Anderson Searching for the Sweet Spot in Seattle

Anderson Searching for the Sweet Spot in Seattle

Mooresville, N.C., August 1, 2012 – The sweet spot.  It is a phrase used by baseball players, golfers and racers to describe that area of the bat, club or tune-up which provides the maximum performance.  As each will tell you, it can be an elusive target, the pursuit of which can be rather lengthy and, at times, somewhat frustrating.  Such has been the experience of Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing team with their new Chevrolet Camaro.

In their first six races with the legendary muscle car they have certainly experienced their share of success, with one win in three final round appearances, a statistic made even more impressive by the fact that the KB Racing crew has yet to get fully acclimated to the needs of their still-new race car.  Even so, as Anderson prepared to head to the Evergreen State for this weekend’s NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Wash., he admitted that both he and his team still had some work ahead of them.

“Ever since we started racing this Summit Racing Camaro, we’ve been working non-stop to find its sweet spot, getting the right balance of performance,” said Anderson.  “Right now, it doesn’t want to run the first part of the track.  Anything down track is more related to the aero or engine packages, and even though we still have some work to do in that area, our biggest issue remains in the first 330 feet.

“Obviously, we’d love to spend a week at a track testing, but that’s not an option at the moment, so we turn our qualifying runs into learning sessions.  You hate to race that way, but it’s what we need to do at the moment in order to get these cars dialed in.

“Until we get the performance back where we need it to be, we’re also probably going to have a little inconsistency, as we make wholesale changes trying to make them better. These Camaros are completely different cars than the ones we ran before, presenting us with a new challenge that we just haven’t conquered yet.

“The good news is that we got closer with Jason’s (teammate Line) blue car in Sonoma, so now we just need to find something that my red car likes as well.  That’s why we’re in test mode right now, working to have them ready for the Countdown.  We know they are going to run, we just have to determine what they want.”

For the second consecutive week, the “factory hot rods” will enjoy conditions that are conducive to creating horsepower, with cooler temperatures and plenty of oxygen.  Nestled among the trees in the Seattle suburb of Kent, Pacific Raceways will test the teams as they try to match their 1,400-horsepower hot rods to a racing surface that, as Anderson describes, has a personality all its own.

“The track at Pacific Raceways is pretty quirky, and it all comes down to the weather,” said Anderson.  “For some reason, it does not seem to like sunshine at all.  You have to know when you’re racing there that it can be a very, very good track if it doesn’t have direct sunlight on it.  If it’s cloudy with cool temperatures it’s one of the best we race on and with the power we make you can run really fast.

“However, that will change in a heartbeat once the sun pops out. When it gets over 80 degrees, you had better be ready to make some major changes trying to hook all that power up to the track.  It’s one of the racing surfaces on the circuit that changes more from cool to hot conditions, which can be tough, but we know that going in.  The key is knowing when to make the changes and when not to, and doing it better than your competition, which will be the test facing this Summit Racing team this weekend.  It’s going to be a battle, but I believe we’re up to it.”

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Teams and Drivers take Lead in Manufacturers’ and Driver’s Point Standings to Mid-Ohio

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Teams and Drivers take Lead in Manufacturers’ and Driver’s Point Standings to Mid-Ohio
 
DETROIT – August 1, 2012 – This weekend, the 13 Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers will take on the intricacies of the  2.4-mile, 15 turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio. The 85-lap Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be Round 12 of the 15-race 2012 IZOD IndyCar Season
 
“This weekend our Chevrolet IndyCar V6 teams and drivers take on the challenge of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series.  “It is a very technical and physically challenging track for the drivers with a combination of fast, medium and low speed corners, one long straightaway and several dramatic elevation changes.  Chevrolet’s technical partners in our IndyCar V6 program are working closely with our team engineers to ensure the Chevy engine delivers the necessary performance and reliability.  They are also employing an array of tools to provide setup insight to the teams for this driver-focused track. The racing is so close every weekend that every detail matters.
 
“IndyCar is enhancing the push-to-pass parameters this weekend with a 5 second activation delay to reduce the use of the feature in a defensive manner.    This should keep the racing interesting and will require more strategy from the drivers in the cockpit to make the best use of the extra boost.”
 
With Helio Castroneves and the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet team’s victory in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, his second trip to Victory Lane this season, Team Chevy drivers have notched eight wins in the Bowtie Brand’s return to IndyCar competition.  Chevrolet continues to lead the IndyCar Manufactuers’ Championship standings, a position it has not relinquished since the checkered flag flew at the season’s opening race at St. Petersburg, also won by Castroneves.
 
“With just four races remaining in the season,” Berube continued.  “And Chevrolet drivers holding down the top-three positions in the driver’s point standings, every position and ever point count in their quest to win the top prize – the IZOD IndyCar Series Driver’s Championship.  The intensity continues to ratchet up.  Everyone involved in the Chevrolet IndyCar program is committed to giving all the teams and drivers the best possible on-track package.”
 
Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay with three wins to his credit is at the top of the standings heading into the Mid-Ohio event.  He leads Castroneves by 23 points.  Castroneves Team Penske teammate, Will Power, sits in third, just three points behind second position and 26 points out of the lead.
 
