Tagliani Runs Seventh for Honda at Milwaukee

Tagliani Runs Seventh for Honda at Milwaukee
A race that started well for several Honda-powered IZOD IndyCar Series drivers and teams on Saturday at The Milwaukee Mile ended with Alex Tagliani finishing seventh and Graham Rahal ninth on a day that promised much more.

Pole-qualifier and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti dominated the opening segment of today’s 225-lap contest, leading until the first round of pit stops on Lap 63. But an ill-timed caution flag took away Franchitti’s advantage, leaving him running fourth, with a car that did not work as well in traffic as when he had been at the front of the field. On Lap 192, Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe made side-to-side contact, and one lap later a rear suspension failure sent him crashing into the Turn 4 wall. Franchitti was uninjured, but out of the race as a result of the crash.

Starting 21st after taking a 10-position grid penalty for an unapproved engine change, Detroit race winner Scott Dixon battled his way through the field to fourth place at mid-race, but was given a “drive-through” [pit lane] penalty by race officials when he was judged to have jumped a Lap 121 restart. The penalty dropped Dixon to 16th, the last car on the lead lap, and he was merely able to recover to 11th by the finish.

After a disappointing qualifying run on Friday that left him 13th on the starting grid, Tagliani found his Honda Dallara to be working much better in today’s race, and he quickly moved into the top 10 in the opening laps. Tagliani continued to advance during the middle stages of the contest, reaching third place on Lap 100. But the Canadian driver was caught out by lapped traffic on the final two restarts, dropping him to a seventh-place result.

Rahal, meanwhile, fought handling problems early in the race, but made changes to his car and gradually improved his position throughout the second half, to finish ninth. Simon Pagenaud had an encouraging short-oval debut, starting seventh, but fell a lap down to the leaders in the closing segment and finished 13th. Mechanical issues ended the race early for Texas race winner Justin Wilson and rookie Josef Newgarden, while Takuma Sato and James Jakes were caught up in a Lap 107 crash that ended the day
for both drivers.

Franchitti Repeats Milwaukee Pole Run

Franchitti Repeats Milwaukee Pole Run
Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti gave Honda its third consecutive pole of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season Friday at The Milwaukee Mile, with a run of 168.737 mph around the flat mile oval, the oldest operating race track in North America. Franchitti will lead the 25-car starting field to the green flag for the second consecutive year at Saturday’s Milwaukee IndyFest.

Franchitti won last year’s Milwaukee race from the pole, leading a race-high 161 of 225 race laps. He also won here in 2004, and has finished sixth or better in his last six starts at “The Mile”. Previous Honda-powered poles this year include Scott Dixon at Detroit; and Alex Tagliani at Texas Motor Speedway.

Justin Wilson posted the second-fastest qualifying run in his Dale Coyne Racing Honda-Dallara. It is his best qualifying effort of 2012, and follows his victory last week in Texas. Josef Newgarden led the rookie field today at Milwaukee, qualifying seventh for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Television coverage for Saturday’s first short oval race of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series will air on ABC, starting at 1 p.m. EDT.

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) pole qualifier, his 1st pole of 2012 and 27th career IndyCar pole; pole qualifier and race winner here in 2011: “We struggled in both practice sessions. But afterwards we got together with [engineer Chris] Simmons, Scott [Dixon] and the rest of the #9 car guys and came up with [a chassis set-up] that was much better. On my qualifying run, I just kept my foot in it and managed to hang on. I’m really proud of the team and the job they did today,

Anderson Opens Bristol Qualifying in Seventh

Anderson Opens Bristol Qualifying in Seventh

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Two weeks after winning in his Summit Racing Camaro’s debut, four-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson was back in action on Friday, opening his qualifying effort at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  For the second consecutive race, the KB Racing team worked to find the proper set-up for their new Chevrolet under the unique conditions at Bristol Dragway, with their best effort of 6.680-seconds, 206.04 mph placing them seventh midway through the qualifying procedure.

Despite their atypical position in the standings, Anderson still found positives from their opening day performance, which he believes will bring an improvement throughout the remainder of the weekend.

“The conditions here at Bristol Dragway have thrown us a bit of a curve,” said Anderson.  “We did make some ground up between Q1 and Q2, and although it was obviously not enough, it did give us the right direction to take with this Summit Racing Camaro, so we’ll take a big step that way tomorrow and hope it gives us a big gain in performance.

“I can’t recall that we’ve ever been five hundredths behind the leader on a Friday night, so it shows how big of a swing we need to take tomorrow, but there was just something we missed in the track and atmospheric conditions that caught us a little off guard.  We’ll make some adjustments to get the car to ride over the bumps a little bit better, keeping the tire on the track so we can get the power to the ground.  I have all the confidence in the world that this KB Racing team will get it right tomorrow.  It may take until Q4, but we’ll get it, and we’ll be in good shape by Sunday.

