Summit Racing–Anderson Back in the Game After Another Great Outing at U.S. Nationals

Anderson Back in the Game After Another Great Outing at U.S. Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind., September 2, 2013 – Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson is enjoying the upswing that he has been waiting for all season long. Another powerful showing, this time at the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, has the four-time series world champion in an optimistic frame of mind as NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship is ready for launch.
The driver of the white Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was enthusiastic following four sessions of qualifying at the event that stretched across a long holiday weekend. Anderson’s performance included a qualifying best time of 6.640 at 208.10 mph and a bonus point earned in the final session as the third-quickest of the round.
In the opening act of eliminations, Anderson utilized a .024-second reaction time and a 6.624 at 208.49 to better Greg Stanfield’s .027 and 6.680, 206.04, and the victory set the Mooresville, N.C.-based driver up for a second round meeting with young gun Rickie Jones. Jones was stellar at the tree, recording a near-perfect .003-second reaction time, but old pro Anderson was quickly on his tail, launching with a very swift .009 and pairing it with a 6.673 to top a troubled Jones, who slowed to an 8.027.
A six-time U.S. Nationals winner and eight-time finalist at the prestigious and historic event, Anderson felt confident despite a lack of lane choice as he entered the semifinals for a meeting with points leader Mike Edwards. Luck had previously been on Anderson’s side in Indy, but this time good fortune fell on the other side as the two Chevrolet Camaro drivers clocked identical 6.640s and Anderson bested his opponent on speed, 208.36 to 207.46 but win light flashed in Edwards’ lane. The margin of victory was a mere .011-second in Edwards’ favor due to a .012 reaction to Anderson’s respectable .023.
“The good news is, we’ve got cars that are ready to win races,” said Anderson. “We were very close to being able to win the U.S. Nationals today, and we’re back in the game. We’ve got a week off to work on our stuff and try to get it better for Charlotte, and we want to win that first race of the Countdown. The Summit Racing team will be testing at zMAX Dragway this week for two days, and hopefully we’ll make some performance gains, come to the next race and run low e.t. of each round. That’s what we’re looking for.”
The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals marked the last event to earn points and jockey for positions before NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship, and Anderson enters the chase for the biggest trophy of the season in the No. 7 spot. His teammate, Jason Line, is No. 6.
“One of the two of us needs to win that race,” said Anderson. “Going in seeded that low, you really don’t have any mulligans left. You have to come out of the gate strong, and hopefully we can make up even more ground at our test session. It’s a dogfight out here right now. There are a lot of cars that can win this thing; it’s wide open. We’re happy with our Summit Racing Camaros, and if we can gain a little bit of an edge in performance this week, we’ll have an even better shot at that big trophy.”





INDIANAPOLIS, IN —- For the third time in his eight year career Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang have won the most prestigious race on the NHRA Mello Yello Series, the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals. Hight defeated Jack Beckman in the final round 4.111 seconds to 6.072 seconds just three rounds after Hight clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.


Hight entered the race in the No. 10 spot in the points and left Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in the No. 9 spot and with his 28th career win, the second most for a John Force Racing Funny Car driver. Hight was previously tied with Tony Pedregon at 27 Funny Cars at JFR.


Entering the race as the No. 7 qualifier Hight was not overly confident at the end of the day on Sunday. A conversation with crew chief Mike Neff, winner of the past two U.S. Nationals gave Hight a confidence boost.


“Mike Neff really changed things for me this weekend. Yesterday when the day was over we were seventh and that is not our usual solid qualifying effort. When we got back to the pits he came up to me and said we have them right where we want them. I looked at him like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He said he has won the last two US Nationals and we didn’t qualify well. He said come Monday we will be fine. He said we will run well,” said a focused Hight.


“To add to the pressure we have to go up there and race Cruz Pedregon in the first round. He is one of the toughest competitors out here and when his car is on, he is tough to beat. We are trying to stay in the Top Ten. There are like a million things going on. I didn’t sleep last night,” said Hight.


Once again the calming influence of crew chief Mike Neff helped his driver relax and focus on the task at hand.


“Right before the first round Neff came up to me and said, ‘Listen regardless of the outcome we are in this together. We are going to believe in each other and we are going to stick together.’ It was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I am up there trying to do a good job for him and this Auto Club team. They were doing well until I stepped into the seat. It was the perfect time to win,” said a relieved Hight in the Wall Parks Media Center.


At the end of the day Jamie Allison released a statement of support for the four Ford Mustang Funny Car teams as they enter the 2013 Countdown.


“What a great way to enter the playoffs – with a win for Robert Hight!” said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing. “Of course, when one of your teams doesn’t make it it’s bittersweet, but we’re looking forward to a strong finish to the season for Ford. We’re committed to helping our teams win the championship this year. We wish all of our teams good luck in the Countdown.”


It had been thirty five races since Hight saw four win lights on race day.  His last win was the Four Wide NHRA Nationals in Charlotte. He had one final round appearance in that stretch losing to Johnny Gray in Topeka this year.


“This is definitely the biggest win of my career. You start doubting yourself. We won four in a row early on last season and then went on a complete dry spell. I think I have only been to one other final and that was Topeka this year,” said Hight who has won at least two NHRA Funny Car races every season his entire career. “You start wondering about yourself. Then we make the big switch and I go over and drive for the Castrol team and we just move all my Auto Club decals. They were running well and winning and you start doubting yourself. You start asking yourself if I am the problem. John (Force) went to the final in Sonoma and all that stuff starts wearing on you. You start thinking about it.  


Hight defeated Cruz Pedregon in the first round and clinched his spot in the Countdown when Bob Tasca III lost in the first round to Tim Wilkerson. Hight reflected on how tough the Funny Car class is and how he entered the Countdown in the No. 10 position in 2009 on the way to his first Funny car championship.


“It is not getting any easier. In fact I think competition is tougher now than when I won the championship in 2009. You don’t see people going out there and winning three races in a row any more. It just doesn’t happen. From the No. 9 position we are going to have to put together a hot streak. If we want to win the championship we are going to have to win at least two races and go to the semi-finals in the rest of the races.”


This was the sixth year in a row for John Force Racing to win the Funny Car title at the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals. Hight started the streak in 2008, then teammate Ashley Force Hood followed with wins in 2009 and 2010, and Hight’s current crew chief Mike Neff added his two U.S. Nationals in 2011 and 2012. The team has won eight of the last ten Funny Car titles going back to Gary Densham in 2004.


“Keeping the winning streak alive was huge. Pulling up into the staging lanes right before we ran and you saw all these guys in JFR uniforms. There are more than normal because we are based in Brownsburg just right up the street. There are so many guys that are behind the scenes that don’t get to go to the races,” said Hight. “From guys that make our chassis to the engine builders or the guys in the paint department we are a big organization and you want to get them in the winner’s circle. You want them to be a part of this and have a big celebration with them. That is exactly what we are going to do.”


Hight is now only one U.S. Nationals win behind team owner John Force who took out Paul Lee in the first round before losing to veteran Del Worsham in the second round. After Force beat Lee in the opening round the winningest driver in NHRA history was pulling for all his teammates and sponsors.


“I am excited. I am going to have to start chasing corporate America but first I have to get back to racing. We are going to win this race. It will either be me or Robert Hight with his Auto Club Mustang. We have great partners like Castrol, Ford, Mac Tools, BrandSource, Traxxas, Freightliner and we will deliver,” said Force after first round win over Paul Lee


At the end of the day Force stood in the winner’s circle and surveyed the celebratory atmosphere.


“Winning Indy six years in a row is great. Robert has three Indy wins, I have four and this is three wins in a row for Mike Neff. These guys are the future of this team along with Courtney and Brittany and Ashley who has won this race twice in a row. You really have to just love Indy and how special it is. Robert got into the Countdown so we will have our three Mustangs trying to beat those Dodges and Toyotas. It will be a battle but we had a great day today and I have to thank the fans for sticking with this old truck driver. I will get fixed and we will keep on winning and staying  in the fight,” said Force from Hight’s winner’s circle


This Labor Day weekend ended in a first round loss for No. 14 qualified driver Courtney Force despite her quick reaction times on the starting line.


The 25-year-old from Yorba Linda, Calif. left Del Worsham on the starting line during the opening round of eliminations with her .085 light to his .128 light, but her Traxxas Ford Mustang smoked the tires at about the 330 foot mark and gave up the win.


“We had a tough first round match up with Del Worsham, but he had lane choice over us. We went out and I was feeling confident about the run. We tried to change some things to make our car leave better early and we did that. We left on him, got down there a little ways and it started to
smoke the tires. I had to pedal it and he went on to get the win,” said Force.


Had Force won in the first round and dismissed Worsham from eliminations, the pressure load on teammate and brother-in-law Robert Hight would have lessened, but eventually Hight’s win over Cruz Pedregon gave the Force team what they needed.


“It’s unfortunate. I really wanted to be there for my teammate, Robert Hight, and help him out by helping him get clinched into the Countdown to the Championship. We weren’t able to do it on that run, but luckily Robert has a good car in that Auto Club Ford Mustang and he was able to do it all himself. He took out Cruz and clinched there,” said Force.


Force will start the NHRA Mello Yello series Countdown to the Championship in the No. 7 spot and go on to Charlotte, N.C. to battle it out in a 6-race post season stretch.


“I’m proud of my guys. They worked hard. It’s been a really long weekend, but you know what, we’ve got a good race car and it’s only a matter of time before we get this thing figured out and have the whole package. I’m excited leading into Charlotte. I know that we have a good car. I have faith in my team. Ron Douglas has been great and given me a great race car every run. It’s been consistent. We’re looking forward to Charlotte,” said Force.


In her first appearance at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Top Fuel rookie Brittany Force put on a show for fans as she entered Sunday’s elimination rounds in the fourth position, her second best qualifying position of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.


Friday and Saturday’s qualifying efforts were stellar for the Castrol EDGE team as they raced to the No. 1 provisional qualifying position for the first time. Force and company tuned the dragster just right for those runs, but ultimately fell to the fourth position after four rounds of qualifying. In round one, the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award candidate faced veteran Terry McMillen. Force had a reaction time of 0.071 to McMillen’s 0.083, but the engine on the Castrol EDGE dragster blew up right before she crossed the finish line, falling short of the win.  


“First round we had Terry McMillen. It didn’t go quite the way we planned,” Force said. “It had a hole out and we tried to get it down there. I felt it doing some weird things and I knew we were almost to the finish line. I saw Terry in the other lane next to me, so I stayed in it and it ended up blowing up. We lost it right there at the end. We were right there next to him and I had a good reaction time. We’re still moving in the right direction. This Castrol EDGE team came out and qualified No. 4. We didn’t advance to round two like we wanted, but hopefully we can make that happen two weeks from now in Charlotte.”


The 27-year-old Cal State-Fullerton graduate has a lot to be proud of this weekend. Not only did she qualify for the biggest race of the season, she and her entire team showed they are moving in the right direction with all the changes they made prior to the event.