In previous Indy car races at Mid-Ohio two current Team Chevy drivers have visited the Winner’s Circle.  Castroneves has scored two victories – 2000 and 2001.  Ryan Briscoe was the 2008 race winner.
 
Chevrolet competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 105 races, that powered Chevrolet to six driver champions, and included seven Indianapolis 500 victories. Five of those wins were at Mid-Ohio as Emerson Fittipaldi took the checkered flag in 1988, 1992 and 1993.  Michael Andretti won twice – 1990 and 1991.

Clint “The Milkman” Hairston Goes #1 at NMRA/NMCA Joliet

Clint “The Milkman” Hairston Goes #1 at NMRA/NMCA Joliet

 

Joliet, IL (July) – HMR returned to action at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals after sitting out the Maryland race while repairs and updates to the car were being finished up at Jerry Bickel Race Cars.

 

Sporting a new front end design and fresh paint job, Clint Hairston hit the ground running going 6.03 in qualifying to capture the #1 spot in the tough Pro Street class which included Donnie Walsh fresh off a NHRA Pro Mod win at Norwalk.

 

Running consistent 6.0’s in qualifying, the HMR team felt confident that this could be the weekend to win their first NMCA title.  A competition bye in Round One netted a strong 6.06 pass in the heat of the day low for the round.  Clint turned on the win light in Round Two against Tony Williams running 6.12 followed with a Semi-Final win over Dan Stevenson setting up the Final against Donnie Walsh.  Unfortunately, we did not have lane choice, which lead to a poor pass by spinning the tires at mid-track.  We probably wouldn’t have an enough to cover Walsh after he made his best pass of the weekend.  Congratulations to Donnie and his team for great outing.

 

Our next event will be at Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Quick Fuel NMCA Muscle Car Nationals August 3-5.  Make sure you visit www.hairstonmotorsports.com to view new exciting race action video.

Stewart Returns to Victory Lane at Ohsweken – Again

Stewart Returns to Victory Lane at Ohsweken – Again
The NASCAR star earns his second World of Outlaws win this month and third overall
 
OHSWEKEN, Ontario – July 31, 2012 – Tony Stewart, Ohsweken Speedway and Victory Lane are beginning to become synonymous.
The NASCAR driver led all 30 laps on Tuesday to claim his third career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory and his second in a row at the 3/8-mile oval. Counting Monday’s win in Corr/Pak Sprints action, he has ended his last three events at Ohsweken Speedway a top the podium.

“Last year we won the thing running through the middle and tonight we were really good right on the top edge of the race track,” Stewart said. “It wasn’t really anything consistent between the nights. It’s just a neat, little race track. It’s a lot of fun. You can race all over the place.

“And what an honor it is to stand here with this group of guys. To win with the World of Outlaws is awesome.”

A year after picking up his first-ever Outlaws win, Stewart dominated in the return to Ohsweken Speedway in front of the largest crowd in the track’s history. He maneuvered from third to first in the opening turn of the dash and held off World of Outlaws championship standings leader Craig Dollansky for his first dash victory of the season.

That earned Stewart the pole for the feature on a track that had started to slick off early in the heat races. The main event was caution free and featured a variety of close calls throughout traffic for Stewart and Dollansky, who stayed within several car lengths the entire race.

“He’s rolling around here good,” said Dollansky, who has recorded a top three in four of his last five events. “He did last year and he did again this year. We were with him and working through lapped traffic. A couple things go a little bit different in lapped traffic, I think we had a shot at the win.”

The duo entered traffic on lap nine, which forced both to move around the track and leave the preferred top groove. Midway through the feature Stewart had to check up as a car slid in front of him exiting turn four, which allowed Dollansky to close to the rear bumper. However, Stewart maintained the position and later held off a late rally from Dollansky, who closed to within two car lengths on the final lap.

“You just had to play when you caught those guys a little bit and make sure you didn’t get to a part of the corner where you just got stuck,” Stewart said. “Just keeping the momentum up was the big thing just to get by those guys.”

Had there been a late caution, Tony Stewart Racing driver Steve Kinser could have played a spoiler role. Kinser charged from 12th to sixth in the first 12 laps and cracked the top five at the midpoint of the feature.

As Kraig Kinser worked past Donny Schatz for third place with five laps remaining, Steve Kinser split the duo and eventually gained third place on the ensuing lap. He finished third to earn a podium for the second consecutive race after starting in the middle of the field.

“We’re making recoveries, but that’s not the way to be doing it,” Kinser said.

Kraig Kinser, who set quick time in qualifying, placed fourth and Schatz was fifth. Cody Darrah ended sixth, Chad Kemenah seventh, Sammy Swindell eighth, Kerry Madsen ninth and Michael Parent charged from last – 24th – to round out the top 10 and earn the KSE Hard Charger Award.