“The good news is that our 6.68 should keep us comfortably in the show, so we just have to pick up our performance to give ourselves a better shot at winning on Sunday.  It’s in there – we just have to rub on it a little more.  It’s going to take some bigger moves than normal, but the important thing is that we got the direction we need to head to tonight.”

Line’s Camaro Debut Finds Him Fifth on Friday in Bristol

Line’s Camaro Debut Finds Him Fifth on Friday in Bristol

Event:  15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Location: Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tennessee

Day/Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

Jason Line’s Summit Racing Camaro made its competitive debut on Friday, taking to the track for the first day of qualifying for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.  Despite only having made eight runs in testing prior to today’s action, the reigning Pro Stock champion made two competitive runs, with his 6.678-second, 206.04 mph best in the evening session placing him in the provisional fifth position.

However, with two attempts remaining on Saturday, Line set his sights on moving his Chevrolet higher in the starting order for Sunday’s final eliminations at Bristol Dragway.

“We are obviously early in the learning process with our Summit Racing Camaro,” said Line.  “For example, I am still getting comfortable in the car.  After only ten runs, it clearly isn’t at the level of our old car, but I don’t know anyone else who could have done a better job than our guys getting it to this point so quickly.

“We made a couple decent runs today, but certainly left a little out there on each one. Tomorrow, we’ll take what we learned, not only about our car, but this Bristol Dragway track and see if we can move ourselves further up the ladder for Sunday.    All in all, we had a good first day here in Thunder Valley.”

Kraig Kinser’s Late Pass on Dad Earns Victory at River Cities

Kraig Kinser’s Late Pass on Dad Earns Victory at River Cities
Son beats father in Round 1 of The Duel at the Dakotas for his second win in 10 days
 
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – June 15, 2012 – Steve Kinser isn’t surprised very often.
A 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion, the winningest driver in the series history and the current championship points leader, “The King” has seen it all and has done it all in a sprint car.

But on Friday he was admittedly surprised when his son, Kraig Kinser, drove around him with seven laps remaining to claim Round 1 of The Duel at the Dakotas in front of a packed crowd at River Cities Speedway.

“I thought I had them covered the whole race,” Steve Kinser said. “He caught me by surprise.”

For Kraig, who is driving a car owned by his father, it doesn’t get much better than to pick up his second World of Outlaws victory in the last 10 days by passing his car owner and mentor.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said with a big smile. “It’s tough to pass any of these guys, especially when they’re looking a win down the barrel. That it’s my dad makes it even better.”

The veteran Kinser, who started third in the 40-lap feature, passed Kerry Madsen for second place on lap nine and cruised by Mark Dobmeier for the lead as the duo exited turn two on lap 13.

On a night when consistency was an issue with nearly every driver on the changing track, Kinser led the next 21 laps amid flashes of strength from Dobmeier, Madsen and Lucas Wolfe.

Once Kinser found the top spot, Dobmeier and Madsen battled closely for the runner-up spot for a couple of laps. Madsen squeezed by Dobmeier for second place as the duo crossed the finish line on lap 16, but the third red flag of the race appeared before another lap was completed as contact between the two sent Madsen flipping off the track in turn four and Dobmeier to the pits with a broken top wing.

“He’s a hard racer just like I am,” said Dobmeier, a hometown driver who set his first career quick time with the World of Outlaws at 10.516 seconds on Friday.

“We were both going for the same spot, nobody was going to lift. We got a little tangled up.”

Wolfe capitalized and was a close second to Kinser. As the preferred line began to shift toward the bottom near the middle of the feature, traffic began to play a role. When Wolfe would close to the rear bumper of Kinser, he’d be slowed by a lapped car and vice versa.

Meanwhile, Kraig Kinser began working his way toward the front in the second half of the race. He restarted eighth on the fourth-and-final caution of the race for a spin by Wade Nygaard on lap 18. However, Kinser worked his way into the top five by the halfway point. He then drove into third place with 16 laps remaining and powered around Wolfe for the runner-up spot with 12 laps to go.

“I just got a line that my car was working at really and lapped traffic helped me,” Kinser said. “I think dad was a little better than me in open track. I just got fortunate enough to catch him in lapped traffic and our car was just working through the middle a lot better than it was on the bottom.”

As the two Kinsers and Wolfe fought their way through traffic – at one point nearly being three wide for the race lead – Kraig Kinser found grip in the middle of the track. He maneuvered around his father as they exited turn four on lap 34 and pulled away in the final half-dozen laps.

