Tanner English Wins 2020 Eibach Springs Rookie of the Year

 
Batavia, OHIO (December 7, 2020) – The 27-year old from Benton, KY, Tanner English finished out the year as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Eibach Springs Rookie of the Year and took ninth in the Series Championship points. English finished the season with two appearances on the Big River Steel Podium and 18 top ten runs. The 2020 Rookie of the Year had this to say, “At the beginning of the year, we set a goal to be a contender for Rookie of the Year. We kept our sights set and never gave up. It wasn’t easy at times but the end result was extremely rewarding. It has always been a dream of mine to run with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and I want to thank the Riggs family for making that possible. It takes a lot to run with this level of competition and without them it wouldn’t have been possible. I also have to give a big thank you to my dad (Terry), Justin, Tanner, Kevin, and my wife Mallorie for all the hard work and support this year. I would also like to thank Lucas Oil and Eibach Springs for putting up the extra contingency money and points fund to run for. We look forward to starting 2021 off with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Golden Isles Speedway, in January and have already begun preparing for a run at the Lucas Oil championship and our sophomore year on the tour!”
English will receive $10,000 in cash for Rookie of the Year honors, including: Earnhardt Technologies Group ($500 Product Certificate), Fast Shafts (a carbon drive shaft), Keyser Manufacturing ($500 Product Certificate), Performance Bodies ( MD3 Nose Graphics), Slicker Graphics (a Full Wrap), Thermo-Tech (Product Certificate), Tiger Rear Ends (Product Certificate), Wrisco Industries Inc. (Ten Sheets of Aluminum). 
English went on to say, “I would like to thank Riggs Drilling Solutions, Best One Tire & Auto Care, Wiles Racing Driveshafts, Allstar Performance, Rocket Chassis, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, Slicker Graphics, Swift Springs, AFCO, Base Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Pro Power Racing Engines, Jay Dickens Racing Engines, Budda Transmissions, Frankland Racing Supply, Peterson Fluid Systems, Awesome Racewear, PRC, Micro-Armor, and Waterman Racing Components.”
Previous Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year:2019 – Tyler Erb
2018 – Mason Zeigler2017 – Hudson O’Neal2016 – Colton Flinner2015 – Brandon Sheppard2014 – Jason Hughes2013 – Billy Moyer Jr.2012 – Jonathan Davenport2011 – Jared Landers2010 – Chris Wall2009 – John Blankenship2008 – Terry Casey2007 – Justin Rattliff2006 – Steve Casebolt2005 – Scott James

Chevy racing-nascar–Rudy fugle


TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT DECEMBER 3, 2020

RUDY FUGLE, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CREW CHIEF FOR WILLIAM BYRON AND THE NO. 24 CAMARO ZL1 1LE TEAM met with media via teleconference and discussed his new role beginning in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. Full Transcript: TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT WILLIAM BYRON AND WHAT YOU THINK YOU LEARNED EARLY-ON FROM HIM THAT YOU CAN APPLY NOW TO A MORE CONFIDENT WILLIAM BYRON?“Our year of working together, I think one of the biggest things was just that you always learn how to push somebody and how to push their button the right way and how to motivate, encourage, and read their emotions. And that’s one thing about him. We can be pretty real with each other. I’m a pretty straightforward guy and William takes that really well. So, we have a really good communication style and it’s easy to be friends with him. “
WILLIAM BYRON HAS SO MANY ATTRIBUTES THAT YOU WERE LIKELY ONE OF THE FIRST TO DISCOVER. WE’RE SEEING HIS TALENTS NOW. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE WILLIAM BYRON YOU KNOW AND WHAT YOU THINK YOU CAN DO TOGETHER IN THE CUP SERIES?“I think there’s a whole bunch more talent to be seen. He’s done a really good job for the past three years gaining experience and having good runs; but I think there’s so much more. If you get to year two or three, you’ve kind of done everything at least one time; even though I’m new, the team is the same. And, I’m not really new because we know how to communicate with each other. The spotter is the same. It’s going to be a really good year. I think we’re going to start off being able to communicate and make the car better as we go and make good decisions. It’s so much about building this relationship and the cars at the shop now that we’re not having practice very often that we can sit and have meetings like we used to have and talk about all the things that didn’t go right last year and how we can make it better. I think I can apply those things of the race car with all the smart people here at Hendrick Motorsports and then make it go.”
YOU MENTIONED BACK IN 2016 AND YOU WORKING WITH WILLIAM BYRON (NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES), WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF HIM IN GETTING TO KNOW HIM AND WHAT HE WAS ALL ABOUT?“Our first meeting in the office-season, where we were basically trying to decide who was going to work with William and who was going to work with whom, we were having some dinner meetings and going over things and just seeing what fit. Instantly he knew a lot more about the races that we were running and the season that we had the past year and all the races, and he was very knowledgeable about everything that a lot of young guys don’t have that depth of knowledge. And then as we started some races, he just realized the drive and the hunger that he’s got and that he’s self-driven, and whatnot. He’s just always kept getting better. It’s really fun to work with him because everybody on the team wants him to succeed. They want to do everything they can for him to make sure he succeeds. He’s a very likable person and it makes everybody on the team do whatever they can to make sure we’re all successful.”
WILLIAM BYRON TALKED ABOUT KIND OF MAKING A JUMP THIS YEAR FROM BEING A GUY WHO JUST WINS RACE AND CHASE ELLIOTT HAS KIND OF RAISED THE BAR FOR SOME OF THAT. WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE TO GET TO THAT NEXT LEVEL WHERE HE’S A CONTENDER WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT AND CAN SCRATCH THE WIN COLUMN MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR?“It’s applying all the knowledge from last year and applying some of the things that the No. 9 (Elliott) did well and just making good decisions on those things. It’s really hard to do. But, it’s not that many steps. It’s really only a couple of small, simple things that I think will get us there. So, discovering what those things are and doing them consistently; it’s just communication, which we’re doing really well on the No. 24 team right now. William was in here all morning long just going over stuff. It’s December 3rd so all that stuff is starting well. Things are going well. I think that, just in ourselves, and how good of cars we have here, we execute better than some of those things with his experience and my knowledge of William and how we can apply it to the team. Just three, four, or five spots weekly and that’s going to lead to more wins and easier to make it into the Playoffs and all those things that make the things easier to be aggressive and get those wins, three or four wins a year, or more, you know?”
HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK ON THE NO. 24 CAR? DO YOU KNOW? WERE YOU ABLE TO BRING ANYBODY? ARE YOU TRYING TO LEARN WILLIAM ON THE CUP-SIDE, BUT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH?“I didn’t bring anybody with me. So, I was the new transplant, right? As Chad (Knaus) was showing me around the entire campus on day one, I ended-up knowing more than half the people. I either went to college with them or worked with them previously, or knew them from some race track somewhere. That’s one thing good about Kyle (Busch) is we were racing something somewhere all the time and you get to meet a lot of people. So, it ended-up being not as bad as I originally thought it might be in meeting new people. So, everybody on the No. 24, the majority of them were there last year. And I’m the new guy. And that’s okay. They’re showing me the ropes and everything they’re doing and I’m picking holes or what could be holes in the thing because I’m seeing it a different way than they’ve looked at it and trying to come up with a new way to solve a problem.”
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE CLASH AND DO YOU LOOK AT IT LIKE OKAY, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY ROAD COURSES ON THE SCHEDULE THIS IS A THING TO LEARN FOR LATER IN THE YEAR? OR, DO YOU LOOK AT IT LIKE YOU COULD RACE THERE OR RACE MORE ROAD COURSES AS THINGS GET SWITCHED AROUND?“Definitely. I think we all see that potential of what’s going to happen now and how good the country gets; and we know two of our road courses are in places where we couldn’t race last year. So there’s always that potential for something to get postponed or cancelled or moved to Daytona because that’s an easy fit. So, there’s definitely trying to build a notebook there; you’re also building notebooks for the Roval and a lot of these other road course races. So, the Clash is going to be fun. We have a plan of how Hendrick Motorsports has been doing things really well at the road course races. And then okay, there’s our Plan B and Plan C to how we beat Chase (Elliott) and how we beat the next people. So, Chase, the No. 9 team, was clearly the best road course team this year. But that doesn’t mean that everybody else isn’t working hard as well. So, just trying to not just sit there, but to go and just see if we can think of something better and then prove that it’s better before we go to the track, and say, are we going to try something new or try the same old stuff? So, there’s a lot to the Clash. And then there’s also just element of the fact that we’ve got a non-points event that I can have a Cup race at as a crew chief and the team can work together. William and I can work together and communicate and really, it is what it is. We all want to win. It’s a non-points even to it’s almost a dry run, or practice run if you take it.”
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES GOING TO HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS? COULD IT BE DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU’RE USED TO?“Yeah, there’s a lot of change here. It is a big place. There’s lots of buildings and lots of people. The biggest thing is to not let yourself get overwhelmed since there are moments when I feel like there’s a lot to do and a lot to learn. But then, if you take a step back, you realize how many smart people are at each one of these departments and leading them and the experience they have; and all the experience to lean on (like) these other crew chiefs and Chad Knaus and Jeff Gordon. Let’s just take a step back and take one thing at a time and just not make it too complicated. So, that’s the biggest thing. It can get big. It can get complicated. But all the pieces are here. It’s just my job to manage it. When you move too fast or think about it too much, it gets overwhelming. But if you just tackle one thing at a time, it’s been great.”
ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO USE THAT SAME PHILOSOPHY WITH WILLIAM? THAT COULD BE OVERWHELMING FOR A YOUNG MAN AS WELL“Yeah, I think that’s part of it. William does a great job of just focusing on what he can do to be his best and to maximize his potential. He’s always done that. And he didn’t care who he was racing against. It didn’t feel like oh, I’ve got to drive harder because I’m racing Kyle in the Trucks this week or I’m racing Brad Keselowski in Xfinity this week. He always did a good job of just making sure he was performing his best. But yeah, there’s always a perspective that we need to put ourselves into and be reminded of. All we can do is just focus on what we can today leading up to this week’s race, and then we start over. There’s definitely a little process, a schedule, and how we attack each day. That kind of is how I like to approach things and I’m going to try to bring him with me on that and how we do it week in and week out.”
AS YOU EMBARK ON THIS NEW GIG, MY FIRST THOUGHT IS WHAT KIND OF RESOURCES WILL YOU HAVE AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS WITH CHAD KNAUS OVERSEEING THE COMPETITION-SIDE OF THINGS?“It’s great. Anytime you’re stepping up to a new role or a different level, it’s great to have somebody with that much success and experience, that’s got that much invested in Hendrick Motorsports to help make sure you’re successful. So, he’s got as much invested in this, and way more years than I do for the No. 24 to go fast and win races and compete for a championship. So, I’ve found that I’ve been lucky as I’ve moved up the ranks along the way that I’ve kind of had a mentor-type person at different levels where it’s helped me. So, I’ve had that experience before. I’m going to use him to help me as much as possible.”
IS THERE A SENSE OF INTIMIDATION, AS WELL? ARE YOU MORE IN SPONGE-MODE IN LISTENING TO EVERYTHING HE HAS TO SAY AND IN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS? HOW IS THAT GOING TO WORK?’“Naturally, I think I’m an inquisitive person and I’m confident in what I know. I’m definitely going to listen more than I speak when I speak to somebody like that, but I think that’s just respect, right? So, you have a huge amount of respect for people and for somebody that’s done what Chad has done. He’s a legend; just to even say it like that, he just is. You figure out how to talk to him and be respectful and I don’t mean that in the wrong way. What’s the best way to be prepared to get somebody’s time and then ask the inquisitive questions the right way I guess, is the right way to say that.”
THERE ARE MANY THINGS TO DO BETWEEN NOW AND THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON. WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE TO CALL A RACE? IS IT LIKE A RACE IS A RACE? OR, IS IT SOMETHING YOU’LL HAVE TO ADJUST TO? DO YOU HAVE TO ANALYZE WHAT SOME OF THE OTHER CREW CHIEFS DO TO KNOW THE COMPETITION EVEN BETTER?“Yeah, I’ve always done that. I think even at the Truck Series level, I’m watching the best people; and they might not even run the best but sometimes they make the best calls, or they make some good things. You’re watching every series almost every weekend just to learn how to be really good, you know? If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing better. I’m always studying and paying attention to what everybody is doing. But races are races. They’re longer. There’s going to be more strategy calls in every stage. They’re all different. More sets of tires. More chances for adjustments; and actually, different adjustments in some ways, too, and stuff like that. We’ll be prepared. But that’s the most exciting part. The most fun part of my job is that Adrenalin of calling races and sitting on the box. There’s a lot of fun things about being a crew chief. But that’s why we put in the hours is to be able to compete in the actual race. It makes it fun. And that rush and that moment of what you’re going to do when the caution comes out when you didn’t expect it to and that’s what drives us to do what we do. So that’s the most exciting thing.”
WHAT IS ON YOUR AGENDA? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON DURING THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?“I am trying to soak up as much information as fast as I can so that I can have intelligent conversations about this specific race car that we’re racing weekly. That’s the biggest thing. I feel like the racing-side of things is similar even from a Truck to a car.  The William and myself relationship doesn’t need a ton of work. It will come along. It’s just the cars are different aero and suspension and different things than the Trucks I’ve worked on. When you work with a team long enough, all that stuff is embedded in your brain and you know everything like the back of your hand. So, I’m trying to make it where I know all that stuff as much as possible so I can help make those decisions and know as much as possible to make things better when I’m asked upon. So, that’s where I’ve been spending more of my hours. And getting to know everybody is a big part of it during the normal hours and then before normal work hours and after normal work hours I’m learning as much as I can.”
FOR MOST OF THE RACES NEXT YEAR, THERE WON’T BE MUCH PRACTICE OR QUALIFYING TO WORK ON THINGS. DO YOU GIVE YOURSELF A GRACE PERIOD GOING INTO NEXT YEAR OR DO YOU FEEL LIKE WITH ALL THE TIME YOU’VE WORKED TOGETHER YOU’LL BE READY TO GO?“Yeah, I think we’re planning on starting the year strong and going. There might be some things that come up that it’s like man, I didn’t think I needed to know that, or I messed that up or whatnot. But for the most part, I feel like we’re going to be ready to go. Our in-race communication is going to be good. Our in-race adjustments, there are lots of smart people here to help me make those decisions. We’ve got a good pit crew. Hendrick Motorsports is putting out a good Camaro. So, I think we should be ready to go.”

