chad Kemenah made sure of it.

After starting eighth, Kemenah maneuvered into the third place by the fifth lap. On lap seven he passed Joey Saldana for second and two laps later, Kemenah drove around Swindell for the lead exiting turn two.

Kemenah entered traffic on lap 10 and set a blistering pace. He put a handful of cars and nearly a straightaway between himself and Swindell before a caution on lap 19 for a spin by Greg Nikitenko in turn two brought the field back together.

“When they dropped the green flag I knew we were pretty good,” Kemenah said. “It seemed like I could run in underneath them and get to what little cushion that was there. I was using it all up.”

Swindell took the lead on the restart only to have it negated when sixth-running Steve Kinser, who entered the race with a series-best nine victories in 30 World of Outlaws features at Red River Valley Speedway, stopped on the backstretch with apparent mechanical issues. Kinser went to the pits and was credited with a 19th-place finish.

Kemenah capitalized on the redo and rocketed to the lead with Donny Schatz sliding into second on the ensuing restart. Kaley Gharst then brought out a caution with 10 laps remaining to set up an epic finish.

Swindell, who restarted third, slid by the front row of Kemenah and Schatz as they entered the first turn. Kemenah rallied back into the lead by turn two, but Swindell was a close second. The duo then slid each other for the lead the next three times they entered a corner before Kyle Fedyk’s flip on lap 24 forced the final caution.

“That’s the fun part, being able to go out here and race real close,” Swindell said. “There were a few times with Chad we were only inches apart in a nice drift. I wasn’t trying to give and he wasn’t either, but we weren’t really pushing each other around. It’s fun to have that kind of respect and race like that.”

Swindell restarted in the lead and narrowly held off Kemenah for the final seven laps.

“It was really, really close and he raced me really, really clean,” Kemenah said. “That makes it so much better for the fans when we get to slide each other. I don’t know how many times it was, but I think we put on a really good show here for these fans who came out to support this deal.”

Schatz, whose split time working as the race promoter because his family owns Red River Valley Speedway, ended third. It was his best finish in the past seven races and was good enough to regain the World of Outlaws championship points lead.

“It’s a very difficult night trying to play driver and promoter, track prep and a little bit of everything,” Schatz said. “It was a great capacity crowd here tonight and I’m glad to be a part of this event.

“Promoter is a lot tougher job than anybody thinks. At the end of the day when you hear the cheers of the fans and the roar of the crowd when the racing is going on, it’s well worth it.”

Jason Sides was fourth and Kraig Kinser finished fifth. Craig Dollansky placed sixth and fast qualifier Saldana was seventh. Kerry Madsen worked from 17    th to eighth and Chris Shirek earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 19th to ninth. Cody Darrah rounded out the top 10.

Kemenah, Kraig Kinser and Austen Wheatley each claimed a heat race, and Bob Martin won the Last Chance Showdown.

Starting Seventh, Anderson Looks for More in Bristol

Starting Seventh, Anderson Looks for More in Bristol

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012

On the strength of a 6.680-second elapsed time and 206.04 mph top speed recorded on his second attempt on Friday evening, Summit Racing Camaro driver Greg Anderson earned the seventh starting position for Sunday’s final eliminations of the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.

Racing in conditions completely unlike anything they had encountered in their short time with their current race car, the KB Racing crew was nevertheless able to post two consistent and competitive runs on Saturday, virtually matching their time from Friday with a 6.687-second, 206.32 mph pass in the early session.  However, facing another tough Pro Stock field, the four-time champion admitted further improvement would be necessary in order to pull off their third Bristol Dragway win.

“We certainly have our work cut out for us tomorrow,” said Anderson.  “For some reason, the conditions here in Bristol have us scratching our heads a little, which is not a comfortable feeling heading into race day.  We thought we had a direction to head in with our Summit Racing Camaro after yesterday’s runs, but it didn’t produce the type of results we were looking for, so we’ll have to come up with a different plan for tomorrow.