“If I’ve got to get outrun, I’m much rather it be him than anybody else,” said Steve Kinser, who maintains the championship points lead. “On these short tracks he’s just been as tough as he can be.”

Craig Dollansky snagged third place with four laps remaining and Donny Schatz snuck by Wolfe fourth in the closing laps. Dobmeier, who restarted 14    th after his crash on lap 16, drove back to sixth. Sammy Swindell was seventh, Bill Rose eighth, Justin Henderson ninth and Joey Saldana rounded out the top 10.

Dollansky, Henderson, Saldana and Jason Linnell each claimed a heat race victory, and Bob Martin passed Nygaard late in the Last Chance Showdown to win the consolation.

Honda Racing–Strakka Leads Private Teams in Le Mans Qualifying

Strakka Leads Private Teams in Le Mans Qualifying

Danny Watts led the Honda Performance Development qualifying effort Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, qualifying his Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a seventh overall in the headlining LMP1 category with co-drivers Nick Leventis and Jonny Kane. Watts was out-qualified only by the factory-run efforts from Audi and Toyota; and edged fellow “privateer” Rebellion Racing as the quickest of the independent teams, which this year are contesting a
championship separate from the manufacturers’ championship for full factory-supported efforts. The JRM Racing squad of David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck will start 11th in its ARX-03a.

In LMP2, both HPD teams elected to focus on race preparation, rather than making outright qualifying runs. The Starworks team will start ninth in LMP2 and 22nd overall in the ARX-03b co-driven by Ryan Dalziel, Tom Kimber-Smith and Enzo Potolicchio. The Level 5 Motorsports HPD will start 14th in LMP2, and 27th overall in the hands of Christophe Bouchut, Luis Diaz and Scott Tucker.

Live television coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be provided in the United States on the SPEED Network, with a pre-race show at 7:30 a.m. EDT and the race broadcast starting at 8:30 a.m.  Danny Watts (#21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a) on Le Mans qualifying: “I’m delighted for the whole team, because to get privateer pole after all their hard work is very rewarding. Qualifying is only a small part of the race, but it’s nice to know that our car is fast. I really enjoyed my fastest lap. I was thoroughly ‘in the zone’, focused and concentrated. We’re fairly confident for the race. We’ve ticked a lot of boxes in terms of car set-up and tire management, and we’ve had some good night-running, which is always
important here.”

Milwaukee IndyFest, The Milwaukee Mile

Milwaukee IndyFest, The Milwaukee Mile
June 16, 2012
1 p.m. EDT
ABC
COMPETITION
• For the third consecutive race, Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 in Saturday night’s Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. Justin Wilson came from 17th on the starting grid to chase down late-race leader Graham Rahal, then claim the lead and the victory after Rahal brushed the Turn 4 wall with just two laps remaining. Despite sustaining rear suspension damage, Rahal held on for a second-place finish.
• The previous week, Scott Dixon dominated the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap for his first victory of 2012, followed by his teammate and Indianapolis 500 champion, Dario Franchitti. The pair also finished 1-2 at last month’s Indianapolis 500, with Franchitti winning ahead of Dixon.
• 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 comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 51 points, to 54 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 28 points.
• Saturday night, Dixon led 133 laps before crashing out of the event without injury. He remains second in the drivers’ championship standings, with 222 points to series leader Will Power’s 256 points. Rookie points leader Simon Pagenaud is fifth with 199 points, followed by Indy 500 winner Franchitti with 192 points.
• Dixon has led an IZOD IndyCar Series-high 329 laps this season more than double the laps-led total of any other driver. Dixon led all 60 laps at Detroit, and race-high totals of 133 at Texas, 37 at St. Petersburg and 38 at Barber Motorsports Park. Power is ranked second with 135 laps led.
• Honda-powered drivers have led 521 laps this season, while Chevrolet drivers have led a total of 163 laps. Race lap leaders for Honda include Dixon (329), Takuma Sato (58), Franchitti (29), Rahal (28), Pagenaud (26), Wilson (26), Alex Tagliani (22) and Charlie Kimball (3).

HONDA HISTORY AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE
• Honda has powered nine winners in 16 IndyCar races at The Milwaukee Mile, both as the single engine supplier to the series and against other engine manufacturers.
• Honda scored its first victory at Milwaukee in June 1998, with Jimmy Vasser winning for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Other Honda-powered winners at Milwaukee include Paul Tracy (1999 and 2002); Dario Franchitti (2004 and 2011); Tony Kanaan (2006 and 2007); Ryan Briscoe (2008) and Scott Dixon (2009).
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 Safety Car and Pace Cars will make their next IZOD IndyCar Series appearance at this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest in West Allis, WI. The Civic Si Coupe make 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

Honda Performance Development To Support Quarter Midget Association Grand Nationals

Honda Performance Development To Support Quarter Midget Association Grand Nationals

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 12, 2012) – Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is increasing its support of quarter-midget racing with a contingency award program for participants in the Quarter Midget Association Grand Nationals. Both Honda GX120 and GX160 engines can be used in quarter midgets, one of this country’s most popular entry-level racing categories. These engines, along with parts and technical support, are all available through HPD’s Honda Racing Line program.