“I was so glad to be here and race in the U.S. Nationals,” Force said. “It’s just exciting to qualify for Indy. It’s the biggest race of the year and to qualify and make it in the show from the No. 4 spot is a pretty big deal. Also, we noticed yesterday when John Medlen came on board this weekend, we ended up fourth, which was Eric Medlen’s (John’s son) number, so we thought that was special and it meant that we’re going in the right direction.”  



Summit Racing–Line’s Chevrolet Camaro Among the Quickest on Raceday at U.S. Nationals

Line’s Chevrolet Camaro Among the Quickest on Raceday at U.S. Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind., September 2, 2013 – Pro Stock driver Jason Line exchanged his blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the silver car piloted by teammate Greg Anderson earlier this season just before the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, and the trade-in proved effective as he had one of the quickest cars during eliminations at the most revered and historic race on NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour.
Although somewhat disappointed by a disjointed group of qualifying sessions that included hot and sticky conditions as well as a thunderous downpour that washed away one round of the anticipated five, Line qualified his new ride in the No. 7 position with a best time of 6.645, 207.98 recorded in a session where he stood out as the only driver to improve.
Line maintained the position that he had the best car on the property at Lucas Oil Raceway, and he and teammate Greg Anderson had exceptionally well-matched cars on raceday, with each of the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros crossing the finish line with a 6.624-second blast in their respective first round matches and the KB Racing duo tied for third-quickest of the opening act and second-quickest of the Chevrolets, an honor that would hold throughout eliminations. The only quicker Chevrolet on the property on raceday belonged to event winner Mike Edwards.
“There is some sense of pride in making gains over where we were earlier in the season, and we’re definitely better than we were even just a month ago,” said Line, who utilized his 6.624 at 208.68 mph to oust Pro Stock returner Curt Steinbach in the first round before he was felled by V. Gaines in the quarterfinals, 6.644 to 6.625.
“The truth is that we still have a lot of work to do if we want to make a good impression in the Countdown. Team Summit has made a lot of good decisions lately, and we plan to continue doing that and picking up as much as we can. We aren’t as fast as we want to be by any means, but we can and will get there. This is a great group of people who work very hard, and this week we are going to get right back to testing on the racetrack. The trucks have already left for home, and we’re on the way to a pretty important test session at zMAX Dragway before the first race of the Countdown.”
Line, a two-time series champion, will enter the Countdown to the Championship in the No. 6 position, one spot above Anderson. He says that the current plan is to continue driving the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
“We felt like this car was a closer match to Greg’s white Summit Racing Camaro, and clearly, we were correct in our line of thinking,” said Line. “Now the goal is obviously to get them both faster. It’s always a race in this class to gain horsepower and speed, but now the pressure is on. We don’t plan on wasting any time.”

Mopar Racing–Mopar-Powered Beckman and Gaines Grab Runner-Up Spots at Prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals

Mopar-Powered Beckman and Gaines Grab Runner-Up Spots at Prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals

·         Mopar Dodge Funny Car racer Jack Beckman comes up just short in his bid to back up his $100,000 Traxxas Shootout win with a U.S. Nationals Funny Car victory
·         Defending NHRA Funny Car champ Beckman runs to his second final round of the season and 33rd of his career
·         Despite a first-round exit, ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan will lead the Funny Car field into the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs
·         Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing drivers Beckman, Ron Capps and Johnny Gray follow close behind teammate Hagan in the playoff standings
·         V. Gaines advances to his second consecutive Pro Stock final round of the season and second career final at Lucas Oil Raceway
·         Mopar–powered NHRA Pro Stock drivers have advanced to the final round in eight consecutive events
·         Mopar Express Lane driver Allen Johnson exits in the quarterfinals but will start the Pro Stock playoffs in second, just 30 points behind leader Mike Edwards
·         Dodge Avenger pilots Jeg Coughlin Jr., Vincent Nobile and Gaines will join Johnson in the Pro Stock playoffs


Brownsburg, Ind. (Monday, September 2, 2013) – Mopar HEMI-power once again helped put two Dodge race machines into the final rounds, as Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jack Beckman and Dodge Avenger Pro Stock pilot V. Gaines scored runner-up finishes in their respective classes on Monday in the elimination rounds of the 59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.


The final-round showing was the second of the season for Beckman and his second career runner-up spot at Indy, while Gaines also recorded his second final round at Lucas Oil Raceway as well as his third finals appearance in the last five events of the 2013 season.


It was a long Sunday night for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) NHRA Funny Car driver Jack Beckman and his team following their $100,000 win in the non-points Traxxas Shootout special event, but the bleary eyes weren’t caused by a victory celebration — instead, the team worked late to repair Beckman’s Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T, which shredded its body in a finish-line explosion during Beckman’s winning Shootout run. The team shrugged off its lack of sleep on Monday, as Beckman threw down a 4.019/316.45 run, the quickest in the first round of eliminations, to defeat Chad Head.


After overcast skies and 86 degrees track temps to open the day, the sun peeked out and sent the track index soaring to 110 degrees before round two of Funny Car eliminations. Beckman easily advanced to the semis, going 4.219/285.71 in his Mopar after fellow Dodge driver Jeff Arend struck the tires in his own Dodge near the 330-ft mark. The defending Funny Car champ next took out Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals with a 4.110/309.42 to gain lane choice over Robert Hight in the final. In his attempt to double up on his Traxxas Shootout triumph, Beckman left first with a 0.048 second reaction time to Hight’s 0.059, but his chances ended shortly thereafter when he spun the tires. Beckman slowed to the finish line with a 6.072/111.46.


“It’s hard to complain but in drag racing there’s one winner and there’s one loser and we had a chance to leave here as a double winner and we’re a loser in the final round,” said Beckman, who advanced to the 33rd money-round overall of his career. “We won a race but we still have not won a Wally. We want it bad. We have six more chances and I think we have a good chance at getting a couple or three of them.”


“I like our progress lately and I think we’ve positioned ourselves pretty well for a strong run in the Countdown. Let’s face it when they reset the points we are all bunched up pretty good at the top so I’m confident.

It’s hard to ever leave a race being happy that you lost the race. I think to reflect on this it was a really solid weekend for us.”


Two of Beckman’s Mopar-fueled compatriots in the DSR camp scored first-round wins but were unable to make deeper runs in the Indy field. No. 2 Funny Car qualifier Johnny Gray used a 4.060/313.66 to send home Tony Pedregon, while Ron Capps edged out Alexis DeJoria on a holeshot win, leaving first with a .062 reaction time to DeJoria’s .089 (Capps recorded a 4.062/315.05 to DeJoria’s 4.036/312.35). The win was a major milestone for Capps, marking his 500th career round win. In the quarterfinals Gray and opponent Hight both shook the tires, but Gray was unable to get back in gear, posting a 4.676/210.21 in defeat. Capps had the early lead against Wilkerson in the second round but spun the tires at about half track, seeing his day end with a losing 4.405/235.10.


DSR racer and No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan will look to rebound after what looked like a promising weekend ended early in eliminations. Hagan set track records in both elapsed time and speed to claim the Funny Car Indy pole and was leading early in his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T with a .053 mark off the line against first-round foe Arend’s slower .112, but Hagan experienced tire shake and was forced to pedal his machine to get it back in the groove. His 4.248/307.79 wasn’t enough to catch the Mopar HEMI-powered Arend. Part-time Dodge Funny Car racer Paul Lee also fell in the opening stanza, losing to John Force.


In the NHRA Pro Stock ranks, No. 2 qualifier Gaines had the second quickest elapsed time of the first round in his Kendall Oil Dodge Avenger, a 6.617/208.65, to beat Warren Johnson. Gaines was quickest of the round in the quarterfinals, trailering Jason Line with a 6.625/208.65 to arrange an all-Mopar semifinals showdown with No. 3 qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr., who defeated Rodger Brogdon in round one with a 6.638/206.86 and easily took down Shane Gray on the strength of a 6.657/206.80 quarterfinals run.


Gaines rose to the occasion in the semifinal battle of Mopars, scorching the starting tree with a perfect .000 reaction time paired with a 6.637/208.36 to defeat the four-time Pro Stock champ Coughlin and advance to the final round, with lane choice, against Edwards. In a repeat of the most recent Pro Stock final at Brainerd, Gaines unfortunately came out on the wrong side once again. His 6.620/208.78 run bettered Edwards’ 6.637/208.39, but the edge off the starting line (Edwards was first with a .032 to Gaines .067) was enough to deny Gaines his first Indianapolis U.S. Nationals victory.


“I’m disappointed, but we went to the finals at Indy and there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Lakewood, Colo., native Gaines, who advanced to his 13th career Pro Stock final round. “After cutting a perfect light (against Jeg Coughlin Jr.), I slowed it up a bit too much against Mike (Edwards). We were pulling it hard but ran out of racetrack.


“We definitely have the best hot rod we’ve ever had, and it looks like it’s the class of the field right now. Anytime you can out run Mike Edwards, have lane choice over Mike Edwards and everybody else, you can’t be disappointed with that. We have a good thing going with a great crew and great support cast.”

Allen Johnson posted a 6.646/207.66 pass in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger to defeat Mark Martino in the opening round. In a monster quarterfinals matchup with points leader Edwards, Johnson came up short in his bid for a first U.S. Nationals win, suffering a holeshot loss. Despite a quicker
and faster 6.631/208.62 effort to his opponent’s 6.640/208.17 mark, Edwards’ .023 reaction time off the line to AJ’s .050 proved the difference. Johnson’s J&J Racing teammate Vincent Nobile was too quick on the trigger, suffering a first-round red-light loss after leaving too early against Shane Gray, while Chris McGaha fell to event winner Edwards in the opening round.


“On the bright side, we might have hit on something on that last run that we’ve been fighting for a few races now, that will hopefully give us some momentum going into the Countdown,” commented Johnson on his weekend. “It’s a whole new season now. We’re thirty points behind instead of 150, so it will help me this year.”


Mopar Dodge drivers are at, or very near, the top of the Funny Car and Pro Stock standings entering the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, which begin at the 6th Annual Carolina Nationals, scheduled to take place Sept. 13–15 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. In Funny Car Hagan, Capps and Gray will begin the playoffs in the 1-3 spots, respectively, with defending world champ Beckman fifth, putting all four DSR Mopar-powered drivers in the top five. In Pro Stock, defending world champ Johnson is No. 2, followed by No. 3 Coughlin and No. 4 Nobile, with the red-hot Gaines at No. 8.