chevy racing–nascar–william byron

NASCAR CUP SERIES TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT DECEMBER 3, 2020
 WILLIAM BYRON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 24 CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, MET WITH MEDIA VIA TELECONFERENCE TO DISCUSS HIS EXCITEMENT GOING INTO THE 2021 SEASON WITH RUDY FUGLE AS THE NEW CREW CHIEF OF THE NO. 24 TEAM, WHAT HE’S DOING TO PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON, AND MORE. Transcript: WILLIAM, HOW ARE YOU?“I’m good, thank you.”
FIRST OFF, ONE, HOW’S YOUR OFF SEASON GOING? “It’s going good. Just been spending some time with my family. My sister is in town from New York, so I’m trying to spend a little time with them and enjoy a little bit of downtime. And also, get ready for next year. I’ve had a couple meetings with Rudy (Fugle, Crew Chief), so far. Just talking about some of the racing for the start of next year and trying to get prepared.” 
HOW DID THOSE CONVERSATIONS START? DID YOU FIRST REACH OUT TO RUDY (FUGLE)? DID YOU GO TO MR. H WHEN CHAD (KNAUS) WAS ANNOUNCING THAT HE WAS RETIRING, DID YOU GO TO HIM AND SAY ‘I WANT RUDY FUGLE AS MY CREW CHIEF’ OR HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? “Yeah, so actually, the way it started was Jeff Gordon reached out to me, I think sometime in August, and was just like ‘Hey, we’re looking at Rudy (Fugle) as a possibility for your crew chief next year. Chad (Knaus) is moving onto a different role and they think Rudy would be a good option’. So, it honestly came from them. I know I kind of planted a seed a couple years ago with Chad about the possibility of Rudy being an engineer at HMS, but it never really materialized then. So, I was kind of surprised when they came to me and said that, but I was really excited. I still had to meet with Rudy and kind of figure out where his goals were, his aspirations, and also figure out if we really still mesh together, given a few years away from each other and kind of doing different things. Honestly, we clicked really well. We met at a restaurant in Concord and just really hit it off right where we left off.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU LEARNED FROM CHAD THAT YOU WILL TAKE WITH YOU TO PREPARE YOU FOR RUDY AND WHAT YOU THINK RUDY WILL LEND TO ADD TO WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM CHAD? “I think it’s two very different styles. I’ve worked with a variety of crew chiefs and, for better or worse, I’ve kind of been put with a lot of different crew chiefs because I’ve moved to different teams and I’ve grown up relatively fast in the sport. So, I’ve learned a lot of different styles. I think I’ve learned quite a few things with Chad that were different than maybe what I did with Rudy at KBM. So, it’s kind of meshing the two styles together. Definitely I feel, like Rudy said, that I’ve matured since I worked with him. I was really young and really kind of naive in the Truck Series at 17 or 18 years old. So, I think a lot has changed since then. But, at the same time, we can definitely apply a lot of the things that we did back then in our communication and our style together. So, I don’t think it’s going to take us too long to really kind of hit where we were back then and kind of apply some of the new things, too.”
DO YOU THINK YOU GAINED CONFIDENCE SINCE YOU STARTED IN THE CUP SERIES? THAT LENDS ITSELF TO HAVING RUDY WITH YOU NOW – YOU’RE MORE CONFIDENT NOW AS A LEADER FOR THE TEAM.“For sure. When I was with Rudy in the Truck Series, a lot of the time, it was him telling me ‘here’s how we used to do it’ or ‘here’s how Kyle did it’. Now, it’s more – OK, here’s my experience, here’s the things I focus on. He’s not having to tell me as much about certain things or certain ideas. We’re kind of on the same playing field when it comes to the things that we’re contributing. It was definitely a lot more of him contributing to my learning curve in the past versus, now, I think we’re closer to equal. I think that’s going to be a head start in itself.”
WHAT HAS BEEN THE FOCUS ON YOUR PREPARATION FOR 2021? HAVE YOU SAID GET ME ON EVERY ROAD COURSE SIMULATOR I CAN GET ON? ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ANY DIRT RACES TO DO? WHAT’S YOUR FOCUS?“Yeah, I think the dirt is probably the least important aspect, in terms of preparation, because it’s only one race. We do have to give some thought to it and kind of what I want to do there. But definitely thinking about some road course ideas – how to get a little bit more time in some form or fashion on some road courses in a similar style car. I think the biggest caveat to everything is trying to find a car that’s similar to a stock car on a road course is very hard. So, figuring out that. But yeah, Rudy and I have kind of gone through the first handful of tracks and tried to figure out some of the stuff we want to attack at those tracks. We’ve already talked today about Homestead, the Clash, the Daytona 500, obviously. Just trying to figure out some of the little details and nuances that we want to try to apply to those tracks. So, that’s been the main focus of it and Rudy has done a great job of kind of getting going. I think he’s been in here for two and a half weeks now. He’s done a good job getting going.”
I WANTED TO RE-WIND JUST A LITTLE BIT TO 2016 – THAT FIRST YEAR THAT YOU GUYS WERE PAIRED TOGETHER. YOU WERE JUST 18 YEARS OLD AND ENTERING YOUR FIRST FULL TRUCK SEASON. WHAT SORT OF INFLUENCE WAS RUDY ON THE START OF YOUR CAREER? WAS IT A RE-ASSURING VOICE IN YOUR EAR AS YOU WERE JUST GETTING STARTED?“Yeah, it was. I think, for me, I really have to think back a lot to how that year unfolded. But we had speed at the beginning of the year, which obviously cures a lot of issues and a lot of lack in experience, stuff like that. So, we had that. But I think as the year went on, I really started to develop as a communicator, as a driver and my level of aggression got higher, things of that nature. And then I kind of went out and went a completely different direction – went to Hendrick, JRM, and kind of learning some of the things there and tried to really grow myself. Yeah, I think there’s a lot of experience along the way at each race and each year that you learn and I’m definitely a lot different than I was then. And I’m sure Rudy is, too.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE A VETERAN AT THE RIPE OF 23 YEARS OLD, GETTING STARTED FOR A FOURTH CUP SEASON?“Yeah, I definitely don’t feel like a rookie or inexperienced. I think there’s a lot less questions than there used to be about certain racetracks and certain things that I want to focus on those tracks. I feel like now is the time to get it together and perform really at a high level every week. That’s the goal this year – just to take a step from winning one race and try to take a step towards winning multiple. And even if not maybe the wins, just being in contention for multiple, which is definitely the next step.”
FOLLOWING UP TO WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT NOW IS THE TIME TO STEP IT UP AND GET IT TOGETHER EVERY WEEK, WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR FIRST THREE YEARS AND GOING INTO YEAR FOUR, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES? WHAT’S YOUR SELF-CRITISIM THAT YOU HAVE TO PUT ON YOUR SHOULDERS GOING INTO YEAR FOUR?“I think the positives are easy to kind of identify. I think making the Playoffs the last two years has been great. The pole positions that we had in 2019 when we were qualifying was great. The race win, the Duel win – all those things are good things, which kind of establishes us as a contender. Somebody who can potentially win. But I think now, it’s just being a consistent threat and being somebody that each week and each track we go to is not really a weakness, and we can identify some of those small details that are going to take us to that top five or six group of teams that get to the Final Eight and, hopefully, the Final Four. So, yeah I think just figuring out how to make that next step to not just be kind of a one-time winner each year.”
SECONDLY, YOU SAID YOU AND RUDY SHOULD BE ABLE TO APPLY SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAD BACK A COUPLE YEARS AGO. WHAT KIND OF AN INFLUENCE ARE YOU EXPECTING HIM TO HAVE ON YOU NOW COMING ON A CUP SERIES PARTNERSHIP AND INFUENCE YOU EXPECT HIM TO HAVE AS THE LEADER OF THIS TEAM?“Yeah, I think the influence has already been noticeable. We’ve met two or three times over the last couple of weeks and the influence has already been there, and we’ve kind of picked up where we left off with communication. We do have to be out on the racetrack to really see kind of the fruits of that, but you can plan accordingly and have a really good plan and that’s a good start. It doesn’t always go that well, but you can kind of plan those things out. I feel good about it. I feel like we’re going to pick up where we left off.”