Contingency support, in the form of “HPD Bucks” purchase credits, will be offered to racers taking part in the 2012 QMA Grand Nationals in the Junior Honda, Senior Honda, Heavy Honda, Light 160 and Heavy 160 classes.

The program takes effect with the 2012 Eastern Grand Nationals June 26 – July 1 in Clarkston, MI; and includes the July 21-29 Western Grand Nationals In Portland, OR, and the August 4-12 Dirt Grand Nationals in Rio Linda, CA. A first-place finish in a race with five or more starters will earn $200 HPD Bucks. Third place will earn $150 HPD Bucks, and sixth place will earn $100 HPD Bucks.

In addition to the contingency program, HPD will be conducting a raffle for a free GX120 engine to all non-A Main racers at each Grand National.

The Honda Racing Line, the racers’ direct connection to HPD, complements Honda Power Equipment in expanding sales and product support to quarter-midget racers. HPD provides a variety of engines and parts utilized by quarter-midget competitors, including complete “crate”GX120 and GX160 engines; individual engine parts, such as cylinder heads and pistons; and technical support via e-mail and phone.

Through the Honda Racing Line, quarter-midget and other racers can arrange direct, door-todoor delivery of parts and complete engines. The HPD sales staff can also provide technical support. Independent race shops and engine builders may continue to purchase their parts through traditional Honda Power Equipment channels, and also purchase parts from HPD
through the Honda Racing Line.

“Historically, quarter-midget racing has been one of the earliest forms of motorsport available to youth with an interest in racing,” said Marc Sours, general manager of HPD. “Our first CART champion, Jimmy Vasser, got his start in quarter midgets while still in grade school.

“One of the goals of the Honda Racing Line is to support these novice racers. Through our quarter-midget program, we hope to make it easier for these young racers and their families to discover the fun of our sport.”

To join the Honda Racing Line, a racer must simply provide proof of current membership in a nationally-recognized sanctioning body; provide official race results from at least two events in the past year; complete and submit the registration form; and be a resident of the U.S. or Canada.

Founded in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines, and operates at race circuits around the world from its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California. HPD offers a line of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; and showcases “fun” products for professional, amateur and entry-level efforts.

Launched in 2009, the Honda Racing Line is a program targeted at licensed participants in sanctioned amateur and entry-level professional racing. The Honda Racing Line was formed to provide its members with a direct connection to Honda Performance Development and its unparalleled record of success at the highest levels of motorsport.

For more information about HPD and to register for the Honda Racing Line, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.

Line Shopping for Perfect Father’s Day Gift in Bristol

Line Shopping for Perfect Father’s Day Gift in Bristol   

Mooresville, N.C., June 13, 2012 – As a second-generation racer, reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion Jason Line has spent his share of Father’s Days at tracks across the country.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this year’s edition will find him at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn. for this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

However, with his father Lawrence watching from the family homestead in Wright, Minn. the Summit Racing driver will be marking the occasion with his family, including his wife Cindy, daughter Emma and son Jack, who has already shown an interest in following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps. With his personal cheering section in attendance, Line will have added motivation for scoring his second win of the 2012 Full Throttle Drag Racing season.

“My first few Father’s Days racing in Pro Stock I did really well, which is something I’d certainly like to get back to this weekend,” said Line.  “The most important thing, however, is that I will have my family in Bristol with me.  My kids, and in particular my son Jack, have gotten to the age where they really enjoy coming out to watch me race, making for a fun weekend no matter how we do on the racetrack.

“However, Jack is old enough now that he understands the concept of winning and losing, so he’s not too thrilled that I haven’t won since Phoenix.  Who knows, this could be the perfect weekend to rectify that situation.  After all, it would be nice if we could bring out my new Summit Racing Camaro in the same fashion that Greg (teammate Anderson) did in Englishtown (where he won in its competitive debut.)”

As noted, this weekend’s race will be Line’s first in his new Chevrolet Camaro.  In many ways it will be a new look for the 28-time Pro Stock national event winner with its stunning blue paint scheme replacing his familiar orange livery from the previous few seasons.  One item that he certainly hopes will remain constant during the changeover is the high level of performance the team has shown all season with one win in three final round appearances and a class-leading five No. 1 qualifying performances, placing him second in the championship standings heading into Bristol.