Darrah, Schatz and Swindell each won a heat race, and Jamie Collard claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Racer Results, Week Ending 7/29/12

GrandAm
Brickyard Grand Prix
DP- Starworks, Sebastien Bourdais, Max Popow
GT- Magnus Racing, John Potter, Andy Lally
ARCA
Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200- Frank Kimmel
MotoGP
US Grand Prix- Casey Stoner
F1
Hungarian Grand Prix- Lewis Hamilton
NASCAR
Nationwide Series- Brickyard 250- Brad Keselowski
Sprint Cup- Brickyard 400- Jimmie Johnson
KN West- Napa Toyota 150- Greg Pursley
24 Hours Spa Francorchamps- Carlos Sainz
NHRA

RCR Post Race Report — Indianapolis Motor Speedway–Sprint Cup Series


RCR Post Race Report — Indianapolis Motor Speedway  
 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series   
RACE:       Brickyard 400           
TRACK:    Indianapolis Motor Speedway   
DATE:       July 29, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:        
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 13th (Kevin Harvick), 14th (Paul Menard) and 32nd (Jeff Burton).
Harvick maintained an average running position of 17.594 during the Brickyard 400 while spending 69 of the 160 laps (43.1 percent) running within the top 15.
Menard maintained the eighth-best Average Running Position (11.688) according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics.
Spending 153 of 160 Laps in the Top 15 (95.6 percent), Menard ranked fifth in the Loop Data Statistics category.    
Burton made 69 green-flag passes over the course of the 160-lap event.
Jimmie Johnson captured his fourth career win at the Brickyard and was followed to the finish line by Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.  
The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 5. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Anderson Scrambles to Runner-Up Finish in Sonoma

Anderson Scrambles to Runner-Up Finish in Sonoma  

Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team continued their strong 2012 campaign, scoring a runner-up finish in Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif..  Starting from the sixth position, Anderson defeated Ron Krisher, Erica Enders and Mike Edwards in the early rounds before squaring off against No. 1 qualifier Allen Johnson in the final.

Facing the combination of an apparent performance disadvantage and a lack of lane choice, Anderson knew he would need every possible advantage in order to secure the 75th win of his career. Reacting almost instinctively to the starting line Christmas Tree, the four-time champion used a near-perfect .001 reaction time to gain a slight edge.  Unfortunately, his 6.573-second, 210.93 mph pass was not enough to hold off us his rival’s 6.542-second, 211.76 mph charge.  Although disappointed to have missed out on the win, Anderson admitted that it had still been a good day for his KB Racing crew.

“To be honest, we made it to the final today based on some decent performance and a lot of good luck,” said Anderson.  “Once there, we were in the unusual position of being the underdog, which is something this KB Racing team does not really enjoy, but that Mopar is fast right now and not making any mistakes.  I know with some time and testing we should be able to gain on him and give him a run, but to do that we have to learn a little more about these Summit Racing Camaros.

“As good as the drivers are in this class, nine times out of ten you’re not going to make several hundredths up on the tree, which is what we needed to do. That’s why we made wholesale changes between every run trying to find some added performance.  In hindsight, our run in the first round might have been our best one at this moment, and something we should have stuck with, but when you’re behind, you make moves you might not make otherwise, but that is going to happen when you’re in test mode.

“We’ll take what we learned today and see if we can figure out what worked and go in that direction when we get to Seattle.  We’re going to keep digging until we get back to the level of performance we expect from these cars and this team.”

Line’s Sonoma Run Ends in Semifinals

Line’s Sonoma Run Ends in Semifinals  

Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Sunday, July 29, 2012

After bettering his time on every attempt in qualifying, Jason Line and the Summit Racing team entered Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. cautiously optimistic about their chances. Starting from the fourth position, he got off to a good start in the opening stanza, using one of the quickest passes of the round at 6.526 seconds with a top speed 212.13 mph to defeat Shane Gray.

It was a similar situation in the second round, as Line combined a near-perfect .001 reaction time and a 6.534-second, 211.76 mph pass to eliminate sophomore runner Vincent Nobile, sending him to the semifinals for the tenth time in 2012.  With teammate Greg Anderson having already defeated Mike Edwards in the other semifinal pairing, the final obstacle between Line and an all-Summit Racing final was No. 1 qualifier Allen Johnson.

Although Line’s 6.535-second, 212.03 mph run kept pace with Johnson’s 6.532-second effort, it was not enough to overcome his opponent’s starting line advantage, with the reigning Pro Stock champion taking full responsibility.   Even so, he found reason to smile as the teams head north for next week’s race in Seattle.

“We had a shot at an all-Summit final, but unfortunately I didn’t do a great job staging in the semifinals and was late,” said Line. “It’s one of those things that happens from time to time, so we’ll put it behind us and move on.  The good news is that not only did we make our best pass of the weekend on that run, but with a race next week we don’t have long to wait to try and fix it.

“Still, it was a productive weekend.  We gained ground on everyone in the points but Greg (teammate Anderson) and AJ and we kept pace with Mike (Edwards, who currently sits fourth in the championship standings), so we’re still in a good position heading towards the Countdown.  We also learned a few things about our Summit Racing Camaro and are continuing to make it better every time out.  Basically, we have a few races left before the Countdown starts, and we’re trying to accelerate our learning curve so we can be ready.  We have a short week ahead, and a lot of work to be done.”

Schatz Cruises to Victory in Outlaws Debut at Cornwall Motor Speedway

Schatz Cruises to Victory in Outlaws Debut at Cornwall Motor Speedway
He snaps a 33-race winless streak after leading all 40 feature laps at the quarter mile
 
CORNWALL, Ontario – July 29, 2012 – A quarter-mile track couldn’t have come at a better time for Donny Schatz.
A night after a violent flip destroyed his sprint car and left him beaten and bruised, Schatz rebounded in a backup car to lead all 40 laps on Sunday in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series debut at Cornwall Motor Speedway.