IT FEELS LIKE OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HAS TRANSITIONED ITSELF TOWARDS ITS FUTURE AND NOW IT FEELS LIKE THAT TRANSITION IS COMPLETE WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON OFF TO NEW ADVENTURES. I’M CURIOUS, HAS IT HIT YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES THAT THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED. IT’S DOWN TO YOU GUYS, THE YOUNG BUCKS, TO CARRY ON THE HENDRICK LEGACY. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THAT CHAMPIONSHIP LEGACY ON YOUR SHOULDERS NOW?“It’s definitely hit us. I think seeing Chase (Elliott) go out there and win the championship like that was definitely a sign that obviously we’re capable. Yeah, the bar has been set, for sure. Things have really evolved – I think the first year when I was here in 2018, how many growing pains there were for me, but also the race team to kind of find out footing with really three new drivers and one veteran guy. So now, it’s four new guys. I feel like three of us have been here for awhile now and really established kind of our trends, our feelings inside the team and what we want in our race cars. I think the bar has definitely been set now and it’s about just going out there and trying to achieve that.”
WHERE DOES ONE GO WHEN THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH A POTENTIAL CREW CHIEF WHEN THEY’RE LOOKING FOR A RESTAURANT IN CONCORD? “Yeah, we went to TGI Friday’s (laughs). Rudy knows I’m a pretty picky eater, so he chose that one because they have chicken tenders and fries. So, it was perfect.”
BECAUSE THAT WAS AN UNIQUE AND NEW SITUATION FOR YOU AND YOUR CAREER, IN SITTING DOWN WITH A CREW CHIEF, WHAT WERE THE QUESTIONS? WHAT WERE THE THINGS YOU NEEDED TO COME OUT OF THAT MEETING TO KIND OF HAVE THAT COMFORT OR WHAT WERE THE THINGS YOU WERE SEEKING? “Yeah, I think when I was first working with him at KBM, it was more just surface-level questions about just the basics – things I needed to execute well, like getting on pit road. Really, some of the driving stuff was kind of left up to me or I would ask questions to Kyle. But a lot of the setup stuff and kind of the ideas behind it, I never really asked those questions. I wasn’t far enough along to really understand it. So, I feel like this time around, the conversations when we met back at the end of August, were much more detailed and more specific. So, I could ask more pointed questions about what I wanted to understand. We hit it off right away in terms of those things and he kind of opened up to me more about the details. I just wasn’t experienced enough to know that stuff when I was 18 years old. I kind of had to go out on my own, in a sense, and go through Xfinity and a few years of Cup to understand that stuff.”
YOU MENTIONED THE DRIVER STABLE THERE, WHERE YOU HAVE THREE GUYS THAT ARE PRETTY ESTABLISHED AT HMS, AND NOW YOU’RE WELCOMING ANOTHER GUY. THAT OTHER GUY IS OBIVOUSLY KYLE (LARSON) AND KYLE IS A GUY OBVIOUSLY THAT’S HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS, BUT HE ALSO COMES WITH WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR. HOW DO YOU GUYS AS A GROUP OF DRIVERS KIND OF WELCOME HIM IN? IT’S A DIFFERENT SITUATION FOR A TEAM IN NASCAR AS OPPOSED TO LIKE A BASKETBALL PLAYER BECAUSE BASKETBALL PLAYERS ARE TOGETHER ALL THE TIME. YOU GUYS AS DRIVERS AREN’T NECESSARILY TOGETHER ALL THE TIME – HOW DO YOU WELCOME HIM IN AND HOW DO YOU GUYS KIND OF DRAW FROM HIS EXPERIENCES AND HIS TALENTS?“I think Kyle (Larson) obviously has a lot of talent, but I feel like he’s going to be easy to work with because he’s pretty much all business, all racing. So, it’s not really going to be hard to pick apart his honest feelings about things. I think he’s going to be pretty honest and pretty upfront about a lot of stuff, so I think that’s going to help us in competition meetings, thinking about ideas for the next race, and stuff like that. Obviously, you’re going to have tracks that you can draw from that he’s always been good at. So, you think about Homestead or Chicago, places that are really good for him. It’s going to be cool to kind of pick his brain on that stuff. Anytime you can bring in somebody new that’s going to continue to push the bar I think is really good. You’re going from Jimmie Johnson to another guy that’s going to have a ton of talent, so it’s going to be a pretty easy transition I think.”
DO DRIVERS IN A MULTI-CAR TEAM NECESSARILY NEED TO BE BUDDIES OR IS IT STRICTLY PROFESSIONAL AND YOU GUYS GO THROUGH THE MEETINGS? IS IT MORE HELFUL MAYBE FOR THE FOUR OF YOU GUYS TO HANGOUT WHEN YOU’RE ALLOWED TO HANG OUT, ONCE WE GET THROUGH ALL THE COVID ISSUES?“Yeah, I might be closer to one or another at certain times, but I feel like we all kind of work pretty well together. Especially the way the meetings are structured, like where we all kind of sit together, you build some similarities between drivers that you might draw from for certain tracks. So, I feel like it’s more professional, for sure. I don’t know if we’d all just go out and have fun together all the time, but we learn from each other, for sure.”
YOU MENTIONED PRACTICE PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR, BUT DID YOU CONSIDER GOING DOWN TO COTA THIS WEEKEND FOR THE ENDURANCE EVENT AS SOME OF THE OTHER DRIVERS ARE DOING TO GET FAMILIAR WITH THE TRACK FOR NEXT YEAR? “I haven’t, but I’ve got some separate plans that are going to be road course related over the next month or so. I think definitely COTA is high on the list to try to get some laps on, but it’s more going to be kind of a one-on-one thing for me, instead of just watching. More kind of hands-on and getting in some kind of car. 

RACE REPORT: Rad Dan Burkett 2020 (FINAL Rd. 7&8)

EVENT RECAP: Round 7 & 8 
 


Although there were no fans, it was surreal to traditionally close out the Formula Drift 2020 season at Irwindale Speedway AKA “The House Of Drift.” With Irwindale being a home track for Dan, he kept it RAD and rode the walls of Irwindale like a Pro on his very first lap out! The final round was full of flames, wall rides, wrecks and even flying car parts…we have a great YouTube video coming together that will cover it all! On Friday; Round 7, Dan made his way into another TOP 16. He drove his heart out but overshot the last outer zone preventing him from moving on. On Sunday; Round 8, like many of the other hard charging drifters, we had a mishap getting caught up in the tire marbles sending Dan into the wall just enough to cause repairable damage. Team RAD hustled and worked in unison getting the car back on track. Even with successful repairs, we had terrible luck running without a front bumper on a high speed track causing our already damaged hood to catch air and fly off the car, in Formula Drift it is an automatic incomplete if anything latchable comes undone. Of course, even a hood flying open didn’t phase Rad Dan’s determination to complete his run, he was able to close the season with an entertaining lap to say the least. What a season! We can’t thank each of you enough for sticking through this year and keeping this wild show on the road. Team RAD is looking forward to pushing that much further in 2021. We are glad to have you and your brands be part of all of it with us! The fans love it and can’t seem to get enough of what Dan has to share with them throughout this journey and the goals he has set with his team.
 

RACE REPORT: Rad Dan Burkett 2020 (FINAL Rd. 7&8)

 
EVENT RECAP: Round 7 & 8 
 


Although there were no fans, it was surreal to traditionally close out the Formula Drift 2020 season at Irwindale Speedway AKA “The House Of Drift.” With Irwindale being a home track for Dan, he kept it RAD and rode the walls of Irwindale like a Pro on his very first lap out! The final round was full of flames, wall rides, wrecks and even flying car parts…we have a great YouTube video coming together that will cover it all! On Friday; Round 7, Dan made his way into another TOP 16. He drove his heart out but overshot the last outer zone preventing him from moving on. On Sunday; Round 8, like many of the other hard charging drifters, we had a mishap getting caught up in the tire marbles sending Dan into the wall just enough to cause repairable damage. Team RAD hustled and worked in unison getting the car back on track. Even with successful repairs, we had terrible luck running without a front bumper on a high speed track causing our already damaged hood to catch air and fly off the car, in Formula Drift it is an automatic incomplete if anything latchable comes undone. Of course, even a hood flying open didn’t phase Rad Dan’s determination to complete his run, he was able to close the season with an entertaining lap to say the least. What a season! We can’t thank each of you enough for sticking through this year and keeping this wild show on the road. Team RAD is looking forward to pushing that much further in 2021. We are glad to have you and your brands be part of all of it with us! The fans love it and can’t seem to get enough of what Dan has to share with them throughout this journey and the goals he has set with his team.
 

28th Annual COMP Cams Topless 100 – Presented by General Tire Tonight on MAVTV

Batavia, OH (December 3, 2020) – The 28th Annual COMP Cams Topless 100 – Presented by General Tire from Batesville Motor Speedway in Batesville, AR is on MAVTV Motorsports Network, tonight at 9 PM EDT, with a re-airing at 12 AM EDT. 

