Dixon Delivers Detroit Pole

Dixon Delivers Detroit Pole
Scott Dixon edged Will Power by just over four-thousandths of a second in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying Saturday at Belle Isle Park to claim the pole for Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. It is Dixon’s first pole of the 2012 season, breaking a string of poles by Team Penske drivers, and the first pole for Honda with the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series this year. Dixon also qualified on the Detroit pole in 2008, the last race on the temporary Belle Isle circuit prior to this year’s event.

Honda-powered drivers claimed three of the top four starting positions for Sunday’s race, with Alex Tagliani third-fastest, his best qualifying run of 2012 in only his second race with Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport. Simon Pagenaud equaled his previous best starting position of 2012 and will start fourth for Schmidt Hamilton Racing.  Graham Rahal just missed advancing to “Fast Six” final qualifying, coming up hundredths of a second short, and will start seventh. Justin Wilson, winner of the most recent IndyCar Series race in Detroit in 2008, qualified 11th; with Indianapolis 500 star Takuma Sato rounding out the top 12 qualifiers. Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti will start 15th. Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, 1st pole of 2012, 18th career IndyCar pole, 2nd Detroit pole; 1st Honda pole of 2012: “Qualifying on the pole here is definitely very important. This is one of the toughest tracks we have in terms of providing passing opportunities, so starting at the front is critical. It’s a fun track, but it was crazy out there … crazy. It was a pretty close session, so you had to keep pushing all the way through.

Line Claims Provisional Pole on Friday in Englishtown

Line Claims Provisional Pole on Friday in Englishtown

Event:  43rd annual NHRA SuperNationals

Location: Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey

Day/Date: Friday, June 1, 2012

While teammate Greg Anderson took to the track in his new Summit Racing Camaro on Friday at NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J., with his new mount not quite ready, Jason Line continued to campaign the Pontiac which had carried him to the 2011 Full Throttle Championship.  Not unexpectedly, therefore, he proved to be the class of the field at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, posting the quickest elapsed time and fastest top speed in each of the two qualifying sessions, with his 6.518-second, 212.09 mph best placing him atop the field with two final attempts remaining on Saturday.

Although naturally pleased with his showing, Line believed further improvement was certainly possible, while also looking forward to joining his teammate (who occupies the provisional ninth position) in the Bow Tie Brigade.

“I certainly like my current car, but I’m looking forward to getting out of it and into my new Summit Racing Camaro,” said Line.  “Greg’s may not have had the debut we were hoping for today, but we’ll get it straightened out.   As for my performance today, we’re off to a great start.  I’m not sure that time will hold for the pole, because if the weather holds, I think tomorrow’s morning session could be even faster.

“Even so, it was still a good run and my guys have done a tremendous job.  There was quite a bit of water in the air today, which slowed the entire Pro Stock field down by a couple hundredths, but I felt like we should have gone faster, so there’s something we could be missing.  The good news is that we have two more chances to figure it out tomorrow and make this car even better.”

Established in 1968, Summit Racing Equipment is the leading high performance parts and accessories company. Summit Racing offers the largest selection, lowest prices, and best customer service in the high performance industry via catalogs, Internet, and Retail Super Stores. The company is headquartered in Tallmadge, Ohio with retail locations in Tallmadge, Ohio; Sparks, Nevada; and McDonough, Georgia.  For more information, please visit www.summitracing.com.

Anderson Rides Learning Curve to Ninth on Friday

Anderson Rides Learning Curve to Ninth on Friday

Event:  43rd annual NHRA SuperNationals

Location: Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey

Day/Date: Friday, June 1, 2012

Greg Anderson and the KB Racing team opened a new chapter in their storied history on Friday, with their Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro making its competitive debut during the first day of qualifying for the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J.  Although the cool and overcast conditions at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park were completely unlike those in which he made his initial testing runs one week ago, Anderson was still able to make two competitive passes, highlighted by his 6.554-second, 211.03 mph best in the evening session.  

Sitting an uncharacteristic ninth midway through the qualifying procedure, the four-time champion sang the praises of his new car, while admitting both he and his team were still in the process of determining its performance envelope.     

“I absolutely love my new Summit Racing Camaro,” said Anderson.  “I think it’s going to be a tremendous car.  It looks fantastic, I love driving it and it feels great.  It obviously wants to run, but we’re just not getting off the starting line or through the first two gears the way we would like, which is not the car’s fault.   

“We’re just off on the tune-up both car-wise and motor-wise, which has nothing to do with what body we’re running.  We’ll have to make some big moves tomorrow to get it in the game.  My hat’s off to the General for building a great car – I’m excited about the future.  For now, we need to get it closer to the bulls-eye.”

Established in 1968, Summit Racing Equipment is the leading high performance parts and accessories company. Summit Racing offers the largest selection, lowest prices, and best customer service in the high performance industry via catalogs, Internet, and Retail Super Stores. The company is headquartered in Tallmadge, Ohio with retail locations in Tallmadge, Ohio; Sparks, Nevada; and McDonough, Georgia.  For more information, please visit www.summitracing.com.

