WHAT TO WATCH FOR: $21K Awaits Winner of Saturday’s Tom Tarlton Classic at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway

The Greatest Show on Dirt Concludes West Coast Swing on Saturday NightHANFORD, CA – September 15, 2021 – The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series is set for its final appearance in California this year.In light of Placerville Speedway’s 49er Gold Rush Classic being postponed to 2022 due to ongoing fires, a new marquee event has stepped up to conclude the west coast swing for The Greatest Show on Dirt.Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway will take the date on Saturday, September 18 with the second annual Tom Tarlton Classic offering a $21,000-to-win purse.HANFORD TICKETS (Sat)Some of the top storylines to follow:HOME GAME IN HANFORD: For Carson Macedo, the Tom Tarlton Classic isn’t just another high-paying race, it’s an event that hits close to home with more meaning than most. The 25-year-old Lemoore, CA native is the great-nephew of Tom Tarlton and cousin to Tommy Tarlton, two men that have been instrumental in the meteoric rise of Carson’s career.Along with the family aspect, Macedo is the defending winner of the inaugural Tom Tarlton Classic held in 2020. That weekend, he drove the Tarlton owned #21 and banked $21,000 by World of Outlaws points leader Brad Sweet, Knoxville Nationals champion Kyle Larson, west coast superstar Dominic Scelzi, and former World of Outlaws champion Daryn Pittman.Growing up in Lemoore, Macedo lives less than 15 minutes away from the Hanford, CA facility. He’s competed in three World of Outlaws shows at Keller Auto Speedway with a career-best finish of 8th in 2019. He’ll visit the 3/8th-mile on Saturday with Jason Johnson Racing for the first time, as he continues a stellar debut season with the Rocky Mount, MO team. They enter the weekend third in the championship chase with eight victories this year.EAST COAST, BEST COAST: A pair of east coasters ruled the roost in California last weekend as the Gold Cup Race of Champions returned to Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. Watertown’s David Gravel became the first Connecticut native to win a World of Outlaws show at the track, and Hanover’s Logan Schuchart earned the first Gold Cup title for a Pennsylvanian since Stevie Smith did it in 1993.Both east coasters are the two most recent winners in Hanford too, with Schuchart scoring in 2017 and Gravel striking in 2019. The Shark Racing #1S will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this year, while the Big Game Motorsports #2 is trying to join Sweet in the double-digit win group.CONSISTENCY WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Brad Sweet’s march to a third consecutive World of Outlaws championship has been fueled by the unrivaled consistency of the veteran 35-year-old. Through 65 Features, Sweet is the only driver without a DNF and thus the only driver to complete all 2,195 laps.Sweet’s Kasey Kahne Racing, NAPA Auto Parts #49 team leads the way in six major statistical categories including Feature Wins (16), Laps Led (310), Podiums (32), Top-Fives (44), Top-10s (56), and Average Finish (4.82).The Grass Valley, CA native goes to Hanford this weekend trying to make it 10 World of Outlaws wins in his home state. He’s won at Calistoga, Silver Dollar, Ocean, Bakersfield, Stockton, and Placerville, but still chases a Keller Auto Speedway victory. His career-best at the 3/8th-mile entering the Tom Tarlton Classic is a second-place finish to Shane Stewart in 2015.CALI STANDOUTS: Per usual, the California locals showed up and showed out when The Greatest Show on Dirt ended a two-year absence last weekend in Chico. Among the most notable performances were Colby Copeland and Tanner Carrick, who each contended for wins in the 67th Gold Cup Race of Champions.On Friday, Roseville, CA’s Colby Copeland earned the pole position in the Laramie #16A and paced the field for 13 laps. He traded sliders and went wheel-to-wheel with Sweet & Haudenschild before eventually finishing a career-best second to Gravel. On Saturday, Lincoln, CA’s Tanner Carrick impressed the nation with his near-upset before it came to a heartbreaking end. The 19-year-old was going toe-to-toe with Schuchart & Sweet before a loose tail tank sent him to the work area after leading 16 laps.Other gassers that stood out last weekend include young guns like Blake Carrick and Ryan Robinson, along with seasoned veterans such as Dominic Scelzi and Kyle Hirst.POINT BATTLES: With 12 races remaining in 2021, the closest battle within the top-10 is the war for fourth between Donny Schatz and Sheldon Haudenschild, separated by 44 points. Haudenschild’s eight wins and 293 laps led far outweigh Schatz’s three scores and 201 laps, but the 10-time champion has been far more consistent with 37 top-fives to Sheldons’s 32.The Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15 and Stenhouse Jr. / Marshall Racing #17 are battling for $55,000 and $50,000, respectively, in point fund money.Gravel’s 140-point deficit to Sweet for the championship is the most-watched battle, but there are still others worth following. Macedo is only 48 points back of Gravel for the second spot, which features a $40,000 difference from $100,000 to $60,000 for third. Schuchart is only 56 points behind Haudenschild for a top-five bid, which is not out of the question with 12 races remaining.DOLLA, DOLLA BILLS: Saturday’s $21,000-to-win show in Hanford marks the 11th race this season paying more than $20K. Incredibly enough, those 11 races have seen 10 different winners take the loot with Kyle Larson being the only repeat victor.$25,000 at Bristol – David Gravel (4/25)
$30,000 at Huset’s – Aaron Reutzel (6/22)
$50,000 at Jackson – Logan Schuchart (6/27)
$175,000 at Eldora – Tyler Courtney (7/17)
$175,000 at Eldora – Kyle Larson (7/17)
$25,000 at Lernerville – Brad Sweet (7/20)
$20,000 at Williams Grove – Brent Marks (7/24)
$176,000 at Knoxville – Kyle Larson (8/14)
$25,000 at Skagit – Carson Macedo (9/5)This Week at a Glance – When and WhereSaturday, September 18 at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, CAOn the Internet
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Twitter – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – @WoOSprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsSprintCarSeries
YouTube – Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – DIRTVision.com – Platinum annual FAST PASS for $299 or monthly FAST PASS for $39/monthAround the Turn: After Hanford, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will begin the cross-country drive with Ohio’s Eldora Speedway and Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway on the calendar next weekend.NOS ENERGY DRINK FEATURE WINNERS (14 Drivers):
16 wins – Brad Sweet, Kasey Kahne Racing w/ Mike Curb #49
9 wins – David Gravel, Big Game Motorsports #2
8 wins – Sheldon Haudenschild, Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing #17
8 wins – Carson Macedo, Jason Johnson Racing #41
5 wins – Logan Schuchart, Shark Racing #1S
4 wins – Aaron Reutzel, Roth Motorsports #83
3 wins – Kyle Larson, Silva Motorsports #57
3 wins – Donny Schatz, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15
2 wins – Kerry Madsen, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #14
2 wins – Brent Marks, Brent Marks Racing #19
2 wins – James McFadden, Kasey Kahne Racing w/ Mike Curb #9
1 win – Dave Blaney, Dave Blaney #10
1 win – Spencer Bayston, Sam McGhee Motorsports #11
1 win – Tyler Courtney, Clauson-Marshall Racing #7BCFEATURE LAPS LED (29 Drivers):
310 laps – Brad Sweet
293 laps – Sheldon Haudenschild
260 laps – Carson Macedo
229 laps – David Gravel
222 laps – Logan Schuchart
201 laps – Donny Schatz
188 laps – Aaron Reutzel
72 laps – Kyle Larson
66 laps – James McFadden
63 laps – Kerry Madsen
57 laps – Tyler Courtney
33 laps – Spencer Bayston
29 laps – Giovanni Scelzi
27 laps – Brent Marks, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
16 laps – Tanner Carrick
13 laps – Wayne Johnson, Colby Copeland
11 laps – Sye Lynch
10 laps – Jacob Allen, Brock Zearfoss, Parker Price-Miller
9 laps – Kasey Kahne, Austin McCarl
3 laps – Ian Madsen
1 lap – Kraig Kinser, Brandon Spithaler, Dave Blaney, Brian BrownSLICK WOODY’S QUICKTIME AWARDS (22 Drivers):
14 QuickTimes – David Gravel
7 QuickTimes – Sheldon Haudenschild, Logan Schuchart
5 QuickTimes – Brad Sweet
4 QuickTimes – Kerry Madsen
3 QuickTimes – Carson Macedo, Aaron Reutzel
2 QuickTimes – James McFadden, Donny Schatz, Kasey Kahne, Cory Eliason, Giovanni Scelzi, Parker Price-Miller, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
1 QuickTime – Kraig Kinser, Jacob Allen, Danny Dietrich, Anthony Macri, Brian Brown, Brock Zearfoss, Rico Abreu, Sye LynchDRYDENE HEAT RACE WINNERS (41 Drivers)
28 Heat Wins – David Gravel
26 Heat Wins – Carson Macedo
19 Heat Wins – Donny Schatz
16 Heat Wins – Brad Sweet, Sheldon Haudenschild, Aaron Reutzel
14 Heat Wins – Logan Schuchart
11 Heat Wins – James McFadden
7 Heat Wins – Brian Brown
5 Heat Wins – Kraig Kinser, Kerry Madsen
4 Heat Wins – Brock Zearfoss, Giovanni Scelzi, Tyler Courtney
3 Heat Wins – Kasey Kahne, Jason Sides, Wayne Johnson, Ian Madsen, Anthony Macri, Sam Hafertepe Jr.
2 Heat Wins – Jacob Allen, Kyle Larson, DJ Netto, Parker Price-Miller
1 Heat Win –  Danny Dietrich, Hunter Schuerenberg, Lance Dewease, Brandon Spithaler, Tim Kaeding, Jack Dover, Scotty Thiel, Paul McMahan, Daryn Pittman, Justin Peck, Jac Haudenschild, Sye Lynch, Chad Trout, TJ Stutts, Brent Marks, Ryan Robinson, Blake CarrickPODIUM FINISHES (28 Drivers):
32 Podiums – Brad Sweet
22 Podiums – Carson Macedo
21 Podiums –David Gravel
20 Podiums – David Gravel, Donny Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild
15 Podiums – Logan Schuchart
10 Podiums – James McFadden, Aaron Reutzel
6 Podiums – Kerry Madsen, Brent Marks
5 Podiums – Giovanni Scelzi
3 Podiums – Brian Brown, Lance Dewease, Kyle Larson
2 Podiums – Kraig Kinser, Cory Eliason, Anthony Macri, Danny Dietrich, Tyler Courtney
1 Podium – Jacob Allen, Justin Peck, Brian Brown, Anthony Macri, Dave Blaney, Spencer Bayston, Daryn Pittman, Paulie Colagiovanni, Austin McCarl, Colby Copeland, Sam Hafertepe Jr.2021 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Schedule & WinnersNo. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Total Wins)
1. Fri, Feb. 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Brad Sweet (1)
2. Sun, Feb. 7 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Logan Schuchart (1)
3. Fri, March 5 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Carson Macedo (1)
4. Sat, March 6 / East Bay Raceway Park / Tampa, FL / Aaron Reutzel (1)
5. Fri, March 12 / Magnolia Motor Speedway / Columbus, MS / Sheldon Haudenschild (1)
6. Sat, March 13 / The Rev / Monroe, LA / David Gravel (1)
7. Fri, March 19 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Sheldon Haudenschild (2)
8. Sat, March 20 / Cotton Bowl Speedway / Paige, TX / Brad Sweet (2)
9. Sat, March 27 / Lake Ozark Speedway / Eldon, MO / Brad Sweet (3)
10. Fri, April 2 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (4)
11. Sat, April 3 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Brad Sweet (5)
12. Fri, April 9 / Kokomo Speedway / Kokomo, IN / James McFadden (1)
13. Sat, April 10 / Tri-State Speedway / Haubstadt, IN / Carson Macedo (2)
14. Fri, April 22 / Bristol Motor Speedway / Bristol, TN / David Gravel (2)
15. Sun, April 24 / Bristol Motor Speedway / Bristol, TN / David Gravel (3)
16. Thur, April 29 / Jacksonville Speedway / Jacksonville, IL / Brad Sweet (6)
17. Fri, April 30 / I-70 Motorsports Park / Odessa, MO / Brad Sweet (7)
18. Sat, May 1 / I-70 Motorsports Park / Odessa, MO / Brad Sweet (8)
19. Sat, May 8 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Brent Marks (1)
20. Sat, May 8 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Sheldon Haudenschild (3)
21. Wed, May 12 / Lincoln Speedway / Abbottstown, PA / Brad Sweet (9)
22. Fri, May 14 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Carson Macedo (3)
23. Sat, May 15 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Aaron Reutzel (2)
24. Tues, May 18 / Bridgeport Speedway / Swedesboro, NJ / Logan Schuchart (2)
25. Fri, May 21 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / David Gravel (4)
26. Sat, May 22 / Sharon Speedway / Hartford, OH / Dave Blaney (1)
27. Mon, May 31 / Lawrenceburg Speedway / Lawrenceburg, IN / Kyle Larson (1)
28. Sat, June 5 / Granite City Speedway /Sauk Rapids, MN / David Gravel (5)
29. Fri, June 11 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Carson Macedo (4)
30. Sat, June 12 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Carson Macedo (5)
31. Thur, June 17 / 34 Raceway / West Burlington, IA / Brad Sweet (10)
32. Fri, June 18 / Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway / Dubuque, IA / Donny Schatz (1)
33. Sat, June 19 / Beaver Dam Raceway / Beaver Dam, WI / Sheldon Haudenschild (4)
34. Mon, June 21 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / David Gravel (6)
35. Tues, June 22 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / Aaron Reutzel (3)
36. Thur, June 24 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Kerry Madsen (1)
37. Fri, June 25 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Kerry Madsen (2)
38. Sat, June 27 / Jackson Motorplex / Jackson, MN / Logan Schuchart (3)
39. Fri, July 2 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (11)
40. Sat, July 3 / Cedar Lake Speedway / New Richmond, WI / Brad Sweet (12)
41. Sat, July 10 / Wilmot Raceway / Wilmot, WI / Brad Sweet (13)
42. Tues, July 13 / Attica Raceway Park / Attica, OH / Spencer Bayston (1)
43. Wed, July 14 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (6)
44. Sat, July 17 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Tyler Courtney (1)
45. Sat, July 17 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Kyle Larson (2)
46. Sun, July 18 / Eldora Speedway / Rossburg, OH / Carson Macedo (7)
47. Tues, July 20 / Lernerville Speedway / Sarver, PA / Brad Sweet (14)
48. Fri, July 23 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Sheldon Haudenschild (5)
49. Sat, July 24 / Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA / Brent Marks (2)
50. Fri, July 30 / Ransomville Speedway / Ransomville, NY / Aaron Reutzel (4)
51. Sat, July 31 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, NY / David Gravel (7)
52. Fri, August 6 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (6)
53. Sat, August 7 / I-55 Raceway / Pevely, MO / Sheldon Haudenschild (7)
54. Wed, August 11 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / David Gravel (NP)
55. Thur, August 12 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Brian Brown (NP)
56. Fri, August 13 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Rico Abreu (NP)
57. Sat, August 14 / Knoxville Raceway / Knoxville, IA / Kyle Larson (3)
58. Sat, August 21 / Red River Valley Speedway / Fargo, ND / Donny Schatz (2)
59. Sun, August 22 / Huset’s Speedway / Brandon, SD / David Gravel (8)
60. Wed, August 25 / River Cities Speedway / Grand Forks, ND / Brad Sweet (15)
61. Fri, August 27 / I-80 Speedway / Greenwood, NE / Donny Schatz (3)
62. Sun, August 29 / Black Hills Speedway / Rapid City, SD / Sheldon Haudenschild (8)
63. Fri, September 3 / Skagit Speedway / Alger, WA / James McFadden (2)
64. Sat, September 4 / Skagit Speedway / Alger, WA / Brad Sweet (16)
65. Sun, September 5 / Skagit Speedway / Alger, WA / Carson Macedo (8)
66. Mon, September 6 / Grays Harbor Raceway / Elma, WA / Logan Schuchart (4)
67. Fri, September 10 / Silver Dollar Speedway / Chico, CA / David Gravel (9)
68. Sat, September 11 / Silver Dollar Speedway / Chico, CA / Logan Schuchart (5)