Tim McCreadie and Jimmy Owens were the first to cross the stripe on the two prelim nights at BMS, each pocketing $5,000 before the $40,000-to-win 100-lap main event on Saturday. The Topless 100 A-Main had excitement all the way to the end with a last lap heroic effort that fell just short, from the Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the race. The broadcast will include driver interviews, in-car cameras, and various technical segments.

Owned and operated by Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV Motorsports Network is a television network deeply rooted in the automotive world. MAVTV is available to over 35 million homes on U-verse, DIRECTV (channel 214), Fios by Verizon, Vidgo, TIKILIVE, fuboTV, YouTubeTV, Spectrum, and other nationwide providers. MAVTV will broadcast 5 live events and 34 original tape-delayed airings. To find a full list of providers, visit: mavtv.com/get-mavtv/providers.

The 2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series TV schedule can be found on the series website at: www.lucasdirt.com/schedule/tv-schedule/.

Tandy Set to Join Corvette Racing in No. 4 C8.R for Full-Season Run


· Sims to round out new additions as endurance driver alongside Milner, Tandy· Defending GTLM Drivers champions Garcia, Taylor back again in 2021 with Catsburg· Program focused on continuing development for second year with mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
DETROIT (Dec. 3, 2020) – Corvette Racing’s lineup in its No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R will have a significantly different look for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the additions of sports car stars Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims alongside long-time Corvette driver Tommy Milner.
It’s a big change on one side of the Corvette Racing garage while the other stays intact from a driving perspective. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, the reigning GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers champions, will team again in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R with Nicky Catsburg back for another season with the pair for the team’s long-distance events in IMSA. Catsburg and Sims will be part of the program’s events for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
Tandy – from Bedford, England – steps into the role held by Oliver Gavin, who stepped away from full-time driving after 19 years with the program. A winner at practically every major sports car race around the world, Tandy joins a full-season lineup that already includes nine IMSA Drivers Championships and 42 race wins with Corvette Racing.
Tandy owns 15 career IMSA victories – all in GT racing – and has won the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. In addition, he is a past overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa.
In Sims, Corvette Racing gets another proven race-winner for some of its most important events of the year. From Alcester in England, Sims is a five-time winner in IMSA competition in a brief but successful two-year, full-season stint in 2017 and 2018. He has a victory at Petit Le Mans to his credit along with 24-hour wins at Spa and the Nürburgring, along with two career starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The British pair join Milner, now Corvette Racing’s most experienced full-season driver. The two-time IMSA Drivers Champion boasts 15 victories with the program including wins at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, among others. Milner has been a key component in testing and development of the Corvette C8.R and will begin his 10th year as part of Corvette Racing.
In the No. 3 Corvette, Garcia and Taylor are together again after taking five victories and combining for six pole positions in the 2020 GTLM season. The pairing won for the first time at Daytona in July for Corvette Racing’s 100th IMSA victory, and both are previous winners at such events like Le Mans, the Rolex 24 and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. 
Garcia won his fourth Drivers Championship in 2020 while Taylor captured his third Drivers title. Both are past winners at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans. Catsburg also will return to the cockpit following a season in which he won the Nurburgring 24 Hours, among other high-profile events.
All six drivers will focus on bringing improvements to the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which won six races and swept the full-season GTLM championships in the hands of Corvette Racing. In addition, the C8.R claimed seven pole positions and posted fastest GTLM race lap at six events.
The mid-engine C8.R and 2020 Corvette Stingray street car were developed simultaneously, and the race car and production vehicle share more technology and parts than any previous-generation Corvette. When initial Corvette C8.R design and development work began more than five years ago, Corvette Racing engineers worked closely alongside Corvette production personnel with a heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation testing.
Corvette Racing will open its 2021 season with the Roar Before the 24 from Jan. 22-24 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It is nice to have some continuity that we can carry over into 2021. The season Jordan and I had was incredible with the championship and winning a lot of races. Things definitely won’t be easier in 2021 for us, but we do have a year of experience together and with the C8.R. Looking back at 2020, the only thing we missed out on was a good result in the long-distance races. We had the pace to win at Petit Le Mans, but we weren’t expected to get a win at Daytona to start the year and we had our suspension issue at the Sebring 12 Hours. Getting a real endurance win would be key as a next target for the C8.R.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It’s definitely going to be difficult to top what we accomplished in 2020, but rolling into 2021 and learning everything we did with the C8.R, we’ll roll off stronger than we did this season. It will be great to be back with Antonio and Nicky. With having such a strong lineup, it’s good to keep things consistent. We know how each other works and how our driving styles are like. The chemistry there is very strong. It’ll be great to have Nick and Alexander coming in on the No. 4 Corvette. They can bring a fresh perspective as guys who have driven different cars and give us some insight on the strengths and weaknesses of the C8.R that maybe we are used by now, having driven for a year now. I think we’re setting up for a very strong 2021.” 
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m super pleased that I’m able to come back again with Corvette Racing. My first year was very, very nice. I really enjoyed it… working with the team and with the C8.R. It seems to suit me and I’ve enjoyed it so far. Other than winning the championship, we didn’t score a victory in one of the endurance races so that’s a big goal for next year, along with winning the championship again for Chevy, Antonio and Jordan. Having Nick and Alexander is very, very cool. I know Alexander very well from races we’ve done and won together. He’s one of the best guys I know, and I think he will fit in right away. He’s a super funny guy as well, so I can’t wait to have him around. Nick is one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever raced against. He needs no further introduction and he’s an awesome addition for Corvette Racing. This is a super strong lineup, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Going into next year, expectations are very high. We know the C8.R is fast and competitive. We had a couple of small issues through the 2020 season, but they were things that were easily addressed by the engineers and mechanics. It’s a tall order to match what happened this year. We obviously want to win the championships again, but now we have the opportunity to get big wins at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans. I’d love to get some of those big races under our belt.“I’m excited about my two new teammates. I’ve been racing against Nick for many years now. I know how strong a competitor he is. Obviously I’d much rather him be in my car and not have to fight against him! I’ve raced against he and Alexander quite a bit. They’re both true professionals, super fast on the track and their results speak for themselves. I’m excited to go race with them and work toward the goals we’ve set for 2021.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Since I’ve been racing in IMSA and at Le Mans, Corvette Racing has been the team that everyone looks up to. Many operations aspire to get to the level that Corvette Racing operates at. It’s something I’ve always looked at, and it’s impressed me. The fact that the opportunity arose where I could join the team and stay racing within IMSA is a dream opportunity. You look at the history of Corvette Racing, and it’s been a team that has consistently been in top-level motorsport. And not just competing but winning races and championships wherever they go. It’s an appealing aspect. I hope I can add something to the party and continue that successful legacy that Corvette Racing has. I’d very much like to be part of the next chapter.”
ALEXANDER SIMS, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “During my two previous years in IMSA, it was clear the level that Corvette Racing is on. I have such fantastic memories of battling with some of the Corvette guys, and some of those battles went against me! My appreciation and respect for Corvette Racing certainly increased. It’s a team that always seemed to be able to achieve a result, even if the track wasn’t one that suited its cars perfectly. If someone was going to make something out of a difficult situation, it usually was Corvette Racing. Now, to have a chance to be in that fold and be part of the program with the absolute pros on this team is really quite special.”

2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Contingency Award Recipients Announced

Batavia, OH (December 2, 2020) – The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the award recipients would like to thank all of the contingency sponsors for their continued support of the Series and its drivers. Not only were teams and drivers rewarded for their successes, but the top three engine builders and the chassis builder of the year also received cash, product certificates, and/or product. 
Jimmy Owens led 682 laps in A-Main events this season, to win the Allstar Performance Most Laps Led. Owens will receive $500 Cash, and a $500 Product Certificate from Allstar Performance. For more information on Allstar Performance, visit: www.allstarperformance.com
Cornett Racing Engines continued their success with the Lucas Dirt Series in 2020, winning their eighth ARP Engine Builder of the Year award. Cornett will collect $1000 Cash, plus – ARP Product Award, Brodix $200 Product Certificate, CP Carrillo Product Certificate, E3 Spark Plugs Product Certificate, K&N Filters Product Certificate, COOL-IT Thermo-Tec Product Certificate, and Xceldyne $750 Product Certificate. 
Second place in the ARP Engine Builder of the Year, Vic Hill Racing Engines will receive an ARP Product Award, Brodix $150 Product Certificate, CP Carrillo Product Certificate, E3 Spark Plugs Product Certificate, K&N Filters Product Certificate, and a Xceldyne $500 Product Certificate. Coming in third in the ARP Engine Builder of the Year, Durham Racing Engines will get a Brodix $100 Product Certificate and a Xceldyne $250 Product Certificate. For more information on ARP, visit: www.arp-bolts.com
The Big River Steel Podium became a familiar home for Jimmy Owens this season. Owens found himself on the podium 23 times, claiming the Big River Steel Most Podium Finishes and a $1,000 cash bonus. For more information on Big River Steel, visit: www.bigriversteel.com
Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge winner, Jimmy Owens will receive an extra $1,000 from Midwest Sheet Metal. Owens took the point lead on June 12th, after the 22nd Annual Grassy Smith Memorial, at Cherokee Speedway and never looked back. For more information on Midwest Sheet Metal, visit: www.msmfab.com
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Year, once again, went to Rocket Chassis. Rocket Chassis will receive a brand new Miller Welder Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder that is easy-to-use and versatile MIG, Stick and DC TIG welder. This welder comes with a color screen featuring Auto-Set™ Elite and is an all-in-one welder that connects to 120 or 240 volt input power, welding up to 3/8″ mild steel. For more information on Miller Welders, visit: www.millerwelds.com
Passing 251 cars, over the course of the 2020 season, Rookie of the Year driver, Tanner English wins the Optima Batteries Hard Charger award and a $500 cash bonus. For more information on Optima Batteries, visit: www.optimabatteries.com
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Year goes to the Crew Chief for Jimmy Owens/Ramirez Motorsports, Cody Mallory. Mallory will receive $1,000 for Crew Chief of the Year. For more information on Outerwears, visit: www.outerwears.com
With eight PFC Most Pole Awards in 2020, Jimmy Owens takes the PFC Pole Award of the Year, and will receive $500 Cash and a $500 Product Certificate from PFC. For more information on PFC, visit: www.pfcbrakes.com
Out of 47 feature events, Jimmy Owens finished in the top five 29 times, to take the Penske Shocks Most Top 5 Finishes in Year award, along with $1,000 Cash and a $1,000 Product Certificate. For more information on Penske Shocks, visit: www.penskeshocks.com
Simpson Race Products Most Heat Race Wins goes to Jimmy Owens, with a total of 24 heat race wins. For this award, Owens will receive $500 Cash, plus – a Product Award. For more information on Simpson Race Products, visit: www.simpsonraceproducts.com
Sunoco Race for Gas Points went to the highest finishing Sunoco driver in each A-Main of the season. First place, Jimmy Owens will receive $3000, second place finisher, Josh Richards will receive $2,000, and third place Tyler Erb will receive $1,000. For more information on Sunoco Race Fuels, visit: www.sunocoracefuels.com
The 2020 season Champion picked up 11 feature wins to take the Wrisco Most Feature Wins. Jimmy Owens will receive a $1,000 cash bonus from Wrisco Industries, Inc. For more information on Wrisco Industries, Inc, visit: www.wrisco.com
For more information about the Lucas Oil Late Model dirt series visit www.lucasdirt.com