Honda Racing- Wilson Looks for Detroit Replay

Wilson Looks for Detroit Replay
After a three-year absence, the IZOD IndyCar Series returned to the streets of Belle Isle Park Friday as 2008 race winner Justin Wilson led the Honda-powered field in opening practice for Sunday’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

In 2008, the most recent IndyCar race on the temporary park circuit, Wilson led the final 15 laps in his Newman Haas Racing Honda Dallara to win by 4.4 seconds over Helio Castroneves. It was the final IndyCar triumph for team co-owner Paul Newman, who succumbed to cancer later that year.

Wilson posted the second-fastest time in practice today, just one-tenth of a second off the fastest time, recorded by Team Penske’s Will Power. Series rookie Simon Pagenaud was third quickest in his Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda, while Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon rounded out the top six.

Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Justin Wilson (#18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) 2nd quickest in Friday practice: “There’s no margin for error in the IndyCar Series today, just lots and lots of very hard work. There are many good drivers and competitive teams; one small mistake and your ‘P20’ instead of ‘P1’. But having said that, this circuit is a lot of fun, and we appear to have a pretty good car. Hopefully, on Sunday, we can do exactly what we did here last time.”

Honda Racing- Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
June 3, 2012
3:30 p.m. EDT
ABC

COMPETITION
• Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 at last weekend’s 96th running of the Indianapolis
500-Mile Race, with Dario Franchitti scoring his third win at the historic “Brickyard”, followed by his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon.
• Five different Honda-powered drivers led the “500” at different points in the contest, including Franchitti (23 laps), Dixon (53 laps), Takuma Sato (31 laps), Charlie Kimball and Alex Tagliani.
• Honda-drivers dominated the second half of the race, holding down the top-five positions with 20 laps remaining.
• Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 33 points, to 42 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 20 points.
• The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.

HONDA AT DETROIT
• The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to the temporary street circuit at Belle Isle Park in 2012 after a three-year absence. Justin Wilson won the most recent IndyCar race at Belle Isle, driving for Newman Haas Racing in 2008. Wilson returns to Belle Isle with Honda power, now driving for Dale Coyne Racing.
• Honda-powered drivers have won six times on the streets of Belle Isle Park, including four victories in competition with other engine manufacturers and twice as the single engine supplier.
• Honda-powered race winners at Detroit include Alex Zanardi in 1998; Dario Franchitti in 1999; and Helio Castroneves in both 2000 (his first Indycar victory) and 2001. Honda was supplying engines to the entire IndyCar field when the series returned to Belle Isle in 2007, a race won by Tony Kanaan, while Wilson won the 2008 event, the final race win for team co-owner Paul Newman, who succumbed to cancer later that year.

MARKETING
• Honda’s popular “Fastest Seat in Sports” sweepstakes makes its sixth stop of the 2012 season at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix this weekend. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will take Robert Locke of Pennsauken, NJ for the ride of a lifetime around the 2.07-mile temporary circuit in a two-seater IndyCar, in advance of the green flag for Sunday’s race. Interested fans can find out more information on the “Fastest Seat in Sports” at shophonda.com.

HONDA CIVIC Si PACE AND SAFETY CARS
• A fleet of new 2012 Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Coupe made its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last year’s Honda Indy Toronto. That first Civic has now been joined by additional coupes and sedans, replacing the Honda Accords formerly used by the series.
• Cars start out as standard Civic Si models, and one coupe has been developed into an IndyCar Series Safety Car by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
• Modifications installed at HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.

Anderson Looks For a Successful Camaro Debut in Englishtown

Mooresville, N.C., May 30, 2012 – For the first time since the KB Racing team’s inaugural season in 2002, four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson took to the track last week in a Chevrolet-branded race car, shaking down his new Summit Racing Camaro at Rockingham Dragway in preparation for its debut at this weekend’s NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J..  Over the course of two days, Anderson and crew braved the 90-degree heat in the North Carolina Sandhills, making a total of fourteen runs, posting elapsed times in the 6.5-second range with speeds topping 209 mph.  Despite the limited experience, the current championship points leader is enthused by the prospect of once again competing as a member of the Bow Tie Brigade.

“We are excited to bring out our Summit Racing Camaro in Englishtown,” said Anderson.  “It’s a tremendous looking car that drives and feels great, with really good visibility.  After two days of testing we’ve learned that it definitely has different performance characteristics from the car we’ve been running, but the one thing we can see already is that it has a lot of potential.

“It wants to run the big end of the race track as well as if not even better than our Pontiacs, and it’s just a matter of rubbing on it a little more to get the front half of the track right. We certainly expect a few bumps in the road as we sort out the chassis, but as far as this Camaro body goes they did a great job.  I’ve won a lot of races and championships in Pontiacs, but I can’t wait to run this first event in my new Chevrolet, doing what we can to put them back in the winner’s circle.”

As if giving Chevrolet’s legendary muscle car its first Pro Stock win since 2001 was not enough, Anderson will have several other reasons to do well this weekend.  Not only will his KB Racing team’s next victory be the 100th of its relatively brief ten year history, but beloved team owners Ken and Judy Black will also be in attendance for the first time since the Las Vegas event two months ago.

“Ken continues to make remarkable progress, so he’s going to fly completely across the country to see us and witness the debut of the new Camaro,” said Anderson.  “So far, he’s only seen pictures of it, so he can’t wait to see it go down the track in person.  Besides, don’t forget that we also have the possibility of KB Racing’s 100th win.