cruz pedregon–charlotte pre-race

NHRA® Team Report

NHRA Nationals – Charlotte

Pre-Race Report

After qualifying in the #1 spot for the first time since 2015 and sitting firmly at #7 in the Countdown standings, the mission for Cruz Pedregon and team this weekend goes beyond the goal to win another race in Charlotte. Cruz and his sponsor Snap-on will use the new Socket to Breast Cancer car design to support breast cancer awareness raising funds for The Pink Fund® in the U.S. and Kelly Shires Foundation in Canada. Both organizations help breast cancer patients in their time of need, including Cruz’s sister Dora who is a cancer survivor.

“Dora is doing well today and was grateful for the guidance and information she received from The Pink Fund when she was facing treatment,” says Cruz. “We’re out here to win a race, but the real win is for individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment who see the paint scheme on the Snap-on® Dodge® and go to theThePinkFund.org or KellyShiresFoundation.org to find out how these organizations can help them. For so many, both organizations help with a financial safety net that covers non-medical expenses like transportation, housing, utilities, and insurance during breast cancer treatment. Snap-on franchisees and their customers have raised more than a half million dollars for the work done by The Pink Fund and Kelly Shires Foundation, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

“Snap-on’s partnership with The Pink Fund has helped us to accomplish two things. First, due to our logo on Cruz Pedregon’s car, attendees in person or on TV have an opportunity to learn about our mission to provide real help now and one less worry to breast cancer patients nationwide.  Secondly, with the help of Snap-on, we have provided more than $5 million dollars in direct financial assistance to patient’s creditors for housing, transportation, utilities, and insurance. And, this fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, we are on target to provide $1 million in financial aid,” says Molly MacDonald, founder and CEO of The Pink Fund. “Additionally, due to Covid-19 and the large number of people who have lost their jobs, The Pink Fund has expanded its eligibility to include spouses or domestic partners of patients whose income may have been affected by Covid-19 to apply for help when their spouse or partner is in active treatment for breast cancer.” Molly has traditionally been a part of the unveiling of The Pink Fund paint scheme on Cruz’s Snap-on Dodge but will be watching it along with other fans on FOX and through Cruz’s social media posts.

Prior to the race, Snap-on created a diecast of the Socket to Breast Cancer paint scheme as a part of its breast cancer awareness campaign. The new design on the El Conquistador body features the Snap-on Socket to Breast Cancer logo on the hood, three main colors pearl white, dark titanium, and pink, with The Pink Fund and Kelly Shires Foundation logos on the wing. The diecasts and tools made in the three colors of the design will be sold by Snap-on Franchisees across the United States and Canada to raise funds for each organization. For more information on these organizations, check out ThePinkFund.org and KellyShiresFoundation.org.

Follow Cruz and Snap-on on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

To see the latest Cruz news, like his Facebook page, where you can also check out his Vlog “Kickin’ It With The Cruzer.” Follow Cruz on Twitter and Instagram

chevy racing–nascar–bristol–william byron

NASCAR CUP SERIES BASS PRO SHOPS NIGHT RACE BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 1LE, Teleconference Transcript Highlights: HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THIS BRISTOL? DO YOU HAVE TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAN YOU WOULD DO AT ANY OTHER BRISTOL RACE?“I don’t think so. Bristol is always tough. I feel like you’ve just got to score as many points as possible. There is obviously a lot of opportunity with that with the Stages and the race being as long as it is. I feel like we’ll kind of know where we stack up by the end of things and have a lot of time to make a difference. So, I’m looking forward to it. It’s one of those places that fortunately, starting position is not a huge deal. We’re starting kind of upward of mid-pack, and I think we can make ground from there. So, we’ll just try to get as many points as possible in the Stages and try to win the race.”
THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS A LOT OF DRIVERS HAVE SAID THEY THINK THEY CAN DO WELL AT BRISTOL, EVEN IF THEY HAVEN’T DONE WELL BEFORE. IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY DRIVER MENTIONS BRISTOL IN THIS ROUND. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?“Well, I think it’s just the most opportunity of this round. There’s the most opportunity for mistakes and the biggest opportunity for success. It’s a really tough track. There’s not much difference between the good cars and the bad ones. It’s a very tough place to get around and I feel like you can really make a difference. I would say it’s just the most unpredictable race of the round, probably.”
YOU SPENT TIME AT THE NEXT GEN TEST LAST WEEK. WITH THE 2022 SCHEDULE BEING ANNOUNCED TODAY, IS THERE ANY PART OF YOU THAT’S SAYING MAN, STOP DISTRACTING ME. I HAVE BRISTOL TO WORRY ABOUT?“Yeah, I kind of take all that stuff in and put it in a different compartment, or box, for next year. Definitely next year is going to be its own beast. I’m sure it’s going to be a busy off-season with testing. We’re going to have a lot of time in that car. So, I’m not really worried about the car too much because I know that things are going to evolve a lot by the time we get to the Coliseum and Daytona. So, I think I’m kind of keeping it in the back of my mind just for planning purposes and what I want to do next year in terms of travel and things like that. But as far as racing goes, I’m not thinking about that car at all. I’m really not thinking about how it’s going to handle or what it’s going to feel like because I know it’s going to change drastically by the time we get to Daytona.”
IS THERE ANY CALMNESS OR LESS NERVOUSNESS GOING INTO THIS ONE?“Yeah, that’s a fair question. I know that my team is solid. I know that we’re doing all the right things. I think it’s been a tough two-race stretch for us, but we’ve had speed consistently. So, I feel like the intangible qualities, the good qualities that are really important are there. It’s just a matter of executing the races and putting ourselves in position to advance. We’ve had a really good year in a lot of ways. Yeah, we’re hungry for more. We know what we want to accomplish. There is no real distraction in terms of the team. We know we’re all kind of set in stone and just working hard.”
SINCE YOU CAME INTO CUP, THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE TO THE SCHEDULE IN EVERY YEAR BUT ONE. DO YOU THINK THERE’S ALWAYS GOING TO BE SOME SORT OF CHANGE AND THAT IT’S NO BIG DEAL?“Yeah, I think it’s no big deal for me. I feel like next year is probably the most clean slate that I’ve had as a driver in the Cup Series. A lot of the drivers I’ve raced against have been in the low downforce package and had new set-ups and cars for a few more years than I have. And so, I feel like yeah, next year is kind of a clean slate. It’s a new car. Our learning curve is all going to be the same. It’s just going to be a matter of how quickly you learn and adapt for next year. So, I’m kind of excited for that, in a way; but also, excited for this year because I feel like we have really, really good cars that we have an opportunity to capitalize on that. So, it’s a little bit of both. Excitement for next year, but not done and not unexcited for this year because I feel like we’ve got a really good chance to win a lot of races still.”
WHAT HELPS YOU PREPARE FOR A WEEKEND LIKE THIS? WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO YOU GO ON?“Definitely past experience. But I’ve never been in this situation minus maybe being…. I guess I was, going into Kansas in my first year in the Playoffs. So, I rely a little bit on past experience, but it’s a lot different than last year. Last year I think, I was right on the cutline and just had to have a solid race and unfortunately, we got caught up with a lapped car there and ended our day. But yeah, I think this year going in, just try to be aggressive and I feel like we’ll have the car this weekend. So, we just have to perform and execute a good race and let other guys have whatever happens to them. All we can do is kind of focus on trying to win the race and I feel like we’re doing a good job preparing for it.”
WITH ALL THE SUCCESS HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS HAD THIS YEAR, WHAT IS THE SENSE OF URGENCY KNOWING THAT TWO DRIVERS COULD POTENTIALLY FALL OUT OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT INCLUDING YOURSELF?“The same as normal. We try to show up with the best race car and the best preparation every week. So, it’s not any different. Everyone is obviously kind of out for their own good this weekend because it’s an elimination race. So that’s how it works. I feel like we’re doing a good job preparing on the No. 24 team and I feel like we’ll have a fast race car and just do our jobs.”
GOING INTO THIS ELIMINATION RACE AS THE LEADER OF THE NO. 24 TEAM, DO YOU TELL YOUR TEAM ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY THIS WEEK? DO YOU HAVE ANY TALKS TO TRY TO PUMP THEM UP, AS IF YOU NEED THAT?“No, I don’t think we do. I think it’s going to be a race this weekend to see what we’re made of. Regardless of the outcome, we’re going to learn a lot about ourselves and our abilities and ability to handle adversity. We’ve had the most adversity the last two weeks that we could possibly want. So, I think we’re prepared for it. We’ve been through this, and we know what we’re doing. So, just go out there and do the best job we can and try to win.”
WITH THE 2022 SCHEDULE BEING RELEASED TODAY, INCLUDING TWO NEW VENUES LIKE THE L.A. COLISEUM AND GATEWAY, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON GOING TO THOSE TWO TRACKS AND IN STARTING OFF IN AN UNCONVENTIONAL CIRCUIT LIKE LOS ANGELES?“A lot of question marks. I feel like by that time we’ll have a lot better idea of what the car is going to handle like on a shorter track like that. I’m excited for it. I think it’s a great opportunity to have a good fan base and good energy around the first race of the season. I’m thankful that I’m in the Clash and all those things and look forward to the challenge of it. It would be awesome to win it in front of that crowd and in that environment would be really cool.”
GIVEN THE UPS AND DOWNS YOU’VE EXPERIENCED THIS YEAR, BOTH ON AND OFF THE TRACK, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU’VE BEEN DOING TO KEEP AS OPTIMISTIC AS POSSIBLE?“Just trying to stay focused and keep a little bit of variety throughout the week. I enjoy playing golf with my buddies and my family. I enjoy doing various things around town. So yeah, I just try to keep it pretty relaxed throughout the week.”
HAVING BEEN WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS SINCE 2018, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TRAITS OF THE HENDRICK WAYS THAT HAVE FOUND THEIR WAYS INTO YOUR LIFE BOTH AS A RACE CAR DRIVER AND AS A PERSON?“I love the culture at Hendrick Motorsports. I feel like we have a really good culture. We’re honest with each other and are motivated and have a lot of unbelievable resources from Mr Henrdick and Jeff Gordon and Jeff Andrews. I really enjoy being there and I love racing their cars. It’s a lot of fun this year. We’ve had a lot of fun but definitely want to accomplish a lot more.”