It was his third victory in six races at a quarter-mile track this season and it snapped a 33-race winless streak.

“Last night I was just glad to walk away from it,” Schatz said. “To come back with a victory, it’s the best thing you can ask for. We haven’t won a race in a while. We did everything we could tonight right and got a win, so it feels really good.

“It’s the way our program is built. Any time we get in that gear range we seem to have a little better handle on things – the way the car works, the way the motors run and all that. We really want to work on our big track stuff.”

After winning three of the first 12 World of Outlaws events of the season, Schatz hadn’t found the winner’s circle since April 25. Not only did he end Sunday night in Victory Lane, Schatz did so in style.

He qualified eighth quickest, led all 10 laps to win his heat race and then paced all eight laps of the dash to earn the pole for the feature.

Schatz shot out to the feature lead at the drop of the green flag with Kraig Kinser maintaining a close second. The duo entered traffic on lap eight and Kinser nearly caught a break when Schatz jumped the cushion in turns three and four while trying to lap Jessica Zemken on lap 17.

Schatz held on to the position amid tight traffic, which allowed Craig Dollansky – who drove from sixth to third in the first 15 laps – to join the battle for the lead.

“The track held up pretty well,” Dollansky said. “It definitely got slick as the night wore on. You could race the top. You could race the bottom, especially in (turns) three and four.”

The trio navigated its way through the cluster of cars as Steve Kinser began to edge closer to the front. After starting 12th, Kinser cracked the top five on lap 22 and was up to fourth on lap 25.

“We just got moving pretty good on the bottom and the middle,” he said. “The track was actually pretty good for the feature. You could move around. You could run the bottom, middle and the top. Once the cushion left it made it to where you could pass. It made a good race out of it then. Everybody could move around on it.”

As Kinser closed in on the front three, Dollansky made contact with the back of Kraig Kinser as they entered turn one with eight laps remaining. Kinser spun around, but kept his car going as Kerry Madsen slid off the track in turn four to force the only caution of the race.

Kinser, who fell to fourth, let Dollansky know his frustration during the caution. Schatz then had a clean restart and Steve Kinser got by Dollansky for the runner-up position on lap 35. Traffic appeared with three laps remaining, but Schatz negotiated the slower cars with ease to record his fourth win of the season.

“I didn’t overdrive anything,” he said. “I’ve got a little pain and thinking about that probably more than anything. Probably not overanalyzing things and trying to stay cool, calm and collected and not spin the tires, so that probably helped us get the win tonight.”

Sammy Swindell finished fourth and fast qualifier Lucas Wolfe ended fifth. Chad Kemenah was sixth, Kraig Kinser seventh, Joey Saldana eighth, Michael Parent ninth and Cody Darrah earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from last – 21st – to round out the top 10.

Saldana, Schatz and Kraig Kinser each claimed a heat race.

RCR Post Race Report — Indianapolis Motor Speedway–Nationwide Series

RCR Post Race Report — Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 
 
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Indy 250
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
July 28, 2012
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Ty Dillon), fifth (Austin Dillon), eighth (Paul Menard) and 15th (Elliott Sadler).
Sadler leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over Dillon by one point. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ranks third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Justin Allgaier.
The No. 2 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 28 points shy of the No. 18 car’s lead, with the No. 3 team third in the standings and the No. 33 team seventh.
A. Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
A. Dillon qualified for the fourth and final leg of the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash bonus and is eligible to win a $100,000 bonus at Iowa Speedway on August 4.
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, the RCR drivers posted the fastest lap of the race for 18.3 percent of the race (13 laps) with Sadler (eight laps), Menard (four laps) and T. Dillon (one lap).
T. Dillon maintained an Average Running Position of 5.960, ranking him fourth. He also ranked fourth in Fastest Drivers Late in a Run and had the fifth-best Driver Rating (114.0).
A. Dillon and Sadler tied for seventh in the Driver Rating category, each earning a rating of 100.6.
With his fifth-place finish, A. Dillon leads the series in top-five finishes (11), top-10 finishes (15) and is the only driver to complete 100 percent of the laps attempted.
Menard led the field in Quality Passes with 28 and ranked second in Green Flag Passes with 35.
Sadler led the Closers category, advancing nine positions in the last 10 percent of the race, ranked second in Fastest Drivers Late in a Run and was the third-fastest driver on Restarts.
Brad Keselowski earned the inaugural Nationwide Series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was followed to the finish line by Sam Hornish, T. Dillon, Denny Hamlin and A. Dillon.
The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Enlist Weed Control System at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 4. The 20th race of the 2012 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 Radio.

Saldana Relies on Experience to Claim Autodrome Drummond

Saldana Relies on Experience to Claim Autodrome Drummond
Dollansky rides podium finish to World of Outlaws championship standings lead
 
DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec – July 28, 2012 – A night after experience beat him, Joey Saldana repaid the favor.
Saldana capitalized on his knowledge and patience to maneuver around James McFadden late in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series feature Saturday at Autodrome Drummond, where he earned his fifth feature win of the season and 83rd career with the Outlaws.