“We almost got it in Topeka two weeks ago, but maybe the racing gods decided they wanted Ken and Judy to be on hand for it to happen.  After all, there’s nothing we would rather have than to put our Summit Racing Camaro in the winner’s circle for our 100th win with Ken Black in attendance.  That would be a storybook weekend, and it’s the goal we have going in to Englishtown.”

In a somewhat ironic twist, should Anderson score the multiple milestone win in the Garden State, it will come at the same track where he captured his team’s first Wally in 2002 behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier.  It was the first of the KB Racing’s team seven successive victories at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, spanning a period from 2002-2008, with Anderson the winner on four occasions.  Naturally, he hopes history will repeat itself this weekend.

“Raceway Park is one of my favorite tracks,” said Anderson.  “I’ve had a lot of final round appearances and a lot of winner’s circle celebrations there, so it’s naturally an event I look forward to every year.  It’s a sea-level type track where we always seem to have good air and a big barometer, making it one where the Pro Stock guys lick their chops, because given the right conditions, you could see records set – in fact, I set both ends of the national record there in 2003.  When you can run fast and have fun, as a race car driver you naturally get excited going there.  I’ve had a good relationship with Englishtown over the years, and look to continue it in a big way this weekend.”

Ty Dillon to Make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut at Dover International Speedway

Ty Dillon to Make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut
at Dover International Speedway
South Point Hotel & Casino to Sponsor No. 33 Chevrolet
 
WELCOME, N.C. (May 29, 2012) – Ty Dillon, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular and 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Richard Childress Racing in the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet in the June 2 Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.
 
“Ty has shown a lot of progress so far this season in the Camping World Truck Series and he’s definitely earned the opportunity to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. He’ll be in very good hands with Ernie Cope (crew chief) and the No. 33 Chevrolet team,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “South Point Hotel & Casino has quickly become a great partner with RCR and we appreciate their decision to expand their overall program with backing Ty in this once-in-a-career opportunity.”

Dillon, 20, is currently in his first full season of Camping World Truck Series competition for RCR. Contending for the honor of 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title, Dillon has earned one top-five, five top-10 finishes and one pole award in five Truck Series starts this season. Prior to joining in Camping World Truck Series, Dillon was crowned the 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion, the first rookie and youngest driver to do so in the series’ 59-year history. En route to the championship, Dillon acquired seven wins, seven pole awards, 13 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
 
“I’m very excited to get my first start in the Nationwide Series at Dover in the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet,” said Ty Dillon. “It’s going to be a lot of fun running with my brother Austin (Dillon) and Elliott (Sadler). The RCR Nationwide Series teams have done a great job so far this season, and I know I’ll learn a lot from them.  The No. 33 team and Ernie Cope(crew chief) have built a great team, and I’m honored to be able to work with them this weekend.”
 
Located in the heart of the premiere southwest Las Vegas valley, minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip, South Point Hotel & Casino amenities include a 16-screen century theatre movie complex, 64-lane bowling center and a handful of restaurants that cater to all appetites and tastes. The distinctive hotel features spacious rooms and suites with 42-inch LED televisions, Point Plush mattresses and wireless internet access throughout. A unique feature to this property is its Equestrian Center, which is the finest horse facility in the country. South Point also has a fabulous 400-seat showroom that features headliner entertainment and dancing to live bands on weekends.
 
South Point Hotel & Casino announced their partnership with RCR at the end of the 2011 season. The resort serves as the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Camping World Truck Series entry driven by Brendan Gaughan and shares a primary sponsorship role on the No. 33 Nationwide Series entry with drivers Gaughan, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Max Papis

Kemenah Heats Up in World of Outlaws Return to Lawrenceburg

Kemenah Heats Up in World of Outlaws Return to Lawrenceburg
The Findlay, Ohio, native withstands Kraig Kinser in an epic, side-by-side battle
 
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – May 28, 2012 – The hottest race day of the season produced arguably the best feature in a special Memorial Day event.
Fighting temperatures in the mid-90s and high humidity most of the day on Monday, Chad Kemenah outlasted Kraig Kinser to claim the first World of Outlaws feature at Lawrenceburg Speedway since 2009.

“I seen Kraig get underneath me a couple of times and I figured we were going to win it or wear it,” Kemenah said. “Kraig, he’s an awesome race car driver. He could have probably pinched me off there a couple of times. He raced me like I race him I believe and that matters.”

The duo traded the lead several times and battled side by side for nearly three consecutive laps. With Kemenah maintaining his momentum on the high lane, Kinser hit his marks on the bottom groove to stay within striking distance of first place.  

Kemenah snuck by at the flag stand on lap 30 and barely edged Kinser on the ensuing lap, when a yellow flag was waved for a spin by Cody Darrah in turn four. Kemenah chose the inside lane on the double-file restart – which he had to do twice after the initial attempt was called back for Donny Schatz starting too early – and pulled away to his second Outlaws win of the season.

“It’s hard to win these things,” Kemenah said. “You’re racing against Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, and Schatz and Joey (Saldana). They’re the best and they’re the best for a reason. Any time you win them, you cherish them because you just don’t know when the next one is going to be.”