Troy Coughlin Jr. anxious to race to the top at Dewalt Carolina Nationals

Mike Coughlin wants big finish at his last national event of 2021
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 15) — With the first of six Countdown to the Championship races in the books, Pro Stock driver Troy Coughlin Jr. suddenly finds himself in the middle of the 2021 title chase. Having already moved up to sixth place overall, just 15 points out of third, Coughlin wants to continue his climb at this weekend’s 13th annual Dewalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at majestic zMax Dragway. 
“This race weekend feels a little bigger than normal,” Coughlin said. “I mean, zMax already makes a race feel more important because it’s such a massive stadium and the stands are always packed. Now there’s 10 very good race teams all fighting for one prize, so the excitement is growing every single round.”
Adding to thrill of the weekend is the fact Troy Jr. will be racing alongside his three-time champion uncle Mike Coughlin, who will be contesting his last national event of the season in the JEGS.com Top Dragster. 
“Uncle Mike is so much fun to hang out with,” Troy Jr. said. “Plus, he’s one of the best drag racers I’ve ever been around. The guy is a machine. When I see how cool and calm he is behind the wheel, it reminds me to stay on course and be as steady as I can for my team. The more consistent a driver can be, the better results you’ll have overall because the crew can more accurately tune the car to the driver.”
Both Coughlins have every right to dream about a big weekend in Dixie. Troy Jr. reached the final round the last time he was at this facility in the spring, and he’s been a contender all year, qualifying in the top half of the field and going rounds almost everywhere.
“It’s my crew chief (Mark Ingersoll) and the guys that wrench on this JEGS.comElite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro (crewmen Kelly Murphy, Steven Hurley, Eric Luzinski, and Kyle Bates) that make it all happen,” Troy Jr. said. “They’re such incredibly hard workers, not just at the track but every day of the year, doing whatever they need to do to make us better.
“I say it a lot because it’s true: I’m the luckiest kid at the track. I’m on a championship-winning team. The guys at Elite Performance make incredible horsepower. My teammates are all so professional and helpful. Most of all, I get to represent the family business all around the country. It’s a dream deal for me.
“The best way I can show my thanks to everyone who is a part of putting me in this position is to win races, so that’s our goal every single weekend. Charlotte will be no different.”
Although a fourth championship is probably out of reach for Mike this year, his desire to win is as keen as ever.
“Charlotte will be our final national event of the season so it would be great to get out of there with a victory,” said Mike, who has scored 14 national event victories in the past. “I can’t think of a single reason why it won’t be a big weekend. The dragster is running perfectly and I’ve done a lot of things to sharpen up my driving so we’re about as ready as we can be. I know we’re all looking forward to having some fun down there.
“My crew chief, Greg Cody, and the guys, Tony Collier, Justin Beaver and Ryan Micke, never let me down. If we can take care of business this weekend and then get to the St. Louis double-header a few weeks from now and go as many rounds as possible, then we’ll be able to enjoy the off season a bit more. It all starts here.”

Lucas Oil Knoxville Nationals Back and Better Than Ever

BATAVIA, Ohio (September 14, 2021) – The 17th Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals presented by BRANDT Professional Agriculture kicks off on Thursday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, IA after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. 
This Thursday – Saturday, September 16th – 18th, the most elite dirt late model drivers from around the nation will come together on one of motorsport’s biggest stages. As one of the most prestigious events in our sport, there will be over $290,000 in purse money paid out over the course of the three-day, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.
The activities on Thursday and Friday, September 16th-17th will feature a complete program of: Hot Laps, Allstar Performance Time Trials, Heat Races, B-Mains, and a 25-lap, $7,000-to-win main event. Drivers will earn points in each of the two preliminary nights that will determine the line-ups for Saturday night’s finale.
Saturday night’s program will include Hot Laps, B-Mains, and the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win main event for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The Malvern Bank Super Late Models will serve as a support division on Saturday, September 18th.
Numerous off-track activities will take place surrounding the three-day event, including a midway with a variety of merchandise and food vendors, along with giveaways. The Hall of Fame Auction will take place at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, behind turn two, on Saturday at 11:30 AM. There will be a Dirt Racing Outreach service in the Bill Rinehart Show Barn outside turn four at 1:45 PM, with an autograph session to follow at 3:00 PM, on Saturday. 
Twelve different drivers have stood on the prestigious Knoxville Late Model Nationals Victory Lane stage. The inaugural (2004) event winner Brian Birkhofer, Scott Bloomquist, Mike Marlar, and most recently, Jimmy Owens, have each won the marquee event twice. 
This half-mile speed-plant is located within the Marion County Fairgrounds, in the heart of Knoxville, Iowa, just a short drive from Des Moines. Three-day ticket packages and single-night tickets are available at www.knoxvilleraceway.com or by calling the ticket office at 641-842-5431. All three nights will be broadcast on MAVTVPLUS.com. The September 18th finale will also air live on MAVTV Motorsports Network at 9:

Dominic Scelzi Produces Strong Week of Racing During Gold Cup

Inside Line Promotions – CHICO, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2021) – Dominic Scelzi earned a pair of top-five results during 360ci winged sprint car competition and a seventh-place showing with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series last week at Silver Dollar Speedway, which hosted the Gold Cup Race of Champions.

Scelzi competed at the quarter-mile oval during four straight nights beginning Wednesday with the first of two 360 sprint car shows. He set quick time during qualifying before advancing from fourth to third place in a heat race. That lined him up on the inside of the fourth row for the main event.

“We qualified good and ran good in the heat,” he said. “In the main event we were trying to change some stuff to get us better when the track is rough like that. We ended up hitting a hole and went off the track. We weren’t able to recover so I pulled off.”

Scelzi was credited with a 20th-place result. However, he was able to use Thursday’s program as a mulligan.

“We rebounded decent,” he said. “We were third quick in qualifying and won the heat race. In the feature we started seventh and got to second. We tried to pass for the lead, but we fell back to third and then a caution came out. We got back to second twice, but yellows negated the pass each time. Late in the race I found the rubber and was right on first and second. We had a yellow with two laps to go and I had burned my tires off so we fell back to fifth.”

The fifth-place result was the 40th top five of the season for Scelzi and it locked him into the 360 A Main on Saturday.

In the meantime, Scelzi raced with the World of Outlaws on Friday. He timed in 21st quickest and placed fifth in a heat race to advance into the main event.

“We started off really bad in qualifying and weren’t much better in the heat race, but we made it through,” he said. “Then we were phenomenal in the feature. We changed some stuff with the balance and I felt really good. I felt like we were a top-five car so that was super good.”

Scelzi hustled from 17th to seventh to garner his first top 10 of the season with the World of Outlaws.

The event finale on Saturday featured another stellar run in 360 competition as Scelzi maneuvered from seventh to second in the main event.

“Our car was really good and the race track was outstanding,” he said. “I knew we had the best car and I felt I did everything right. You can’t scrub speed or get over the cushion. You can’t burn your tires off. We ran the leader down in traffic and the yellow came out when I felt it was going to be where the race was won or lost. We only had about five laps to go. I did everything I could to get by him. We slid him for the lead on the last corner and just wasn’t able to clear him.”

The night also showcased Scelzi making the World of Outlaws main event. He qualified 10th quickest, placed third in a heat race and ended the night 15th in the feature after battling for a top 10 for most of the race.

“We qualified good and were pretty good in the heat race,” he said. “I felt we’d be really good in the main event. I felt like the cards were aligning. They reworked the track and we felt it’d go back to what it was. It stayed fast for 25 laps. We were too tight and I burned my tires off. Once the track went away I was floundering. I had used up my tires and we were just hanging on.”

Next up for Scelzi is the Tom Tarlton Classic this Saturday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

QUICK RESULTS –

Sept. 8 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. – Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 3 (4); Feature: 20 (7).

Sept. 9 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. – Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 5 (7).

