Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Back in the Semifinals

At the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team reached the semifinals for the second time in three national event appearances this season. Driver Todd Veney, who qualified a career-high No. 2 last month at the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, was No. 4 in Houston, ahead of some of the biggest names in the business, including 2010 championship runner-up and defending champ Mickey Ferro and current points leader and eventual winner Tony Bartone.

Veney eliminated one of the most prolific drivers in Top Alcohol Funny Car history, veteran Vern Moats, in round one and Texan Bryan Brown in the quarterfinals before crossing the centerline in the semifinals for an automatic disqualification against Steve Burck, who reached his first career final with the round-win. It was the only shut-off run all weekend for the Follow A Dream team, the only Top Alcohol Funny Car team all weekend to get down the track with a five-second pass in all three qualifying sessions.

“The track wasn’t the Houston we’ve come to know in years past,” Veney said. “Last year, everybody was in the 5.50s or low 5.60s, but this year, everybody had trouble figuring it out all weekend, even Bartone’s team. “We had a pretty consistent string of runs going for a while [5.70-5.69-5.70], but when we tried to step it up a notch for the semifinals, the track wouldn’t take it.”

After a three-week layoff, the team heads for historic Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., for the first race of the five-race Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, May 27-29. With the semifinal finish, Veney is just outside the top 10 in the NHRA national points standings.

Kasey Kahne Racing Update

Kasey Kahne Racing Eldora Recap
 It was another solid night for Kasey Kahne Racing on Friday night at Eldora Speedway. Joey Saldana picked up his third win of the season while Paul McMahan and Cody Darrah scored top-10 finishes.
-Joey Saldana, driver of the #9 Red Bull/Sage Fruit/ASE Maxim

Joey Saldana entered Eldora Speedway looking for revenge against the track that cost him a shot at winning his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series title last season.

He couldn’t have had a bigger night. Not only did Saldana put the Kasey Kahne Racing Red Bull Maxim in victory lane, he also increased his lead in the 2011 championship battle to 51 points. It was a complete turnaround from last fall, when Saldana was leading the title hunt before he wrecked hard at Eldora and wound up suffering a concussion that prevented him from racing the next night, thereby costing him any chance of contending.

Saldana qualified second, won his heat and won the dash. He led 23 of the 30 scheduled laps in the A main to go on to win his third Outlaws race of the 2011 season.

“I’ve got a huge smile on my face because last year I didn’t know where I was for a few days, that last show I left in a helicopter. This is a lot more fun and gratifying. Definitely coming back from that and winning here, because this is such a tough track, it’s a huge accomplishment for me so I’m very happy for this entire Red Bull Team.”

COOKIE HOLDS TOP 10

Kent’s female rally driver, Louise Cook, contested her fifth ever gravel rally this weekend, The Pirelli International Rally, based in Carlisle. The event was the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship. Louise was looking forward to the rally with her car engine management faults behind her.
The rally kicked off Friday night with a ceremonial start at Carlisle Racecourse and then straight off into the 1st stage. With only one pass of the stage in reconnaissance, some dodgy pace notes and what appeared to be a lot of wheel spin due to the extra power, Louise took no chances and got off to a steady start bedding herself in with the car. Then it was off to the rally party, where teams signed autographs and mingled with the fans before heading back into the forest in darkness. With no night driving experience, except the odd late night shopping trips to Bluewater, Cookie knew it was going to be a difficult stage. Despite the lack of experience in the dark, Louise held her position in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy for the overnight halt.
It was an early start on Saturday with the crew setting off at 7am for the first loop of stages.
“The morning went okay, it took me a while to get into it as I struggled with believing in my own pace notes. Nearly every corner in Kielder is over a blind crest, so you really have to have a lot of confidence in your notes. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have that level of trust in my note writing yet, not after just 3 gravel rallies. So, I suffered.”
On the second run through the morning stages, Louise set some creditable times amongst the modern faster Fiesta R2’s, leaving 3 R2’s in her wake.
“Once I had been through the stages once, I knew that my notes weren’t massively off, and I started to trust them more and more. Once I’d had a few over excited moments and got the car back from various ditches, the Killer Kielder forest did not seem as bad as all its hype. It was pretty amazing to realise how far I have come after only 2 gravel rallies since Pirelli last year. There was one section where I was absolutely flat on the rev limiter and having 4 wheels off the ground over crests at over 100 mph, I would never have done that last year! It was a nice benchmark.”
With Cookie’s confidence on the up, the car was on the down. The forever hard working service crew found a gearbox leak in a 10 minute service
and it became evident on the road section that what was thought to be wheel spin, had been the clutch slipping from the start and Cook’s stage times suffered as a result “I have no idea how much time it cost me, I lost a lot of confidence. The diff was unlocking and I would start to under steer off the road, when I needed the front wheels to pull me round, the clutch was giving way and the car had no drive. It was a shame, but at least I wasn’t out of the rally, I kept it going, even though it was scary at times. I managed to keep her on though after about five or six moments where it could have all been over. I will keep positive and take what I have learnt from this rally and use it on the next one.”
Louise came home still holding her 5th place in the Fiesta Sporting Trophy, top 10 in the F2 Championship and still leading the BRC Ladies Cup. It’s onto tarmac for the fourth round of the Championship, the Jim Clark Rally up in the Scottish Borders, a rally that Louise competed in last year. “I am really looking forward to the next one, I have more tarmac miles under my belt, so I hope to close the gap on the next round.”

