Swindell Adds to Legendary Career at Knoxville Raceway

Swindell Adds to Legendary Career at Knoxville Raceway
He retakes Outlaws points lead, which is swapped for the seventh time this season
 
KNOXVILLE, Iowa – April 28, 2012 – Simply put, Sammy Swindell’s statistics at Knoxville Raceway are phenomenal.
Swindell claimed the first World of Outlaws feature at the famed half mile in 1979 and he picked up the lone event – not counting the Knoxville Nationals – last season. He’s a former Knoxville Nationals champion and is closing in on 50 career feature victories at the track.

“It’s a track where you’ve really got to carry the corner speed and your momentum, and really hit the marks just right,” he said. “The line gets so narrow on the bottom and the top running it that you have to be almost perfect. I think my experience and the amount of laps help make up for that.”

That was evident Saturday night as Swindell passed Brian Brown for the lead on lap 15 and cruised to his 15th career World of Outlaws victory and 48th overall at Knoxville Raceway.

The win was his third of the season and allowed Swindell to regain the points lead, which has been swapped seven times this season. Swindell holds a seven-point advantage over Donny Schatz as the top five are separated by a mere 58 points.

“I think we’ve had the car that could win the last few races,” Swindell said. “We had one at Haubstadt, but had a part break and still managed a third with a wounded car. If we keep this thing running, we’ve got a chance of winning every night.”

Swindell uncharacteristically qualified 16th quickest, which gave him the final spot in the invert and the pole position for the fourth-and-final heat race. He led all eight laps to pick up his series-best fifth heat win of the season, which locked him into the dash.

Swindell started last – 10th – and drove to seventh in the six-lap race, which aligned him on the inside of the fourth row for the 25-lap feature.

A trio of red flags within the first three laps stalled the race, but allowed Swindell to climb to fourth. He picked up third place on lap three and grabbed the runner-up position on lap five.

Chasing his first career World of Outlaws feature win, polesitter Brian Brown had driven to nearly a half-straightaway advantage when Swindell began to close the gap. As Brown battled through traffic on lap nine, Swindell edged closer.

With 11 laps remaining, Swindell rocketed off the bottom in turn four and passed Brown for the top spot at the finish line. Swindell then negotiated thick lapped traffic and a final caution with six laps remaining.

Brown, who started on the outside of Swindell on the double-file restart with six laps to go, entered turn one side by side only to lose ground as they exited the turn. Craig Dollansky passed Brown for the runner-up position on the backstretch.

“We sure would have liked to have been one spot better, but we definitely learned some things here tonight,” Dollansky said. “Sammy, he had a real good car. He’s been strong here the last couple of years.

“Second with this group of cars that were here tonight is nothing to shake a stick at.”

Joey Saldana slipped past Brown for the final podium spot with a couple laps remaining.

“It was a good, solid feature,” Saldana said. “I was a second-place car at best. We ran third and that’s about where we were. Sammy was definitely the class of the field.”

Brown finished fourth with nine-time Knoxville Raceway track champion and former World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski rounding out the top five with a last-lap pass on Schatz.

Knoxville regular Dusty Zomer charged from 21st to seventh and Jason Sides earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 23     rd to eighth. Brad Sweet was ninth and Terry McCarl finished 10th.

In his first career race at Knoxville Raceway, Trey Starks led all eight laps to claim his heat race. Ian Madsen, McCarl and Swindell were the other heat winners. Saldana set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 14.881 seconds and Don Droud Jr. claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Line Uses Consistency to Qualify Second in Houston

Line Uses Consistency to Qualify Second in Houston

Event:  25th annual NHRA Spring Nationals

Location: Royal Purple Raceway, Baytown, Tex.