Sept. 10 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. – Qualifying: 21; Heat race: 5 (6); Feature: 7 (17).

Sept. 11 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. (410 sprint car) – Qualifying: 10; Heat race: 3 (3); Feature: 15 (10).

Sept. 11 – Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. (360 sprint car) – Feature: 2 (7).

SEASON STATS –

55 races, 18 wins, 41 top fives, 47 top 10s, 51 top 15s, 52 top 20s

UP NEXT –

Saturday at Keller Auto Speedway in Hanford, Calif., for the Tom Tarlton Classic with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Third Annual Gerald Haers Memorial set to pay big

$10,000 to-win, $1,000-to-start, plus a NAPA Super DIRT Week starting position and thousands in bonuses all on the line at Land of Legends Raceway this Saturday, Sept. 18

CANANDAIGUA, NY – For the third time, Land of Legends Raceway will honor the life and legacy of Gerald Haers with the Gerald Haers Memorial (Sept. 18); a 100-lap Super DIRTcar Series Feature. But for the first time, the race will be a points-paying Super DIRTcar Series Feature, raising the stakes and prizes. 

The winner will claim $10,000, potentially thousands in lap money, extra bonuses, and a guaranteed start at the 49th NAPA Super DIRT Week (Oct. 6-10) which pays $50,000 to the winner and a minimum of $1,500. 

Here are the top storylines to follow:

PAST WINNERS 

Two editions of the Gerald Haers Memorial have been run the last two years, including a fanless 2020 event in which saw 2021 Super DIRTcar Series rookie of the year contender Chris Hile, from Syracuse, NY, come away with the win. However, that event didn’t count as a Super DIRTcar Series win. He’ll be hungry to return to Victory Lane again this year to officially earn his first career Series win and solidify his chances at the rookie of the year title.

In 2019, it was Erick Rudolph in the Victory Lane in the inaugural Gerald Haers Memorial. Rudolph, driver the #25R from Ransomville, NY, is currently seventh in Super DIRTcar Series points, still looking to claim his first Series win of the year.

POINTS PICTURE  

With Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship bonus points added into the Series points standings, the run-up to the NGK NTK World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Nov. 4-6) is much more clear. Seven-time Series champion Matt Sheppard, who is also the current Series points leader and a multi-time Land of Legends track champion, will look to put some extra distance between himself and Billy Decker in the points standings – currently a 117 difference between them.

Decker, also a multi-time Series champion, has quietly put together a solid year, working his #91 Gypsum Racing machine up to second in the championship points order. He’s found some consistency recently, earning two top-fives in a row, bringing him to four top-fives and seven top-10s in a row.

Don’t count out Batman, too. Australia’s Peter Britten is having one of his strongest Super DIRTcar Series seasons of his career. Britten picked up his second-career Series win at Land of Legends Raceway earlier this year. With that victory, he’s a favorite going into the Gerald Haers Memorial.

FORMAT

Drivers will draw a random number as normal. That number sets your position in the 20-lap Heat Races. The groups are determined by the finishing order of the DIRTcar Big Block Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship points finish. The pill draw still determined your starting position but not your group. 

The top-six drivers in each Heat Race will qualify for the 100-lap Feature. The top-three will go to the redraw, meaning the redraw will consist of nine drivers rather than the traditional 12. The non-transfers from the Heats will go to the Last Chance Showdowns where three drivers will make the Feature from each. 

BONUSES

Every single lap in the 100-lap Feature has been sold as a bonus for the driver who leads the lap totaling over $5,000. Plus, the payout for taking the green flag is a whopping $1,000 and each Heat Race pays $500 to the winner. There is also a great list of bonuses for all drivers. 

Special Awards:

Pole Position: $300

Halfway Leader: $300

Hard Charger: $300

Hard Luck Award: $300

Longest Tow: $200

Sportsmanship Award: $200

Lucky Dog Award: $200

First Flat Tire: $200

Best Appearing Car Award: $200

Fastest Feature Lap: $150

Move of the Race: $150

Worst Redraw: $150 & one free Hoosier Racing Tire

Most Laps Led: $100

Most improved from 2020: $100

Hometown Finisher: $100

3rd place in each Heat Race: $100

Ageless Wonder: $50

Young Star: $50

A $2,000-to-win 4-lap Dash for Cash will include the top two finishers in each Heat Race. Even the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series Central Region drivers will have a $1,000-to-win Dash for Cash of their own. 

NAPA SUPER DIRT WEEK QUALIFIER

Every Super DIRTcar Series race that pays $10,000 or more to the winner comes with a guaranteed start in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at NAPA Super DIRT Week (Oct. 6-10). 

So far, Stewart Friesen, Demetrios Drellos, Matt Sheppard, Max McLaughlin, Chris Hile, and Andy Bachetti have received guaranteed starter status for Racing’s Biggest Party. 

If a driver wins the Gerald Haers Memorial and they already have a spot in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200, the guarantee is awarded to the next driver in the running order without one. 

Sheldon Creed to Join Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Stable in 2022

Defending NASCAR Truck Series Champion to Compete Fulltime for RCR
WELCOME, NC (September 14, 2021) – Richard Childress Racing announced today that Sheldon Creed will join the organization’s NASCAR Xfinity Series stable in 2022. Creed will compete for RCR’s Championship-winning Xfinity Series program on a fulltime basis, beginning with the 2022 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 19.  Creed currently races for GMS Racing under the Drivers Edge Development Program presented by Chevrolet and has quickly become an accomplished driver with a resume that includes the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series Championship and 2018 ARCA Racing Series Championship.  “Sheldon has proved himself as a talented driver during his short NASCAR Career and we know that he will help contribute to RCR’s competitive NASCAR Xfinity Series program with his drive to succeed,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. “I am looking forward to watching his career continue to develop as a RCR driver and feel confident that he will represent RCR well both on and off the track.” Creed, 24, is currently in a close battle for the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series title and has eight career wins in the series. The Alpine, California native grew up competing in short course off road racing, winning championships in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and Stadium Super Trucks.  He joins an impressive list of drivers who have competed and won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series under the Richard Childress Racing banner, including Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and Tyler Reddick, among others. “To drive for a legendary team like Richard Childress Racing and have the support of Richard Childress means everything to me,” said Creed. “So many current NASCAR Cup Series stars got their start in RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program, so it is an honor to be able to add my name to that prestigious list. I am grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to 2022.” Additional details on RCR’s 2022 lineup will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit rcrracing.com

Wayne Taylor Racing Continues Acura Laguna Seca Winning Streak


Wayne Taylor Racing scores victory with drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque
Acura ARX-05 teams lead 115 of 118 laps
Win marks Acura’s third consecutive overall victory at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, CA (September 12, 2021) – Wayne Taylor Racing brought home the win from pole position on Sunday, scoring Acura’s third consecutive DPi victory and pole at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The #10 Acura ARX-05 prototype completed an issue-free race in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor, leading 62 of 118 total laps, with the win extending the pair’s lead in the overall IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to 100 points over their nearest rivals.

Meyer Shank Racing completed a front-row-lockout for Acura yesterday, with Dane Cameron qualifying second in the #60 ARX-05. However, the team opted to follow an alternate strategy in today’s race and that decision, despite vaulting them to the lead for 53 laps of the event, left Cameron and co-driver Olivier Pla just shy of the podium in fourth place at the finish.

Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In the production-based GTD division, Magnus with Archangel’s John Potter and Andy Lally led the way for the manufacturer in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo after incidents befell the other two NSX GT3s in the race. Lally and Potter scored another top-ten finish, in ninth place.

HPD GT3 Academy graduate Jacob Abel’s IMSA debut was short lived after being collected by an out-of-control #27 on the opening lap of the event. Though the team tried to repair their #76 machine, it was unfortunately day done for Abel and co-driver Mario Farnbacher. Similarly, Gradient Racing’s pair of Till Bechtolsheimer and Marc Miller suffered multiple contacts with other cars, leaving the pair four laps down in 11th place.

IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca Acura Results
1st overall – #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque
4th overall – #60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
Drivers Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla
9th GTD – Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers John Potter, Andy Lally
11th GTD – Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers Till Bechtolsheimer, Marc Miller
13th GTD – Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Drivers Jacob Abel, Mario Farnbacher–not running

DPi Manufacturers’ Championship Drivers’ Championship (after 8 of 10 rounds)

  1. Cadillac 2,924 1. Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor 2,765
  2. Acura 2,868 2. Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr 2,665
  3. Mazda 2,709 3. Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell 2,597

Quotes
Ricky Taylor (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05) won from pole with co-driver Filipe Albuquerque: “Everybody before the weekend was saying ‘the Jaws music is playing, they’re under pressure now.’ But we felt like we were in control. We’ve had strong cars and the team’s been executing well, things haven’t quite been going our way. But we’re the only ones that knew it. Today, I was really proud of the team. They responded to the ‘Jaws music’ and the pressure by executing perfectly. The car was dominant. Everyone at HPD and Acura worked really hard between the races to give us the best possible engine control and power. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 boys changed the car from the traditional setup. We made lots of developments. The car was creative and well-thought-out, and it showed on track today. This is one of those wins that we have to remember and strive to repeat in the future.”

Andy Lally (#44 Magnus with Archangel NSX GT3 Evo) finished ninth: “Our Acura NSX was really good today! We kept our nose clean. John [Potter, co-driver] did an awesome job to start the race and keep it clean despite a pretty big accident right ahead of us. He made up more ground than almost any other driver during his stint, that was definitely the biggest positive for us today.”

Kelvin Fu (Director, Program Management, Honda Performance Development) on today’s win at Laguna Seca: “It was another great weekend at Laguna Seca for Acura. It’s great to win the race, and pole, for our third year in a row—massive congratulations for Wayne Taylor Racing for that victory. And, overall, it was a great day for HPD, taking the IndyCar victory as well at Portland with Alex Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing. It was unfortunate that two of our three Acura NSX GTD racers ultimately had their chances halted by contact, but we’re looking forward to going to Long Beach and hopefully we’ll get strong performances all-around at our home race.”

Acura IMSA SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca Fast Facts
Today’s win is the 18th Laguna Seca victory for Acura Motorsports, the third consecutive DPi win, and the fifth Acura win in IMSA competition at the circuit since 2018. Acura has more sports car racing victories at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca than at any other circuit.

Acura sports car racing victories over the years at Laguna Seca have come in the Camel Lights, LMP1, LMP2, Prototype, GTD and DPi categories.

It is the third DPi win of the season for Wayne Taylor Racing and drivers Ricky Taylor and Filipe Alburquerque. The pair lead the IMSA Drivers’ Championship standings with 2,765 points to 2,665 for the Actions Express duo of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.

Next
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next travels to Long Beach, California for the Sept. 25 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Palou Takes Honda to the Pole in Portland


Alex Palou claims his career-first INDYCAR pole in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland
Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon complete Honda sweep of top three starting positions
Honda drivers, teams take five of top six in qualifying

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 11, 2021) – In the first half of a Saturday afternoon qualifying sweep for Honda and Acura, championship contender Alex Palou led a 1-2-3 NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying effort for Honda at the Grand Prix of Portland. Further down the Pacific coast in Monterey, California, Filipe Albuquerque led a 1-2 Acura lockout of the front row for Sunday’s Monterey Sports Car Championship round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The pole was the first for Palou in his second season of INDYCAR competition, and the fifth for Honda in 2021. Since winning the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Palou has either led or run second in the championship points standings, and is currently second, nine points out of first, with three races remaining.