“Last night, racing Sammy, I think I got beat because he had the experience,” said Saldana, who finished second to veteran Sammy Swindell on Friday at Autodrome Granby. “Tonight, for me, I won the race because just the experience and just seeing where the cars were and being able to know, ‘Hey, I needed to make sure I was on the bottom coming off of (turn) two to get a good run.’ I would say experience definitely helped me tonight.”

Saturday’s event was only the third for the World of Outlaws at the 4/10-mile track, where Craig Dollansky established a new track record in qualifying. Dollansky capped the night by finishing third in a three-way battle for the lead down the stretch of the main event.

“We were close and would have loved to get a win tonight,” he said. “In the grand scheme of things it was a great night for us. It was a fun race. There was a lot going on. (We were) just a couple spots short.”

Dollansky’s success coupled with a crash involving the championship standings leader Steve Kinser pushed Dollansky into the points lead for the first time this season. He now holds a 12-point advantage over Kinser as the top five are separated by only 51 points.

For most of the 35-lap feature, it was Saldana and McFadden in command with the newbie setting the pace. McFadden, the defending World Series Sprintcar champion in Australia, darted from fourth to second in the opening turns and then slid Saldana for the lead in turn three of the opening lap.

“I knew those guys would race hard in the first corner and I just thought I’d be conservative and hit the bottom,” McFadden said. “It worked out for us.”

He set a blistering pace and entered traffic less than a half-dozen laps into the main event. However, a caution on lap 10 bunched the field together and McFadden chose the inside lane on the double-file restart.

Saldana rocketed to the lead by the time they reached the flag stand, but it was erased when Tony Stewart Racing teammates Donny Schatz and Kinser collided while racing for fifth place at the end of the frontstretch. Schatz ended a series of violent flips in the infield and Kinser was unable to continue after sustaining too much damage.

McFadden held onto the top spot on the ensuing restart and Saldana maintained second place within a handful of car lengths during the next dozen laps. The duo entered traffic on lap 15 and Saldana began to reel in McFadden shortly after the midpoint of the feature.

On lap 25, McFadden was trapped in the outside lane in turn two as he tried to lap Etienne Girard. Saldana capitalized and squeezed into the lead as they exited the corner.

“He didn’t really realize the bottom coming off (turn) two,” Saldana said. “He could easily overdrive it and that’s how I got him in lapped traffic. He just kept overdriving (turn) two and I just kept staying patient with my car, got good runs off of (turn) two. Once I got out front I just wanted to make sure I didn’t overdrive it.”

Michael Parent flipped after colliding with Girard in turn two with four laps remaining to set up a late restart. Saldana choose the outside lane and got away clean, with McFadden edging Dollansky at the checkered flag.

“Those guys are my heroes and I’ve grown up watching those guys, so to race wheel to wheel with them and be competitive is a pretty good feeling,” McFadden said.

Kerry Madsen spun in turn three on the final lap while running fourth, which moved Cody Darrah to fourth place and Kraig Kinser to fifth. Kinser earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after starting 13th.

Bill Rose finished a season-best sixth, Swindell was seventh, Chad Kemenah eighth, Madsen ninth and Jessica Zemken rounded out the top 10.

Starting Sixth, Anderson Looks to Solve the Puzzle in Sonoma

Starting Sixth, Anderson Looks to Solve the Puzzle in Sonoma  

Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Four-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson and his KB Racing crew continued the complicated procedure of dialing in their race car on Saturday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., recording the fifth and sixth quickest times during the final two qualifying sessions at Sonoma Raceway.  Even so, their 6.539-second elapsed time from Friday evening remained their run of record slotting them in the sixth starting position for Sunday’s final eliminations.

As he prepared for his first-round encounter against veteran Ron Krisher, the most successful Pro Stock driver in Sonoma history admitted the team was experiencing a few trials and tribulations in their search to find their race car’s optimum tuning zone, while assuring that every member of the talented crew was equally determined to solve their 210-mph puzzle.

“This car’s sweet spot continues to elude us, which is very disappointing,” said Anderson. “We know this Summit Racing Camaro is capable of running at the top, and have been working over the last few races to find out exactly what it needs. We’ve tried numerous combinations, but so far it has just not produced the results we were looking for.

“The good news is that we were still able to qualify sixth, giving us lane choice for the first round and another crack at getting this car dialed in.  Sonoma has historically been a very good track for this team, and we’re going to do whatever we can to try and continue that string of success tomorrow.”

Improving on Every Run, Line Qualifies Fourth in Sonoma

Improving on Every Run, Line Qualifies Fourth in Sonoma  

Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Saturday, July 28, 2012

During the first day of qualifying at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line admitted that his team was still learning what his Camaro needed to run.  As the Pro Stock field was set on Saturday, it became apparent that the KB Racing crew was making progress, as Line bettered his elapsed time on every attempt, closing with the second-quickest pass of the final session, a 6.533-second, 211.69 mph in the heat of the afternoon to claim the fourth starting position for Sunday’s final eliminations at Sonoma Raceway.

“This Summit Racing crew did a great job, getting this Camaro to go quicker every round,” said Line. “I think we’re making progress, but it takes time with these cars.  Just like people, they all have their own personalities, and even though they don’t speak, they tell you what they need, and it’s up to us to listen.

“These cars have already been refined by some very smart people, so any gains you are going to make are very small, making this a game of precision both in the tuning and the driving.  Based on our qualifying performance, I feel good about tomorrow, and think we have as good a shot as anyone to take home the Wally.  It all comes down to execution, and it’s up to us to do a better job than our competitors.”