Race Results Week Ending 5/15/11

NHRA
Top Fuel:
Antron Brown
Funny Car: Jack Beckman
Pro Stock:
Jason Line
Pro Stock Motorcycle: LE Tonglet
Pro Modified:
Ed Hoover
Competition Eliminator:
Bruno Massel


Super Stock: Mike Crutchfield
Stock:
Mickey Whaley
Super Comp:
Roger Warren
Super Gas:
Matt Cooke
Top Sportsman: Mark Pickens

NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series- Dover DE, Lucas Oil 200, Kyle Busch
Nationwide Series- Darlington SC, FedEx 400, Matt Kenseth
Sprint Cup- Dover DE, 5-Hour Energy 200, Carl Edwards

Muncey Racing looks toward the future

Atlas Blue is Back

There’s no replacing the legendary Bill Muncey and the famed “Blue Blaster” Atlas Van Lines Unlimited Hydroplane. They became the winningest Unlimited Hydroplane and race driver combination in history. However, Evergreen Moving Systems, an Atlas Van Lines agent in Washington State, is returning the iconic paint scheme as a tribute to Atlas Van Lines, back into hydroplane racing, with, appropriately, Bill’s son Wil Muncey behind the wheel.
 
The UL-00 Evergreen Moving Systems will ironically be numbered the same as the original U-00 some three plus decades ago. Representing Evergreen Moving Systems and secondary sponsors in the 2011 season, Muncey Racing will participate at Seattle’s Seafair Regatta and other select races around the Pacific Northwest. This campaign could also include other locations across North America.
 
One of the hulls of the two boat Muncey Racing team has been known for years as “The Little Boat that Could”. With Wil Muncey behind the wheel in 2010, the tandem bested bigger and more powerful hulls, taking second place at Phoenix, and Tri Cities, before concluding the season fourth in  national standings. In 2011 the “Big-00” will share the racing responsibilities with a 509 cu. in., 900 hp engine. At nearly 26 feet in length, this hull is built for the big, rugged courses such as Seattle’s Lake Washington.
 
The Evergreen Moving Systems UL-00 will debut on Thursday, April 21st at Stan Sayers Pits on Lake Washington at the annual ” Spring Training ” test session. The event will be co-hosted by the Hydroplane & Race Boat Museum and supported by Seafair Inc.
 
Wil Muncey commented that while Muncey Racing remains committed to automotive powered hydroplane racing and have even been developing a supercharged program over the last two years, they are also investigating the possibilities of re-entering Unlimited racing with turbine power at Seafair in Seattle and elsewhere. The boat will be a regional tribute to a great driver and a Van Lines company that supported him during the “Golden Years” of piston driven boats and the Van Lines industry.