In his best qualifying performance of the season, Alexander Rossi will start his Honda Dallara from the outside of the front row, second, for Andretti Autosport. Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time series champion Scott Dixon, completed the 1-2-3 qualifying sweep for Honda in Portland. Graham Rahal and Colton Herta also advanced to the final “fast six” qualifying round, as Honda drivers and teams claimed five of the top six qualifying positions for Sunday’s 110-lap race.

Grand Prix of Portland Honda Qualifying Results
1st Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
2ndAlexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
3rd Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
5th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
6th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
8th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
9th Oliver Askew Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
10th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
13th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
17th Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda
20th Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
21st Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
23rd Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
24th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
25th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
R – Rookie

Quotes
Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Pole qualifier, his first career pole in NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition: “It’s amazing [to be on the pole], I’m super happy. My first pole in INDYCAR, it’s the best start to the weekend we could possibly have. The #10 PNC Bank Honda was really good. We’re starting from the best position, and we have a really fast car, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race. We’re fully laser focused for these final three races and to bring the championship home.”

Oliver Askew (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) Qualified ninth in his Honda debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “It’s fantastic to be back in an Indy car and running with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan organization. I also had a lot of help from HPD getting on the simulator, they moved their schedule around so I get run on the sim prior to coming here. I feel pretty good about qualifying in the top 10 [ninth], and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Fast Facts
This weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland marks the return of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES to the 1.967-mile PIR road course after a one-year absence, as last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a strong all-round qualifying showing for the manufacturers, Honda drivers claimed eight of top 12 grid positions after the first round of INDYCAR “knockout” qualifying, with five Honda’s advancing to the “Fast Six” final round and then sweeping the top-three starting positions for tomorrow’s 110-lap race.

Where to Watch Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland
Live network television coverage Sunday’s 110-lap race from Portland International Raceway starts at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the INDYCAR Radio Network, and carried by SiriusXM satellite radio.

Honda Racing social media content and video links from this weekend can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).

All-Acura Front Row at Laguna Seca


Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 scores fourth consecutive front row start
Filipe Albuquerque notches first IMSA pole position
Meyer Shank Racing, Dane Cameron complete Acura front row sweep

MONTEREY, CA (September 11, 2021) – Wayne Taylor Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque scored his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pole position, and the team’s third pole of the season for Acura, in qualifying at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The reigning Rolex 24 at Daytona winners for Albuquerque and co-driver Ricky Taylor will lead the pack around the 2.238-mile track in their #10 Acura ARX-05 prototype, followed by fellow Acura DPi drivers Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla in the Meyer Shank Racing machine.

The pole position marks the Wayne Taylor Racing team’s fourth consecutive front-row start in 2021, and gives Honda Performance Development a double front row sweep between IMSA and INDYCAR today—following Alex Palou and Alexander Rossi’s front-row lockout in qualifying for the Portland Grand Prix.

In the production-based GTD class, HPD GT3 Academy graduate Jacob Abel led the pack in his very first IMSA WeatherTech weekend. The 20-year-old is partnered with HPD factory driver Mario Farnbacher for his debut in the Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo. The pair will start the race in the 11th position, just one ahead of Magnus with Archangel’s John Potter and Andy Lally in their #44 NSX.

Opting to save tires on the high-degradation Laguna Seca track, Gradient Racing opted not to run in the grid-setting qualifying session and will start the race 13th.
.
Laguna Seca Qualifying Results
1st overall – #10 Filipe Albuquerque, Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
2nd overall – #60 Dane Cameron, Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 DPi
11th GTD – #76 Jacob Abel, Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
12th GTD – #44 John Potter, Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 Evo
13th GTD – #66 Till Bechtolsheimer, Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo

Quotes
Filipe Albuquerque (#10 Wayne Taylor Racing ARX-05) pole qualifier; race co-driver will be Ricky Taylor: “Pole Position at Laguna: it’s such an iconic track and I’m really happy about it. Starting in P1 at this track is super important. Not only for the championship points, but for the run down to Turn 1. It’s important to be on the inside because starting on the outside here can be really tricky. I’m happy for the team, they did an amazing job. I’m happy for Wayne Taylor, for Konica Minolta, for Acura. We are on it. But still, this is just ten percent of the weekend. Tomorrow is the most important part. We need a clean race. No mistakes. And grab the opportunity with a fast car.”

Jacob Abel (#76 Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) qualified 11th, making his IMSA WeatherTech debut: “It’s been a pretty steep learning curve in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. But, the car has been really good in practice and we have really good race pace, and our qualifying, when we were doing simulations in practice, was also really good. Going into qualifying itself, I just got trapped a little bit in traffic and couldn’t find the perfect gap—and that’s really crucial in this series, since you only get five or six laps. It’s not where we want to [start], but we’ll take it and hopefully improve. I’m so pumped for tomorrow. It’s going to be a challenge, the longest race I’ve ever done—even though it’s not very long in IMSA terms—but it’s long for me. It should be good, a lot can happen in two hours and 40 minutes.”

Kelvin Fu (Director Program Management, Honda Performance Development) on today’s double front row sweep for Acura at Laguna Seca and Honda at Portland: “We had a great qualifying session here in Laguna, congrats to both Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing on their front row starts. This is in addition to the qualifying results in Portland, where we locked out the front row and scored five of the top six starting positions. Just a great day for everyone at HPD!”

Fast Facts
Albuquerque’s pole position is the third consecutive DPi pole for Acura at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Both prior poles were converted to victories.
Acura Motorsports and HPD have a long, successful history at Laguna Seca, recording 17 victories – more than at any other racing circuit – in Camel Lights, LMP1, LMP2, Prototype, GTD and DPi competition from 1992-2020.

Where to Watch the Monterey SportsCar Championship
Live US television coverage from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins at 4 p.m. EDT Sunday on the NBC Sports Network.  Live flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Sports Gold TrackPass, on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App with NBCSN authentication.

Fans can listen to audio commentary via IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and XM Radio; and follow the race live via in-car cameras, IMSA Radio and timing & scoring available worldwide on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile device App.

Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from Laguna Seca can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).

NHRA–Reading results

Top Fuel — Billy Torrence, 3.720 seconds, 326.08 mph def. Justin Ashley, 3.784 seconds, 313.22 mph. 

Funny Car — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.926, 330.23 def. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.946, 328.54. 

Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.578, 208.30 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.604, 206.73. 

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.775, 196.87 def. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.870, 197.16. 

Top Alcohol Dragster — Matthew Cummings, 5.211, 276.69 def. Robin Samsel, 5.267, 268.60. 

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.445, 269.51 def. Sean Bellemeur, Camaro, 5.489, 266.48. 

Competition Eliminator — Frank Aragona, Roadster, 9.652, 88.29 def. Chip Ippolito, Chevy S-10, Foul – Red Light. 

Super Stock — Bobby Fazio, Ford Mustang, 10.627, 122.54 def. Jonathan Allegrucci, Dodge Challenger, Foul – Red Light. 

Stock Eliminator — Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.456, 117.88 def. Allison Doll, Pontiac Firebird, 10.580, 123.96. 

Super Comp — Taylor Iacono, Dragster, 8.919, 175.14 def. Lee Ream, Dragster, 8.930, 174.37. 

Super Gas — Jason Kenny, Chevy Corvette, 9.899, 166.17 def. Bill Nuzzo, Ford Mustang, 9.882, 120.88. 

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Tom Martino, Dragster, 6.620, 195.31 def. Alan Kenny, Dragster, 6.236, 219.44.

Johnson Jr. Drives Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to Winner’s Circle at Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil

  • Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car roared to a win at the Mopar Express Lane Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway to launch the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “Countdown to the Championship” seven-event playoff series
  • Johnson earned his 23rd career Funny Car victory while competing on behalf of sidelined DSR pilot Matt Hagan 
  • Johnson’s victory moves Hagan’s Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat entry into the No. 2 position in the Funny Car championship standings and within one round win of the points lead
  • No. 5 qualifier Ron Capps’ quarterfinal appearance in the first of seven NHRA playoff series events puts his DSR NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat third in the Funny Car championship battle
  • No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon drove his Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the quarterfinals to move him up a spot in the Funny Car standings into seventh
  • DSR Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett piloted her No. 8 seeded Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster to the quarterfinals and leaves Maple Grove Raceway fifth in the championship battle

September 12, 2021, Mohnton, Pennsylvania — A Mopar machine roared its way to the winner’s circle at the Mopar Express Lane Nationals Presented by Pennzoil as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) kicked off the “Countdown to the Championship” seven-event playoff series at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania. Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. powered the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victory as a reserve driver for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) after defending Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan was unable to compete as he continues his recovery from COVID-19.

In rising to the occasion, Johnson secured his 23rd career win and took home the Wally trophy while the points earned from the victory were awarded to DSR and Hagan. The result moved the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat entry from fifth to second place on the Funny Car leaderboard with six events left to battle for the world championship.

“Congratulations to Tommy Johnson Jr. for his win at the Mopar Express Lane Nationals Presented by Pennzoil,” said Mark Bosanac, North America Vice President, Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care. “It’s great to see Tommy step in and skillfully drive to the winner’s circle at a key event representing the Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands.”  

Johnson, who finished the 2020 NHRA season runner-up to Hagan in the Funny Car world championship and who had not since been behind the wheel of race car, slipped into the driver’s seat of the HEMI®-powered DSR entry and promptly drove it to the second quickest pass in Friday’s provisional qualifying session with a 3.895-second run at 333.82 mph to record his career-best speed and put himself in the No. 4 position for eliminations.

From there, Johnson and the Mopar team made their way through the rounds, defeating Jim Campbell, DSR teammate Ron Capps and J.R. Todd to advance to a final showdown against John Force. With a solid 3.926-second elapsed time run at 330.23 mph, Johnson turned on the win lights ahead of Force’s 3.946-second pass. 

“It’s pretty amazing, actually,” said Johnson. “I got a call a week ago after I’ve been sitting on the sidelines for 10 months, saying ‘we need you.’ To come back and up your game that good, I mean, (Crew Chief) Dickie (Venables) and the guys have been racing all season, while I haven’t been doing anything. I thank them for the opportunity. They rose to the challenge and dove in and made me fit in this car and made everything happen.”

Watching the action live on FS1 from home, Hagan was pleased with the result for both his stand-in and his team.

“I am so proud of my guys,” said Hagan. “They got it done today. T.J. did a phenomenal job in the race car. He’s a wheelman. We battled each other the last two years and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that he could get it done. Everybody adapted to adversity and the driver change and I’m just so proud of what these guys accomplished today. We weren’t able to race in Indy and it was a setback, but that just goes to show, you can dig right back.”

The points earned by Johnson’s efforts puts Hagan within one round win of the Funny Car points lead.

“I can’t say thank you enough to T.J. for stepping in and bringing his A-game,” added Hagan, who awaits clearance to return to competition for the balance of the playoffs.

DSR teammate Capps, who came into this first playoff event of 2021 as the top seed in the hunt for the championship after a runner-up finish at last weekend’s Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals, qualified his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat No. 5 and drove it to a holeshot win over Blake Alexander in the opening round. For his quarterfinal match up, Capps found himself paired with Johnson and while he took the early lead, the eventual event winner edged him at the finish to dethrone him from the points lead. Capps will drive his HEMI-powered machine to the next event ranked third in points.