Hoek Rebounds in Round 8 – Top 5 Finish during Speed Live Broadcast

Hoek Rebounds in Round 8 – Top 5 Finish during Speed Live Broadcast


Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Holland, MI (July 24, 2012) – A strong run in Round 8 w as just what the doctor ordered for Ross Hoek and his #21 Ignite Racing Fuels/Venom Energy/Allstar Performance Ford. TORC’s third visit to the dirt track at Chicagoland Speedway in as many years, brought out not only a stellar PRO-Light field of racers, but a near capacity crowd of spectators packed the grandstands both nights. Ross Hoek and the rest of his PRO-Light competitors did not disappoint as both of their rounds of racing were some of the most competitive and entertaining of the year.

The race track was much different than in past years. The layout was much more technical whichlead to more passing zones and a greater emphasis on driver and suspension setup and less on horsepower. Along with seven jumps that were placed throughout the track and very challenging infield section included a tabletop, a rhythm section and a field of moguls all lined up one after the other.

Thursday – Round 7

Thursday afternoon qualifying saw the orange #21 Ford fight fuel pickup issues putting Ross atthe back of the seventeen truck starting lineup. Ross realized the only way to challenge for a spot on the podium would be to make bold moves throughout the fifteen lap race. One of those moves happened before the start of the race. A unique tire combination was mounted on the race truck. The race track held a fair amount of moisture thanks to a passing thunderstorm from the
night before, so Ross decided to run a tire setup similar to a sprint car in order to take advantage of the conditions.

When the green flag was waved it looked like the tire gamble was working. The first four laps saw the #21 Ignite Racing Fuels/Venom Energy/Allstar Performance Ford pass seven competitors moving into eighth place. Then the unexpected happened, a rain cloud passed over the track and steady rain fell during the middle portion of the race. Now the track became very slippery and Ross had his hands full as the tire choice was not working in his favor. When the checkered flag was waved, Ross Hoek finished eleventh.

“Right from the start we had a great tire package,” noted Ross Hoek. “I took a gamble and it looked like it would pay off. The rain shower during the race wasn’t expected, but that was all it took for our gamble to backfire. Besides that issue our truck ran great, and tomorrow night will have a better outcome.”

Friday – Round 8

Based on the previous night’s performance, Ross lined up eleventh on the starting grid. Confident with his race truck’s chassis set-up, Hoek quickly moved up three positions by the third lap. Getting further up the running order, the team knew it would be very important to be patient, yet be aggressive at the right time. The strategy worked as the #21 Ignite Fuels gradually picked up three more spots as the laps wound down. At the checkered flag, Ross Hoek crossed the finish line in fifth place.

“Tonight we had a great run from start to finish,” commented Ross Hoek. “Starting well back in the field really makes it a challenge to get on the podium. Hope all the fans watching onSPEED and all those that packed the grandstands enjoyed our race, I know I had a blast tonight. After all is said and done our Ignite Racing Fuels/Venom Energy/Allstar Performance Ford can challenge for a podium spot every time out. We are really looking forward to getting back to the wide open spaces of Bark River and Crandon.”

Swindell Dominates in Outlaws Debut at Autodrome Granby

Swindell Dominates in Outlaws Debut at Autodrome Granby
He leads all 25 laps to pick up his eighth World of Outlaws feature victory of the season
 
GRANBY, Quebec – July 27, 2012 – Uh oh.
Sammy Swindell recently found the problem for his so-called slump and he answered it with an emphatic victory on Friday during the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series inaugural visit to Autodrome Granby.

“We’ve kinda been struggling a bit, but we found out we had a car from some of those little skirmishes that we had was a little twisted so our setup wasn’t where it was supposed to be,” he said. “It’s nice to be back in a car that you can just run hard.”

Swindell did just that to dominate for his series-leading eighth feature win of the season in the Outlaws first of six races in Canada this season. He set a blistering pace while claiming the dash and then led all 25 laps of the main event, although it wasn’t decided until the checkered flag.

The fifth-and-final caution of the race came while Swindell was exiting turn four on the final lap, signifying a green-white-checkered finish and erasing nearly a half-a-lap lead.

“I thought well maybe they’d thrown the checkered and I kept looking,” Swindell said. “When I got there it was another yellow, so you have to endure that again. I’ve been bit a few times on that.”

He choose the outside lane and rocketed into a sizeable lead over Joey Saldana, who charged from sixth to second during the first nine laps.

“We chose a pair of 100 tires,” he said. “Sammy had a 200 on the right rear. I would say the longer the race went, the better he got. Early on to get from sixth to second, the 100s got me there and then they fell off at the end.”

There were four cautions, including two red flags, during the opening dozen laps to slow the pace of the main event. Donny Schatz stopped on the backstretch while running in the top 10 on the second lap. After a quick pit stop, he restarted last – 24th – and later finished 10th .

Rick Wilson brought out the second caution of the race on lap eight when he stopped in turn four. Three laps later Kerry Madsen spun in turn two while running 10th and fast qualifier Kraig Kinser tipped over in turn three as the caution started to be displayed, prompting the initial red flag of the event.