Jimmy Owens Claims 2020 GEICO TV Race Challenge

Batavia, OH (December 1, 2020) – This year’s winner of the GEICO TV Race Challenge on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, had eight wins, 25 top five finishes, and 29 top ten finishes – out of the 38 events included in this point category. The 2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN, added a $10,000 bonus to his overall season earnings by winning this point category in 2020.  “I appreciate the opportunity to earn more money with the GEICO TV Race Challenge.  It’s a nice bonus at the end of the year,” stated this year’s National Champion. “I would also like to thank my crew, Cody Mallory, Jeff “Mullett” Strope, and Kurt Owens. I would also like to thank Melissa and Nathan, Leon, Becky, and Dereck Ramirez, Gary Williams, Justin Talley, Chris Fox, and all of my sponsors.” Owens’ Ramirez Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and is sponsored by Reece Monument Company, Tommy Pope Construction, Boomtest Well Service, General Tire, Red Line Oil, Ohlins Shocks, Champion Spark Plugs, and Midwest Sheet Metal. The TV Race Challenge awarded points to drivers at the 38 televised events, within the series schedule. Owens will receive a $10,000 bonus for his win in this point category, while Tim McCreadie and Josh Richards, who finished second and third behind Owens, will also receive $2,500 and $1,500 respectively.

Troy Coughlin Jr. to continue family’s Pro Stock legacy alongside crew chief Rickie Jones

DELAWARE, Ohio (Nov. 30) — In what could be described as the epitome of NHRA drag racing’s next generation moving to the forefront, Troy Coughlin Jr. will become the lead driver for Team JEGS in 2021 and beyond, driving the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro tuned by Rickie Jones. 
Just one year after the inception of the Pro Stock class 50 years ago, JEGS Automotive joined the battle with company founder Jeg Coughlin Sr. grinding gears in his JEGS-sponsored car. Troy Coughlin Sr., one of Jeg Sr.’s four sons who now own and operate JEGS, was next to contest the factory hot rod class, running various yellow-and-black hot rods from 1994-2004. Then came Jeg Coughlin Jr., who won five world titles and 65 races in the class during a 24-year professional career.
Now it’s Troy Jr.’s turn to carry on the tradition set forth by his grandfather, dad and uncle, driving the same RJ Racecars Camaro owned by Mark Stockseth that Jeg Jr. drove to three wins this past season. 
“Competing in Pro Stock is who we are,” Troy Jr. said. “My dad, his dad, my uncle Jeg, it’s a pretty incredible legacy to follow and I couldn’t be more humbled and honored to move it forward.
“Drag racing is a unique part of what keeps our family together. It’s what we talk about at the dinner table. It’s what drives our customer base at JEGS. It’s everything for us. I think it’s really important to have a JEGS car in the professional ranks to constantly remind everyone we love it as much as they do. I’m so lucky to have this chance.”
When Jeg Jr. retired from full-time competition at the end of 2020, the door opened for Troy Jr. to take the reins after a successful, part-time effort with Elite that featured his first final-round appearance at the third Indy race. It also allowed Jones to rotate from tuning for Jeg Jr. to Troy Jr.
Like Troy Jr., Rickie Jones was born into the sport, following his father Rick Jones from drag strip to drag strip for as far back as anyone can remember. The elder Jones found success in the IHRA Mountain Motor class and later in Pro Stock Truck (where Troy Jr.’s uncles Mike and John competed), both as a tuner and driver. At the same time, he started building racecars, and his creations have since claimed numerous world titles, most notably with multi-time champions Warren Johnson, Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Erica Enders. 
As soon as he was old enough, Rickie became a part of it all, including the creation of the Jones’ other entity, Quarter-Max, where they manufacturer and sell a line of chassis and suspension parts, as well as components from several other vendors.
On the racing side of things, Rickie competed in Pro Stock and Pro Mod from 2008-2013, before joining his father on the tuning side of the equation. He’s spent the last seven years working on the cars of Enders, Jeg Jr., Aaron Stanfield and now Troy Jr., who is just three years his junior. As a side business, he also helps a variety of sportsman racers tune their cars.
“The similarities between T.J. and me are really neat,” Rickie said. “We were both pretty much born and raised at the races and both of our dads raced for many years. I know we share a real love for Pro Stock, plus we’re very alike as far as demeanor and personalities go. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together, hopefully for many, many years.
“Both of us grew up dreaming about having these kind of chances, to try to win and win championships at the top level of the sport. Obviously, (team owner) Richard Freeman gives us everything we need to win so it’s up to us to put it all together. We’re real excited about having T.J. take this next step with us. He’s got all the potential in the world.
“I had an opportunity to work with him in preseason testing when he drove Jeg’s car at Bradenton. He took to it like a duck to water. He’s a natural. He asked a lot of great questions and has been a real student of the class ever since, watching a lot of the in-car camara video of his uncle’s runs. It’s really no surprise he’s done well considering all the cars he’s raced.”
Beginning in Junior Dragsters, Troy Jr. has raced in Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster, several E.T Bracket cars, Pro Mod, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Fuel and now Pro Stock. He won the Division 3 Super Gas title in 2013, the North Central region championship in Top Alcohol Dragster in 2018, and the East region Top Alcohol Dragster crown in 2019. He has 10 divisional/regional wins and eight more national event trophies.
“I’ve been lucky to race so many different cars through the years but nothing has been as challenging as Pro Stock,” Troy Jr. said. “It’s a constant challenge to try and make a perfect run each time down the track. I try not to set any expectations but I think we all know great things are within our grasp. We should continue to be major players in the class.
“Having Rickie as the crew chief is the best-case scenario for me. In testing he was always real calm on the radio, which I really liked, and during the season he was someone I could talk to about anything in regards to the runs I was making. He knows Pro Stock as both a driver and a crew chief, plus he drove in Pro Mod too, so we’re a lot alike in many ways. We’ve been down the same roads.”
Rickie knew he had a unique talent in Troy Jr. as early as that initial test session when after completing his first full run down the track, Troy Jr. admitted the car got his attention.
“Here’s a guy that drove a Top Fuel dragster and the first thing he says was how surprised he was by the Pro Stock car,” Rickie said. “He realized on that first run how much you need to be on top of these things. Drivers really have to drive a Pro Stock car. There’s a lot to do in those six seconds. Nothing can truly simulate a run and no one has ever jumped in a Pro Stock car and been perfect from the start. It takes time.
“I think T.J. took to it as quickly as he has because he’s been making runs in his head since he was a little kid. He’s watched his dad and uncle race so many times and it’s become embedded in his head. I personally think there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

Troy Coughlin Jr. to continue family’s Pro Stock legacy alongside crew chief Rickie Jones

DELAWARE, Ohio (Nov. 30) — In what could be described as the epitome of NHRA drag racing’s next generation moving to the forefront, Troy Coughlin Jr. will become the lead driver for Team JEGS in 2021 and beyond, driving the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro tuned by Rickie Jones. 
Just one year after the inception of the Pro Stock class 50 years ago, JEGS Automotive joined the battle with company founder Jeg Coughlin Sr. grinding gears in his JEGS-sponsored car. Troy Coughlin Sr., one of Jeg Sr.’s four sons who now own and operate JEGS, was next to contest the factory hot rod class, running various yellow-and-black hot rods from 1994-2004. Then came Jeg Coughlin Jr., who won five world titles and 65 races in the class during a 24-year professional career.
Now it’s Troy Jr.’s turn to carry on the tradition set forth by his grandfather, dad and uncle, driving the same RJ Racecars Camaro owned by Mark Stockseth that Jeg Jr. drove to three wins this past season. 
“Competing in Pro Stock is who we are,” Troy Jr. said. “My dad, his dad, my uncle Jeg, it’s a pretty incredible legacy to follow and I couldn’t be more humbled and honored to move it forward.
“Drag racing is a unique part of what keeps our family together. It’s what we talk about at the dinner table. It’s what drives our customer base at JEGS. It’s everything for us. I think it’s really important to have a JEGS car in the professional ranks to constantly remind everyone we love it as much as they do. I’m so lucky to have this chance.”
When Jeg Jr. retired from full-time competition at the end of 2020, the door opened for Troy Jr. to take the reins after a successful, part-time effort with Elite that featured his first final-round appearance at the third Indy race. It also allowed Jones to rotate from tuning for Jeg Jr. to Troy Jr.
Like Troy Jr., Rickie Jones was born into the sport, following his father Rick Jones from drag strip to drag strip for as far back as anyone can remember. The elder Jones found success in the IHRA Mountain Motor class and later in Pro Stock Truck (where Troy Jr.’s uncles Mike and John competed), both as a tuner and driver. At the same time, he started building racecars, and his creations have since claimed numerous world titles, most notably with multi-time champions Warren Johnson, Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Erica Enders. 
As soon as he was old enough, Rickie became a part of it all, including the creation of the Jones’ other entity, Quarter-Max, where they manufacturer and sell a line of chassis and suspension parts, as well as components from several other vendors.
On the racing side of things, Rickie competed in Pro Stock and Pro Mod from 2008-2013, before joining his father on the tuning side of the equation. He’s spent the last seven years working on the cars of Enders, Jeg Jr., Aaron Stanfield and now Troy Jr., who is just three years his junior. As a side business, he also helps a variety of sportsman racers tune their cars.
“The similarities between T.J. and me are really neat,” Rickie said. “We were both pretty much born and raised at the races and both of our dads raced for many years. I know we share a real love for Pro Stock, plus we’re very alike as far as demeanor and personalities go. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together, hopefully for many, many years.
“Both of us grew up dreaming about having these kind of chances, to try to win and win championships at the top level of the sport. Obviously, (team owner) Richard Freeman gives us everything we need to win so it’s up to us to put it all together. We’re real excited about having T.J. take this next step with us. He’s got all the potential in the world.
“I had an opportunity to work with him in preseason testing when he drove Jeg’s car at Bradenton. He took to it like a duck to water. He’s a natural. He asked a lot of great questions and has been a real student of the class ever since, watching a lot of the in-car camara video of his uncle’s runs. It’s really no surprise he’s done well considering all the cars he’s raced.”
Beginning in Junior Dragsters, Troy Jr. has raced in Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster, several E.T Bracket cars, Pro Mod, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Fuel and now Pro Stock. He won the Division 3 Super Gas title in 2013, the North Central region championship in Top Alcohol Dragster in 2018, and the East region Top Alcohol Dragster crown in 2019. He has 10 divisional/regional wins and eight more national event trophies.
“I’ve been lucky to race so many different cars through the years but nothing has been as challenging as Pro Stock,” Troy Jr. said. “It’s a constant challenge to try and make a perfect run each time down the track. I try not to set any expectations but I think we all know great things are within our grasp. We should continue to be major players in the class.
“Having Rickie as the crew chief is the best-case scenario for me. In testing he was always real calm on the radio, which I really liked, and during the season he was someone I could talk to about anything in regards to the runs I was making. He knows Pro Stock as both a driver and a crew chief, plus he drove in Pro Mod too, so we’re a lot alike in many ways. We’ve been down the same roads.”
Rickie knew he had a unique talent in Troy Jr. as early as that initial test session when after completing his first full run down the track, Troy Jr. admitted the car got his attention.
“Here’s a guy that drove a Top Fuel dragster and the first thing he says was how surprised he was by the Pro Stock car,” Rickie said. “He realized on that first run how much you need to be on top of these things. Drivers really have to drive a Pro Stock car. There’s a lot to do in those six seconds. Nothing can truly simulate a run and no one has ever jumped in a Pro Stock car and been perfect from the start. It takes time.
“I think T.J. took to it as quickly as he has because he’s been making runs in his head since he was a little kid. He’s watched his dad and uncle race so many times and it’s become embedded in his head. I personally think there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