No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon began his race day by taking his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car for a solid 3.908 seconds/318.62 mph bye-run win to advance to the quarterfinals where he would battle No. 7 seed Todd. Pedregon put in another respectable pass at 3.981 seconds but it wasn’t enough to pass Todd and his 3.931-second pass to take the win. With this weekend’s performance, the Cruz Pedregon Racing team moved up a spot in the standings to seventh place.

In the hunt for a Top Fuel championship for a sixth consecutive season, Leah Pruett began this playoff series ranked fourth in the points standings and qualified her white and blue Mopar dragster next to DSR teammate and No. 7 seed Antron Brown. While both had traction issues, Pruett stayed with it for the round win. That set up a quarterfinal battle against No.1 qualifier Brittany Force, against whom Pruett lost traction halfway through the run to end her hopes of advancing further. The result puts her Mopar Dodge//SRT dragster fifth in the Top Fuel standings. 

The “Countdown to the Championship” continues next weekend with the second of the seven NHRA playoff series events, the Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept 17-19.

ADDITIONAL NOTES and QUOTES
 
FUNNY CAR:
Tommy Johnson Jr., DSR Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.895 seconds at 333.82 mph) 
Round 1: (0.083-second reaction time, 3.892 seconds at 333.58 mph) defeats no. 11 Jim Campbell (0.164/ no time/ no speed)

Round 2: (0.050/3.892/332.02) defeats No. 5 Ron Capps (0.047/3.924/331.12)

Round 3: (0.050/3.902/331.53) defeats No. 7 J.R. Todd (0.078/3.905/332.75)

Round 4: (0.043/3.926/330.23) defeats No. 12 John Force (0.026/3.946/328.54)

“After Q1 I thought we had a pretty good chance to win this race. It’s hard to sit out that long. These cars accelerate so fast and to keep up and keep ahead of the car and be able to drive them good. Each run, it just got more and more comfortable, and as the day went on I kept getting more relaxed and more relaxed. By the final round I was like, “oh, okay, There’s nothing to it now.” I was astonished when I threw the parachutes and saw the win light come on. I just burst out laughing because I couldn’t believe it happened. I thought, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding.’ We’ve come a long way in a week.”

It’s a really good car and a really good team, and it makes it easier for the driver to just jump in that thing. I’ve known the guys from the shop. We always interacted with each other so I know I’ve known a lot of these guys for a long time. And so it wasn’t like I didn’t know anybody on the team, so that helped a lot. One of the things that made it real easy was they went back to the shop and grabbed the seat out of my car from last year and they put it in and I fit almost perfectly, It was about as smooth a transition as you could have to make this whole thing happen. Two weeks ago sitting at home, I didn’t think I’d have a trophy from this season, and to come out here and get one this weekend… this race will mean a ton to me later on.”
 
Ron Capps, DSR NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.896 seconds at 328.86 mph)
Round 1: (0.069-second reaction time, 3.929 seconds at 327.82) defeats No. 10 Blake Alexander (0.080/5.500/131.65)
Round 2: (0.047/3.924/331.12) loss to No. 4 Tommy Johnson Jr. (0.050/3.892/332.02)

“We hope that (Matt) Hagan returns to competition soon. What else can you say about Tommy Johnson. He was my teammate for several years at Don Prudhomme’s and then over here at DSR. You’re talking about one of the best drivers ever in Funny Car and to be sitting out this long and jump in and seamlessly keep that car running the way it is is amazing. We didn’t have lane choice, but that’s no excuse. These two lanes are great. Like I told (crew chiefs) Guido (Dean Antonelli) and John Medlen, you pat them on the butt and say great weekend. We went down the track each run under power. We did have a little hiccup Q3, but showed that NAPA Know How I always talk about today on race day with two great 3.92 laps. We feel like we can win every weekend and it’s getting tough. Everybody has that Countdown fever. That playoff fever and I can’t wait to get to Charlotte no matter what the points are. I’ve got a great feeling.”
   
Cruz Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.875 seconds at 326.00 mph)
Round 1: (0.103-second reaction time, 3.908 seconds at 318.62 mph) wins on a BYE run

Round 2: (0.083/3.981/315.86) loss to No. 7 J.R. Todd (0.068/3.931/328.86)

“After qualifying No. 1 with a great 3.87 (second run) at 327 mph, we went on to run a 3.90 in the first round, and then lost a close race to the DHL car (J.R. Todd) in the quarterfinals with a 3.98. I scrubbed a little bit of time off it with the way I was staged. I inadvertently rolled in a little further than I would have liked and that affected the timing clocks, so it probably ran more like a 3.94 or 3.95, but overall it was a good event for our team. 

“We wanted to go further than that, obviously, but this is the first of the seven countdown races. We did move up a spot (in the standings) so we’re headed in the right direction. If we can continue this great qualifying performance we’ve showed lately, that’s only going to bode well for our chances moving forward. There’s a lot of great racing left. The tracks are going to be fast and it’s going to be a great opportunity to continue our work. It’s coming together at the right time for us. We’re still fairly new as a team as this is our 14th race together. We’re still jelling and there’s still some areas we can improve on, myself included, to be a little sharper. We’ll get ready for the Charlotte race at a great facility, a modern racetrack that is super smooth. It’s going to be a little warmer and we’ll look forward to making some great runs.”

 
TOP FUEL:
Leah Pruett, DSR Pennzoil Mopar Dodge//SRT Dragster  
(No. 8 Qualifier – 3.733 seconds at 323.89 mph)
Round 1:  (0.063-second reaction time, 3.930 seconds at 219.44 mph) defeats No. 7 Antron Brown (0.053/5.755/121.47)

Round 2:  (0.098/4.025/227.23) loss to No. 1 Brittany Force (0.076/3.704/334.48)

“The thing about momentum is that you want it to last as long as possible and we felt like we had it coming into race day. Matching up against our teammate, we expected a great race from starting line to finish line and we smoked the tires way far out and did a great job pedaling to get the win light. We made some adjustments on the tire spin going into E2 against the No. 1 qualifier and we thought we had it tuned up the right way, but we ended up smoking the tires down track and at this very moment we feel like we have a gremlin in this system and we have a few days to figure it out. We’ll work hard to fine tune things for Charlotte and the points will stay tight was we’re early in this Countdown and we’re ready to make up for this weekend in Charlotte.”
 
NHRA Championship Points Standings:
Following the Mopar Express Lane Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway
 
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. John Force – 2,172 (3)

2. Matt Hagan/Tommy Johnson Jr. (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,167 (2/1)

3. Ron Capps (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,157 (1)
4. J.R. Todd – 2,133 (1)
5. Robert Hight – 2,121 (2)

6. Bob Tasca III – 2,106 (2)
7. Cruz Pedregon (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat) – 2,083 (1)
8. Alexis DeJoria – 2,063

9. Tim Wilkerson– 2,048 (1)
10. Blake Alexander– 2,032
 
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses)
1. Steve Torrance – 2,179 (8)
2. Brittany Force – 2,167 (1)

3. Billy Torrence – 2,137 (2)

4. Justin Ashley – 2,124

5. Leah Pruett (Mopar Dodge//SRT) – 2,113 (1)
6. Antron Brown – 2,103 (1)
7. Shawn Langdon – 2,102
8. Mike Salinas – 2,078
9. Clay Millican – 2,067
10. Doug Kalitta – 2,032

chevy racing–nhra–reading post race

CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION MOPAR EXPRESS LANE NHRA NATIONALS MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY, READING, PENNSYLVANIA SEPT. 12, 2021                                                                                                    Chevrolet makes big moves in Countdown to Championship opener • Greg Anderson ties Warren Johnson’s Pro Stock wins record at 97• John Force takes Funny Car points lead with runner-up finish• Brittany Force sets Top Fuel record with seventh No. 1 qualifier in a row

READING, Pa. (Sept. 12, 2021) – Greg Anderson had heard “When are you going to get the monkey off your back?” ad infinitum since hoisting the Pro Stock Wally on May 2 at Atlanta Dragway.
The four-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock champion answered that question at Maple Grove Raceway, winning the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals to tie his former boss for the most career victories in the class at 97.
Now Anderson, driver of the HendrickCar.com Chevrolet Camaro SS, will be asked “When are you going to win the big one?” He has a succinct answer.“It’s coming,” said Anderson, who defeated fellow champion Erica Enders in the final.
“It feels pretty cool to make some history today. After the Atlanta race we were on a roll and I kind of dropped the ball and couldn’t find a way to the winner’s circle,” said Anderson, who claimed victory No. 97 in his 164th final. “It just feels fantastic. To tie Warren Johnson for the wins record, that’s saying a lot.”
The opening round of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship also saw John Force move to the top of the Funny Car standings with a runner-up finish in the PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Camaro SS. Force, the No. 11 qualifier, defeated teammate Robert Hight, the No. 2 qualifier in the Automobile Club of Southern California Camaro SS, in the semifinals.
Brittany Force set a NHRA Top Fuel season record with her seventh consecutive No. 1 qualifier – and ninth in 14 races – with a 3.660-second pass in the Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster. She also set the track speed record at 335.57 mph.
Force, who was the No. 1 qualifier the last time NHRA competed at Maple Grove Raceway in 2019, was tied with Tony Schumacher (2005) for the most top qualifiers in a row in one season. Gary Beck holds the most Top Fuel No. 1s in a row with nine, set in the 1982-83 seasons.
Force, second in the playoff standings, fell in the semifinals when the dragster lost power with a cylinder out.
Enders, the winner at the U.S. Nationals a week earlier and the No. 1 qualifier in the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro SS, defeated Rookie of the Year candidate Dallas Glenn, driving the RAD Torque Systems Camaro SS. Anderson, the No. 2 qualifier, beat Troy Coughlin Jr. in the JEGS.comCamaro SS on a holeshot in the semifinals.
Anderson, who expanded his championship points lead over Enders with the win, had recorded three runner-up finishes after the Atlanta victory in pursuit of Johnson’s mark. Anderson started in drag racing as a crew member and later crew chief for Johnson during four of his six Pro Stock championship seasons. John Force is the all-time NHRA leader with 154 victories.
“Great day to get the Hendrick Automotive Group their first win and more importantly Rick Hendrick; I don’t think he’s ever won a drag race Wally. Well, now he has,” Anderson said.
Round 2 of the Countdown to the Championship will be contested Sept. 17-19 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. FOX will telecast eliminations from the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals live at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19.
An interview with Pro Stock winner GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier, 97th career victory in 164th final, surpassed 1,400 career elimination rounds, third win of season, points leader):
BECAUSE ERICA WAS IN THE OTHER LANE WAS IT MORE SPECIAL?“It’s always special. She’s awesome; she does a great job behind the wheel of that race car, and she wins so many races on a holeshot. You’ve got to run your own game up there. You just have to forget who is in that other lane and you’re racing that Christmas Tree and that racetrack. If you do anything other than that, you’re just going to screw up. I was able to focus on that and do a good job in the final. It was my turn today. I guess it hadn’t been my turn. It’s been a tough run the last few races, but I haven’t been that far off. I just had to stick to my game and keep doing what I was doing. It feels pretty cool to make some history today. Obviously, I respect Warren Johnson; I learned a ton from him. That was my other life, this is a new life and we’re tied. It just feels fantastic.”
YOU GUYS OBVIOUSLY MADE ADJUSTMENTS AND MADE THE RIGHT ONES FOR THE FINAL ROUND.“We made a great run first round and then slipped a little second round. Third round we got a little worse yet, so the boys had to make some big changes for the final round. We hit it on the nose. It’s so hard to win out here and the competition is so great, you just can’t make mistakes. We did not make one in the final and neither did the driver and that’s what it takes. I have a great new sponsor on the side of my race car. I believe this is his (Rick Hendrick) first drag race Wally. Pretty good day for me and the Hendrick Automotive Group.”
WHAT DID YOU FEEL LIKE WHEN YOU SAW THE WIN LIGHT?
“I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. So many races in a row that that light did not come on. You think you’ve got everything going for you and everything is going swimmingly and the light just come on in the final round. There’s nothing better than when that light comes on in the final round of an NHRA national event. That’s what we look forward to; that’s why we do this. It’s everything to us. Huge day. To tie Warren Johnson for the wins record, that’s saying a lot. I have a lot of history with him. It’s a cool story. I’m going to my home track of Charlotte and I can’t think of a better place to break the record. You can’t break the record until you tie it and I just finally got it done today. Starting the playoffs on a high note. There are a lot of great cars in the class and anybody can win, but I think deep down we all know that Erica is going to be the one to beat, that you’re going to have to get around if you’re going to win the championship. She doesn’t make mistakes. I’m so proud of this team that I race for and I’m having a blast. I’m 60 years old and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in a race car.”
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT:
TOP FUEL:
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 1 qualifier, fell in semifinals): “The first race of the Countdown is behind us and our Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy team is in a better position than we were coming into this race. We picked up bonus points and made a semifinal round appearance. We kept our number two position and plan to step it up in Charlotte.”
FUNNY CAR:
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK/BLUEDEF PLATINUM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 11 qualifier, fell final): “Well, we got the points lead. That’s important. Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi, they figured this PEAK Chevy our and really gave me a heck of a car today. The whole PEAK team, they worked hard, put things together and all I had to do was drive the car. It was fun today, the crowd, Maple Grove Raceway up here in Pennsylvania. Great way to start the Countdown. Now we get to do it all over again next weekend.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier, fell semifinals to John Force): “It’s tough out there in Funny Car. I knew it was going to be. This Countdown is going to be a fight to the end. Not a bad weekend for this Auto Club Chevy team. We gained some points, went some rounds and made some consistent runs. That’s what we need – to be consistent, to be aggressive and make good runs. Luckily, we get a chance to keep up the momentum right away with the race in Charlotte next weekend.”
PRO STOCK:TROY COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 6 qualifier; fell in semifinals): “It turned out to be a great weekend. The guys had the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro running very strong and they certainly made the right adjustments for race day. The car was very fast. It’s a fun time of year with the Countdown underway and it always a good feeling when you’re able to move up the standings. My crew chief, Mark Ingersoll, along with Kyle Bates, Eric Luzinski, Kelly Murphy and Steven Hurley, they know what needs to be done to put us in a position to make a run at the title. This Elite team has been doing exactly that for years.”
KYLE KORETSKY, KB RACING, LUCAS OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “It just shows that the KB guys give equal power to everybody out here that rents from there and they make some serious power. Everything felt good going down the track. I go to every single race looking to win, but I’m going to take every round one by one. It’s great to be home; I’ve got lots of friends and family here.”