Tracy Hines Racing–Tracy Hines Finishes on the Podium at Terre Haute

Tracy Hines Finishes on the Podium at Terre Haute with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series
By Tracy Hines Racing PR
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — Sept. 2, 2013 — It wouldn’t be a USAC event at the Terre Haute Action Track in 2013, if Mother Nature wasn’t involved. As has been the case every time this season when the open wheel drivers have rolled into the famed half-mile, rain was on horizon. Run in hurry-up mode, the full show was completed, including all 30 laps of the Tony Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series, and when the final checkered flag flew, Tracy Hines found himself on the podium in third. He preceded that with a seventh-place finish to open the weekend at 34 Raceway in Iowa.
The native of New Castle, Ind., opened the night at Terre Haute on Saturday, Aug. 31, as the second-fastest driver in time trials of the 23 entrants. He charged from the sixth starting position to win the second heat race. Hines lined up fifth for the 30-lap main event and powered his way up to third on the opening lap and chased eventual winner Jerry Coons Jr. and Brady Bacon for the remainder of the contest, piloting the Carolina Nut Company/Hansen’s Welding Inc. DRC.
Hines came home seventh on Friday, Aug. 30, at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series. The veteran driver kicked off the night by recording the ninth-quickest lap in qualifying. He followed that up by running second in the third heat race. Hines took the grid eighth for the 30-lap A-Feature and ran among the top-10 for the duration of the race at the three-eighths-mile in Eastern Iowa.
Engine problems sidelined Hines in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series event at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois on Sunday, Sept. 1. He was fastest in the first practice session aboard the Lightfoot Racing Beast at the one-mile dirt oval and encountered engine woes during the final practice, which prevented him from both taking a lap in time trials and from starting the Ted Horn 100. He was credited with a 14th-place finish in the main event and fell from the points lead to third, 16 markers out of the lead, with one race remaining.
Hines returns to action this coming weekend with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., and Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. The 2002 series champion is currently sixth in the standings on the strength of two wins and 12 top-10 finishes.

Honda Racing–Pagenaud Prevails in “Battle of Baltimore”

In an incident-filled 75-lap battle on the downtown streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Simon Pagenaud came through the carnage to score his second IZOD IndyCar Series win of 2013 in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore, aboard his Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda Dallara.  The win, Honda’s eighth of the season, ties it with rival Chevrolet for Manufacturers’ Championship honors with only three races remaining.  Josef Newgarden drove an inspired race to finish second for Honda and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a career-best for the sophomore Indy car driver.

After starting third, Pagenaud produced a strong run in the opening laps, running in formation with early leaders Will Power and Scott Dixon.  But, in what would become a pattern for the event, the caution flag waved for the first time after just 12 laps, as car-to-car contact and crashes became the order of the day, which resulted in 25 laps of the 75-lap distance being run under caution.  The early yellows resulted in several different pit strategies being employed, with the Schmidt team being one of the few to “split” itscars, running a standard schedule for Pagenaud while trying an off-sequence pit strategy for teammate Tristan Vautier.

As the race neared its mid-point, it appeared to be a contest between Power and Dixon among the drivers on a normal two-stop strategy, and Sebastien Bourdais and Vautier among those running an “alternate strategy”.  Honda drivers delayed or eliminated by contact included Vautier, Charlie Kimball – who was forced to a full stop on track several times by crashes directly in front of him – and Dixon, whose Target Chip Gansssi Racing Honda was hit by Power while attempting to pass on Lap 52.

As the cautions continued, all without injury to the drivers involved, the strategies converged to set up a 10-lap sprint to the finish among the survivors.  When the field took the green flag for the final time on Lap 65, Pagenaud stalked leader Marco Andretti for several laps, then made his move under braking for the hairpin on Lap 69 to claim a lead he would not surrender.

Once in front, Pagenaud held off several passing attempts by first Bourdais, then Newgarden, who had moved into second on Lap 70.  Fading brakes then ended Newgarden’s challenge, and Pagenaud stretched his advantage to just over four seconds at the checkers.

Honda Racing–Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Claims LMP1 Championship

Honda Performance Development’s extended run of victories in the 2013 American Le Mans Series continued Saturday on the streets of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, as Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr prevailed in an incident-filled event to claim their sixth consecutive victory of the season, clinching both the LMP1 drivers’ and team championships for the Honda Performance Development-equipped team. 

In the LMP2 category, the Level 5 Motorsports duo of new driver Guy Cosmo and incumbent Marino Franchitti successfully negotiated their way through the multiple incidents that either delayed or eliminated their competition to finish first in class, and third overall, in their HPD ARX-03b Honda. 

The scheduled two-hour event got off to a chaotic start, when a multi-car accident took place just behind the leaders as the field came to the green flag.  Defending race winner and LMP2 championship leader Scott Tucker’s day ended almost immediately, as his HPD ARX-03b was struck from behind, spun into the concrete barriers, and then received heavy contact from several following GT machines. 

Tucker escaped serious injury in the crash, but the incident brought out the red flag so that the course could be cleared.  When the race eventually restarted, just over an hour later and now shortened to 77 minutes due to time constraints, another multi-car incident at Turn Four resulted in damage to Ed Brown’s Extreme Speed Motorsports ARX-02b, sending the Honda-powered prototype to the pits for extended repairs. 

The Pickett Racing team took advantage of the early caution to make its one scheduled pit stop and driver change in their HPD ARX-03c Honda, with Luhr taking over from Graf.  With most other teams remaining on track, Luhr resumed the race in 13th place overall, but moved through the field to regain the lead with approximately 35 minutes remaining.

On a late-race restart, however, Luhr found himself losing traction after driving over liquid on the track surface and slid wide at Turn 9, falling back to fourth overall as he was passed by both his LMP1 rival Guy Smith in the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda, and the pair of GT class-leading Chevrolet Corvettes, one of which struck the rear of the HPD machine, damaging the right rear fender and diffuser.

Luhr quickly re-passed the Corvettes, then fought with Smith for several laps before regaining the lead for good with just over 12 minutes remaining, despite handling issues resulting from the damaged rear bodywork.  Smith and the Dyson machine continued to challenge for several laps, before Luhr edged away to a 3.87-second advantage at the checkers.

In LMP2, Cosmo successfully avoided the chaos taking place all around him in the opening laps to claim the lead, while fellow HPD-equipped challenger Extreme Speed Motorsports saw both of its ARX-03b’s sent to Pit Lane to serve penalties:  Anthony Lazzaro for contact during the aborted first start; and teammate Ed Brown for contact with an LMPC entry shortly after the second race start.  Brown would later make contact with the tire barriers, resulting in a long pit stop for repairs.

After taking over from teammate Cosmo during their single scheduled pit stop, Franchitti held the class lead for Level 5, despite a late-race caution that closed up the field, with Scott Sharp finishing just over nine seconds in arrears after replacing Lazzaro in the Extreme Speed HPD.

The 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron now heads to the Circuit of the Americas, just outside of Austin, Texas, for its September 21 inaugural event at the newest major motorsports facility in North America.

Klaus Graf (#6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c Honda) 1st overall and in LMP1 with co-driver Lucas Luhr; ALMS series record 6th consecutive win for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and Honda in 2013; clinched team and drivers’ championship:  “It was a great day for Muscle Milk Pickett Racing.  Winning a second championship in a row and six wins in a row this year is very rewarding.  We were never able to win this race before, so it’s a good day!  The team did a great job.  Since last year at this race, we haven’t had a mechanical failure of any kind, and I think that speaks for our organization around Greg Pickett, and our partners at HPD.  We have great engineering, great mechanics and a great team.  Whatever the future holds, I think we will bring a good package and have a lot of fun.”

Allen Miller (Sports Car Racing Large Project Leader, Honda Performance Development) on Sunday’s double victory for HPD in Baltimore:  “Despite the shortened distance, I think this turned out to be a long, hard race for everyone!  Congratulations to Muscle Milk Pickett Racing on setting an American Le Mans Series record with its sixth win this year, and to everyone on the team for securing the team and drivers’ championships.  Our next goal is to lock down the manufacturers’ title, hopefully at the next race at Circuit of the Americas.  Congratulations also to Level 5 Motorsports for its fifth LMP2 win this year, and the first in the class for Guy Cosmo.  It’s unfortunate that Scott Tucker’s race ended so soon through no fault of his own, but it sets up an interesting battle for the drivers’ championship in the closing races with [teammate] Marino [Franchitti] and Scott Sharp in the Extreme Speed HPD.”

Dyson Racing–Seeing Red in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD  August 31, 2013 – As Rob Dyson explained to the Dyson Racing guests in the pits, “They are not all like this.”  In fact, very few.  A quick look through American Le Mans Series records shows only two races red flagged due to accidents in its fourteen year history: Mosport in 2010 and today’s race at Baltimore. At the end, the #16 Thetford/RACER Dyson Racing entry with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith finished a hard-fought second.

The Grand Prix of Baltimore got under way at 3:45.59 PM. At 3:46 PM, the red flag was thrown stopping the race.  Behind the starting front rows, eight cars had violently come together, totally blocking the race course.  It took more than an hour to clear the track before the race could resume.  It ran for an hour and fourteen minutes, making it the shortest race in ALMS history.  

Chris Dyson started the race (and stayed in the car for the hour as all remaining competitors were parked on the main straight during the clean-up). The first restart was waved off and at the second, Chris slotted in second behind the Muscle Milk entry. The race went yellow and Chris pitted on lap five for fuel and driver change with Guy Smith getting in the car. The #16 Lola Mazda had to then serve a stop and go penalty for jumping the start, which put it down to 21st.  Twenty laps later, Guy took the lead.

“It was a crazy race,” said Guy. “We had a good run but we got a penalty which dropped us out of contention at the restart, but we put our head down, ran hard and got a run on the Muscle Milk car and I was able to pass him. The car was good, but the last couple of laps, there was a lot of GT traffic and he was able to repass me. I hung on as best as I could, but did not get another opportunity to take back the lead, and we finished a couple seconds back.  We are here to win, but it is nice to be racing and pushing those guys and making them work for it.”

“We really picked up right where we left off at Lime Rock,” stated Chris. “We missed it a bit in qualifying yesterday but I was confident about our chances in the race.  We had what I would describe as an unnecessary penalty that we had to serve but at the end of the day, Guy gave it a great run at the end.  I think everyone knew we were here and we are back up front and that is what we came here to do.”

The eighth race of the ten-race ALMS season will be held at the Circuit of the Americas, the new world-class facility in Austin, Texas on September 21st, sharing   the weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Honda Racing–Dixon Claims Pole for Honda in Baltimore

Scott Dixon led the way for Honda in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying Saturday during preparation for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore, taking his second pole of 2013 in the strongest qualifying performance for the manufacturer this season.  Five Honda-powered drivers made the final “Fast Six” round of knockout Indy car qualifying, and Honda took eight of the top 12 starting positions overall.

Recording its strongest qualifying effort of 2013, the Sam Schmidt Motorsports operation claimed two of the top six starting positions, with Simon Pagenaud third in his Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports machine – his best qualifying result this year – and rookie teammate Tristan Vautier escaping from a minor collision at the end of second-round qualifying to make his fourth “Fast Six” appearance of the season in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Dallara.

Veteran Justin Wilson will start from the second row, fourth, in his best qualifying performance of the yea. Josef Newgarden was another Honda driver to produce his best qualifying run of 2013, and will start fifth for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.Graham Rahal crashed in the second round and was penalized his two quickest lap times for bringing out the red flag, preventing him from advancing to the Fast Six.  Rahal has been cleared to drive and will start 12th for Rahal Lettterman Lanigan Racing.