santa pod raceway 2021 schedule announced

2021 FIA DRAG RACING CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED 
Cancelled in 2020, the FIA European Drag Racing Championship is set to resume in 2021 with six rounds:
Rnd.128-31 MaySanta Pod Raceway, UK
Rnd.210-13 JuneTierp Arena, Sweden
Rnd.38-10 JulyKauhava, Finland (Top Fuel Dragster, Pro Modified only)
Rnd.412-15 AugustTierp Arena, Sweden
Rnd.527-29 AugustHockenheimring, Germany
Rnd.69-12 SeptemberSanta Pod Raceway, UK
The schedule, agreed by the FIA and the series promoter, Drag Racing Europe AB, is subject to confirmation by the World Motor Sport Council in mid-December.
FIA championships are contested in four categories: Top Fuel Dragster, Pro Modified, Pro Stock and the combined Top Methanol Dragster/Funny Car class. Only Top Fuel and Pro Mod will be contested in Finland.

Brenda Grubbs time slip November

Texas Races

During the NHRA National Open, contested before the Dallas National event, Brenda ran the Super Stocker to get an additional grade point. During the last qualifying run, Brenda heard a noise that didn’t sound right and quickly shut the engine down. After being towed back to the pits, the issue was identified as a failed lifter. Because Brenda was not in the hunt for a championship, it was determined in consultations with Jason and Lance Line, the engine needed to be repaired to ensure no further damage. Unfortunately, this meant the end of the season for the Super Stocker.

The issue was in fact a failed lifter, but it was
not a lifter which had been purchased, for the
engine. The lifter had been produced prior to
the Super Stocker’s existence. The set of
lifters that had been purchased was in a
previous engine builders shop for about a year
before the relationship ended and parts were retrieved. It is disappointing to think a builder would swap in old parts for brand new state-of-the-art lifters.

Brenda continued with the Stocker in the National event and made it to the quarter final round. While Brenda had a chance at finishing again in the Top 10, a first round exit at the Houston National event eliminated this possibility.

Southern/Gator/Spring Nationals Final Round

The rescheduled Southern Nationals held at the rescheduled Gator Nationals and finished at the rescheduled Houston National event resulted in a runner- up finish for Brenda after a -.004 red light. The car ran dead-on 9.927 on a 9.92 dial… Oh but for .004 seconds. This

w a s Brenda’s second runner-up finish at a Gator Nationals event. Her first NHRA National event final was at the Gators in 2006. Brenda remains determined to win the Gator Nationals!

Brenda published three articles on Sportsman racers this year including Jenifer White, Debby DiGenova and Bobby Devine. Her last article for 2020 has been started and will be submitted soon.

Hint: What is old is new again!

2021 Season Starters

Testing Jan/Feb

Bradenton

Belle Rose Divisional

Gainesville Divisional

Gator Nationals

TBD
Feb 26-27

Mar 4-7 Mar 12-14

And that’s a wrap!

Even with the year being crazy, the race season seemed to fly by. The Stocker had another good year with a National runner-up, National quarter final and a Divisional quarter final. The Super Stocker continues to be a “problem child” but did manage to achieve a quarter final finish at the Houston Divisional.

The #6 on the Stocker will be removed and replaced with #2020. For most, the number 2020 doesn’t illicit good memories. For Brenda, it’s been her Stock competition number for seventeen years. Last year, another racer who had the #2020 in Super Stock retired. He took the time to find Brenda and gifted her the #2020 for Super Stock!

Off Season Plans

The race shop is currently pretty empty. The engines are at Line Performance getting repaired/freshened, the transmissions are at ProTrans getting freshened and the cars are having work done at a chassis shop.

After years of running the car with original 69 Camaro seats, the Stocker is getting new “The Joie of Seating” seats. They are almost identical to the current Super Stocker seats. The new custom fitted seats will provide Brenda with additional safety.

The goal for the Super Stocker is to lose the title “problem child” beginning with the season opener. A few tweaks are being made to get the car to the performance level and consistency its capable of.

Brenda and Bill remain pleased and excited about the partnership with Line Performance. In addition to having the Super Stocker engine repaired, another Super Stock engine is being built as a back-up and should be ready early February. A second Stocker engine will be built mid to late 2021. Having a backup engine for each car will provide a peace of mind and help maintain the planned racing schedule.

While the cars are at the chassis shop, Bill will have more time to complete a few projects on the motorhome and trailer, as well as make Brenda happy by organizing the shop! Once the Stocker is home, Bill will install a new RacePak Smartwire system.

Brenda is working on her off-season development plan. Her plan includes physical development (diet, exercise, practice tree, etc.) and mental development. Brenda believes the mental part of racing is extremely important and she has an opportunity to make a few impactful tweaks. She is working with Luke Bogacki to fine tune her plan.

Testing will happen on both cars prior to the start of the season. Bradenton, Florida has previously provided great weather and a great track for testing. Brenda is always ready to go back to her previous “home track” and enjoy the Florida sunshine!

chevy racing–nascar next gen testing 11/16

NASCAR CUP SERIES TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT NOVEMBER 16, 2020

CHIP GANASSI RACING’S, KURT BUSCH, is participating in a two-day Next Gen test held by NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch met with media via teleconference to discuss his thoughts after the first day of the test, what he’s learned from the test so far, and more. Transcript: 
IT WASN’T ALL THAT LONG AGO THAT YOU RACED THIS TRACK. GIVE US A COMPARISON OF HOW THIS DRIVES COMPARED TO WHAT YOU HAD THE LAST TIME YOU RACED HERE?“Today has been a fun, exciting, interesting day. It feels like the first day of school because of how different the car is. With the sequential gearbox, that’s the most fun. I love shifting through the gears. Sequentially, you have to go second, third, fourth, fifth, and then you have to go back fourth, third, second. It’s not your typical H-pattern that we’ve had. So, this gearbox is fun to drive. The brakes are much bigger and the car can stop a lot quicker. And then, we actually have a hybrid horsepower range. Right now, we’re not in the full 750hp, but we’re not the low 550hp.”
“But, overall, the car’s first impression is that it’s fun, it’s exciting and different, and I encourage everybody to dig into it to find its differences and to respect the process that NASCAR is going through to implement all these new, exciting components. A new front bulkhead, a new rear bulkhead, and, overall, the cars driving and its feel. Out on the ROVAL, it feels like I’m qualifying every lap because of how impressive the lap times are and how much grip the car has in certain spots of the race track. Overall, a lot of fun. It’s neat working with all these different people trying to sort out a car that has never been on a road course before.”
YOU’RE A GUY THAT’S DRIVEN SPORTSCARS AND MARTIN TRUEX JR. HAS NEVER DRIVEN A SPORTSCAR. DOES THIS FEEL MORE LIKE A SPORTSCAR COMPARED TO THE BIG, STOCKY STOCK CAR THAT YOU GO AROUND THIS TRACK IN?“It’s a good marriage between the two. (inaudible) With the independent rear suspension, there’s different lingo and talk about anti-dives,(inaudible), and different ways we’re going to adjust these cars instead of your typical track bar or wedge. So, there’s a lot of adjustments and a lot of new terminology. Driver to driver, they’re going to figure it out, and then you have to go to the next level in how you translate that information to your crew and how the crew goes through the new components and finds out what’s the most effective. That’s going to make things different.”
INAUDIBLE“It’s a one-lever, sequential gearbox shift. So, you start out in neutral and then you’ve got to go first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and down fourth, third, second, first. And so, you can’t just go through the H-pattern and go to whatever gear you want – you have to go through them all.”
HOW PROBLEMATIC WOULD THAT BE WITH TRANSMISSIONS FOR GUYS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN FAMILIAR WITH THAT PATTERN?“It won’t be too bad. I think a racer will figure it out. A lot of us drove Legend Cars and that’s a motorcycle, sequential gearbox. That’s the easiest comparison. It might not be the most handsome and powerful comparison, but like an Australian V8 Supercar or a Sand Rail (inaudible).”
HAVE YOU GOTTEN A CHANCE TO DRIVE ANYWHERE CLOSE TO WHERE TRUEX HAS BEEN? HAVE YOU GOTTEN A FEEL OF HOW THIS CAR MIGHT RACE?“We’ve been on different ends of the track. The focus is to go through tires for Goodyear and finding the best combination. There’s a Watkins Glen tire here, there’s a Mid-Ohio tire, and there’s also a Sonoma tire that we need to run. I think we’re just trying to log laps on components for road course stuff and then Wednesday will be the primary focus on getting the cars out there together, seeing how they manipulate the air and if they’re less effected by the air.”
IS THIS CAR, IN DRIVING IT COMPARED TO WHAT YOU NORMALLY DRIVE, DOES IT TURN BETTER? DOES IT STEER BETTER? ARE YOU ACCELERATING QUICKER OR BRAKING LATER?“Yes, everything. It even sounds roadier and deeper. The sound was very cool. I don’t get to hear cars a lot because I’m in the car racing, but to hear Truex go around and to hear the split exhaust – one pipes out the left, one pipes out the right – that’s an old school, Trans Am-style, thundering power feel. But the car accelerates quicker, it stops quicker, it turns quicker, it’s more nimble. All the lap time that’s been gained is through the infield section with the independent rear suspension and the ability to shift quicker. So, really the car, I don’t want to use the word ‘steroids’ – it’s just the car is more effective and the car is more sensitive to changes and to feel, even with a shorter side wall. The car is riding smooth, but you feel everything more vividly.”
SOME OF THE EARLIER TESTS, THE GUYS WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT TWITCHINESS IN THE STEERING. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE WAY THE STEERING FEELS AND WHETHER IT’S TWITCHY, HOW RESPONSIVE IT IS, OR HOW SOFT IT IS?“So, we’re doing good right now. They still have one more change to make things firmer – to have the sensitivity turned down a little bit more. Right now, yes, it’s on the aggressive side for feel, twitchiness and movement. But, we’re at a road course for the first time and I like its movement back and forth, left to right. But, on the oval sections, it’s a little bit on edge and we need to try to perfect that and that’s more of the Wednesday focus. We will run different valving tonight to help with the steering just to see what that change does. But road course stuff, we’re in the box. Oval, we’ll know more on Wednesday.”
I KNOW YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN IN AND OUT MULTIPLE TIMES. DO YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT KIND OF CHANGES THEY’RE MAKING BETWEEN RUNS? ARE THEY THROWING BIG THINGS AT IT OR JUST SMALL PRESSURE CHANGES AND STUFF LIKE THAT?“I would say we’ve done pretty good to have aggressive changes so far. Small changes and different tire compounds have been across the car. My brain is swirling about all the gears that I want to change in the gearbox, but we’re just going to leave it for today. But yeah, the car is reacting well to typical changes and to new things that we’re talking about, as far as anti-dive, anti-squat. The caster changes we haven’t done yet are much different than years’ past with the way the shocks mount to the control arms and the wishbones. So, a bunch of new stuff to learn.”
HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN RUNNING THE SAME RATIOS IN THE BOX ALL DAY?“Yes, same ratios. I don’t know what Truex has in his, but it’s in the ballpark.”
“We’re just trying to get a lot of the big things done on NASCAR’s checklist, instead of trying to fine-tune for speed. We’ll worry about that in 2022.”
WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT DRIVING THE CAR?“So far, everything has a reason for either the twitchiness, the comfort level in the braking zones or even the feel out on the oval. It’s all had a reason for why it did what it did. (inaudible).” 
WAS IT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING IT TO FEEL LIKE?“You know, it was like the first day of school, honestly. There’s so much to look at, digest, and feel. Overall, though, I still have yet to even see the laps times, but they told me it’s been an impressive pickup of speed versus the traditional car. So, to me, that says Next Gen all over it – when you’re going faster, turning better, accelerating harder, braking harder and braking faster. Just faster is better, so we’ll keep fine-tuning it.”
ARE YOU PLANNING TO RUN THE SAME CAR WEDNESDAY?“Yes. That car that’s behind me – tomorrow, they’ll switch all the components over for oval track settings and then go out there on Wednesday.” 