“ Marine motorsports have been an integral part of the heritage of the Pacific Northwest for well over half a century. “ said Muncey, “ The Brown family has been in the Van Line business for three generations and avid boat racing fans the whole time. Through their company, Evergreen Moving Systems they are contributing to a sport that they feel very strongly about and Muncey Racing feels privileged to be a part of that.”

 Bill Brown, President of Evergreen Moving Systems, Inc. went on to say, ” My brother Steve and I are very excited to be involved in such a high profile sport. This is our NASCAR here in the Northwest. Not only does it make business sense, but demonstrates our commitment to the Pacific Northwest community. We are honored to be a part of the APBA, and by the support of the Muncey Family who has contributed so much to this great sport. This tribute is not only for our parent Van Line, but the Muncey family as well.
 
Steve Brown, Vice President, commented, ” We understand that this is a huge commitment in this economy. We feel, though, that this is the right time, with the right team. We do appreciate corporates positive remarks which has made this tribute all the more important.”

The last time that an ATLAS VAN LINES hydroplane started in a heat of competition was at Clear Lake in Houston, Texas, in 1984 with Chip Hanauer driving. The boat DNF in Heat 1-B and then withdrew from the race. The first time that an ATLAS VAN LINES-sponsored hydroplane entered competition was at Tampa, Florida, in 1967 with Bob Schroeder driving.

Changes for the Showtime FunnyCar

Hello everyone,

Usually at this time of year I would be giving you a preview of the traditional season opening Easter Thunderball meeting at Santa Pod, however for the first time in many years the Showtime FC will not be appearing at the event.

Over the winter, in discussions with John Force Racing, it was decided to purchase a 2011 spec chassis and body from JFR. This combination will be identical to the cars campaigned by the 15 time NHRA Funny Car champion and his team in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Championship.

The decision having been made, the chassis then had to be assembled in the JFR shop in Indianapolis before shipping to the main facility in California for completion and meeting up with the body. In addition a large proportion of our drive train would not be suitable for the new car and therefore need updating. Sourcing the necessary parts would take time as the major US suppliers were flat out ahead of the start of the NHRA schedule.

The car and parts are now in a container en route to the UK, due to arrive mid May. The car will have to be “plumbed” and all the cables and ancillaries fitted, motor and clutch installed etc. In effect we will have to build the car from the chassis up. The time scale at the moment is to have the carry ready for the Main Event when we will introduce the new car to the media and fans. Until then we would like to keep our plans under wraps ahead of the official launch

As well as a new car we will have a new sponsor joining us. After many years Allegheny Technologies will no longer be sponsoring the Showtime FC, and it’s all my fault!

I left Allegheny last month to take up a new position; however my new company has kindly agreed to replace Allegheny as a sponsor. My new job is with Dynamic Metals www.dynamicmetalsltd.co.uk  I will still be involved with supplying Titanium to motorsport but now with the addition of lots more metals, details of which can be found on the website.

Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Begin their Year

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge returned for its third year in California at the 6th Annual Rev’ved up 4 Kids Car Show in beautiful Torrance, CA.
Thirteen High Schools competed at the day long event. First Round consisted of 5 Teams Be-Cool, Mr. Gasket, Egge Machine, K&N Filters, and Moroso. The second round started at 11AM featuring Teams Parts Pro, Hedman Headers, Edelbrock, PRW, and Airaid.

The last three to to compete were teams Royal Purple, Competition Cams, and Energy Suspension. Team Moroso (Loara High School #1) finished in first place and  set a National Speed Record of 24:34. They also got the Race to Perfection Bonus for a perfect engine with no penalties. Their final record breaking qualifying time is 22:34! Second place Team K&N Filters (North Orange County ROP) finished with a time of 31:31, and are the current #1 Wild Card seed for the Showdown @ SEMA National Championship.

Each first place winners received a $5,000 dollar scholarship each from both SAM and OTC. Second place received $3,000 each student, 3rd place received $2,000 each student, and every participating student received 1,000 dollar scholarship from both OTC (Ohio Technical College) & SAM (School of Automotive Machinist). We are VERY proud of all the students and instructors for the great job they did at this event.

For pictures click here..