chevy racing–indycar–portland post race

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PORTLAND, OREGON TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP SEPTEMBER. 12, 2021
JOSEF NEWGARDEN TOPS CHEVY CONTINGENT AT PORTLAND PORTLAND (September 12,2021) – Two-time NTT INDYCAR Series champion Josef Newgarden battled from his 18th place starting position to finish fifth in today’s Grand Prix of Portland on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway that opened in 1961. The top-five finish keeps Newgarden in championship contention leaving Oregon third in the standings, 34 points out of the lead with two races remaining in the season. Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, finished a disappointing 14th when ill-timed yellow flags jumbled strategies for everyone. O’Ward is in the thick of the championship hunt leaving Portland second in points, 25 behind race winner and points leader Alex Palou. A multi-car crash in turn one, lap one jumbled the running order significantly that NTT INDYCAR officials had to carefully sort out prior to the restart. Fourth-place starter Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driver Felix Rosenqvist was relegated to the back of the field with the other three starters from the front two rows of the field. With great strategy, Rosenqvist battled back to finish sixth. Rookie-of-the-year contender Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, finished ninth to give Chevrolet three of the top-nine finishers. Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon completed the podium. Team Chevy drivers finished as follows:5th – Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske6th – Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow Mclaren Sp9th – Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske14th – Pato O’ward, No. 5 Arrow Mclaren Sp16th – Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force17th – Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek18th – Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing19th – Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin21st – Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske25th – Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing26th – Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing Team Chevy drivers in top—10 point standings:2nd    Pato O’Ward               3rd    Josef Newgarden8th    Will Power9th    Simon Pagenaud Next Sunday, September 19, 2021, the Chevrolet NTT INDYCAR teams and drivers head to the scenic Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey California. DRIVER QUOTES: FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH“Portland weekend is over and was eventful as always; especially in Turn 1, where we knew it was going to be crazy. We got unlucky at the start of the race when we avoided the collision that was about to happen in Turn 1. I didn’t really have a choice but to go straight. The way the rules are written, you get penalized if you go straight compared to the guys who stayed on the track. I couldn’t have really done anything so it was out of my hands, which is a shame. We were in third and came out 18th after the reorder. The No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP team did a great job. We didn’t let that get us down, kept pushing, had really good pit stops, pit sequences, and the in and out laps were nailed every time. We kept getting ahead of cars each pit sequence and ended up with a sixth-place finish. I think we had a different kind of pace this weekend and it’s coming together more and more every weekend. Let’s ride out this wave and get some podiums the next two weeks.” SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO.3 PPG TEAM PENSKE  CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “Pretty good day for us in the PPG Chevy. I led my first INDYCAR races so that was pretty cool. I thought we might get in the top-three, but unfortunately a mid-race yellow put us behind the two-stoppers. Our strategy was pretty aggressive, potentially put us in the top-six or so, but made a couple of little errors that cost us on the out-lap. Getting better and better. Leading our first laps just shows our promise. Good points. We will keep pressing on to Laguna and Long Beach in the next couple of weeks.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET FINISHED  14TH“Today was obviously very tough. It just wasn’t our day. We got unlucky with some of the yellows and this race favored the alternate strategy, which you can see when you look at the results. It just goes to show how exciting of a sport INDYCAR is at every race. We gave it everything we had all weekend. The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP crew was solid on every stop. We are up against some great competitors for the championship but we will come back the next two races and fight down to the last lap in Long Beach.” 
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET): “Obviously a bit of a sore day here for us at Portland International Raceway. Man, it looked like it was going to be a great day and after avoiding the chaos at the start and getting the lucky break with the reordering and getting fifth out of that, it seemed like we were going to do really good. Unfortunately, we were on the three-stopper with Pato and Ericsson and those guys and the yellows fell at exactly the wrong time for the three-stoppers like us and at the perfect time for the guys that suffered at the beginning of the race on the two-stopper and we could never recover from that. On top of that, we got tangled with Oliver Askew – more of my fault than his fault – and we were fighting with Veekay and he ended up just not quite giving me enough room to be able to make the lap. I was on the curb and just tapped the brakes when I saw him turn and just caught his left rear tire trying to get out of it. Just a shame we’re not getting much out of this weekend when we clearly had some pace, had a pretty decent qualifying and just a shame that we couldn’t transform the essay and we couldn’t get some good points again.”
DALTON Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA AJ FOYT RACING, ChevroleT, FINISHED 26TH: “I’m so gutted for the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevy team. We were having a great race going and got a little lucky off the start with that melee and the way that the order was reshuffled. Gained some good positions and was able to hold on and be competitive. The pace felt strong compared to where we were in qualifying, so really happy with that. It’s just a shame how this race ended early for us. Looks like we had an electrical issue. We haven’t diagnosed that yet, still waiting for the car to come back. We’ll figure out what it was and make sure it doesn’t happen again. This has been a tough weekend with it kind of being up and down for qualifying, things like that. The race performance, was happy with that. That’s a positive we have to take out of this weekend and just diagnose the mechanical issue and go from there. ”  

CORVETTE RACING AT LAGUNA SECA: No. 4 Corvette C8.R Win Quotes

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2021) – Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy won for Corvette Racing in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday, the first victory for the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R since Detroit in June.
It also marked Corvette Racing’s first victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca since 2014. Sunday’s race marked 23 consecutive years of the program competing at the famed circuit near the Monterey Peninsula.
Milner drove the first 58 minutes of the two-hour, 40-minute race before handing over to Tandy, who drove a double-stint to the end. He finished a lap clear of the GTLM championship leaders Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. Each car in the category made two stops due to a two-hour, 26-minute, green-flag run to the finish.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: “It’s awesome… finally! We finally get a points win for the No. 4 Corvette. We’ve been close so many times and just had problems. To finally get it is awesome. Nick did an awesome job there at the end. He didn’t have A/C for a bit but he did a great job soldiering through. We’ve been close and had great racecars all year long. Just little things here and there caused us to just miss out. It feels good to finally get that monkey off our back and use this momentum going forward.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER: “The Corvette was fantastic. It’s finally great to finally get a points-paying win. We’ve run so well at so many places, it was frustrating not to get the final result. To finish it off here and stand on the top step to get big points is a great feeling.”

JOHN FORCE PUTS PEAK CHEVY IN CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITHRUNNER-UP FINISH AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY

READING, Pa. (Sept. 12, 2021) – John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car made their 260th final round appearance Sunday at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway and come away from the weekend with the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series points lead. Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team as well as Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Camaro team had semifinal finishes.
Following a difficult two days of qualifying that put them in the No. 11 spot, John Force and his PEAK Chevy team found their race day mojo. In the first round of eliminations, Force handled his Chevy hot rod to a 3.875-second pass at 334.65 mph to defeat most recent event winner Tim Wilkerson’s 3.892 at 322.81. In the second round, Force took on Paul Lee and managed to run an event best time of 3.861-seconds and speed of 334.65 mph to out-run Lee’s 3.909 at 333.99.
The second-round victory would line the 16-time champion up against three-time champion and president of John Force Racing, Robert Hight. It would be a close drag race with both drivers going 3.909-seconds. Force’s reaction time of .054 would give him the win, the points lead and set the stage for a final round against Tommy Johnson Jr.. Filling in for Matt Hagan, Johnson Jr. would go 3.926-seconds at 330.23 mph to better Force’s 3.946 at 328.54.
“Well we got the points lead. That’s important,” Force said. “Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi, they figured this PEAK Chevy out and really gave me a heck of a car today. The whole PEAK team, they worked hard, put things together and all I had to do was drive the car. It was fun today, the crowd, Maple Grove Raceway up here in Pennsylvania, great way to start the Countdown. Now we get to do it all over again next weekend.”
Brittany Force and her David Grubnic and Mac Savage led Flav-R-Pac team opened race day with a bye run thanks to their No. 1 qualifying position and a 13-car field. The track speed and E.T. record holders took full advantage of the pass going 3.655-seconds at 333.49 mph to give them lane choice in the second round. Force would make a 3.704 second run at 334.48 mph to defeat Leah Pruett’s 4.025 at 227.23 after she ran into trouble in the quarterfinals. The win lined her up with eventual race winner Billy Torrence in the semifinals. The Flav-R-Pac dragster would put a cylinder out down track for Force’s 3.777 at 318.84 to come up short to Torrence’s 3.725 at 328.46.
“The first race of the Countdown is behind us and our Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team is in a better position than we were coming into this race,” Force said. “We picked up bonus points and made a semi-final round appearance. We kept our number two position and plan to step it up in Charlotte.”
After entering the day at the No. 2 spot, Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevy team raced their way out of the first round with a 3.889-second pass at 330.72 mph while Cory Lee went 4.239 at 296.37 mph. With the 13-car field, winning in the first round of eliminations gave Hight a bye in the second round. Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham sent the Auto Club Camaro on a 3.880-second run at 332.92 mph and into the semifinals to face owner and CEO John Force. It would be tight side-by-side drag race that came down to reaction time. Hight and his 3.909-second run at 329.42 mph with a reaction time of .084 would be bettered by Force’s 3.909 at 32910 with his reaction time of .056.
“It’s tough out there in Funny Car. I knew it was going to be. This Countdown is going to be a fight to the end,” Hight said. “Not a bad weekend for this Auto Club Chevy team. We gained some points, went some rounds and made some consistent runs. That’s we need. To be consistent, to be aggressive and make good runs. Luckily we get a chance to keep up the momentum right away with the race in Charlotte next weekend.”
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship continues Sept. 17-19 with the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway just outside of Charlotte in Concord, N.C.