The race was anything but a given for Kemenah, who caught a break when Danny Lasoski – who led the first 11 laps of the feature – pulled to the infield with a blown engine on lap 12. That gave Kemenah the top spot with polesitter Craig Dollansky in hot pursuit.

The first caution of the race happened on lap 14 when Darrah slowed dramatically in turn two. Kemenah rocketed to a sizeable advantage on the restart while Dollansky and Kinser traded slide jobs for the runner-up position for several laps.

Traffic began to play a role with approximately a dozen laps remaining as Dollansky closed to within a car length of Kemenah for the lead. However, Dollansky’s right rear tire blew going into turn one on lap 27 – ending his bid for the win.

The restart featured a wild battle between Kemenah and Kinser, who first found the lead as he exited turn two on the bottom of lap 28. Kemenah stayed on the cushion and the momentum carried him into the lead entering each corner, but Kinser’s bottom lane propelled him to the top spot exiting the turns.

“It was getting fun there,” Kinser said. “He was a little bit better than me on the top, could carry his momentum a little bit better and he pulled it off tonight.

“I couldn’t carry that much momentum around the bottom. I don’t know if I was a little too free everywhere so I wasn’t tight enough where I could carry momentum to keep up with him up top. I was just trying to run the bottom to make the track as short as I could and just try to keep the car straight and under control the whole time.”

Kinser led laps 28 and 29 by a nose, and at one point almost had his car entirely in front of Kemenah. But the outside lane prevailed and Kemenah led the lap prior to the caution with five laps remaining, giving him the opportunity to choose where to start on the double-file restart.

The inside lane proved effective as he easily drove into a comfortable lead by turn one before moving to the cushion for the remainder of the race. Kinser and Kyle Larson then put on a show to close out the final laps.

The duo swapped the runner-up position a handful of times before Kinser slipped by exiting turn four on the final lap.

“We definitely set up for the end there,” Larson said after a season-best third-place finish. “We were really good at the end. Maybe could have used another caution, but who knows I might have got hung out like Kraig did there on that last restart. I’ll take a third.

“It’s always satisfying just finishing in the top 10 with these guys.”

World of Outlaws points leader Steve Kinser placed fourth and David Gravel was fifth. Sammy Swindell, who set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.924 seconds, ended sixth with Kerry Madsen seventh and NASCAR star Tony Stewart eighth. Daryn Pittman finished ninth and Jason Sides rounded out the top 10.

Lasoski, Dollansky, Larson and Gravel each picked up a heat race victory, and Danny Smith claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Lucas Wolfe utilized a provisional and charged from last – 25th – to place 14th, earning the KSE Hard Charger Award for the first time this season.

Kemenah Heats Up in World of Outlaws Return to Lawrenceburg

Kemenah Heats Up in World of Outlaws Return to Lawrenceburg
The Findlay, Ohio, native withstands Kraig Kinser in an epic, side-by-side battle
 
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – May 28, 2012 – The hottest race day of the season produced arguably the best feature in a special Memorial Day event.
Fighting temperatures in the mid-90s and high humidity most of the day on Monday, Chad Kemenah outlasted Kraig Kinser to claim the first World of Outlaws feature at Lawrenceburg Speedway since 2009.

“I seen Kraig get underneath me a couple of times and I figured we were going to win it or wear it,” Kemenah said. “Kraig, he’s an awesome race car driver. He could have probably pinched me off there a couple of times. He raced me like I race him I believe and that matters.”

The duo traded the lead several times and battled side by side for nearly three consecutive laps. With Kemenah maintaining his momentum on the high lane, Kinser hit his marks on the bottom groove to stay within striking distance of first place.  

Kemenah snuck by at the flag stand on lap 30 and barely edged Kinser on the ensuing lap, when a yellow flag was waved for a spin by Cody Darrah in turn four. Kemenah chose the inside lane on the double-file restart – which he had to do twice after the initial attempt was called back for Donny Schatz starting too early – and pulled away to his second Outlaws win of the season.

“It’s hard to win these things,” Kemenah said. “You’re racing against Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, and Schatz and Joey (Saldana). They’re the best and they’re the best for a reason. Any time you win them, you cherish them because you just don’t know when the next one is going to be.”

The race was anything but a given for Kemenah, who caught a break when Danny Lasoski – who led the first 11 laps of the feature – pulled to the infield with a blown engine on lap 12. That gave Kemenah the top spot with polesitter Craig Dollansky in hot pursuit.

The first caution of the race happened on lap 14 when Darrah slowed dramatically in turn two. Kemenah rocketed to a sizeable advantage on the restart while Dollansky and Kinser traded slide jobs for the runner-up position for several laps.

Traffic began to play a role with approximately a dozen laps remaining as Dollansky closed to within a car length of Kemenah for the lead. However, Dollansky’s right rear tire blew going into turn one on lap 27 – ending his bid for the win.

The restart featured a wild battle between Kemenah and Kinser, who first found the lead as he exited turn two on the bottom of lap 28. Kemenah stayed on the cushion and the momentum carried him into the lead entering each corner, but Kinser’s bottom lane propelled him to the top spot exiting the turns.