SRRT heads to Barber

Subaru’s factory road race team is looking forward to competing in this weekend’s twisty yet flowing track configuration which will play host to round 3 of the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. The Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) prepares and races a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 4-door model in the series for Subaru of America, Inc.  The team’s two drivers see the April 8-9 race at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., as a great opportunity to post a result after this year’s earlier rounds.
 
“Handling is going to be a key factor at Barber,” said SRRT co-driver Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa. “We had our Subaru as high as fifth in the running order last year. Because of all the tight turns on this track, ultimate horsepower isn’t the total solution that it is at, say, Daytona. Here, you need a car that handles well, and that’s Subaru’s ace-in-the-hole.”
 
Bret Spaude, co-driver, agrees.  “Andrew and I are focused on exploiting our strengths. We are looking forward to Barber”.
 
“Our Subaru and the Barber track’s configuration were made for each other,” said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance of Phoenixville, Pa., where the team’s cars are prepped and tuned.
 
“It’s a tight and twisting track, but with no issues during the race, this can be an excellent weekend to show the capabilities of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system will help our car accelerate out of the corners.”

SRRT starts year off right

After a solid finish coming away from the first round of the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series at Daytona International Speedway, the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) is eager to build upon that result at Homestead-Miami Speedway which will host the next round on March 4-5.
 
At Homestead, SRRT co-drivers Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., and Bret Spaude, Bushnell, Fla., face a 2.3-mile combination banked oval speedway and twisting infield road course for the 2.5-hour race. Daytona’s road racing configuration length is 3.56 miles; the extra running room makes a Grand Sports class race lap at Daytona about 13 miles per hour faster than a Homestead lap.
 
“That’s a good equalizer for the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI race car,” said Joe Aquilante, owner of Phoenix Performance of Phoenixville, Pa., where the team’s cars are built and tuned.
 
“Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system will help our car accelerate out of the corners, and since the banking is flatter, our handling advantage should come into play more,” he said.
 
“Even with our testing, we’re still tweaking the chassis and suspension settings after every practice session,” added Andrew Aquilante, who, along with team Crew Chief Kurt Omensetter, oversees the pre race prep of the 2011 WRX STI. “We’re in the mode where small changes can mean a lot in lap times and top speed, so we are focusing on details.”

Daytona Wrap Up

Budweiser Shootout- Kurt Busch
Gatorade Duel 1- Kurt Busch
Gatorade Duel 2- Jeff Burton
Camping World Truck Series- Next Era Resources 250- Michael Waltrip
Nationwide Series- Drive4COPD 300- Tony Stewart
Sprint Cup- Daytona 500- Trevor Bayne

SRRT leaves Daytona Pleased

Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude took the first green flag of the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series season in 17th grid position within the 32-car Grand Sport field, but climbed to 13th by race finish after two-and-a-half hours of running on historic Daytona International Speedway.
Unlike the NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers who use only the 2.5-mile high-banked oval, the sports cars racing this weekend use a 3.56-mile combination of the oval and the infield road course.
Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., qualified the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 17th quickest, and drove the first 29 laps of the 60-lap race, climbing as high as seventh place. He turned over the controls to co-driver Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., who left the pits in 15th place, then proceeded to work around six full-course caution sessions to earn his finishing spot.
The SRRT Subaru Impreza is race-prepared and tuned by Phoenix Performance of Phoenixville, Pa.
Team owner Joe Aquilante was enthused by the finish. “I would have liked to have seen the race end under green flag conditions,” he said, “for the sake of all the drivers who have worked so hard to get to where they were – especially our staff. Our new Impreza WRX STI was flawless all weekend, and our lap times reflected what we learned here three weeks ago in the pre-season testing. For us to come away with a 13th place at Daytona against V8-powered cars such as BMW M3s, Camaros and Mustangs, we’re pleased.
“Brett and AJ did an excellent driving job by not getting caught up in the mistakes made by other drivers,” Aquilante added.
James Han, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Subaru of America, Inc. added, “The 2011 4-door STI sports model has logged a solid result here at Daytona, and our driver’s average lap times were easily four-plus seconds quicker than at this same track last year.  The team performed quick pit stops and driver changes plus our race strategy proved to be the correct one.  And our Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system afforded us better handling and traction in the infield’s numerous turns than most other cars.”
Spaude steadily moved forward during his 29 laps behind the wheel, even though he had to temper his enthusiasm for seven laps of following behind the safety car in the races opening 10 laps. He had climbed to seventh place by the time he pitted.
Four subsequent safety car sessions prevented Andrew Aquilante from cracking the top 10 of the Grand Sports class running order.
“I have to hand it to Andrew, who was in charge of the building of this new car over the offseason, and to one of the real Phoenix Performance shop veterans, Kurt Omensetter, our Crew Chief. Our Subaru ran quicker today than it was in the pre-season testing,” added Joe Aquilante.