“The good news is that we proved there is nothing wrong with my race car in Englishtown, and we made some gains today with Jason’s (teammate Line, who is also racing a new Camaro this weekend) car.  It’s also a situation we’ve been through several times this year, and each time, this KB Racing crew has been up to the challenge.  It certainly won’t be easy, and it’s going to involve some major changes, but we’re going to take tomorrow one run at a time.  I’m confident we’ll get her right and put ourselves in position to win this race.”

Line Makes Progress with New Camaro, Starts Fourth in Bristol

 Line Makes Progress with New Camaro, Starts Fourth in Bristol
Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jason Line and the Summit Racing team continued to familiarize themselves with their new Chevrolet Camaro on Saturday as part of the second day of qualifying for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  Despite their limited experience with their new mount, Line and the KB Racing crew made their final two timed passes at Bristol Dragway count, posting the second-quickest elapsed time in each session, highlighted by his 6.662-second, 206.95 mph pass on his third attempt, netting the fourth starting position for Sunday’s final eliminations.

As he prepared for his first-round match-up with fellow Minnesota native Warren Johnson, the 2006 Bristol winner found cause for cautious optimism on race day, giving full credit to his race team for adapting so quickly to the new chassis.

“I am super stoked that we were able to qualify fourth and get bonus points in two qualifying sessions with a race car that came here with a total of eight test runs,” said Line.  “This Summit Racing Camaro is going to be a bad ass hot rod, absolutely better than our old Pontiacs.  It’s just a matter of time.

“As I told Alan (NHRA announcer Reinhart) at the top end I don’t know any other team that could have taken a car with so few runs on it and come out here and qualify in the top four.  I’m continuing to get more comfortable in it, and it drives like a million bucks.  There’s a few little things we’ll have to fix as time goes on to, but it really is a great car.  I’m proud to be wearing a Bow Tie.”

Tagliani Runs Seventh for Honda at Milwaukee

Tagliani Runs Seventh for Honda at Milwaukee
A race that started well for several Honda-powered IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams on Saturday at The Milwaukee Mile ended with Alex Tagliani finishing seventh and Graham Rahal ninth on a day that promised much more.

Pole-qualifier and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti dominated the opening segment of today’s 225-lap contest, leading until the first round of pit stops on Lap 63. But an ill-timed caution flag took away Franchitti’s advantage, leaving him running fourth, with a car that did not work as well in traffic as when he had been at the front of the field. On Lap 192, Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe made side-to-side contact, and one lap later a rear suspension failure sent him crashing into the Turn 4 wall. Franchitti was uninjured, but out of the race as a result of the crash.

Starting 21st after taking a 10-position grid penalty for an unapproved engine change, Detroit race winner Scott Dixon battled his way through the field to fourth place at mid-race, but was given a “drive-through” [pit lane] penalty by race officials when he was judged to have jumped a Lap 121 restart. The penalty dropped Dixon to 16th, the last car on the lead lap, and he was merely able to recover to 11th by the finish.

After a disappointing qualifying run on Friday that left him 13th on the starting grid, Tagliani found his Honda Dallara to be working much better in today’s race, and he quickly moved into the top 10 in the opening laps. Tagliani continued to advance during the middle stages of the contest, reaching third place on Lap 100. But the Canadian driver was caught out by lapped traffic on the final two restarts, dropping him to a seventh-place result.

Rahal, meanwhile, fought handling problems early in the race, but made changes to his car and gradually improved his position throughout the second half, to finish ninth. Simon Pagenaud had an encouraging short-oval debut, starting seventh, but fell a lap down to the leaders in the closing segment and finished 13th. Mechanical issues ended the race early for Texas race winner Justin Wilson and rookie Josef Newgarden, while Takuma Sato and James Jakes were caught up in a Lap 107 crash that ended the day
for both drivers.