Scott Dixon(#9 Target Chip Ganassi RacingHonda Dallara) pole qualifier, his 2nd pole of 2013 and 20th career Indy car pole; Honda’s 7th pole of the season:  “It was an interesting day.  The first [qualifying] round was pretty straightforward, but in ‘Q2’ we tried getting tricky, then had a sensor fail and that cost us time in Pit Lane.  Luckily, the team was able to repair the sensor and the [Rahal] penalty advanced us to the Fast Six.  I actually lost a couple of tenths [of a second] on my quick lap, but I guess it was still a good one as it got us the pole!”

Dyson Racing–Charmed, I Am Sure

BALTIMORE, MD  August 30, 2013 – Dyson Racing enters the final stretch of the 2013 American Le Mans Series season  with a front row start for the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Chris Dyson qualified the #16 Mazda Lola second for the Labor Day weekend race on the street circuit around the Inner Harbor here.  This is the third consecutive front row start for the team in the city they call Charm City.  Guy Smith won the pole in the inaugural 2011 race and started second last year.

“It is a shame about the red flag during qualifying,” said Dyson. “The car was just starting to come in. We had just made a big step on the predictive time.  I don’t think we were going to be on the pole but we could have been a lot closer. It is a thrill to get back in the car and really feel like I am picking up right where we left off at Lime Rock.”

After two races with Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry in the #16 Mazda Lola, Chris Dyson and Guy Smith are back in the car for Baltimore. “It has been a busy two months,” Dyson said.  “It was great that Tony and Chris were keen to do some events with us because it gave me an opportunity to focus on 2014. We have a couple initiatives we are working on. I have still been doing testing and driving and working on the Catherham SP/300.R program. I had the opportunity to drive a 360 non-wing sprint car when I was out in California at Corey Kruseman’s school in Ventura. It is quite the experience with 725 horsepower and only 1150 pounds. Having started my career racing karts on dirt it felt to a certain extent like coming home. It is always something I have wanted to do and I was thrilled to have the opportunity.”

Guy Smith also had a busy “how I spent my summer vacation.” He debuted the Bentley GT3 race car at Goodwood and drove his winning 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans Bentley at the Festival, commemorating the tenth anniversary of their victory.  He drove demonstration laps of the new Bentley GT3 car at Silverstone, and traveled to Pebble Beach as an ambassador for Bentley.  “I am very glad to be back in this car. You forget how quick these LPM1 cars are, especially here at Baltimore, the tightest and twistiest race of the season.  It is great to come back to the ALMS paddock and see all your old friends again.  Dyson Racing is like family and it is always good to be back.”

Honda Racing– Rookie Vautier Leads Field Friday in Baltimore

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Tristan Vautier led a Honda-powered sweep of the top five positions in IZOD IndyCar Series practice Friday on the 2.04-mile Camden Yards temporary street circuit in downtown Baltimore, in preparation for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore. 

Vautier is an IndyCar rookie this season, but won the Indy Lights race here last year en route to the 2012 Indy Lights championship.  Graham Rahal, who qualified second and finished 10th here in 2012, recorded the second-quickest overall time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Josef Newgarden posted the third-quickest time in his first IndyCar appearance in Baltimore.  The second-year driver missed last year’s event after breaking a finger in a crash at the previous weekend’s race in Sonoma, California.  Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Vautier’s teammate, Simon Pagenaud, rounded out the top five for Honda.

Tristan Vautier(#55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Dallara) quickest in practice Friday:  “The weekend has started very well for us.   It’s been very special; it just keeps going faster and faster for us.  I don’t know, I just love this place.  But I think it’s going to be about continuing to improve, because everyone else is going to keep improving, and it’s always very hard to put everything together at just the right time.  So, I have to keep focused and keep executing really well to stay up front.”

Richard Childress Racing–Advocare 500, Chevrolet Silverado 250

AdvoCare 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway 
September 1, 2013
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Kevin Harvick), 19th (Austin Dillon), 24th (Paul Menard) and 34th (Jeff Burton) in the AdvoCare 500.
Following the event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick moved up one position, to third, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 42 markers, while Menard sits 17th, 179 points back, and Burton is 22nd, 235 points behind the leader.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks third in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 19th in the standings and the No. 31 team 24th.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick was the third-Fastest Driver Late in a Run, had the fourth-Fastest Green-Flag Speed, fifth-best Average Running Position (7.634), fifth-best Driver Rating (103.7) and was the fifth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
Harvick spent 308 Laps in the Top 15, ranking him third in the loop data category.
RCR teammates Harvick, Menard and Dillon posted 22 of the Fastest Laps Run, with 11,10 and one, respectively.
Menard completed 87 Green-Flag Passes and Dillon 86.
Burton made 126 Green-Flag Passes, second-most in the 43-car field with 32 coming in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
Kyle Busch earned his fourth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 7. The 26th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ABC beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

Early-Race Incident Relegates Menard to 24th-Place Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Paul Menard started the AdvoCare 500 from the 16th position and involvement in an accident in the early laps of the Sunday night event relegated him to a 24th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After rain showers earlier in the day washed the rubber off the1.5-mile speedway, NASCAR officials mandated a competition caution at lap 25. Menard pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment in an attempt to give the Moen/Menards Chevrolet better drive off of the corners. While exiting pit road, the No. 27 machine sustained minor left-front fender damage when several cars in front of Menard made contact with each other causing the field to bunch. Having to come down pit road a second time during the competition caution for repairs, Menard restarted in 41st on lap 29. Just 20 laps later the Richard Childress Racing driver was running 24th when an incident with another competitor caused Menard to make contact with the outside retaining wall. Having to pit under green on lap 54 for more repairs, the 33-year-old-driver fell two laps down to the leader. The caution flag waved just a few laps later and Menard was able to take the “wave around” gaining one of his laps back. Just as things started to look up, the No. 27 Chevrolet had a right-rear tire go down as a result of the earlier damage. Menard was forced to come to pit road under green-flag conditions for fresh tires and repairs, causing him to fall another lap down to the leader. Menard restarted in 39th on lap 80 two laps down to the leader. Despite the setbacks, the crew never gave up and made adjustments to the neon yellow machine all night. Though he remained laps down for the remainder of the night, by virtue of continuing to run laps and improve the car’s handling, Menard was able to gain 15 spots to finish in the 24th position under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Menard now sits in 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Richmond International Raceway.
Start – 16          Finish – 24          Laps Led – 0           Points – 17th
“It was a long night for the No. 27 Moen/Menards crew. We got caught up in pit road congestion during the first stop of the night putting us behind and then the No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) put us in the wall a few laps later. We lost laps early making repairs and we were never able to get them back. The crew worked really hard all night making adjustments and the car wasn’t too bad considering the damage. We’ll keep our heads up and hope for better results next weekend in at Richmond International Raceway.”

Harvick Finishes Ninth at Atlanta Motor Speedway
and Secures Position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s team earned a ninth-place finish, and clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, after battling a tight-handling condition during the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The California native started the 325-lap event from the 30th position and quickly worked his way toward the front of the field, picking up 11 positions on the first lap. During the initial green-flag run, Harvick informed the team he was battling a tight-handling Chevrolet. Crew chief Gil Martin directed his driver to pit road on lap 27 during a competition caution for four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Harvick was positioned 14th for the ensuing restart and climbed into the top 10 on lap 32. Running as high as third during the second portion of the race, the Martin-led pit crew made a final attempt to remedy the handling issues Harvick continued to battle on lap 289 by taking four tires, fuel and making a chassis adjustment. The Richard Childress Racing driver was scored fifth for the lap 292 restart and maintained a spot within the top 10 of the running order during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line ninth. Following the top-10 finish, Harvick moved up to third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 30         Finish – 9         Laps Led – 0         Points – 4rd
“Obviously we’re happy to be in the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup), but our day wasn’t very good. Our car was just terribly tight all night long and drove nothing like it did in practice. We’ll work on that and try to figure that out. But all-in-all, it’s been an okay season so far and obviously you want to put yourself in position to race for the championship and everybody has done a good job doing that. So, we’ll go to Richmond (International Raceway) next week and try to win another race. I come to this race track (Atlanta Motor Speedway) expecting to have a chance to win the race and we were off all night.”

Burton Finishes in 34th-Place at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 34th in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after getting caught up in an early accident and falling victim to a flat tire late in the race. Starting the 500-mile event from the 28th position, Burton moved into the top 20 by lap 25 when NASCAR officials waved the yellow flag for a competition caution period. On the ensuing restart, multiple competitors slowed in front of the Richard Childress Racing machine and Burton suffered moderate damage to the right front and right rear of his Chevrolet SS. The Caterpillar crew went to work immediately and fixed the damage without the 46-year-old driver losing a lap to the leader. Restarting 40th, Burton quickly worked his way back into the top 20 by lap 90 and entered the top 15
on lap 130. Maintaining a top-15 running position throughout the middle stages of the 325-lap event, Burton radioed to crew chief Luke Lambert that the Caterpillar machine was tight in the middle of the 24-degree banked corners of the 1.5-mile race track. The 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner persevered with the battered machine and climbed into the top 10 until bad luck struck on lap 289 while Burton was entering pit road for a green-flag pit stop. The No. 48 Chevrolet made contact with the black and yellow machine from behind, which sent Jimmie Johnson spinning and the caution flag was displayed while Burton was on pit road. The setback placed the No. 31 team in the 15th position and after barely missing another spinning car on the next restart, Burton’s right-rear tire gave out which sent the RCR driver spinning into his teammate Austin Dillon and eventually the outside retaining wall. The significant damage took multiple laps for the CAT Racing team to repair on pit road and Burton limped home to a 34th-place finish. Burton now sits 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 28          Finish – 34          Laps Led – 0          Points – 22nd
“I am honestly proud of how the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team ran tonight. We battled back into the top 10 after the first incident and a cut tire at the end of the race ruined our night. I really like these guys, they never give up. We will keep on digging.”

Dillon Earns Top-20 Finish in AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon drove the No. 33 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a 19th-place finish in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the lights of Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the Labor Day weekend affair from the 26th position and reported handling issues to his Richard Childress Racing pit crew throughout the course of the 325-lap race. He made the first of several routine pit stops during a NASCAR-mandated competition caution on lap 25 receiving four Goodyear tires, Sunoco Green E15 fuel and a chassis adjustment designed to counteract a loose-handling condition. Restarting in the 35th position on lap 29, Dillon worked his way into the 18th spot by lap 40 and remained a mainstay in the top-20 despite handling issues that ranged from loose to tight and lacking forward drive and side force throughout the remainder of the event. The No. 33 AdvoCare team remained on the lead lap until making a routine pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 162 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment while running 18th. Dillon was in position to earn the “Lucky Dog”, thereby rejoining the lead lap cars, when the caution flag was displayed on lap 298, but NASCAR officials deemed him ineligible for the award when he incurred left-front fender damage during an on-track incident that occurred during the caution period. When green-flag racing resumed with 21 laps of racing remaining, Dillon was scored in the 19th spot, where he eventually finished.
Start – 26         Finish – 19         Laps Led – 0         Points – N/A
“I’m really proud of the over-the-wall pit crew tonight. They were on it each and every pit stop. Tonight was a very long race, but I feel like I really learned a lot. I want to thank AdvoCare for giving me the opportunity to run this race and for supporting this NASCAR race weekend.”