Performance by Fisher/Team Dragon Racing Fuels

Team Dragon Racing Fuels Announces Most Aggressive Race Schedule in Recent Seasons
With twenty-eight races planned over a span of eight states and Canada, Kathy and Kevin Fisher and the newly formed “Team Dragon Racing Fuels” (www.teamdragonracingfuels.com) have assembled an outline for their 2011 season like no other in the team’s history of late.
In addition to the jam-packed schedule of national, divisional and big money bracket races, The Fisher’s are pleased to announce the major partnership with Lafayette, Indiana based, Dragon Racing Fuels.  
“I don’t think I’ve been this excited for our team and pumped for a season since we first began,” said Kathy, driver of the team’s 8.90 dragster. “We have been working closely with Chuck [Newton] and Kevin [Majewski] of Dragon Racing Fuels for the past season and a half and we couldn’t be more elated to see our relationship continue to grow.”
“Boy, do we have a ton of great things planned for this year in conjunction with Dragon Racing Fuels,” continued Fisher. “Some are already underway, including the ‘Fueling Your Passion Contest’ while many more rather interesting ones are yet to be announced.”

MPMC Conference

Nearly a hundred Motorsports Manufacturers are set up at the MPMC conference for media this week.  ARP is attending as well. 


We can make any place into a nice show booth.


The Bryan Fuller/Steve Strope poster we did for PRI looks much better than hotel art!

SRRT is Ready for Daytona

Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude are looking forward to the opening of the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. The first major professional auto race of the season will take the green flag at 1:30PM ET on Friday, Jan. 28 at Daytona International Speedway.
 
The SRRT drivers will be one of 31 teams entered in the Grand Sports class race for the 2 1/2-hour race on the newly-reconstructed 3.56-mile combination oval and infield road course at Daytona Beach, Fla.
 
Racing a Grand Sports class 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI race-prepared and tuned by Phoenix Performance of Phoenixville, Pa., co-drivers Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, Pa., and Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., recently spent a weekend at Daytona, getting the feel of their newly-rebuilt Subaru, and becoming accustomed to the new racing surface on the oval portion of the world-famous race track.
 
“The new track surface was excellent, with the transitions from oval to the infield portions being much smoother.” Spaude said. “I loved the new 2011 STI right from the start. The handling is phenomenal!!
 
Andrew Aquilante added, “This new smoother surface on the oval makes a huge difference; the unsettling bumps are gone. And the 2011 4-door STI sports improved aerodynamics which should come into play much better for a track like Daytona!! In the infield, which was not repaved, we’ll have some mechanical advantage from our Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. The car is very balanced”
 
“Moving up to the Grand Sports class last year was a big jump for us,” said team owner Joe Aquilante, “but we have learned a lot. Our pre-season testing at Homestead and Daytona was promising with excellent progress. In addition, we have made some team changes, with Andrew also assuming the responsibility of Car Builder, coordinating and assembling the new car along with Kurt Omensetter, our Crew Chief.  The entire team has been working very diligently applying all of the lessons we learned”
 
James Han, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Subaru of America, Inc. added, “We’re looking forward to kicking-off a solid 2011 Grand-Am campaign at Daytona. The team performed the bulk of development work last year plus the off-season, and I’m confident that we’re on the right path towards maximizing the performance benefits from our Subaru core technologies in the Subaru symmetrical AWD system and boxer engine. It’s natural for every team on the grid to experience some butterflies at the first race of each season. With our racing debut of the 4-door model of the Subaru WRX STI, this year’s Daytona is no different.”

Racer News and Results