The second red flag happened after Alain Bergeron crashed into the frontstretch wall on the restart. Bergeron didn’t flip, but the fuel window was reached and all the teams were able to make changes during the red flag.

Swindell quickly sailed to a large lead on each restart while Saldana held off Cody Darrah for the runner-up position. Steve Kinser found grip on the bottom in the closing five laps and rallied to finish third.

“I was terrible at the beginning of the race,” he said. “I was just too tight. When you’re tight you can’t get no speed up going into (turn) one and lose a position every time. I made it all back up at the end, but not a good way to do it starting on the front row.”

Darrah was fourth and Dollansky placed fifth. Lucas Wolfe was sixth, James McFadden seventh, Chad Kemenah eighth, Jessica Zemken ninth and Schatz rounded out the top 10.

Appreciating Sonoma’s Conditions, Anderson is Third on Friday

 Appreciating Sonoma’s Conditions, Anderson is Third on Friday  

Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Friday, July 27, 2012

After battling the thin air and unseasonably warm temperatures in Denver a week ago, Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team were among many welcoming the horsepower-friendly conditions on Friday at NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., where the sea-level altitude and seventy degree temperatures produced runs that were almost a half-second quicker.

Anderson’s Summit Racing Camaro also responded well to the change in venue, making two runs that were among the best of the “factory hot rods”, with his 6.539-second pass in the evening session placing him third with two sessions remaining on Saturday.  Although fairly pleased with his opening performance, the defending event champion acknowledged that work remained to be done.

“It’s certainly a lot more fun to drive these cars when they’re this fast” said Anderson. “Even though we have yet to make what we would consider a good run, we’re definitely closer than we were a week ago.  To be a hundredth behind with my car and two and a half with the other while making bad runs is not horrible, but we definitely have room for improvement.

“The key, of course, is to make that improvement, so we’re going to keep digging looking for that happy home.  I feel the conditions in the morning should be as good as they were tonight, so we’ll make some big moves and see if we can run quicker.  Today was a decent start, better than we have had at the last few races, but we’re not done.  We’re going to come out with our Summit Racing Camaro tomorrow morning and shoot for the pole.”

Learning as He Goes, Line Opens Sonoma Qualifying in Sixth

 Learning as He Goes, Line Opens Sonoma Qualifying in Sixth  
Event:  25th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California

Day/Date: Friday, July 27, 2012

This weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif marks only the fifth race for reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line with his new Summit Racing Camaro.  As such, the team is still in the process of determining their new mount’s performance envelope, allowing them to extract the maximum under a variety of conditions.  Even so, Line and the KB Racing crew were able to open their qualifying effort at Sonoma Raceway with two solid runs, highlighted by their 6.550-second, 210.64 mph pass in the evening session, which placed them sixth midway through the qualifying procedure.

“Normally, these are our type of conditions, but we’ve been testing a lot of things lately, trying to learn more about this Summit Racing Camaro,” said Line. “Basically, we’re seeing if we can find its happy spot.  We definitely don’t have it where it needs to be at the moment, and it takes a lot of time to get there.  Unfortunately, people are comparing its performance to that of our old car, which had over a thousand runs on it and was completely dialed in.

“It’s going to take a little time for us to get it there, so our goal for right now is to get it to be competitive.   I feel like we’re getting closer, and we’re certainly getting there with Greg’s (teammate Anderson) car.  We would certainly prefer to be higher than sixth, but we have two attempts remaining tomorrow, and I believe tonight’s run showed that we are directionally correct, giving us something to build on.”

Aschenbach and Curran Take CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R to Victory Lane in GRAND-AM Debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway


 
Aschenbach and Curran Take CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R to Victory Lane in GRAND-AM Debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 
INDIANAPOLIS – (July 27, 2012) – Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran gave Camaro its first victory of the season in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) in the inaugural 2.5-hour Brickyard Sports Car Challenge. Driving the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R, the pair combined to lead a total of 25 laps in the 59-lap race. The win is the first in GRAND-AM Road Racing CTSCC for CKS Autosport team owner Kirk Spencer.
 
The duo took control of the race after a downpour forced a 25-minute red flag period for standing water on the track. After teams made changes from dry tires to rain tires and back, the No. 01 CKS Camaro emerged in the front of the field and never looked back.
 
“I don’t think it really sunk in until we crossed that checkered flag and kissed those bricks,” said Aschenbach. “An awful lot of history, all of the races and winners and everything that happens here really does mean something. I just have to say I’m really happy and thankful for everybody at Chevrolet and CKS Autosport.”
 
“This is excellent,” said Curran.  “This is our first win for this team.  Lawson and I got paired up over the wintertime and this is just great.  Chevrolet is behind us, supporting us, and we have had a bunch of podium finishes. But here at the top step of the podium and to do it here at Indy is very special for us and it’s a big deal.  It’s a big win for us today.”
 
“Congratulations to Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran on capturing the first Continental Tire win for CKS Autosports. It was a difficult race with the changing weather conditions, from dry to torrential rain, back to dry. The CKS team has great strategy, and delivered a convincing win.
 
“All five of our Camaro GS.R teams has a strong day that found them in the top-10 at the finish.”
 
Adding to Chevrolet’s success in the inaugural GRAND-AM CTSCC event on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the second place finish by Jeff Bucknum and George Richardson in the No. 62 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R.
 