“It’s exciting to have a new car, especially one that has so much history in Pro Stock,” said Line.  “The Camaro is a really cool muscle car powered by an American V-8 making a lot of horsepower which is the way it should be. In fact, I wish I had one to drive on the street.

“Having said that, we’ll definitely have our work cut out for us this weekend learning what this particular car needs to run.  You realistically can’t expect it to be at the same level as our old Pontiac right out of the box, but if anybody can pull it off, it would be the guys on this Summit Racing team, who do a heck of a job every time out.  After a single day of testing we haven’t exactly bonded, but let’s say we’re coming to an understanding.  However, we can already tell it’s going to be a great car.”

Line will also take pleasure in celebrating the holiday at the Tennessee quarter-mile, where his fondness for the facility comes from more than his on-track success, a ledger he looks to add to this weekend.

“It’s always fun racing in Bristol,” said Line.  “It’s a tremendous facility with great drag racing history and the people working there are great folks, making it one my top ten places to go to throughout the year.  I also enjoy that it’s a few hours’ drive from my house in North Carolina, making it an easy trip for myself and my family.

“Bristol Dragway is a bit of an altitude track so we won’t run as fast as we did a couple weeks ago, but all that matters is that we’re better than our competitors, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.  We have quite a few fathers on this team, and I can’t think of a better way to help them celebrate than in the winner’s circle on Sunday night.”

Anderson Going Back to the Beginning in Bristol

Anderson Going Back to the Beginning in Bristol   

Mooresville, N.C., June 13, 2012 – Ten days after scoring his KB Racing team’s 100th NHRA national event win in Englishtown, N.J., Summit Racing Camaro pilot Greg Anderson will return to the site of another significant moment in his spectacular Pro Stock career, heading to Bristol Dragway for this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn.  In 2001, the championship-winning crew chief turned aspiring race car driver came to the Volunteer State driving the back-up car for a team owned by Las Vegas businessmen George Marnell (who was the team’s established driver) and Ken Black.

In only his 30th start he shocked both himself and his fellow competitors, starting from the ninth position and defeating established veterans Allen Johnson, V. Gaines and Mark Osborne in the early rounds before squaring off against two-time champion Jim Yates in the final.  Gaining the advantage at the starting line, the Minnesota native never looked back, using a 6.993-second, 196.85 mph pass to gain the hole shot victory over his much-heralded opponent and score his first national event win.

“Although I’m a little cloudy on the specifics of that particular day, I do remember I was not expected to win,” said Anderson.  “After all, I was driving an older Pontiac Firebird at a time when the top teams were running the smaller and more aerodynamic Chevrolet Cavaliers and Grand Ams and I was basically running to gather more data for George’s car.

“Still, we were somehow able to pull off the win and I suddenly found myself in the winner’s circle with Fred Simmonds, who was the head of the drag racing program for General Motors at the time and the folks from Mac Tools, who were then the event sponsors.  I recall we were all looking at each other wondering exactly who everyone was, but it actually turned out to be the start of the program we have today with this Summit Racing team.  Mac Tools became one of my first sponsors, I established a relationship with a General Motors and Ken Black decided to start his own team.  The rest, as they say, is history.”

Eleven years later, Anderson returns to Thunder Valley as one of the top racers in the history of the “factory hot rods” with four championships and 74 national event wins to his credit, a total that includes two trips to the Bristol Dragway winner’s circle.  However, with his last Tennessee quarter-mile victory coming in 2004, he is more than ready to make a return appearance, a confidence bolstered by recent performances under similar tuning conditions.

“I will always love Bristol Dragway because it’s where I won my first national event,” stated Anderson.  “I am also extremely partial to Thunder Valley because of the facility and its tremendous history.  It’s a Bruton Smith-owned track that is very well run and promoted, making it a fun weekend for the racers and the fans.  However, for the last few years it has been the type of track that has been our Achilles’ heel, having a little bit of altitude where the cars don’t run that fast.

“The good news is that I believe we’re finally turning the corner in that area based on our performance in Topeka where the atmospheric conditions are fairly similar to what we’ll see this weekend.  Based on that, I think our outlook for Bristol will be completely different this year.  I expect our Summit Racing Camaro is going to be fast with a good chance of winning the race.”

Finally, Anderson and his KB Racing crew are looking to build on the successful debut of their new Chevrolet Camaro.  Despite reaching the winner’s circle in its inaugural race, the current Pro Stock championship points leader is quick to point out that they are still familiarizing themselves with their new mount.

“Although we certainly gave our Summit Racing Camaro a tremendous debut in Englishtown, I think we can make it run even better,” said Anderson.  “For example, we never set low elapsed time. It showed us that it wanted to run, and we kept working on it, making gains throughout the weekend, but never fully hit the nail on the head, so there’s still plenty of room left for improvement.