Franchitti Repeats Milwaukee Pole Run

Franchitti Repeats Milwaukee Pole Run
Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti gave Honda its third consecutive pole of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season Friday at The Milwaukee Mile, with a run of 168.737 mph around the flat mile oval, the oldest operating race track in North America. Franchitti will lead the 25-car starting field to the green flag for the second consecutive year at Saturday’s Milwaukee IndyFest.

Franchitti won last year’s Milwaukee race from the pole, leading a race-high 161 of 225 race laps. He also won here in 2004, and has finished sixth or better in his last six starts at “The Mile”. Previous Honda-powered poles this year include Scott Dixon at Detroit; and Alex Tagliani at Texas Motor Speedway.

Justin Wilson posted the second-fastest qualifying run in his Dale Coyne Racing Honda-Dallara. It is his best qualifying effort of 2012, and follows his victory last week in Texas. Josef Newgarden led the rookie field today at Milwaukee, qualifying seventh for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Television coverage for Saturday’s first short oval race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series will air on ABC, starting at 1 p.m. EDT.

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his 1st pole of 2012 and 27th career IndyCar pole; pole qualifier and race winner here in 2011: “We struggled in both practice sessions. But afterwards we got together with [engineer Chris] Simmons, Scott [Dixon] and the rest of the #9 car guys and came up with [a chassis set-up] that was much better. On my qualifying run, I just kept my foot in it and managed to hang on. I’m really proud of the team and the job they did today,

Anderson Opens Bristol Qualifying in Seventh

Anderson Opens Bristol Qualifying in Seventh

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Two weeks after winning in his Summit Racing Camaro’s debut, four-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson was back in action on Friday, opening his qualifying effort at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  For the second consecutive race, the KB Racing team worked to find the proper set-up for their new Chevrolet under the unique conditions at Bristol Dragway, with their best effort of 6.680-seconds, 206.04 mph placing them seventh midway through the qualifying procedure.

Despite their atypical position in the standings, Anderson still found positives from their opening day performance, which he believes will bring an improvement throughout the remainder of the weekend.

“The conditions here at Bristol Dragway have thrown us a bit of a curve,” said Anderson.  “We did make some ground up between Q1 and Q2, and although it was obviously not enough, it did give us the right direction to take with this Summit Racing Camaro, so we’ll take a big step that way tomorrow and hope it gives us a big gain in performance.

“I can’t recall that we’ve ever been five hundredths behind the leader on a Friday night, so it shows how big of a swing we need to take tomorrow, but there was just something we missed in the track and atmospheric conditions that caught us a little off guard.  We’ll make some adjustments to get the car to ride over the bumps a little bit better, keeping the tire on the track so we can get the power to the ground.  I have all the confidence in the world that this KB Racing team will get it right tomorrow.  It may take until Q4, but we’ll get it, and we’ll be in good shape by Sunday.

“The good news is that our 6.68 should keep us comfortably in the show, so we just have to pick up our performance to give ourselves a better shot at winning on Sunday.  It’s in there – we just have to rub on it a little more.  It’s going to take some bigger moves than normal, but the important thing is that we got the direction we need to head to tonight.”

Line’s Camaro Debut Finds Him Fifth on Friday in Bristol

Line’s Camaro Debut Finds Him Fifth on Friday in Bristol

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Jason Line’s Summit Racing Camaro made its competitive debut on Friday, taking to the track for the first day of qualifying for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  Despite only having made eight runs in testing prior to today’s action, the reigning Pro Stock champion made two competitive runs, with his 6.678-second, 206.04 mph best in the evening session placing him in the provisional fifth position.

However, with two attempts remaining on Saturday, Line set his sights on moving his Chevrolet higher in the starting order for Sunday’s final eliminations at Bristol Dragway.

“We are obviously early in the learning process with our Summit Racing Camaro,” said Line.  “For example, I am still getting comfortable in the car.  After only ten runs, it clearly isn’t at the level of our old car, but I don’t know anyone else who could have done a better job than our guys getting it to this point so quickly.