Chevrolet Silverado 250
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
September 1, 2013
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 17th (Ty Dillon) and 18th (Brendan Gaughan).
Dillon is third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 64 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks eighth in the standings, 88 points out of the top spot.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team is fifth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 62 team 11th in the standings.
Dillon earned the highest Average Running Position (3.281), while Gaughan ranked 13th in the category (13.000).
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Dillon ranked third in Driver Rating (116.9).
Combined, Gaughan and Dillon made 57 Green Flag Passes during the inaugural road course event ranking them 11th and 22nd, respectively.
Dillon was second in Fastest Laps Run (7 laps) and Fastest on Restarts during the 64-lap affair.
Chase Elliott took the checkered flag and was followed to the line by Chad Hachenbracht, Miguel Paludo, Darrell Wallace Jr., and Ron Hornaday Jr.
The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, September 8. The 15th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Last-Turn Incident Results in 17th-Place Finish for Ty Dillon
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first road course event in more than a decade, Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops team dominated the majority of the 64-lap event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park before another competitor forced them to make contact with the wall during the last turn of the race, relegating them to a 17th-place result. Dillon started from the fifth position and pitted for fuel during the first full-course caution of the day on lap seven. Restarting from the 14th position, the Richard Childress Racing driver maneuvered through the field and assumed the lead on lap 26 as other teams opted to pit under green flag conditions. The Welcome, N.C., driver continued to pace the field around the 10-turn road course until lap 31 when the Marcus Richmond-led crew called Dillon to pit road for four tires and fuel. Following the pit stop, the RCR driver once again drove back to the top spot on lap 48. In the closing laps of the race, Dillon radioed to the Chevrolet team he was running out of fuel with two laps remaining in the event. Working the corners to move the remaining fuel around in the fuel cell, Dillon continued to lead until the last corner of the race when the second-place competitor turned him hard into the outside wall, causing him to relinquish the lead, lose track position and fall to 17th for the finish. Despite the race result, Dillon improved one position, to third, in the championship point standings, 64 points behind the leader.
Start – 5        Finish – 17           Laps Led – 25           Points – 3rd
“We had a really fast Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet today. The guys worked hard all weekend to put this truck together and were great on pit road. I hate that we couldn’t get the finish we deserved. I think we could have raced hard back to the checkered flag, but we ended up in the wall. The fans here at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park were awesome. I think they really enjoyed the show today.”

Gaughan Finishes 18th in Inaugural race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team suffered bad luck and finished 18th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ inaugural road course race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Sunday afternoon.&nbsp
; Gaughan started the 64-lap race from the 10th position and took advantage of an early caution to pit and make adjustments, moving his truck into the top-10 by lap 16.  Positioning himself in the sixth spot by lap 27, Gaughan pitted again under green flag conditions which allowed him to patiently work his way into fifth by lap 41.  With 17 laps remaining, the team pitted in order to fill the truck with fuel to guarantee enough until the end.  Shortly thereafter, bad luck struck and the team suffered a broken sway bar arm, which demanded immediate attention from the pit crew.  Making several green flag pit stops to repair the issue, Gaughan finished the Chevrolet Silverado 250 in the 18th position.  The team remains eighth in the point standings, 88 points behind series’ leader Matt Crafton.
Start – 10        Finish – 18         Laps Led – 0      Points – 8th
“I was excited about running a new track this year at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, and liked having the opportunity to run a road course in a truck.  The South Point Hotel & Casino team was strong, like always, but was faced with a series of bad luck.  We will put it behind us and move on to Iowa Speedway next weekend.”


HAMPTON, GA – September 2, 2013 – As the excitement builds in anticipation of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kurt Busch made some bold moves in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS to rally from a 32nd place starting spot to fourth place overall in the Advocare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It marked his seventh top five and 12th top-10 finish of the season, to date. Busch moved up two positions in the point standings and now ranks 10th overall.
Behind the wheel of his No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS, Ryan Newman came away in fifth place and recorded his fifth top-five finish this year. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver moved up one place in the point order, keeping his Chase hopes alive with a Chase Wild Card berth in sight.
Other top 10 Team Chevy finishers under the lights at Atlanta: Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy SS – sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS – seventh, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 National Guard/Race to Chevrolet SS – eighth, and Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS – ninth.
Harvick has now secured enough points to clinch a spot in the Chase. And, on the strength of two wins in 2013, Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevy SS has earned a ‘Chase Wild Card’ spot.
Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson who was involved in an early multi-car accident in his No. 48 Lowe’s Dover White Chevy SS, finished 28th in the 500-mile race. Johnson maintained his point lead in the current standings with a 28-point advantage over second place.
Kyle Busch (Toyota) was the race winner, Joey Logano (Ford) was second, and Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) was third to round out the top five.
The next race on the tour, and final race to the Chase is September 7th at Richmond International Raceway.
“The inside lane was definitely the preferred lane on restarts and I didn’t realize how bad the outside was until I got to try it on the outside of Kyle (Busch). And I could not get any power down up there. And on the inside, it’s like you’ve got all the power you can just put it to the floor and go. And inside versus outside was a tremendous difference. The seas parted for me and we went from 11th to second and we were able to hold on to fourth. We weren’t a top 5 car tonight, but our restarts, that one was great and the other ones were sub-par. So, it was just a battle, just a battle all night. The car was not a great car. We missed it, but we’ll take it.”
“Oh, I just told him I’m glad I’m not the only one that can’t restart on the outside there. I don’t know what the deal is but there’s no grip on the straightaway. I don’t know if it’s rubber on the race track or what, but you did not want to be on the outside on a restart. And I was and he wasn’t and it didn’t work for either of us.”
“Well, I am more focused on tonight right now you know.  We had an excellent Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS and it just got away from us a little bit.   You know, the track changed quite a bit and we just couldn’t battle up front there for the lead and for the win like I thought we could have.  Little disappointed in that, but a great effort by the team all weekend long and we will take the momentum of these last two decent finishes, solid runs, and fast race cars and take it to Richmond and see what we can do.”
“Yeah, I am having fun.  These last couple weeks we have been battling and passing and having a great time out there and that is all we can ask for.   We didn’t do enough of that earlier in the year and that is why we are in the position we are in.”
“We are going to have to just perform at a high level.  I don’t even know the points.  Yeah, but our position doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s who we are racing and who we are going to go battle and really most of it is just us doing what we have to do.  Just like we have done the last two weeks we have done a good job, but we can do better.  In Richmond I think we are probably going to have to do better, but we do have a shot.”
“It was a good night for the Target team. We had some trouble keeping up with the changing track conditions during the first half of the race, but the guys made great changes and the car was good at the end. Happy that we were able to bring home another top-10 finish for Target tonight.”
“I was real thankful the car was as good as it was.  We have struggled here and not ran great here the last several trips.  It’s so hard and it’s such a struggle to get a car that has a good balance and we did.  The car had great speed at the end of the race; we just got restarted in the wrong lane a couple of times and lost some spots there.  All in all I’m real pleased with the way the car performed and the job the guys did.”
“Obviously we’re happy to be in the Chase. Our day wasn’t very good. Our car was just terribly tight all night long and drove nothing like it did in practice. We’ll work on that and try to figure that out. But all in all, it’s been an okay season so far and obviously you want to put yourself in position to race for the championship and everybody has done a good job doing that. So, we’ll go to Richmond next week and try to win another race. I come to this race track expecting to have a chance to win the race and we were off all night.”

Summit Racing–Line Sets the Stage for a Better Raceday at U.S. Nationals

Line Sets the Stage for a Better Raceday at U.S. Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind., September 1, 2013 – Jason Line made a major move for his team in the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro on the final day of qualifying at the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Heading into the fourth and final session, Line and Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson were on the same side of the ladder, but Line dug up the power to shake things up and set a much more appealing scene.
Sunday brought about improved conditions, with a temperature drop of approximately 10 degrees and a receptive racing surface. Line’s Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro had been the star of the show on Saturday night when he clicked off a 6.690 at 206.95 mph that was the quickest of the lot, and so expectations were high when the new day dawned.
Line was shocked, however, by a non-stellar 6.649, 208.33 that set him eighth, and his position on the same side of the ladder as Anderson was disheartening. In true Summit Racing style, Line came back with a run that made a lot more sense in the closing act: his 6.645, 207.98 was his best of the weekend, and the Minnesota native was the only driver in the entire session to improve. The time moved him up one position for a start from the No. 7 spot and, thankfully, across the ladder from Anderson.
“I’m still not happy with qualifying seventh,” said Line. “But seventh is way better than eighth, especially in this case. Without question, the main focus for that session was to move up so that we could get on the other side of the ladder, away from my teammate. We made such a lousy run in the first session that we really felt like we could move up, and thankfully, we did. It wasn’t a run that I would call our best, but we moved up and that was exactly what we needed to do.”
In addition to moving into a better position to suit the team, Line also ensured that he would not have to run into two of the toughest cars out there in the second round, should they advance.
“I’d rather that Allen Johnson and Mike Edwards race each other second round than race me,” said Line of the potential match-up. “If they both make it to the second round, one of two very good cars is going to go away, and that helps us all.”
Line’s first round opponent is Curt Steinbach, who raced in the 1980s and has competed as a sportsman in Competition Eliminator and Top Sportsman. Their match will be the first time the two have raced against one another.
“I like our chances tomorrow. Today ended up good, but it was really frustrating because we left some out there,” said Line. “This Summit Racing Camaro is the best car on the grounds here in Indianapolis, but we didn’t show anybody that today. It’s disappointing, but we have tomorrow, and fortunately, by moving up the ladder we gave ourselves a better opportunity. If I do my job and we get the racecar making the runs that it is absolutely capable of, we’re going to be fast – and it’s going to be good.”

Mopar Racing–Hagan No. 1 Qualifier; Beckman Wins Explosive Traxxas Shootout in Final Qualifying at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Hagan No. 1 Qualifier; Beckman Wins Explosive Traxxas Shootout in Final Qualifying at NHRA U.S. Nationals
·         Final day of qualifying for Pro Stock and Funny Car classes at prestigious 59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
·         Beckman wins Traxxas Shootout and $100,000 prize in an explosive finish
·         Hagan remains No.1 qualifier and tops the final session in the DSR ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ Dodge Charger
·         V. Gaines leads the HEMI-powered contingent in Pro Stock qualifying and is seeded second for final eliminations
·         Mopar’s Coughlin third, Johnson eighth and Nobile eleventh in final qualifying results for the U.S. Nationals

Brownsburg, Ind. (Sunday, September 1, 2013) – There was plenty of action in the final day of qualifying for the 59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals, with Don Schumacher Racing’s Matt Hagan backing up his No. 1 qualifier designation aboard his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar,” preliminarily earned on Friday, with the quickest run in the final Sunday qualifying session. But it was Hagan’s teammate “Fast” Jack Beckman that stole the attention with the explosive manner in which he won the Traxxas Shootout and $100,000 payout.