“It’s a very nice car that seems to want to do everything right, but we’re still early in the learning process and even though it’s gone very well so far, we are just scratching the surface of its full potential.  Between ourselves, Chevrolet and (chassis builder) Rick Jones, I think we’ve built a good piece, and in Bristol we’ll have two with Jason bringing out his Camaro. Hopefully we can go there, get her closer to what she really wants and run even better than we did in our first race.  That’s our goal heading into the weekend.”

Showtime Funny Car FIA Main Event 2012

The wait was finally over, after the disappointments at Easter we were raring to go at the Main Event.

The weather looked promising on Saturday and the car was warmed up mid morning as we were scheduled to follow the 1st round of “Pro qualifying” around 1.30.
The car certainly sounds different due mainly to the new blower and different fuel management. We got to the startline around 4.30, unfortunately after starting the car there was a problem with the reverser and John shut off and we towed back to the pits.

The problem was tracked down and fixed and we were ready to go again. After a few stoppages, it was 8.30 before we were at the start. The car launched hard and straight with the header flames clearly visible in the fading light. John hit tyre shake around 300 feet and clicked it off. Routine servicing showed no damage.

Sunday was a total rainout with not a wheel being turned by anyone. The rain continued all night and into Monday morning. The track crew as always did a fantastic job in getting the track both ready for racing and cleaning up after the frequent showers. We spent a couple of hours in the pairing lanes due to various stoppages, eventually firing the car around 5pm to run against Jason Phelps in the Shockwave car. John had an amazing reaction time of 0.013 secs but the tyres “lit up” off the line and the car veered hard right, so shut off. Once back in the pits we found the problem to be in the clutch management.

We could have done with more track time as it is a very steep learning curve with a new car, but we have learnt a lot, and we are going in the right direction.

Subaru Road Racing Qualifies 4th at Mid-Ohio

Subaru Road Racing Qualifies 4th at Mid-Ohio
– Aquilante, Spaude Continue to Contend for Win –

Phoenixville, PA. – June 12, 2012 – Both Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude ran the Subaru Road Racing Team’s Subaru WRX STI race car as high as second place in last weekend’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.
 
However, mid-way through the 75-lap race on Mid-Ohio’s 2.258-mile course configuration, and with Andrew Aquilante driving, an aftermarket rear suspension toe link failed. The six laps lost in the pits while a replacement part was pressed into service, resulted in an 18th place finish in the 24-car Grand Sport (GS) field.
 
“Our crew quickly identified the problem and replaced the component, and sent Andrew back, where he continued to run the same pace the race leaders were running, even though we had lost six laps in the pits,” said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., which prepares the team’s Subaru WRX STI race cars.
 
“The silver lining is that, as has been the case for the last three races, our Subaru Road Racing Team program has run up front against a competitive field of teams fielding cars from six different makes,” he added. “Here at Mid-Ohio, the fastest four cars qualified within one-tenth of a second of each other.”
 
Team driver Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., qualified the 4-door Subaru WRX STI fourth quickest out of 24 Grand Sports class entries, and immediately jumped to second place at the drop of the green flag. He was fifth place in the running order when the team pitted him under Full Course Yellow conditions on lap 26, turning the driving duties over to Andrew (AJ) Aquilante.
 
AJ took the green flag in 11th place, 3.087 seconds out of the lead, and ran as high as second place on lap 46, but the suspension component issue soon raised its head, dashing the hopes for a for the Subaru team’s second consecutive win.
 
“We pitted, the crew quickly fixed the suspension, we went back out and continued to lap the track as fast as the race leaders until the end of the race – except we were six laps down,” added Joe Aquilante. “We’ve been competitive for the last three races. Coming to a track and knowing your odds of winning are as good as the best of them, drives up our confidence level.”
 
James Han, motorsport marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., added, “This result was a difficult one to accept given our strong performances in qualifying and into the first half of the race.  Our team will perform a post-race deep dive analysis as we always do and make the necessary adjustments before the next race.  On the positive, both Bret and AJ ran strong and our pit stop strategy was on-target.”
 
The race-prepped #35 SRRT WRX STI is developed to compete against rival teams fielding cars producing over 400 horsepower.

4Turbo at the FIA Hill-Climb Cup

This weekend 4Turbo took part in combined double round of FIA Hill-Climb Cup, FIA International Hill-Climb Challenge, as well Polish and Slovakian National Championships – Moris Cup Jahodna 2012. We have entered a Subaru Impreza driven by Tomasz Nagórski, who returned behind the wheel after a break of a whole year. The team managed to secure an overall win on the first day and was first in all classifications for closed cockpit cars on the second day being second behind F3000 car.  The driver was also awarded Moris Challenge Cup for the year.