Dominic Scelzi Capping 2020 Season Friday at Merced Speedway

Inside Line Promotions – FRESNO, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2020) – Dominic Scelzi will wrap up the 2020 season this Friday at Merced Speedway, which features a 360ci winged sprint car race during its big weekend of hosting midgets.

Scelzi is slated to drive his family owned sprint car in his second career race at the bullring in Merced, Calif.

“My goal is to win,” he said. “I want to have good speed to start the night and be up there at the end of the night. I think we’ll be good.

“I showed up there a few years ago for a World of Outlaws race and didn’t make any laps because of mechanical problems. Earlier this year was really my first time racing there. It reminds me of River Cities Speedway (in Grand Forks, N.D.) with a wall on the backstretch. It’s extremely small and tight. The banking works to your advantage. It’s a track that was really fun earlier in the year and had a big cushion. The top and the bottom were very even.”

Scelzi posted a ninth-place result out of the 50-plus drivers competing with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour on March 6. Friday provides an opportunity to end the year with an exclamation point.

“After coming back from being on the road, I’ve only run one or two races in my family car and we’ve had really good speed,” he said. “I want to knock off a win, especially at a place I haven’t won at before. I feel we have the speed, but there’s going to be some really good guys there. We’ll put our best foot forward and see where it leads us.”

Acura Sweeps IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Titles


Acura Team Penske claims DPi Manufacturers’ and Teams’ crowns with Acura ARX-05 prototype
Meyer Shank Racing takes GTD Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships with the Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor earn DPi Drivers’ Title
Mario Farnbacher successfully defends GTD Drivers’ Championship with Matt McMurry

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Acura was the big winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as the 2020 season came to a close Saturday night at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, winning all six major titles in the headline Daytona Prototype International and production-based GT Daytona classes.

Acura Team Penske
Acura’s second consecutive sweep of the DPi Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ championships came with a second-place finish for the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagneaud.

Meanwhile, following an early race mechanical issue, their teammates in the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and endurance driver Alexander Rossi once again displayed incredible determination in battling back from a 12-lap deficit to finish eighth and claim the drivers’ and teams’ titles by a single championship point.

In typical Sebring fashion, the 12-hour endurance contest played out more like a sprint race, with action and suspense throughout the event. After starting from the pole, the #7 Acura with Taylor at the wheel lost turbocharger boost due to a component failure just 40 minutes into the race. After going behind the wall for repairs, Taylor, Castroneves and Rossi resumed racing 12 laps behind the leaders, and raced hard into the night to cut the deficit by more than half. The resulting eighth-place finish crowned season-long drivers Taylor and Castroneves as champions, by a single point over the Wayne Taylor Racing pairing of Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande. The title was the second for Taylor, and the first for Castroneves to cap an incredible, 21-year career with Team Penske.

Taking over at the front of the race as their teammates repairs continued, the #6 ARX-05 began a long battle for the lead with the #10 Wayne Taylor and #31 Action Express Cadillacs, with other competitors waiting in the wings should anyone at the front falter.

That opportunity came as night fell in the closing hours. Contact from Pipo Derani in the #31 sent Montoya spinning in the #6 Acura, dropping Montoya to third and resulting in a “drive through” penalty to Derani for the causing the collision. The pair of Mazda prototypes seized their chance to take control, until a cut tire and unscheduled pit stop for the #77 Mazda of Oliver Jarvis enabled Cameron to seize second place in the final hour, securing the DPi sweep as Acura claimed the Manufacturers’ Championship by a single point over Cadillac.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
In the production-based GTD category, Meyer Shank Racing prevailed in a typically rough-and-tumble contest to complete a dominating season in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with the Acura NSX GT3 Evo claiming the crown by an eight-point margin over nine other competing performance car OEM’s, include Porsche, Lexus, BMW, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

In another typically gritty performance, the #86 MSR Acura of defending series champion Mario Farnbacher, Matt McMurry and Shinya Michimi used a third-place class finish to secure the drivers’ and team’s titles for full-season drivers Farnbacher and McMurry. This came despite contact from another competitor – for the fourth time the last five races – that set aside their hopes for a third GTD victory in 2020.

Still their season-long efforts – along with those of the partner trio of Joey Hand, Misha Goikhberg and Trent Hindman in the partner #57 Heinricher Racing with MSR Acura, was more than sufficient to secure the GTD Manufacturers’ Championship by a relatively comfortable eight-point margin to complete the sweep of all six season-long IMSA DPi and GTD titles for Acura.

Next
Today’s race concluded the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Acura will return to defend its prototype and GTD titles in the 2021 season, which opens January 28-31 with the Rolex 24 at the famed Daytona International Speedway.

Acura Motorsports social media content and video links from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring are available on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).   

Quotes
Wayne Gross (Race Team Manager, Honda Performance Development) on today’s season-ending Twelve Hours of Sebring and championship sweep for Acura and HPD: “The Sebring 12 hour is always rough and challenging. This race was certainly no exception, full of drama, battles and excitement. But at the end of an incredible day and night, and an equally incredible IMSA season, Acura and our partner teams once again lived up to our motto of ‘Precision Crafted Performance’. We did what was needed to take home the drivers’, teams’ and manufacturers’ titles in both DPi and GTD, for a successful close to our relationship with Acura Team Penske in DPi, and Meyer Shank Racing in GTD. We are sincerely thankful to everyone at Acura Team Penske, and of course everyone at HPD, for their season-long efforts. Together, we’ve achieved success on so many fronts this year in truly unique, and always challenging, conditions.

“But there’s no time to rest, as the 2021 season will be starting before we know it. We have a lot of work to do as MSR moves to DPi and is joined Wayne Taylor Racing to fly the Acura banner, and we’re already working hard for next year.”

Ricky Taylor (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) 2020 IMSA DPi Champion with four wins in nine races: “To me [co-driver Helio Castroneves] is Team Penske. For me, it was the privilege of a lifetime to get to drive for Acura Team Penske and to have the best three years of my career here. To win this championship with this team, and with him [Castroneves] is one of the highlights of my life. We’ll be friends for life.”

Helio Castroneves (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) 2020 IMSA DPi Champion with four wins in nine races: “There’s just so much going through my mind right now. For me, being able to win this championship with this amazing organization, this incredible group of people, I’ll never, ever forget this time. I have to thank everyone here, this guy [co-driver Ricky Taylor] and of course Roger Penske. What an incredible journey.”

Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) 2020 IMSA GTD Champion with two wins and three podiums, successfully defends 2019 drivers’ title: “This championship means everything. I got into this team in 2018 as a third [endurance race] driver, and I’ve grown so much since then. I was named a full-season driver last year and we became champions with [co-driver] Trent Hindman, Acura, HPD and Meyer Shank Racing. And now, this year, we did it again with these amazing two gentlemen [McMurry and Michimi], Acura and this amazing crew. It hurts a bit that this program ends with Meyer Shank Racing [as MSR moves to the DPi class in 2020 and new teams take over the Acura GTD effort], but for sure a new chapter will open next year. It’s just so great to end this season with, first of all, the championship, and a podium at the end.”