The first round of Sunday’s Funny Car qualifying at Lucas Oil Raceway doubled as the opening battles of the $100,000-to-win Traxxas Funny Car Shootout.  Beckman was triumphant in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T in a duel with his Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Dodge teammate Ron Capps, tripping the timing lights first with a 4.062/310.20 pass to Capps’ 4.118/304.46. Although “Magneti  Marelli Offered by Mopar” driver Hagan fell in the first round of the Traxxas Shootout to Tim Wilkerson after recording a 4.109/311.20, Hagan still maintained the No. 1 qualifier position based on his track-record 4.007/319.22 pass on Saturday night. Another DSR Mopar Dodge driver, Johnny Gray, also held his spot (No. 2) from the previous night despite losing to Courtney Force in the Shootout.


In the final qualifying session, Beckman bested Courtney Force in the Traxxas Shootout semifinals with a 4.082 to Force’s 4.099, setting up a fight with Cruz Pedregon in the Shootout final (a non-qualifying round). Hagan’s track-record mark held to give him his fourth pole of the season, and the 2011 Funny Car champion added an exclamation point, recording the quickest run of the last session with a 4.048/313.58 mark. Hagan will square off against another Dodge driver, No. 16 Jeff Arend, in the opening round tomorrow.


Johnny Gray smoked the tires in his last qualifying shot but will start No. 2 based on his 4.012 pass from Friday, with a match against Tony Pedregon to begin his Sunday. Capps also overpowered the track but maintained his previous No. 5 position (4.049), putting three Mopar HEMI-powered Funny Car racers in the top five of tomorrow’s field. Capps will draw Alexis DeJoria in the first stanza, while Beckman, though $100,000 richer, will start in the back of the DSR pack at No. 8 (4.062) and get a date with Chad Head in round one. Part-time HEMI-powered Charger R/T driver Paul Lee claimed the eleventh spot and will meet John Force in the first round.


For the Traxxas Shootout final, Beckman (4.086 sec) was first out of the gate with a quicker reaction time (0.052 to 0.075 seconds) than Pedregon (4.066 sec) to beat his competitor on a hole shot at the finish line, where his Funny Car celebrated the win by blowing the body right off in a spectacular explosion that thankfully left the Mopar driver unscathed and retaining his sense of humor.


“I don’t remember what happened. What day is this and where are we right now?” Beckman quipped. “Our car was hauling, and then all of a sudden the body’s gone, but I knew we were at the finish line. Todd Smith (Beckman’s crew chief) gets on the radio, and this is what a great guy he is: He didn’t care about anything but me. He said, ‘Are you okay, are you okay?’ I said, ‘I’m fine.  Did we win?’ Once he gave me the ‘yes’ I felt even better.”


“It was an expensive explosion,” Beckman added. “We used up every bit of that hundred grand, and then some. We will fix the car, we will come back tomorrow and we are going to do our darndest to double up at Indy.”


Sunday’s first Pro Stock qualifying session saw cooler temperatures than the previous two rounds, and as a result elapsed times and speeds improved. Points leader Mike Edwards (6.621 seconds) topped the session, followed by the HEMI-powered Dodge Avenger of V. Gaines, (6.637 sec) and Mopar’s Jeg Coughlin (6.637) rounding out the top three and scoring bonus points. Allen Johnson, who’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger previously held the provisional pole, unfortunately did not improve his time and found himself seventh with an elapsed time run of 6.646 seconds (207.50 mph).


Conditions didn’t improve for the final Pro Stock qualifying session and as a result, neither did qualifying positions for the Mopar entries. Edwards led the session with Jason Line and Greg Anderson all scoring bonus points; Johnson was quickest of the Mopars in fourth spot ahead of Gaines and Coughlin, fifth and sixth respectively, and then Vincent Nobile in tenth place.


The final results gave Edwards his 13th No.1 qualifier position of the year, with Gaines as the highest qualified Dodge in second place, and Coughlin and his Mopar in third place. Johnson ends up eighth overall and Vincent Nobile will be seeded eleventh.


Gaines’ second place showing matches his best qualifying effort at Pomona, Phoenix and Denver this season, and makes it six straight events in which he has qualified within the top five spots. Following two runner-up performances at Denver and Brainerd this year, Gaines is hoping to add a third and do what he wasn’t able to in 1997, when he had his very first career final-round appearance at Indianapolis — earn a prestigious U.S. Nationals title.


“Oh man, that would be fantastic,” Gaines said. “To go to the finals at Indy — it’s every driver’s dream. But we’ll just take it one round at a time and do the best we can. Right now we have a great car, great crew and great support staff.”


Gaines is feeling pretty good about the work and improvements they’ve made.


“I think a big thing was that the weather was a lot better,” said Gaines. “The run we had on Friday night was probably just as good of a run, but we got a little loose in the beginning. We should have been No. 1 on that one. Going to No. 2 in that right lane was a big, big deal, because that right lane isn’t quite as a forgiving as the left lane. I was hoping to improve a bit [on the last pass of the day]. Going into the left lane, which is a little better, I thought we could pick up a little bit.”


For Johnson, who has never made it to a final round at Indianapolis, his final run has him feeling a bit better about his eighth-place spot on the eliminations ladder


“We made a good run that last run,” Johnson said. “It’s a very, very tight field, but I think we have a good race day setup.  That last run, it’s always good to make a really good run, and we did it, so we have confidence going into tomorrow. The track should also be better tomorrow, because it’s supposed to be a little cooler. We put ourselves in a position where we’re really going to have to work for it now. If we can win first round, we might have Mike (Edwards, the current points leader) in the second round. But the field is so tight, you just have to get it done as a driver.  A
big win here would certainly give us a shot of momentum heading into the playoffs, for the team, for the driver — for everybody.”

Summit Racing–Anderson Prepared for Dogfight on Raceday in Indy

Anderson Prepared for Dogfight on Raceday in Indy
BROWNSBURG, Ind., September 1, 2013 – Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson is getting a real kick out of the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals this year, with each day of the extended event proving to be better than the last. The Mooresville, N.C.-based driver and six-time Indy winner is hoping he saved the best for last as Monday eliminations come into view.
On the final day of qualifying, Anderson put together two great runs to solidify a start from the No. 4 position and a first-round match with Greg Stanfield at the biggest and most prestigious race on NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Anderson opened the day with a qualifying best 6.640 at 208.10 mph and finished with an equally impressive 6.645, 207.88 that was third quickest of the session for the Pro Stockers and came with a bonus qualifying point.
As has been the case many times this season, Mother Nature once again played a role in the first two days of qualifying, bringing blazing temperatures and water-logged air followed by buckets of rain and hail that fully eliminated one of the five scheduled sessions. Sunday, however, brought about some relief in the form of slightly cooler air and a bit of a cloud cover.
“The weather was a curveball today, but in the right direction,” said Anderson, who recorded a 6.675 at 206.80 in the first session on Friday and followed up with a 6.718, 205.63 on Saturday before rain washed away the third session.
“It was just so sticky and hot the last two days that it was difficult to get our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros to do what we wanted them to do, and obviously the racetrack wasn’t good either because it was too hot. We got a big change today with the weather, and the racetrack got a lot better because it was 10 degrees cooler. The motors came alive and made more power, and that made for runs that were a whole lot better and cleaner.
“It was just easier to tune the cars, and the KB Racing team did a good job today. We definitely showed promise, and I think we can do even better tomorrow. It’s going to be a real dogfight out there – there are a lot of fast cars, but my teammate Jason Line and I have two of them. That’s a good feeling going into raceday.”
Anderson’s most recent meeting with scheduled first round opponent Stanfield was in Bristol earlier this season, when he ousted the Louisiana-based driver in the first round on his way to a semifinals finish. On Monday, Anderson’s goal will be to eliminate Stanfield once more and then bring home as many round wins as possible in order to gain prime positioning as the Countdown to the Championship kicks off at the next race on the tour in two weeks.
“Tomorrow looks promising for Team Summit,” said Anderson. “Jason and I are on opposite sides of the ladder, and we have two strong cars. We’ve got a good chance tomorrow to run for Indy gold. You just never know, it could be a good day tomorrow.”

Chevy Racing–Grand Prix of Baltimore–Post Race

BALTIMORE (Sept 1, 2013) – Sebastien Bourdais, No. 7 McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet, scored his third IZOD IndyCar Series podium appearance of the season by bringing home a third place finish in today’s Grand Prix of Baltimore.  In a race that can only be described as intensely competitive with six lead changes among six drivers as well as an eventful contact-filled race that resulted in six caution flags for a total of 25 laps, Bourdais was credited with leading twice for a total of 19 laps in the 75-lap/153-mile race.
“The results of the Grand Prix of Baltimore were difficult to predict and more difficult to accept given the solid efforts put forth by numerous Chevy teams,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series.  “Congratulations to Sebastien Bourdais and Dragon Racing for finishing third after leading the race nearly to the end before contact with the eventual race winner. The focus and hardened resolve of Team Chevy will be brought to Houston for the next double header event.”
Simona De Silvestro scored her best finish of the season by taking the checkered flag in fifth place behind the wheel of the No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers.
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 PPG Automotive Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet, leaves the 12-turn/2.04-mile Streets of Baltimore with a 49 point lead in the battle for the Series’ championship with a ninth place finish.  Castroneves battled back from a lap-one incident that sent him to pit lane for repairs, and contact later in the race that again sent him to the attention of his crew for repairs.
Additional Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers were credited with top-10 finishes in the hotly contested race were: James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 7th; Sebastian Saavedra, No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet – 8th and Marco Andretti, No. 25 Dr Pepper Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 10th.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led a race-high 31 laps, but was relegated to the 18th finishing position after on-track contact required lengthy repairs.  Also suffering a disappointing finish was 2012 Series’ champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, who was forced to retire with mechanical issues and was scored in the 20th finishing position.  As a result, Hunter-Reay now sits fifth in the championship standings.
Simon Pagenaud was the race winner.  Josef Newgarden and Justin Wilson complete the top-five finishers.
Next up for Team Chevy in the IZOD IndyCar Series will be the third and final doubleheader of the season at Reliant Park temporary circuit in Houston, Texas. The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston – Races 1 and 2 will be run on Saturday and Sunday October 5 and 6, 2013 with live TV coverage on NBC Sports Network.  Additional live coverage will be provided by IMS Radio Network on XM and Sirius Channels 211 as well as on live timing and scoring.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD:  We had a fast car.  We had a fast car all the way to the end of the race.   That car got beat up pretty good, so by the end it was pretty ragged.  I am just really happy for the guys.  Yeah, it would have been awesome to win and in so many ways I guess we should have or would have.  But you know, it’s the podium……….another one, and its really important for the group.  For the spirits, for Jay, for the sponsors: McAfee, TrueCar, and Chevy.    Still pretty happy because when you start nearly dead last and you make it to the podium, pass a bunch of people and make it stick at the end – its pretty sweet.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5th:  I think we recovered pretty well.  We  struggled a bit this weekend with speed and I think we kind of figured it out for the race and had some pretty good pace.  The tires didn’t go off so much on our car so that really helped us.  And it was pretty crazy out there I thought, but I was really happy with the ending of it.
“I’m definitely really happy with P5.  It was kind of a crazy race. I don’t think we had the fastest car out there, but we had a pretty good call on the pits when we got stuck in one of the wrecks. After that we were able to move forward and had some pretty good restarts. The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was really good at the end, so I’m pretty happy with it for sure. Not a bad way to celebrate my birthday.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH:  “It was just wrong place, wrong time. I mean, we stopped dead on-track twice, we restarted twice and still ended up with a seventh-place finish. First of all, it’s a testament to the car, the work that the GoDaddy guys did and playing the strategy we had due to the circumstances. But, this isn’t what you want to see – this many cautions for the fans, and this many wrecked race cars. We’ll see, we’ll obviously take it. It’s a lot of points that race; it didn’t look like we were going to be anywhere near the top 10, so we’ll just keep fighting. That’s the spirit of this team; the DNA of this team is to never give up. It’s all in the recovery, and I think we all did a good job recovering today.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PPG AUTOMOTIVE FINISHES TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “Wow, what a crazy race. Well, first off I have to say sorry to (right front tire changer) Doug (Snyder). I’m glad he seems to be alright. It was very slippery in the pits and I just slid in – I’m not really sure what happened. I want to thank PPG and Team Penske for never giving up. I am glad we were able to finish in the top 10 and keep our lead in the championship. Now, we’ll turn our attention to Houston. That will be a big race for us and our sponsors and a lot of points on the line with the doubleheader.”