All five Camaro GS.R teams finished in the top-10 in today’s race. Finishing fourth was the No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R. The No. 00 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R finished seventh and the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R took the checkered flag in eighth place.
 
In the three-hour Brickyard Grand Prix for the Rolex Sports Car Series, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli finished third to take the final podium position in the Series debut at the famed Speedway. Starting second, the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette DP duo overcame weather challenges, again taking the track from dry, to wet and back to dry.
 
“It was very crazy,” said Angelelli. “It was very exciting for me as a driver inside, driving the car; it was beautiful because of so many changes.  I really enjoyed today here in Indy.  The rain, the sun and then back to rain I really enjoyed.  It was a positive race for our Chevy Corvette for our Corvette so I’m happy.”
 
“It was really good our SunTrust car was really good,” said Taylor. “To be the first Corvette on the debut at Indy is fantastic, but I just wanted a little bit more.  We are not in the championship right now and just in my mind I was thinking this is Indy, in a Corvette, on the 60th anniversary (of the Corvette) I’ve got to do something.  I tried and I just got on the water a little bit and just went off a bit.  We were going for it and I’m really happy to be on the podium at Indy.”
 
The No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with Darren Law and Joao Barbosa handling the driving duties were in contention to with the North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) DP crown, but late race on-track contact relegated the team to a fifth-in-class finish.
 
“Our Corvette Daytona Prototype and Camaro GT.R teams in the Rolex Series also endured the ups and downs of weather,” Lutz concluded. “The race saw a lot of action on track.  Congratulations to the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette team and drivers Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli on a podium finish.
 
“The first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for GRAND-AM gave fans some great racing.  Now the Chevrolet teams in Rolex will re-group and head back to Watkins Glen.”
 
In the GT class, the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette posted a seventh in-class finish. The No. 57 Stevenson Camaro GT.R was also in contention for the NAEC GT title, but contact with the wall during the heavy rainfall ended the team’s day early.
 
Team Chevy returns to action in the Rolex Sports Car Series on August 10-11 in the Watkins Glen International at Watkins Glen International Short Course, Watkins Glen, New York.  The next CTSCC event will be September 7-8 at Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, California.

Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Out Early at New England Dragway

Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Out Early at New England Dragway

Marstons Mills, MA -July 25, 2012-Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team
was eliminated by Frank Manzo at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at
New England Dragway – just like last year. Only this time, it wasn’t in the
Top Alcohol Funny Car final but rather in the first round of eliminations.

The recent spate of bad fortune followed the team to the crew’s home track,
where driver Todd Veney and tuner Tom Howell were scheduled to arrive early
on Thursday for a full day of testing. Bad weather cancelled all early
flights to Boston, and both Veney, who flew in from Indianapolis, and
Howell, who flew in from Florida, where he was attending his father’s
funeral, didn’t arrive until Thursday night.

“We really could have used that day,” Veney said. “Tom had a bunch of ideas
he wanted to try, the whole crew would have been there, and some of the
things that went wrong it qualifying would have happened in testing, when it
wouldn’t have mattered as much.”

A bad spark plug kept the car on seven cylinders in the first qualifying
session and Veney ran just a 5.92 – a full three-tenths of a second from the
track-record 5.62 the team established there in 2010. Violent shake in the
only other qualifying session set off the fire bottles and relegated Veney
to the No. 7 qualifying spot, which set up the first-round match with No. 2
qualifier Manzo, who eventually won the event.

The team will be back at New England Dragway to test before the next event,
the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Cecil County, Md. on Aug. 17-18.

Casey Currie Checks In

Anaheim Hills, CA (July 25, 2012) – Returning to the Traxxas TORC series for the first time in the 2012 season, Casey Currie jumps right back into the driver’s seat of his Monster Energy General Tire Nissan where he left off, and straight on to the podium for a 1-2 finish at Chicagoland Speedway. To add to the 1-2 punch, Casey would also take home the Traxxas Maxx Lap Award for the top lap effort of the night.

Earning the number one qualifying spot on Thursday, Casey would start three rows back after the inversion of the top six qualifiers. Casey began maneuvering his way through the field and picking off trucks one by one as he gained ground, the sky opening up as he reached the second place position.

“We had the truck to beat before the rain,” Casey explained, “but nature played its part while we gave it our best and held on to that second place position. The truck is ready for tomorrow’s race and I can’t explain how happy I am to be in Chicago to give these 10,000+ fans the race they came to see, in person and on LIVE TV!”

For Friday’s race, Casey would again start three rows back after the inversion of Thursday’s top six finishers. The green flag dropped and Casey made his way through the field, picking off one truck at a time to finally battle Pro Lite points leader Andrew Caddell for the first place finish.

“We came to Chicago with one thing on our minds—winning,” explained Casey. “My team did an amazing job; with great communication and accurate tuning of the truck, we couldn’t have run a smoother race. Our hard work and a flawless race is really what put us in the winner’s circle.”

Next up, Casey Currie will be bringing it back home to Glen Helen Raceway for the Lucas Oil Off Road Series in San Bernardino, CA on August 4-5th. For more information on Casey, visit CaseyCurrie.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/OfficialCaseyCurrie or follow Casey on Twitter at Twitter.com/caseycurrie. Casey can also be found on Instagram at @caseycurrie.

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