“We made a couple decent runs today, but certainly left a little out there on each one. Tomorrow, we’ll take what we learned, not only about our car, but this Bristol Dragway track and see if we can move ourselves further up the ladder for Sunday.    All in all, we had a good first day here in Thunder Valley.”

Kraig Kinser’s Late Pass on Dad Earns Victory at River Cities

Kraig Kinser’s Late Pass on Dad Earns Victory at River Cities
Son beats father in Round 1 of The Duel at the Dakotas for his second win in 10 days
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – June 15, 2012 – Steve Kinser isn’t surprised very often.
A 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, the winningest driver in the series history and the current championship points leader, “The King” has seen it all and has done it all in a sprint car.

But on Friday he was admittedly surprised when his son, Kraig Kinser, drove around him with seven laps remaining to claim Round 1 of The Duel at the Dakotas in front of a packed crowd at River Cities Speedway.

“I thought I had them covered the whole race,” Steve Kinser said. “He caught me by surprise.”

For Kraig, who is driving a car owned by his father, it doesn’t get much better than to pick up his second World of Outlaws victory in the last 10 days by passing his car owner and mentor.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said with a big smile. “It’s tough to pass any of these guys, especially when they’re looking a win down the barrel. That it’s my dad makes it even better.”

The veteran Kinser, who started third in the 40-lap feature, passed Kerry Madsen for second place on lap nine and cruised by Mark Dobmeier for the lead as the duo exited turn two on lap 13.

On a night when consistency was an issue with nearly every driver on the changing track, Kinser led the next 21 laps amid flashes of strength from Dobmeier, Madsen and Lucas Wolfe.

Once Kinser found the top spot, Dobmeier and Madsen battled closely for the runner-up spot for a couple of laps. Madsen squeezed by Dobmeier for second place as the duo crossed the finish line on lap 16, but the third red flag of the race appeared before another lap was completed as contact between the two sent Madsen flipping off the track in turn four and Dobmeier to the pits with a broken top wing.

“He’s a hard racer just like I am,” said Dobmeier, a hometown driver who set his first career quick time with the World of Outlaws at 10.516 seconds on Friday.

“We were both going for the same spot, nobody was going to lift. We got a little tangled up.”

Wolfe capitalized and was a close second to Kinser. As the preferred line began to shift toward the bottom near the middle of the feature, traffic began to play a role. When Wolfe would close to the rear bumper of Kinser, he’d be slowed by a lapped car and vice versa.

Meanwhile, Kraig Kinser began working his way toward the front in the second half of the race. He restarted eighth on the fourth-and-final caution of the race for a spin by Wade Nygaard on lap 18. However, Kinser worked his way into the top five by the halfway point. He then drove into third place with 16 laps remaining and powered around Wolfe for the runner-up spot with 12 laps to go.

“I just got a line that my car was working at really and lapped traffic helped me,” Kinser said. “I think dad was a little better than me in open track. I just got fortunate enough to catch him in lapped traffic and our car was just working through the middle a lot better than it was on the bottom.”

As the two Kinsers and Wolfe fought their way through traffic – at one point nearly being three wide for the race lead – Kraig Kinser found grip in the middle of the track. He maneuvered around his father as they exited turn four on lap 34 and pulled away in the final half-dozen laps.

“If I’ve got to get outrun, I’m much rather it be him than anybody else,” said Steve Kinser, who maintains the championship points lead. “On these short tracks he’s just been as tough as he can be.”

Craig Dollansky snagged third place with four laps remaining and Donny Schatz snuck by Wolfe fourth in the closing laps. Dobmeier, who restarted 14    th after his crash on lap 16, drove back to sixth. Sammy Swindell was seventh, Bill Rose eighth, Justin Henderson ninth and Joey Saldana rounded out the top 10.

Dollansky, Henderson, Saldana and Jason Linnell each claimed a heat race victory, and Bob Martin passed Nygaard late in the Last Chance Showdown to win the consolation.