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 DR PEPPER ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET,  FINISHED 10TH:  “We’ll just do what we can. We missed the balance, but my Dr Pepper guys did an awesome job of getting me in a good position, but I just couldn’t hold it without the C.O.P (center of pressure because the front wing was damaged)… I was dreading it every lap. I was so afraid I was going to get run into from the back, so I’m glad that nobody just drilled me because I could not drive it into any of the corners, was just saving myself. We had two really bad stints so to end up 10th, but it’s all we could ask for with what we dealt with today.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “During that long yellow it was hard to keep the tire warm because our brakes were getting so hot. So when we went into the restart I didn’t try to brake too late and I wasn’t trying to pass the first two guys. I had actually planned to try to pass Sebastian (Bourdais) in Turn Three, not in (Turn) One, and when I went into the first corner I couldn’t slow down. I was still going to make the corner but Sebastian continued like nobody was there, and unfortunately I touched him. I am sorry because we both had a chance at winning and that ruined both our chances. But honestly I’m super happy with all the work done by the team, as a one-car team these guys put together one of the strongest cars out there today. I said yesterday that the National Guard Chevy felt great and we even improved it from there.
We basically drove through the field at the start of the race, and legitimately went from 15th to third. We were passing cars all over the place and we had a legit shot and winning the race, which is all you can ask for. I think that shows how hard the Panther team has been working, and I’m super excited for Houston – which is a racetrack that’s not too different from Baltimore; we have two chances there and hopefully we can do well.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH :  “We were definitely a victim of an incident that had nothing to do with us. The best word I can use to describe this race is botchery. It wasn’t about who was fast or who had the right strategy, it was simply about who didn’t have a problem. We definitely had a good car that would have taken us to the podium as it was looking until we had that issue in Turn 1 where I got punted from the back and I ended up hitting (Oriol) Servia from behind. I ended up damaging my car and had to come back in for another front wing. Anyways, it was a tough weekend from the beginning, but at some point in the race, we really set our hopes pretty high.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “Unfortunately, I made a dumb mistake early on when I slid into the turn five tire barrier.   That put us a lap down. We had a good pace after that but we could not get the lap back.  We put on a new front wing that helped.  But that mistake hurt us throughout the race. We stayed out a long time on some older Red Firestones at the end and I was just holding on.  I couldn’t fight (E.J.) Viso for the position due to the tires being down to the cords.  It was really crazy out there today.  People were just taking every chance that they could.  We kind of knew there could be carnage on those restarts and that’s what happened.  Overall, we’ll take the points and work towards the final three races.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH : “It was a very physical and bizarre race. All the crashes on the restarts, all the cars that were involved just made the whole race difficult. I drove the whole first stint with a damaged front wing and still got up to sixth. I was hanging on the whole time and trying to fight through it. We pitted a bit out of sequence and got to the front avoiding all the carnage. After the last restart the car started getting away from me. It got worse and worse and finally I hit the wall in Turn 12.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH:  “Man, that’s a very tough result today for the Verizon team. I feel really bad. We had a good start to the race in the Verizon car but then I made a mistake on the first pit stop and then the accident on the restart that really ended up ruining two good days. I thought I had a really good run on Bourdais and I was going to the inside to get around him and I thought I hit a bump or just lost it on cold tires. I really had no idea that (Scott) Dixon was there. I actually didn’t even know until I got back to the pits and they told me. I feel terrible for him and his team. All I can do is tell them how sorry I am and move on to Houston.”
“Yeah I believe in miracles, but that’s probably what it’s going to take now (to clinch the championship). Hard work and fight hard probably isn’t going to do it from here. I’m just so disappointed; we had an anti-stall mechanism kick in and it worked as it wasn’t supposed to, and I was supposed to be able to pull the clutch and get going with it. Unfortunately, I had to get it back to neutral, went back to the back of the pack, we were passing some cars, had a great car, and then out of nowhere the car just died – electronics cut out on it, battery voltage looked good and then all of a sudden it just fell through the bottom. It’s heartbreaking especially when you see Helio Castroneves stuck in Turn 1 and the fact that we’re sitting in here on the other side of the track. Thanks to all the fans for their support and thank you to our great partners at DHL, Sun Drop, Chevrolet, Circle K for sticking behind us. We had a great season, and there is still more to go and we can still win out here.”
September 1, 2013
            THE MODERATOR:  Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing finished third, his third podium finish of the season.  He started today’s race from the 22nd position.  Talk about working your way up to the front and continuing to stay at the front with all that beating and banging.
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Yeah, obviously it was a pretty exciting race, starting from the back, walked our way steadily towards the front.  The guys did a great call on strategy, and that second stint, we were really strong, so we were in clean air and could run fast.
            The yellow fell right after our second pit stop, and that was it pretty much.  We just had a perfect scenario for that.  It really looked like the race was pretty much in the bag, but then, you know, the race started to be the usual Baltimore chaos, and it was one restart after another and it was just survival.
            And then when Graham got the better of us on one restart, kind of jumped it a bit, but whatever.  You know, we got hit and got turned around, thankfully, I don’t know how, but we didn’t lose so many spots.  I think we ended up like fourth, fifth.
            And the car was getting banged up a bit, but overall, we still had some pace, made some good moves, and then on the next restart, there was a bit of an incident when James tried to dive in the inside of the hairpin, and I just ‑‑ it just took my attention and I just looked at him, and, I saw, oh, yeah, and next thing I know, I just brushed the back of Justin’s car, and that spun him around and that got James up and it was just chaos.  I felt bad for him.
            But in the meantime, I was in the middle of a fight, really.  I just didn’t know what to do anymore.  If you were not aggressive, you were going to get run into.  If you were aggressive, you took the chance to hit someone.  It was very, very dodgy.
            It looked like after things settled down, we were going to really have a shot at winning again, and Simon made a mistake and nearly hit the wall.  I think he probably brushed a bit in turn seven and that got a run.  Yeah, I guess he didn’t see me coming, but squeezed me pretty good.
            We touched twice and I thought that was over, because I probably missed the tires there by about half a foot or a couple of inches, and then after that, the car bounced off a couple too many times from the wall and it wasn’t the same anymore.
            I’m just happy we finished; in the end, we won the podium.  It’s another podium and it’s what we needed for the organization and for the sponsors.  We’ll take it.
            Q.  Is a race like this stressful to the point of being ridiculous with all the things going on, or are there so many things happening that, you know, your emotions, you’re almost numb to everything?
nbsp;  SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  I don’t think we are numb to anything.  I think we are more excited than anybody else.  From the car, sometimes it’s really hard to keep the emotions in check, particularly when you are in position when you know you have a lot to lose on all these restarts, and the problem is with these double‑file restarts, they breed another one.
            You basically get into a rhythm where you can’t get your tires and your brakes up to temperature and clean the tires up, and everybody arrives at that first corner locking wheels and running into the back of each other and cannot make the turn; and it’s just, you know, it’s inevitable.  And.
            I think that’s really when and where we probably as a group need to really think about these double‑file restarts, because, I mean, I think it was a pretty exciting show and everything.  But at the end of the day, when it’s just a series of incidents after incidents, it just reflects poorly on everybody and we just look like idiots and I don’t think it’s the best.
            But I don’t know what fans want to see, they want to see racing or they want to see crashes, but I definitely saw the first half of it was racing and the second part of it wasn’t so much.
            Q.  On the restart before you got spun out, did you have problems getting going on that restart, because it looked like maybe Will Power and Scott Dixon stacked up behind you and had their incident.
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  No, I just braked where I knew I could stop the car, and I guess they just brake later.  I saw them in my ‑‑ on the mirror, I was left, and the other one got tagged by an unidentified object, so that was gone, so I only had the right one.  Yeah, I saw dime getting pretty damn close, and I was like, hmmm, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but if I don’t get run into, I’ll be lucky.
            No, nothing was wrong, but the problem is also you start from the inside and there’s no grip there.  Just when you put power down, there’s absolutely no grip.  Just debris and marbles and dust and everything, and when you put power down, you just don’t get going.
            And then you start to brake on the inside where it’s less grip, so you kind of are a little careful not to try to overdo the corner, and even though you think you’re safe, you still run wide ‑‑ actually I thought I was going to lose it there.  It’s one of these races where when you finish, you just feel like a survivor because you have near misses like about ten times during the race.  It was not uneventful, that’s for sure.
            Q.  You talked about the chaos out there, and you talked about it quite a bit, but if thief future races here, would you like to see the courses modified?
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Not really.  The only question is what we do with the curving situation for the chicane.  There’s not so much we can do in the series or the organizers do about the chicane.
            The problem is we would have to race the car so much to be able to run through railroad tracks on the main straight flat‑out, that it would be very difficult to actually even change the tires, because the tires would hit the ground even when the car would be on the jacks.  So that’s No. 1.
            And you know, No. 2, I think it’s always the same thing.  You know, it’s the balance between aggressivity and trying to get things going.  But the race directors are asking us to pair up and kind of keep a consistent pace through the acceleration corner which clusters everybody, because you get that, basically, two or three rows formed before you get to the throttle, and then you’ve got everybody exiting the chicane full throttle and it stacks up at some point; land it gets there when it’s already really tricky, and you’ve got a bunch of cars locking wheels getting into a very tight corner, which is going to create an accordion effect.
            So I don’t think there is so much you can do.  But for sure, what Marco was doing, basically jumping the start straightaway and not letting anybody back up with basically a single‑file restart; and that’s probably, for me, at this place, to try to get some racing, that’s probably something we should consider, because you see every time we try to go double‑file, it doesn’t quite work out so well.
            Q.  Regarding the chicane and what you’re talking about, would it make a difference if they adapted going to a double‑file restart and then avoiding the chicane and then just discounting the chicane on the restart?
            SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  We talked about that, but then the problem is basically the guys from the back end up basically going over the railroad track full blast because you exit the corner and they are on the gas.
            So they tried that and it turned into a pretty big disaster.  I’m not so sure that’s in the solution.
            THE MODERATOR:  Sebastien, congratulations on a great finish here at Baltimore.