The car was in 4Turbo livery bearing logos of major partners of the company including ARP logos.

Tour Britannia Winners 2012

Tour Britannia Winners 2012

A fantastic victory for Tech 9 at this year’s Tour Britannia event.
Phil Hindley and co-driver Andy Bull proved a winning formula with the
beautiful and unique 1979 Porsche 911 SC-R, storming to victory in the
event held in the North of England.

As competitors on the 2012
Tour Britannia faced two long days of challenging weather conditions,
Phil Hindley and Andy Bull built a healthy margin during the special
stages and race event at Croft during day one, then maintained the
advantage that they had established on the opening day to claim overall
victory in their Porsche 911SC-R

As a showcase to the engineering
skills of the Tech 9 team, the SCR was conceived and built during the
past 12 months, and only completed on the eve of the event. Tech 9 saw
their car complete fantastic times at the UK’s most exclusive rally tour
event, featuring 20 special stage events including two races at Croft
& Cadwell Park.

With its superb Ohlins suspension, built to
FIA Appendix K. specification the incredible 911 SC-R took to the stage
in its debut outing and claimed the overall honours

With its
distinctive ‘Sport Classic Grey’ paint finish and FUCHS alloys, plus
many lightweight parts the SC-R was equally composed on a rally stage or
the circuit

A comprehensive build with attention to detail enjoys a final rally specification weight of less than 1000KG.

With thanks to our partners and supporters in this special project

Road and Race Bodyshop (Bolton)

ARP fasteners

Ohlins Suspension products

Fuchs alloy wheels

Ben Coles engineering

Tech 9 look forward to many more successful rally events, and the
opportunity to build and develop similair vehicles for our clients, from
classic to modern, racetrack to rally events – we prove our engineering
skills in all disciplines.

Race Results, Week Ending 6/10/12

World of Outlaws, Brad Sweet, Kerry Madsen

K&N East- Slack Auto Parts 150, Kyle Larson

GrandAm- Mid-Ohio- EMCO Gears Classic- DP Richard Westbrook, GT-Bill Auberlen

F1- Grand Prix of Canada- Lewis Hamilton

IndyCar- Firestone 550- Justin Wilson

Nascar-
Camping World Truck Series- WinStar World Casion 400K- Johnny Sauter
Sprint Cup Series- Pocono 400- Joey Logano

RCR Post Race Report — Pocono Raceway–Sprint Cup

RCR Post Race Report — Pocono Raceway   
 
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Paul Menard), 14th (Kevin Harvick) and 15th (Jeff Burton).
According to NASCAR Loop Data Statistics, Menard maintained the fifth-best average running position of 7.894, spending 159 out of 160 laps (99.4 percent) in the top 15.
Menard ranked eighth in the Loop Data category Driver Rating with a 100.3, and was fifth-fastest on restarts with an average speed of 158.459 mph.
Harvick ranked fourth in the Closers category, improving four positions in the last 10 percent (16 laps) of the race.
Harvick made 90 green-flag passes, the sixth-most of any driver according to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics.  
Burton spent 98 laps running in the top 15, tenth-most in the 43-car field.
Burton made 76 green-flag passes during the 160-lap event, 37 while running in the top 15.
Joey Logano won the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR, and was followed to the checkered flag by Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.  
The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 17, televised live on TNT and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time.   

Madsen Masters Knoxville to Conquer Mediacom Shootout

Madsen Masters Knoxville to Conquer Mediacom Shootout
The Australian earns his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory since 2007
 
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – June 9, 2012 – Patience was key on a warm Saturday night for Kerry Madsen.
The Australian had to be patient after falling to second on the start and he had to be patient while staring at traffic with veteran Sammy Swindell on his rear bumper in the closing laps of the Mediacom Shootout at Knoxville Raceway.

A driver known for his aggressiveness, Madsen exuded the definition of patience as he recorded his third career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory and his first since 2007.

“It’s difficult because you’ve got lapped traffic in front of you and you want to gas it, you want to put some lapped cars between you and him, but unfortunately there was not a lot to go,” he said. “So I thought the smarter option was to back myself away from the lapped cars, keep a dose of fresh air on the hood and just try to save some tires for reserve.”

After qualifying sixth and winning his heat race from the third starting position, Madsen quickly found the lead in the dash and powered to the victory, earning him his second feature pole of the season. Madsen carried that momentum to the start of the main event, which was waved off after Davey Heskin was called for jumping the start.

Swindell, who won the only other World of Outlaws event at Knoxville Raceway this season and who started second, took advantage of the complete restart. He grabbed the top spot on the opening lap as Brian Brown aimed to make it a three-way battle for the lead.