“It was getting fun there,” Kinser said. “He was a little bit better than me on the top, could carry his momentum a little bit better and he pulled it off tonight.

“I couldn’t carry that much momentum around the bottom. I don’t know if I was a little too free everywhere so I wasn’t tight enough where I could carry momentum to keep up with him up top. I was just trying to run the bottom to make the track as short as I could and just try to keep the car straight and under control the whole time.”

Kinser led laps 28 and 29 by a nose, and at one point almost had his car entirely in front of Kemenah. But the outside lane prevailed and Kemenah led the lap prior to the caution with five laps remaining, giving him the opportunity to choose where to start on the double-file restart.

The inside lane proved effective as he easily drove into a comfortable lead by turn one before moving to the cushion for the remainder of the race. Kinser and Kyle Larson then put on a show to close out the final laps.

The duo swapped the runner-up position a handful of times before Kinser slipped by exiting turn four on the final lap.

“We definitely set up for the end there,” Larson said after a season-best third-place finish. “We were really good at the end. Maybe could have used another caution, but who knows I might have got hung out like Kraig did there on that last restart. I’ll take a third.

“It’s always satisfying just finishing in the top 10 with these guys.”

World of Outlaws points leader Steve Kinser placed fourth and David Gravel was fifth. Sammy Swindell, who set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 11.924 seconds, ended sixth with Kerry Madsen seventh and NASCAR star Tony Stewart eighth. Daryn Pittman finished ninth and Jason Sides rounded out the top 10.

Lasoski, Dollansky, Larson and Gravel each picked up a heat race victory, and Danny Smith claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Lucas Wolfe utilized a provisional and charged from last – 25th – to place 14th, earning the KSE Hard Charger Award for the first time this season.

Race Report Week Ending 5/27/12

F1- Grand Prix of Monaco- Mark Webber
IndyCar- Indianapolis 500- Dario Franchitti
K&N- Brainerd International Raceway- Michael Self
World of Outlaws- Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown- The Dirttrack at Charlotte- Joey Saldana
Nascar
Nationwide Series- History 300- Brad Keselowski
Sprint Cup- Coca-Cola 600- Kasey Kahne

Franchitti Claims Third “500” Win in Honda 1-2 Finish

Franchitti Claims Third “500” Win in Honda 1-2 Finish

Dario Franchitti came from the rear of the field to win a dramatic Indianapolis 500 Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon to the checkered flag in a 1-2 finish for Honda in near-record heat and humidity. It is the third Indianapolis 500 victory for Franchitti, and the third for Honda with engine manufacturer competition.

After starting 16th, Franchitti was hit during his first pit stop by the car of E.J. Viso, spinning Franchitti around and dropping him to the rear of the field. But he fought back to the front, reaching the lead for the first time on Lap 151 and then entering into a multi-car battle for the victory over the final laps.

Once at the front of the field, Franchitti spent the late laps trading the lead with Dixon, part of a record 34 lead changes during the race; while the Honda Dallaras of Takuma Sato and Justin Wilson; as well as the cars of Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter all looked like potential race winners. Carpenter was the first to fall by the wayside, spinning without contact on Lap 180. On the Lap 184 restart, Kanaan jumped from fourth to the front on the run to Turn One, but the yellow came out again just three laps later as Marco Andretti spun and crashed without injury.

On Lap 194, the green flag waved for the final time and both Franchitti and Dixon passed Kanaan. Sato also was quickly past Kanaan and then Dixon. On Lap 199, Sato moved alongside Franchitti and attempted a last-lap pass for the lead as they entered Turn One. But Sato lost control mid-corner, made contact with Franchitti and then spun hard into the wall, crashing without injury.

Franchitti was momentarily sideways, but corrected for the slide and claimed his third Indianapolis 500 victory, and the 96th IndyCar win for Target Chip Ganassi Racing at the 96th running of the Memorial Dayweekend classic. Dixon finished second, with Honda drivers Justin Wilson seventh, Charlie Kimball in eighth and Townsend Bell, ninth.

The IZOD IndyCar Series now enters June with a run of four consecutive race weekends, starting with the June 3 Belle Isle Grand Prix temporary street circuit race in Detroit, Michigan, followed by oval races at Texas Motor Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway.

Dario Franchitti (#50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 16th, finished 1st, his third Indianapolis 500 victory, 31st IndyCar victory (all with Honda power) and first win of 2012: “I moved over for Takuma [Sato]. I knew he was coming and I moved up the track. I felt it was a good move, but he got loose underneath me. It was the last lap of the Indianapolis 500 and I didn’t expect him to lift. I think he did everything right up until the point he lost the rear of the car. It kind of reminded me of Emerson [Fittipaldi] and Little Al [Unser], at the 1994 Indianapolis 500] at the end there. This means the world. This is Indianapolis.”  I also have to say ‘thank you’ to Honda. I have all of my [IndyCar] wins with them and today showed us all exactly why. They worked incredibly hard throughout the event, and never more so than in the week after qualifying. Honda showed us all today what they can accomplish.”