Richard Childress Racing–Great Clips 300

Great Clips 300
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway 
August 31, 2013
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Kevin Harvick), eighth (Austin Dillon) and 10th(Brian Scott).
Dillon is second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Sam Hornish, Jr. by 10 points, while Scott is eighth, 67 points behind the leader.
The No. 3 Chevrolet team ranks fourth in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 2 team 10th and the No. 33 team 12th.
According to NASCAR’s Post Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick maintained the highest Average Running Position (2.851), had the best Driver Rating (149), was the Fastest Driver Late in a Run (166.476 mph), led the field in the categories of Fastest Laps Run (57), Green Flag Speed (168.289 mph) and Laps Led (132).
Dillon ranked third in Average Running Position (3.692), was the third-Fastest Driver Early in a Run (170.966 mph), was third-Fastest on Restarts (167.947 mph) and maintained the fourth-best Driver Rating (112.9).
Scott ranked third in Green Flag Passes with 68.
Harvick earned his first Nationwide Series victory of the 2013 season and was followed to the finish line by Kyle Busch, Sam Hornish, Jr., Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson.
The next Nationwide Series race is the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, Sept. 6. The 25th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio channel 90.
Brian Scott Earns 11th Top-10 Finish of 2013 Season at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Brian Scott and the No. 2 Armour Vienna Sausages crew earned their 11th top-10 finish of 2013 in the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday evening. Scott started from the 12th position and battled a tight-handling condition for a better part of the 195-lap event before taking the checkered flag in the 10th spot. From the drop of the green flag, the Richard Childress Racing driver reported that his blue and gold Chevrolet was too tight and wasn’t able to run the bottom of the track through the corners, but continued pace in the ninth position. The evening’s first caution flag was displayed on lap 36 and provided crew chief Phil Gould the opportunity to bring Scott to pit road for four tires and fuel, along with a chassis adjustment. The Boise, Idaho-native restarted 17th as the field spread out for a lengthy green-flag run, and made his way to the 10th spot before making a scheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions on lap 144. As the final laps wound down, the caution flag flew with just 13 laps remaining. Scott came to pit road for four fresh tires for the sprint to the finish. Upon the restart, he jostled for position and battled closely with the No. 7 car to the line ultimately taking the 10th spot.
Start – 12         Finish – 10         Laps Led – 0         Points – 8th
“We had a really strong Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet tonight, but were just too tight at the beginning of the race. During the last long green-flag run the car handled well and we were laying down lap times as fast as the leaders. The guys worked hard and I can’t wait to get back to Richmond International Raceway next Friday night.”

Austin Dillon Earns Top-10 Finish in NASCAR Nationwide Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Welcome, N.C., driver started the 300-mile event second and maintained a position within the top 10 throughout the duration of the race, never falling lower than ninth in the running order. He spent the first half of the race running within the top three positions, leading lap 42 to gain a championship bonus point. Shortly after the race’s halfway point, Dillon slipped to sixth as the AdvoCare Chevrolet developed a tight-in, loose-off condition. The final caution flag of the event was displayed on lap 182 with Dillon in the fourth position, prompting crew chief Danny Stockman to call his driver down pit road for one final set of tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The RCR driver was positioned fourth for the final restart on lap 189 but a tight-handling condition persisted for the final five laps of the race, resulting in an eighth-place finish. Dillon remains second in the Nationwide Series driver championship standings, 10 points shy of Sam Hornish Jr’s lead.
Start – 2           Finish – 8         Laps Led – 1    Points – 2nd                          
“We had a really fast AdvoCare Chevrolet tonight and I really thought we were on our way to a top-three or four finish, but our car was pretty tight on the last restart and it caused us to lose track position. I feel like we’re still in solid contention in the point standings and I’m excited to race under the lights at Richmond International Raceway next Friday night.”

Kevin Harvick Victorious Under the Lights of Atlanta Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Bad Boy Buggies team drove to Victory Lane Saturday night following the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after leading 132 of the 195-lap event. The California native started the 300-mile affair from the 20th position and quickly alerted the team that his Chevrolet was too loose during the initial run. Despite battling handling issues, Harvick drove into the top-five of the running order before crew chief Ernie Cope called his driver to pit road under caution on lap 37 for four tires, fuel and a variety of chassis adjustments. Harvick lined up in the sixth position for the ensuing restart and drove his way into the lead on lap 59. While running out front during the final laps, Harvick reported a vibration in the left-rear tire, prompting the team to make a final pit stop on lap 185 under caution for four tires and fuel. The quick work on pit road allowed the two-time Nationwide Series Champion to restart first with seven laps remaining in the event. Harvick held off the competition during the final laps and picked up his first Nationwide Series victory of 2013 season.
Start – 20         Finish – 1         Laps Led – 132         Owner Points – 12th
“Our Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet was really good tonight. We were a touch too tight at the end, but we were in control of the race during the final restart and were able to do what we needed to do. We had a great car on long runs. It took us five or six laps to get going, but all-in-all we were able to keep up a good pace and were able to hold off the competition. We knew we had a good car after practice, but I didn’t qualify well and we were all a bit frustrated. In the end, that didn’t really matter.”

Summit Racing–Summit Racing Shines on Abbreviated Second Day of Indy Qualifying

Summit Racing Shines on Abbreviated Second Day of Indy Qualifying
BROWNSBURG, Ind., August 31, 2013 – The second day of qualifying at the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals was shortened by one session due to a deluge of rain that canceled the evening session but didn’t dampen the spirits of the hard-charging Summit Racing Pro Stock team. Drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line were more than pleased with the overall outcome of the day as Anderson protected his position as the No. 4 man in the qualifying order and Line made the quickest pass of the day for the Pro Stock cars to earn three coveted bonus points.
Line and Anderson lined up side-by-side during the afternoon session of qualifying on Saturday to take both of the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros for a quick journey down the quarter-mile dragstrip. The hot racetrack didn’t allow for much improvement, if any, for the competitors in the category, but Anderson clocked a 6.718 at 205.63 mph that was eighth best out of the plump field of 23 cars jockeying for position. In the opposite lane, Line raced to a 6.690 at 206.95 that was a hundredth of a second ahead of the next quickest car in the session and the only car to run in the 6.60-zone.
“That was arguably the best run I’ve made all season long,” said Line. “It was a nice run, and I felt like coming here, the KB Racing team had the ability to do that. But saying it is one thing; doing it is another. All our Summit Racing guys did a good job today, and I didn’t mess it up – so I was pretty happy.”
Although Anderson didn’t achieve the results he was hoping for on day two of the event, he was extremely encouraged by his partner’s solid pass.
“We missed a little bit on my run today but Jason’s car made a very nice run,” said Anderson. “We know we can run fast with both of our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros, so we’ll look forward to tomorrow. We’re disappointed to lose that second run today because you always think you can improve with every shot out there, but we’re all in the same boat – every driver out here wanted that second run. We’re all dealt the same set of cards. It’s been a tough, hot weekend but it looks like we’re able to perform just fine in these conditions. We’ll just have to make the right decisions tomorrow morning and hopefully both of our KB Racing cars will be fast and we can move up the ladder.”

Mopar Racing–Hagan Sets New Track Record and Earns Provisional Pole at U.S. Nationals

Hagan Sets New Track Record and Earns Provisional Pole at U.S. Nationals
·         Second day of qualifying for Pro Stock and Funny Car classes at prestigious 59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
·         Rain delays and shortens qualifying for all pro classes to just one session on Saturday
·         Hagan sets new track record and drives ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ Dodge Charger to provisional Funny Car No.1 qualifier position
·         Johnson remains atop Pro Stock qualifying sheets as provisional No.1 qualifier

Brownsburg, Ind. (Saturday, August 31, 2013) – Temperatures on the second day of NHRA Mello Yello Series qualifying at the 59th annual U.S. Nationals reached into the 90 degrees range before a late afternoon thundershower disrupted track action and cooled things off at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, setting up the opportunity for Don Schumacher Racing’s Matt Hagan to drive his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” to the provisional pole position by setting a new track record.


With Funny Cars in the staging lanes, storm clouds threatened then finally interrupted their qualifying session after a few pairs had already made their runs. Following a three hour delay and under much cooler evening conditions that dropped into the low 70 degrees, elapsed times began to fall. Pacing the field and posting a new track record was Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T which ran a 4.007-second elapsed time pass with a speed of 319.22 mph to earn the provisional No.1 qualifier honors.


“It was such an awesome run out here at Indy tonight,” said Hagan who currently leads the Funny Car championship standings. “It was so fast early. It made a hard move to the left. I made a correction, it made a hard move back and I had to make another small correction and another one and then I was like alright forget it. I’m just going to let it sit where it’s going to sit and it just kept digging. [Crew Chief] Dickie Venables, what an awesome deal. This guy just keeps putting a great race car underneath me. This season has just been a dream season so far.”


Mopar teammates Johnny Gray (4.012 sec / 312.13 mph) and Ron Capps (4.049 sec / 315.27 mph) both also improved their positions on the score sheets jumping up to second and fifth respectively. Fellow DSR teammate and defending world champ Jack Beckman sits in 12th spot with two sessions remaining.


Prior to the rain delay, thanks to hot and muggy conditions, Saturday’s first qualifying session yielded no change to the order of the Pro Stock top twelve established on Friday, with Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson still leading the pack, with his fellow Mopar-powered drivers V. Gaines in fifth spot, Jeg Coughlin seventh and Vincent Nobile still in ninth place.


Like the rest of the field, Johnson was unable to better the 6.661-second elapsed time he had previously recorded to claim the provisional pole, posting a 6.705/206.86 in the first session today. The top session times were recorded by Jason Line, Mike Edwards and Shane Gray with Johnson leading the Mopar contingency in fourth spot to miss out of scoring any bonus points.


Due to the rain delay, the pro classes only ran one session on Saturday rather than the two previously scheduled. Qualifying for the U.S. Nationals will resume on Sunday with two sessions scheduled including the Funny Car edition of the Traxxas Shootout. All four Don Schumacher Racing Mopar drivers – Hagan, Gray, Capps and Beckman– are taking part in the ‘race within a race’ with a 100 thousand dollar prize for the victor.


Sunday’s shootout match-ups will see Hagan (1) versus Tim Wilkerson (8), Capps (2) vs. Beckman (7), Johnny Gray (3) vs. Courtney Force (6); and Cruz Pedregon (4) vs. John Force (5).


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