Semifinal finish in Reading pushes Pro Stocker Troy Coughlin Jr. up playoff rankings

READING, Pa. (Sept. 12) — Sophomore Pro Stock driver Troy Coughlin Jr. posted a very solid weekend at the 36th annual Mopar NHRA Nationals to start the six-race Countdown to The Championship with some upward momentum. Coughlin made a modest move from seventh to sixth place with his semifinal finish, but due to earlier losses by some of his rivals, he now finds himself just 15 points out of third place.
“It turned out to be a great weekend,” Coughlin said. “The guys had the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro running very strong and they certainly made the right adjustments for race day. The car was very fast.
“It’s a fun time of year with the Countdown underway and it always a good feeling when you’re able to move up the standings. My crew chief, Mark Ingersoll, along with Kyle Bates, Eric Luzinski, Kelly Murphy and Steven Hurley, they know what needs to be done to put us in a position to make a run at the title. This Elite team has been doing exactly that for years.”
It could have been an even better weekend but Coughlin came up a few inches short in a super-close semifinal race against points leader and eventual race winner Greg Anderson, losing by just .001 seconds. Anderson’s win will go down as a holeshot, with his 6.614 at 208.01 mph bettering Coughlin’s 6.613 at 207.05 mph, due to the reaction time difference of .026 to .028.
“We were glued together all the way down the track and it was impossible to tell who crossed the finish line first. I had to look up to see the light on the wall. It was very close. That would have been a nice one to get but, no regrets, we gave it our all.”
After qualifying sixth, Coughlin was certainly amped up for race day, with an average reaction time of .020 in three elimination rounds. It started with a “James Bond” launch of .007 seconds in Round 1 against Vincent Nobile, who shook his tires. Coughlin legged out a 6.588 at 206.76 mph anyway. 
It was a good move as 6.588 was quick enough to give him lane choice over higher-ranked Aaron Stanfield in the quarterfinals, which helped Coughlin post a 6.613 at 205.98 mph to Stanfield’s 6.632 at 207.40 mph. Coughlin’s margin of victory was .0375, or about four feet.
Then came the race against Anderson.
“I could have helped myself and my teammate Erica (Enders, who is second overall) at the same time, but Greg is a legend and he did what needed to be done,” Coughlin said. “But we’ll have another chance next weekend so we’ll focus on that and be ready to do it again.”
The tour moves directly to the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals, to be held Sept. 17-19 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

DiBenedetto Finishes 18th at Richmond


September 12, 2021


Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team had a fast start to Saturday night’s Salute To First Responders at Richmond Raceway but wound up 18th, two laps down at the finish.

DiBenedetto lined up 28th for the start of the 400-lap run on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the United States. Some aggressive driving at the drop of the green flag propelled him to 19th place by the fourth lap.
 
He faded a bit as the opening run went on but still was in 20th place when the Competition Caution flag flew at Lap 32.

The Menards/Dutch Boy Mustang continued to show speed just after restarts, and DiBenedetto drove it up to 13th place by Lap 67 and ended the first Stage in 13th.

Problems on pit road during the caution period following the first Stage led to a second stop and left him 29th for the ensuing restart.

DiBenedetto ran long during the next round of green-flag pit stops and moved to the head of the pack before heading to pit road. When those stops cycled out, he was a lap down. 
 
Despite running in the free pass position for a long stretch, he was never able to rejoin the lead lap and ended up losing a second lap before the checkered flag fell.
 
DiBenedetto said the pit-road issues and a lack of caution periods to work on the Menards/Dutch Boy Mustang led to a disappointing night.
 
“We had a definite top-10 car, had good speed, but the pit-stop issue kind of ended our day where we couldn’t recover since the whole race was green flag,” he said, adding that the response to the track’s tribute to the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001, was the most memorable part of the night. “The patriotism at the track for 9/11 was incredible.  The pre-race ceremonies were touching, and it was awesome to hear fans screaming ‘USA’ in the stands.”
 
Next up for DiBenedetto and the Wood Brothers team is another Saturday night race – a 500-lapper at Bristol Motor Speedway. 
 

CHOMPIN’ IN CHICO: Logan Schuchart Savors Prestigious Gold Cup Title

Kahne, Carrick, Sweet & Schuchart Exchange Lead in 40-Lap “Race of Champions”

CHICO, CA – September 11, 2021 –Saturday’s 67th Gold Cup Race of Champions had just a little bit of everything at Silver Dollar Speedway.

The intensity was overwhelming; the vengeance tasted sweet; the heartbreak felt sour; the elation was pure.

A 40-lapper with four different leaders saw the pace transition from superstar polesitter Kasey Kahne to teenage sensation Tanner Carrick to reigning champion Brad Sweet to redemption-driven Logan Schuchart.

In the end, the hardware went to the Hanover Gang as Schuchart used a little bit of luck to get the lead and then a whole lot of determination to fend off Sweet’s late-race efforts at the Chico, CA 1/4-mile bullring.

Saturday’s score marked the fifth of 2021 for the Shark Racing, Drydene Performance Products #1S, and officially made Schuchart the 21st winningest driver (28 career wins) in World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series history.

“It’s pretty awesome to win such a prestigious race like this in California,” Schuchart said to a nearly sold-out crowd. “Being a Pennsylvania boy growing up out there we’re not used to this kind of stuff, but it’s something I’ve grown accustomed to being on the road and all these different tracks. It’s awesome to get back up here in victory lane.”

For Schuchart, his Gold Cup victory is even sweeter considering the preliminary fireworks. He failed to complete a single lap in Friday’s Feature following contact with fellow full-time Outlaw Brad Sweet, which resulted in a brief post-race altercation. Only 24 hours later and the duo was exchanging sliders for the win.

“Sometimes I wish it was like the NHL and they’d just put us on the front stretch,” Schuchart spoke openly. “I’m happy we got this win the right way, though. Didn’t do anything dumb or put ourselves in a bad spot, we just raced hard the way it’s supposed to be. Winning is the best form of payback.”

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, WA, and Tanner Carrick of Lincoln, CA owned the spotlight first, though. Both drivers in pursuit of their first-career World of Outlaws win led laps and Carrick specifically was in a position to stun the Outlaws at one of his home tracks.

In only his third career World of Outlaws start, the 19-year-old drove by Kahne to lead Lap 9 and was more than ready for a challenge when Sweet passed him on Lap 21. He promptly got up on the wheel and slid right back by the reigning champion and continued to lead four more circuits until disaster struck.

With his tail tank rattling loose and falling off the #83T, Carrick was sent to the work area on Lap 26 and had his chances at a monumental victory ripped away in a devastating fashion.

Schuchart was gifted the lead and proceeded to go slider-for-slider with Sweet until he established command with ten to go. The duo ran through lap traffic down the stretch and it came down to a last-lap bonzai into turn one, which fell just short for Sweet and gave Schuchart a 0.954-second margin of victory.

Capitalizing on Sweet’s hail mary attempt, James McFadden slid by his Kasey Kahne Racing teammate on the final lap to give the Karavan Trailers #9 a second-place finish.

“That was fun,” McFadden excitedly said. “You have to be committed to the top, but there are monster holes and big ledges out here, so it’s a bit sketchy and I like that. I’ve watched this place a ton and played it on the video game, so it’s cool to finally be here and run well. We’ve got a lot of confidence in this team lately.”

For Brad Sweet, who hails from nearby Grass Valley, his wait for the elusive Gold Cup will have to wait another year.

“I think both nights we were just one corner away from winning,” Sweet said. “That’s on me. I need to step up and make some better moves. That was good, hard racing, though, and I’m sure the fans were excited. I hated giving up second on the last lap, so that’s a bit disappointing. One of these years I’ll get a Gold Cup.”

Rounding out the top-five on Saturday night was 10-time champion Donny Schatz in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #15 and early leader Kasey Kahne in the Roth Motorsports #83.

Closing out the top-10 in the 67th running of the Gold Cup was Foresthill, CA’s Ryan Robinson with a career-best sixth, Jason Johnson Racing pilot Carson Macedo in seventh, former Outlaw winner Kyle Hirst in eighth, Sheldon Haudenschild in ninth aboard the NOS Energy Drink #17, and Kraig Kinser in the tenth spot.

UP NEXT (Sat): The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will conclude the west coast swing next Saturday, September 18. The Greatest Show on Dirt will compete for a $21,000 top prize in the Tom Tarlton Classic at Hanford’s Keller Auto Speedway. Fans can BUY TICKETS HERE or watch from home on DIRTVision.

NOS Energy Drink Feature Results (40 Laps) – 1. 1S-Logan Schuchart [2][$10,000]; 2. 9-James McFadden [6][$6,000]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [5][$3,500]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [9][$2,800]; 5. 83-Kasey Kahne [1][$2,500]; 6. 56-Ryan Robinson [3][$2,300]; 7. 41-Carson Macedo [8][$2,200]; 8. O-Kyle Hirst [15][$2,100]; 9. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [13][$2,050]; 10. 11K-Kraig Kinser [7][$2,000]; 11. 88N-DJ Netto [24][$1,600]; 12. 2-David Gravel [11][$1,400]; 13. 21P-Robbie Price [14][$1,200]; 14. 93-Kalib Henry [23][$1,100]; 15. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [10][$1,050]; 16. 37-Mitchell Faccinto [19][$1,000]; 17. 21-Parker Price-Miller [18][$1,000]; 18. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [20][$1,000]; 19. 7S-Jason Sides [22][$1,000]; 20. 83T-Tanner Carrick [4][$1,000]; 21. 16A-Colby Copeland [12][$1,000]; 22. 2K-JJ Ringo [16][$1,000]; 23. 1A-Jacob Allen [21][$1,000]; 24. 38B-Blake Carrick [17][$1,000]. Lap Leaders: Kasey Kahne 1-8; Tanner Carrick 9-20, 22-25; Brad Sweet 21, 27; Logan Schuchart 26, 28-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 88N-DJ Netto[+13]

NEW Championship Standings (68/80 races): 1. Brad Sweet (9,008); 2. David Gravel (-140); 3. Carson Macedo (-188); 4. Donny Schatz (-254); 5. Sheldon Haudenschild (-298); 6. Logan Schuchart (-354); 7. James McFadden (-734); 8. Kraig Kinser (-1036); 9. Brock Zearfoss (-1314); 10. Jacob Allen (-1588).

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