Matt McMurry (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) 2020 IMSA GTD Champion with two wins and three podiums; 2019 LMP champion: “There were a lot of ups and downs all throughout the race, but we just did consistent laps the whole time. The team did such an awesome job, they always do. [Co-drivers] Mario [Farnbacher] and Shinya [Michimi] did such an incredible job. We couldn’t have done it without everyone involv

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Respect to the Bumps

GTLM championship program closes out first year with mid-engine Corvette C8.R
SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Corvette Racing endured a tough close to its championship-winning season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, but it ended 2020 with a tremendous level of success in the first year of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
A pair of suspension issues relegated the two Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.Rs to fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the final race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It didn’t take anything away from the program’s achievement of sweeping the full-season GT Le Mans (GTLM) class championships: Manufacturers title for Chevrolet, Drivers Championship for Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, and Team title for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Corvette Racing ended the season with six wins, seven pole positions and six fastest GTLM race laps, including Nicky Catsburg on Saturday in the No. 3 Corvette. 
In addition, the No. 4 Corvette C8.R pairing of Oliver Gavin – who made his final start as a full-season Corvette Racing competitor – and Tommy Milner finished third in the final GTLM Drivers points standings.
Both Corvettes showed good pace early in the 12 Hours before misfortune struck the No. 4 C8.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler. A water leak in the third hour set back Gavin – making his final full-season start with the team – by six laps. Things didn’t improve with a suspension issue just past the halfway mark that sent the No. 4 Corvette back to the garage with damage. But instead of giving up, the No. 4 team worked quickly to replace the damaged components and had the car back on-track with 3:30 to go.
For most of the day, it looked like the No. 3 Corvette of Garcia, Taylor and Catsburg was the car to beat in class. Garcia began from pole position, and the C8.R led seven times. The No. 3 team came back from fifth near the four-hour mark and to the lead within the next hour thanks to some solid laps, a great pitstop and some luck with a full-course yellow with about three hours to go.
Garcia was running second when he experienced a problem at the left-rear of the Corvette in a similar spot as the No. 4 C8.R’s issues. The Corvette Racing crew did its homework, however, and had Garcia back in the race after just 15 minutes following repairs in its garage.
Corvette Racing will open its 2021 season with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “It’s a shame we couldn’t finish the year on a high, especially at such a big event like Sebring. We were fighting hard until we had our suspension issue. Definitely we were hunting for the win. It happens. It’s a shame both our cars had similar issues. Still, it’s the first year for the C8.R and there is still a learning curve. We will learn from all the races we’ve done – the races we’ve won and for sure the ones where we had some issues. It’s never easy to have a perfect race every weekend, so every event is a chance to learn. We were fighting for the win, which was the main thing. It was a hard race for everyone, but that is Sebring. This makes me want to get back to Daytona even stronger than how we ended.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “If you look at the event itself, it obviously was a disappointment. But for Antonio and me, coming in crowned champions beforehand, this gave us some freedom to push the car to its limits. We made it through the Rolex 24 with no issues, but Sebring is a different animal. You’re always going to get tested here. It was the first time at the 12 Hours with this C8.R. Obviously, we would have liked to have a little bit more success but we proved the car was competitive. We had the fastest lap of the race and were strong in both day and night. We have a good understanding of where the car is competitive, but these things happen with new cars. To win the championship, win six times and get seven pole positions as a team with a brand new racecar says so much about Corvette Racing and the preparation and development of this C8.R. I’m honored to be a part of it and definitely it’s one of the greatest years I’ll ever have in my career. We made a lot of great memories, and I’m happy to share them all with my teammates.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “This was a very tough race, as Sebring always is. We definitely had a shot at the win today before our suspension problem. Before that, the C8.R was so fast and it looked like things would go our way. As we saw with a lot of cars today, that doesn’t always happen at this track. But we can take a lot from this weekend and put it toward next season and the second year with the Corvette. I had a lot of fun driving this car and with this team for the first time. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Corvette Racing.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R  – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “The weekend has been emotional, and it was always going to be. That’s one of the reasons I wanted my wife Helen here. I knew I was going to struggle somewhat with it without her being here to support. Yesterday was very nice… Jim Campbell, Gary Pratt, Doug Fehan and Ben Johnson said some very nice words with all the team – j st to spend a moment with them and thank them for what’s been an amazing 19 years was special. There has been so much success, so much positivity, great feelings and friendships. I felt very honored that I could share that moment with them. I tried to say some words, and I was quite emotional and only got some of them out! But I think I got the message across – that I’m deeply appreciative of everything that everyone has done at Corvette Racing and Team Chevy collectively. It has been an unbelievable 19 years. I was very grateful to be able to thank the people that have done the most for me over these 19 years. It was really fantastic.”ON THE RACE: “The race today showed a lot of promise. Almost right from the start, we weren’t quite there with the car. The guys worked to figure some stuff out, and we got better. It looked like we were in the hunt and had pace. When we lost all the water out of the radiator, it was a pretty big setback. We did what we could to get some laps back and then had the left-rear suspension problem. It was one of the moments that you don’t expect but you realize it’s going to happen at some point as a racing driver. But once again, Corvette Racing did a great job to get the car back together, everything going and us back out on the track as fast as they possibly could. It’s a testament to how they’re trained and how they work. It’s great to see. It gives me an immense amount of pride to watch them operate. Both crews had their moments of adversity, but not once did anyone complain or kick back; they all just dove straight in to get the cars back out. That’s what Corvette Racing is about. It’s what has won us a lot of races and championships, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “It’s not the race result we wanted to end the season, for sure, but I’m happy Olly and I got third in the championship. We hoped to be able to challenge for the win. If things had progressed like we expected, we would have been able to. But that’s what happens at Sebring and why it’s so tough. It was great to let Olly have some fun in his last two stints. I’m proud of what we have accomplished as teammates, and I’ve been lucky to drive with him for such a long time. He’s been a big part of my career and we’ll miss having him around. Like anything with a new car, we have learned a lot as time has gone on. I’m proud of what Corvette Racing has been able to achieve this year. We’ve been really fast with this new C8.R, and I’m excited for the future with this Corvette.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “That was a tough one to swallow. We had issues quite early with the water leak that put us five laps down. It was difficult to get those laps back. We tried a lot, and the team was never giving up. The suspension problem really put us out of the game. It was hard for me to do this race with Corvette. It was a great opportunity to drive here with Corvette Racing. It’s like a family to me, and I really enjoyed being with the team.”

Chevrolet Captures GT Le Mans Manufacturers ChampionshipComes on the heels of Corvette Racing taking the GTLM Drivers, Team titles

SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2020) – Chevrolet claimed the GT Le Mans Manufacturers title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship today after the Corvette C8.R started the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This is Chevrolet’s 13th Manufacturers title in IMSA GT competition since 2001 and concludes the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s inaugural season. Corvette Racing fielded two of the new Corvette C8.Rs in the 2020 WeatherTech Championship. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and the No. 3 Corvette Racing team clinched the GTLM Drivers and Team championships two weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. “The first season for the Corvette C8.R has shattered all of our expectations,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The success of the Corvette Racing team wouldn’t be possible without the close link between the crew and the Corvette engineering team. It has been great to watch these two teams work closely together to learn from each other. I can’t wait to see what next season brings.” The mid-engine C8.R and 2020 Corvette Stingray were developed simultaneously, and the race car and production vehicle share more technology and parts than any previous-generation Corvette. When initial Corvette C8.R design and development work began more than five years ago, Corvette Racing engineers worked closely alongside Corvette production personnel. Within the last 18 months, track testing began with a heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation testing.
Chevrolet swept the three full-season GTLM titles for the third time in five years. This is only the second time that a first-year Corvette race car has won an IMSA championship. In 2005, Corvette C6.R won American Le Mans Series championship during its first season. Corvette Racing captured six victories leading into Sebring. Garcia and Taylor gave the Corvette C8.R its first victory at Daytona International Speedway in July, Corvette Racing’s 100th IMSA win. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the next race in the No. 4 Corvette C8.R with Garcia and Taylor in second – the first 1-2 finish for the C8.R. In addition, the Corvette C8.R has claimed seven pole positions and posted fastest GTLM race lap at five events.

Andoni Mugarza–2020 Basque Hill Climb Championship

I wanted to share my joy with you and all ARP team, because we have won the title for another year. We have been proclaimed champions  of the 2020 Basque Hill Climb Championship in our group.
Despite the pandemic, the Motor Sport Federation organized a mini-championship with three meetings in different locations. In each of them we will dispute the training sessions and two races, obtaining 6 different scores for the final classification.
In the first race in August we had a technical problem with a fuel injector and this did not allow us to get the maximum of our vehicle. We had problems all the weekend and this made us work and fight only for second place.We knew the potential of our team and we weren’t worried about the result because we knew that when the problem was solved the car would be really competitive.
This is what happened in the second round, in which we dominated the entire weekend from the practice round. We knew that the injection problem was solved and the car was the same as always. For me I ran on my favorite mountain road ( maximum speed corners mountain road). In both races we won our category and also we classified ahead of other superior vehicles like BMW M3..
A hard job for all the team the week before the race gave us a perfect set-up for that track allowing us to get a new record, breaking the chrono of other competitors with more powerfull cars.
We were class leaders in the absence of the last and decisive race. We were very hopeful and eager to end the season with another win so we worked hard in the week before to prepare the car with the best set-up for Urraki mountain race.We started dominating the practice but in the absence of a few riders to finish, a tragic news from security marshals broke our hearts. One of the competitor and a partner lost his life in the middle of the course due to the serious accident. A front collision with a wall near the mountain road seriously damaged his vehicle, causing the pilot to die instantly from the deceleration
Immediately the federation and organization canceled the tragic race, so the classifications do not receive any change proclaiming us category champions of this 2020 yea
We are very sad by the loss of our friend but at the same time we are very hopeful about the next season. I think we have the potential to achieve good results and in part that is due to the support I receive from all of you with. Your performance materials gives me security and tranquility to be able to demand the maximum from my engine building and fight in each race for the top positions.
I am very proud to be able to belong to a brand like ARP and I hope to continue contributing to that in future seasons. For it we will not stop working hard despite the fact that sometimes our eyes fill with tear.

RAD DAN update–EVENT RECAP: Round 5 & 6

 


SAME track, NEW layout for Team RAD in Texas this year. After a reschedule and a lot of persitency on Formula Drift’s behalf, we were grateful to bring Round 5 & 6 to Texas Motor Speedway! It was a tough round for all the teams to get familiar with the layout. Team RAD continues to learn more and more about the car from track to track. We are looking forward to turning it up in our final rounds at Irwindale Speedway NEXT WEEK!
 

Racer News and Results