The trio went three wide entering turn one on the second lap, with Swindell high, Brown on the bottom and Madsen searching for grip through the middle. Swindell carried the momentum to maintain the lead and Madsen began to work the middle of the track.

On the sixth lap, Madsen found what he was looking for in turns one and two, and he maneuvered around Swindell into the lead.

“He went to the bottom and there was grip there,” Swindell said. “The track came in down there and when we came off of (turn) two he was right there on me and was able to get ahead. I moved right down behind him and could easily run with him, but there wasn’t much of a chance to do anything.”

Swindell stayed within a couple of car lengths of Madsen for the entire race. But as the duo worked down the backstretch after taking the white flag, it appeared that Madsen had wrapped up the win.

However, Heskin brought out the second-and-final caution as he crashed in turn four, setting up a green-white-checkered finish and allowing Swindell one last shot.

“You want to just go, ‘No!'” Madsen said. “But you just have to focus, start thinking about the restart, thinking about what you’ve got to do. You can’t let your mind wander, especially with a guy like Sammy behind you with so much experience.”

Madsen put together two consistent laps to edge Swindell for the victory, which was his 17th overall at Knoxville Raceway.

Brown outlasted Donny Schatz for the final spot on the podium.

“To come out and run third with the Outlaws I feel is an honor,” Brown said. “(I) definitely wanted to win it, but I’m sure there were 40 others who wanted to win it, too.”

Brad Sweet, who picked up his first career World of Outlaws victory on Friday, finished fifth and fast qualifier Joey Saldana was sixth. Ian Madsen ended seventh, Terry McCarl eighth, Chad Kemenah ninth and Craig Dollansky rounded out the top 10.

Ryan Bunton, Kerry Madsen, Sweet and Ian Madsen each won heat races, and Sam Hafertepe Jr. passed Steve Kinser on the last lap to claim the Last Chance Showdown.

Kinser continues to lead the World of Outlaws championship standings, but Schatz cut the deficit to only 10 points.

Wiley Wilson Wins in Texas

Wiley Wilson Wins in Texas

A “never-give-up” performance from Justin Wilson saw the popular veteran come from behind to win Saturday night’s Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, the third consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series race victory and 1-2 finish for Honda in 2012.

Wilson, whose Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar ran faster and faster as the night wore on, was closing the gap to race leader Graham Rahal in the final laps of the 228-lap contest, then took the lead for the second and final time when Rahal brushed the wall exiting Turn 4 with just two laps remaining. Wilson powered by for his eighth career IndyCar victory and first oval track win.

After contact, Rahal was able to continue and nurse his damaged Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a second-place finish, for Honda’s third consecutive 1-2 result this season. Honda drivers finished first and second (Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon) at the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago, and 1-2-3 (Dixon, Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud) at last Sunday’s Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix.

Dixon dominated the first two thirds of tonight’s race, leading 133 of the first 170 laps. But the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver lost control while running in traffic on Lap 174, spinning and crashing without injury. Making his first start at Texas, Simon Pagenaud solidified his lead in the series Rookie of the Year standings and moved to fifth in the overall championship with a solid sixth-place finish tonight; while pole qualifier Alex Tagliani battled handling issues throughout the second half of the race to persevere for a ninth-place finish. In the second Dale Coyne entry, James Jakes rounded out the top-10 finishers,
posting his best result of the season.

RCR Post Race Report — Texas Motor Speedway–Camping World Truck Series


RCR Post Race Report — Texas Motor Speedway
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series   
RACE: Texas 400
TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway   
DATE: June 8, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Joey Coulter), fourth (Brendan Gaughan) and seventh (Ty Dillon).
All three RCR entries spent the entire 167-lap event running in the top 15.
According the NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the third-highest driver rating (117.6), while Gaughan’s 106.9 driver rating ranked him fifth and Coulter’s 102.7 driver rating ranked him eighth.
Combined, the three RCR entries posted the fastest lap of the race for 16 circuits with Coulter earning eight of those laps, Gaughan with five and Dillon with three.
Coulter’s third-place finish represents his best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career finish in his 32nd starts.
Coulter ranked third in the Closers category, gaining two positions in the final 10 percent of the race.
Coulter made 48 green-flag passes during the 167-lap event ranking him fourth amongst his competitors.
Gaughan maintained the sixth-best average running position of 6.263 according to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics.
Gaughan ranked seventh in the Loop Data category Fastest on Restarts with an average speed of 169.064 mph.
Dillon led for 22 of 167 laps.
Dillon earned the best average running position (3.7) in the 35-truck field while Gaughan and Coulter ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
Johnny Sauter earned his first victory of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Matt Crafton, Coulter, Gaughan and Nelson Piquet Jr.
The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, June 28. The eighth race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Racer News and Results