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) qualified 15th, finished 2nd, led 53 laps: “We had the car to win today. Between the efforts of the team and Honda we had the power, reliability and mileage we needed, but at the end it was Dario’s race. He did a hell of a job today, so I’m super happy for him, but super gutted for myself. Still, it couldn’t be a better day, a 1-2 finish for the Target Chip Ganassi team at the Indianapolis 500.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda victory in the Indianapolis 500: “This is why we go racing. To be able to participate in such a competitive race is one of the most amazing things in my career with Honda. It was an exciting day, and a great race for the fans– but pretty stressful for the participants! Any of several Honda drivers would have been a deserving winner today, but somehow it seemed destined that this was Dario’s day. He drove a fantastic race, never giving up after getting hit during his first pit stop. It was an inspiring drive, and an incredible race, that had all of us riveted throughout. My congratulations to all our associates at Honda Performance Development, who worked so hard to make this victory a reality. What a great day.”

RCR Post Race Report — Charlotte Motor Speedway–Sprint Cup

RCR Post Race Report — Charlotte Motor Speedway  
 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series   
RACE: Coca-Cola 600    
TRACK: Charlotte Motor Speedway  
DATE: May 27, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Kevin Harvick), 15th (Paul Menard) and 19th (Jeff Burton).
Harvick ranked fifth in Quality Passes (62), sixth in Average Running Position (8.180), Driver Rating (100.9) and Laps in the Top 15 (391). He ranked seventh in Fastest Drivers in an Early Run (178.461 mph) and Fastest on the Restart (173.613 mph), and ninth in Green Flag Speed (176.493 mph).  
According to NASCAR Loop Data Statistics, Menard ranked 11th in the category Green-Flag Passes, making 127 during the 600-mile race.
Menard ran as high as eighth and as low as 37th en route to a 15th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600.
Burton ran as high ninth-place during the Coca-Cola 600, making 149 green-flag passes during the 400-lap event
Burton gained eight positions over the final 40 laps of the race, leading the NASCAR Loop Data Statistics Closers category  
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, June 3, televised live on FOX and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  

RCR Post Race Report — Charlotte Motor Speedway– Nationwide

RCR Post Race Report — Charlotte Motor Speedway   
 
 
NASCAR Nationwide Series
History 300
Charlotte Motor Speedway
May 26, 2012
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished fourth (Kevin Harvick), fifth (Elliott Sadler), 10th (Joey Coulter) and 11th (Austin Dillon).
Sadler is second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing point leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 13 points. Dillon ranks third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Cole Whitt.
The No. 2 Chevrolet team is third in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 23 points shy of the No. 18 car’s lead, with the No. 3 team fourth in the standings and the No. 33 team fifth.
Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Harvick maintained the highest average running position throughout the 200-lap race, had the highest driver rating, was the fastest driver late in a run, fastest on restarts, had the fastest green flag speed, led the most laps and was one of two drivers that spent the entire race running in the top 15.
Coulter earned a top-10 finish in his career first Nationwide Series start.
Coulter ranked third in the Closers category, improving two positions in the last 10 percent of the race.
Dillon and Sadler maintained the sixth and seventh-highest average running positions with an average running place of 8.670 and 9.025, respectively.
Dillon earned his career best Nationwide Series starting position by qualifying second on Saturday afternoon.
Combined, the RCR entries posted the fastest lap of the race for 43 circuits, with Harvick leading all drivers with 41 Fastest Laps of the Race.
Brad Keselowski earned his first win of the 2012 Nationwide Series and was followed to the finish line by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Harvick and Sadler.
The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the NNS 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, June 2. The 11th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Rookies Achieve Indy Dream with Honda Power

Rookies Achieve Indy Dream with Honda Power

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 26, 2012) – Five of the eight rookies in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 field will be using Honda power, as the manufacturer leads the way in providing opportunities for the next generation of racing stars to achieve their dreams of competing at the fabled Brickyard.

On Sunday, Bryan Clauson, Wade Cunningham, James Jakes, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud will all make their first Indy starts in the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500, the largest contingent of rookies for any manufacturer in this year’s race.

Three of the Honda-powered rookies and one driver making his second “500” start are products of the INDYCAR ladder system, while an additional rookie and four veteran Honda drivers in this year’s race are previous graduates of either the Formula Atlantic or Indy Lights development series.

“Honda has long believed in providing platforms for developing future stars of the sport,” said Marc Sours, General Manager, Honda Performance Development (HPD). “It’s rewarding to see that so many talented rookies in this year’s field are driving for Honda teams. Our goal is to see additional drivers, now just starting out in Formula F and other Honda-supported classes, achieve their Indy dreams in future years.”

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing is fielding a pair of rookies and INDYCAR ladder graduates: 2011 Indy Lights Champion Josef Newgarden and USAC National Champion Bryan Clauson.

Wade Cunningham, a former Indy Lights champion and three-time Indy Lights winner at Indianapolis, will make his “500” debut on Sunday with A.J. Foyt Racing.

Indy rookie Simon Pagenaud and veteran Graham Rahal are both graduates of Formula Atlantic, where both won races and finished 1-2 in the 2006 championship, Pagenaud winning the title after a year-long battle with Rahal. Now, they are rivals for racing’s greatest prize, with Rahal driving for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing and Pagenaud leading the Schmidt
Hamilton Racing effort.

Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani is another graduate of the Atlantic series, where he starred from 1996-99. Charlie Kimball was an Indy Lights front-runner in 2009-2010 before moving up to IndyCars with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing; and Townsend Bell won the Indy Lights championship in 2001.

In 2009, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm for American Honda, announced the formation of its grass roots motorsports initiative, and today the company supplies engines and technical support to racers competing in a wide variety of entry-level and intermediate racing categories, including Quarter Midget, Karting, Formula F and Formula
Atlantic.

Saldana Works for Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown Win

Saldana Works for Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown Win
The Brownsburg, Ind., native claims victory No. 3 in the heart of NASCAR country
 
CONCORD, N.C. – May 25, 2012 – Joey Saldana parked his sprint car in front of the near-capacity crowd at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and emerged with a renewed vigor.
Drenched in sweat and caked in dirt, the veteran celebrated his third World of Outlaws feature win on a hot Friday night at the $12,000-to-win Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown. The event in the heart of NASCAR was also broadcast live on SPEED.

“The racing people that normally don’t see what we do, at least they can see that we actually work in our race cars,” Saldana said. “You do get dirty, you sweat and it’s definitely a chore out there to drive a winged sprint car especially on dirt and especially on a track like this. At least they can see what we do and they appreciate that we’re actually going out there and working for a living.”

Saldana did exactly that at the semi-banked, 4/10-mile dirt oval, where he won twice in 2009. He led 23 of the 30 laps, including the final eight, to pick up his 79th career World of Outlaws feature victory and the first in exactly six weeks.

“This is a place you need to win at,” he said. “It may not pay the most money, but it’s probably the most prestigious for sponsors and just recognition amongst people that pay our bills.

“Our main objective is to win races obviously, win the Knoxville Nationals, win the championship and win as many Outlaws shows as possible, and we haven’t been doing that lately. So this is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Saldana qualified seventh quickest and claimed his heat race, which locked him into the dash. The dash inversion was an eight, starting Saldana third. He finished fourth to line up on the outside of the second row for the main event.

Saldana quickly advanced to second place in turn one on the opening lap behind Sammy Swindell, who led the first six laps. On a restart of lap seven, Saldana pulled off an effective slide job on Swindell in turn two for the lead.

He pulled away before Ed Lynch Jr. brought out a caution on lap 11 with a flat right rear tire. Saldana chose the outside lane for the double-file restart and sailed to a big advantage before a caution on lap 15 for Matt Linder bunched the field together.

NASCAR star Tony Stewart, who started 12th after winning the Last Chance Showdown, worked his way into the top five on the restart and Swindell faded with smoke pouring from his engine. He pulled into the infield on lap 20.

Saldana faced his biggest task when Steve Kinser took advantage of an opportunity in traffic on the 22nd circuit. However, Kinser’s lead was short-lived as his left rear tire blew on the backstretch of the ensuing lap.

That gave the lead back to Saldana, who outlasted a strong finish by Donny Schatz and a late charge from Craig Dollansky.

“It definitely was better when the fuel load would come off,” Schatz said after his runner-up performance. “Any time you get the tires worn down it’s going to be harder to drive. Joey kept good care of his tires staying up there on the top. I was better at the end than I was at the beginning.

“We would have really liked to win, but tonight we’re going to settle for second.”

Dollansky overcame an early issue in qualifying, which sent him to the pits with the 23rd-best time. He claimed the sixth-and-final transfer from his heat race and then maneuvered his way from 21st to round out the podium.

“Any time you start that far back and get that far up toward the front it’s a good night for your entire team,” Dollansky said. “Our car was getting better as the race was wearing on. I would have liked to see five more laps. Even in the open track we were starting to come on pretty good there at the end. To start 21st and get up to third, that’s a great run.”

Polesitter Kraig Kinser finished fourth and Cody Darrah survived a flip in his heat race to place fifth in the feature. Brad Sweet was sixth, NASCAR driver and the owner of Saldana’s car, Kasey Kahne, ended seventh and Jason Sides placed eighth. Kerry Madsen, who set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 13.811 seconds, finished ninth and Chad Kemenah charged from 17th to round out the top 10.

Steve Kinser finished 13th, but maintains the World of Outlaws points lead by 12 over Schatz.

Stewart, who owns the cars for Kinser and Schatz, was 19th after a part in the suspension broke on lap 27 while he was running fourth.

Saldana, Kraig Kinser and Lynch Jr. each claimed a heat race.

“Franchitti, Dixon Pace Indy “Carb Day” Final Practice

Franchitti, Dixon Pace Indy “Carb Day” Final Practice
The Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing team of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon led the 33-car starting field Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the traditional “Carb Day” practice session leading up to Sunday’s 96th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Takuma Sato posted the fourth-fastest speed in practice today for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, while Justin Wilson completed the top six in his Dale Coyne Racing Honda.  The hour-long session, the last chance for drivers and teams to prepare for Sunday’s race, ran without incident. The Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday, May 27, with live television coverage on ABC.

Dario Franchitti (#50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) fastest in the final practice for the Indianapolis 500: “The car was good, as good as it has been all month, really. It had good power, good balance and good grip. The track is getting more slippery the more the air temperature goes up, and the more the car moves around, the harder it is behind the wheel. But it’s the same for everybody, and I think we’ve got a good setup for race day.

California Hi Performance/ J&M Speed Phil Braybrooks Memorial Car Show

One of our sales representatives, Randy Manning was at the Phil Braybrooks Memorial Car Show at J&M Speed on 5/20.  This is his report.

This past Sunday was the 4th annual Phil Braybrooks Memorial Car Show at California Hi Performance’s retail store, J&M Speed. They had 405 cars attend this year, so the entire area around the store and street was full.

Once again, we gave out a trophy plaque for the best use of ARP products. This year’s winner was a very nice ’65 Cobra with a 427 FE Ford engine and nearly everything that could be bolted down was done so with our 12 point stainless fasteners. It looked awesome!

Josh Forster- 200MPH Club

I’m proud to report that I have reached my life-long goal of reaching 200 MPH in a standing mile, and I could not have done it without your support.
 
The car made a pass of 202.5 MPH in a standing mile, at the Mojave Mile on May 6th. That makes me the youngest member of the Mojave 200 MPH Club. I took first place in my class, and simultaneously beat one of the worlds fastest & most expensive cars, the Bugatti Veyron, which did a best of 201.7 MPH. The car dyno’d at 1020 rear-wheel horsepower and 958 rear-wheel torque, on 91 octane pump gas! (And still gets 20 mpg highway)
 
Its been a long road and a great learning experience building it myself, and I hope that I’ve been able to bring some exposure to your company in the process. My youtube channel has nearly 22,000 views, and the car has had over 100,000 views on LS1tech.com, as well as exposure on various other websites & blogs.
 
So far the car has been featured in LSXtv.com’s online articles twice, will have a short article in the August print issue of Car & Driver Magazine, and I have been contacted for potential articles in GM High Tech Magazine, and Camaro Performers Magazine.
 
Here are the two LSXtv articles:
LSXtv article 1 
LSXtv article 2
 
And now the good stuff:
  The 200+ MPH Video
 

 

Outlaws, SPEED Collide at The Dirt Track at Charlotte

Outlaws, SPEED Collide at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
SPEED coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars begins at 8 p.m. Eastern
 
CONCORD, N.C. – May 24, 2012 – Lights. Camera. Action.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to SPEED on Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown. The two-hour broadcast will air beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.

“It’s a big deal being on live TV,” said championship contender Sammy Swindell, who won the first race at the track in 2000. “It’s a definite plus for our sponsors and even our suppliers.

“For me, I don’t think there’s anything extra there other than you’re trying to not make mistakes. We’re not going to work any harder or try any harder. If there’s anything, it’d be trying not to make a mistake.”

It will be the fifth year in a row with SPEED capturing the action at the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. Four-time series champion Donny Schatz has taken advantage of the spotlight. Schatz has claimed six of the 27 World of Outlaws races at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, including three of the last six and the final two to end last season at the Lowes Foods World Finals.

“You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “It’s a tricky race track.

“It’s a place where if you’re not on top of everything and on your game, you can find yourself in the back pretty easy.”

In addition to the live broadcast, the World of Outlaws race starts the action on the compound of Charlotte Motor Speedway. One of NASCAR’s premier events – the Coca-Cola 600 – is two days later at the pavement track a stone throw away from The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

“It’s in NASCAR land,” Kerry Madsen said. “At the World Finals (last year) I led like 20 laps and then kind of faded. I want to go kinda avenge ourselves. I’m excited about going back.”

The broadcast team includes Ralph Sheheen and Brad Doty in the booth with Bobby Gerould and Matt Yocum reporting on all of the action from the pits.

World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Set for the NAPA Rumble

World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Set for the NAPA Rumble
The Outlaws head to I-96 Speedway on Saturday, June 2, for Michigan’s only race
 
LAKE ODESSA, Mich. – May 24, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series is ready to rumble at the new and improved I-96 Speedway.
After reconfiguring the track from a half mile to the fast 3/8-mile oval during the offseason, the NAPA Rumble – the World of Outlaws lone event in the Wolverine state – is set for Saturday, June 2.

“Those are usually the good races for us whenever we go to places in an area that doesn’t have a whole lot of sprint car racing,” Lucas Wolfe said. “I think it’s always good to go to those events and that’s the only race in Michigan this year.”

It will mark the sixth consecutive year and eighth out of the last 10 seasons that the Outlaws have competed at the semi-banked track.

“It’s always a good weekend when you get to a track that we’ve been to a few times that we’ve had some decent speed at,” Wolfe said.

The track record of 14.834 seconds was established by Joey Saldana in 2010. Saldana claimed the first World of Outlaws event at I-96 Speedway in 1995 and six other drivers have picked up a feature win since.

Steve Kinser, who leads the current Outlaws points, has won a series-best four events and Jason Meyers took two victories. Jason Sides, Craig Dollansky, Stevie Smith and Sammy Swindell are also winners at the facility.

“It’s a unique track,” Kerry Madsen said. “I always look forward to going there. I think we can run well there, so I’m pretty excited about I-96.”

There is a ticket special with a $5 discount coupon on general admission at all participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. With the discount, adult tickets are only $30 and children ages 6 to 12 are only $10.

Racer News and Results