Day/Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jason Line and his Summit Racing team strung together three consistent runs to earn the second starting spot for Sunday’s eliminations of the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Tex.  Starting with his 6.550-second, 211.00 mph effort on Friday evening, the reigning Pro Stock champion made three consecutive passes in the 6.55-second range, including the two quickest runs in Saturday’s twin qualifying sessions, allowing him to add a total of eight bonus points (out of a maximum of 12) while extending his 2012 streak of qualifying in the top two positions to six.

Despite this impressive performance, as he prepared for his first-round encounter with Rickie Jones, Line still felt there was room for even more improvement.  However, his primary concern entering race day was translating his qualifying success into round wins and, hopefully, his second win of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season.

“It may sound funny considering we had the quickest time in each session today, but I thought we would run better than we did,” said Line.  “After all, we’re never happy unless we’re No. 1.   Still, we had a very good day with our Summit Racing Pontiac, especially considering today’s higher temperatures and humidity.  Best of all, we have a great starting spot for tomorrow and a very fast hot rod, one that is certainly capable of winning the race.

“Our goal for tomorrow is quite simple – to turn on our win light four times.  Of course, there are fifteen other drivers with that same idea, so we just have to make sure we do our jobs better than they do.  We’ve shown that we can get it done in qualifying – now it’s time to back that performance up with a win on Sunday.”

Anderson Picks Up the Pace in Houston, Starts Fifth

Anderson Picks Up the Pace in Houston, Starts Fifth

Event:  25th annual NHRA Spring Nationals

Location: Royal Purple Raceway, Baytown, Tex.

Day/Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012

After posting the eighth-quickest time on Friday, Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson entered the final day of qualifying for the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Tex. determined to improve his standing for race day.  Despite Saturday’s higher temperatures, Anderson and his KB Racing crew responded to the challenge, posting the third-quickest time of the morning session at 6.575-seconds with a top speed of 211.00 mph to claim the fifth starting position, his ninth Top Five qualifying performance in 13 career starts at Royal Purple Raceway.

However, as he prepared to open Sunday’s final eliminations against veteran Kurt Johnson, Anderson opined that both he and his KB Racing crew would need to better their performance in order to contend for their third Houston win.  Fortunately, it is a scenario which they have repeated often during this season’s first five races, resulting in two wins in four final round appearances.

“We’re hoping to continue our 2012 trend where we’ve struggled in qualifying but raced extremely well on Sunday,” said Anderson.  “Basically, we’ve been exploring every option in qualifying, trying to improve our performance and get it closer to the top cars.  We could go out there and make four consistent, average runs, but that’s not how you win races.  As tight as the competition is in Pro Stock, you need every facet to be working at its very best.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to take what we’ve learned about this Summit Racing Pontiac and make it better, but there are no guarantees.  Still, in four of this year’s first five races we’ve been able to put it all together on race day so I see no reason why we can’t do the same tomorrow.  By the time the first round rolls around, every member of this team will be ready to do whatever it takes to put this car in the winner’s circle. Everything is there for us to do it, we just have to find a way.”

RCR Post Race Report — Richmond International Raceway Nationwide Series

RCR Post Race Report — Richmond International Raceway
 
NASCAR Nationwide Series     
RACE: Virginia 529 College Savings 250   
TRACK: Richmond International Raceway  
DATE: April 27, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished third (Kevin Harvick), sixth (Elliott Sadler) and ninth (Austin Dillon).
Sadler leads the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by two points over Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael Annett complete the top five.
The No. 2 Chevrolet team leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, two points ahead of the No. 6 car, with the No. 33 team third in the standings and the No. 3 team fifth.
Harvick’s pole award was his first in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the 2012 season and the 24th of his career.
Harvick led the most laps of the race with 158.
Kurt Busch earned his first win of the 2012 Nationwide Series and was followed to the finish line by Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Stenhouse and Hornish.
The next scheduled Nationwide Series race is the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 5. The eighth race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on ABC beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Harvick maintained the highest average running position (2.068) throughout the 250-lap event, while Sadler and Dillon were ranked fourth and seventh, respectively.
Harvick also led the field in NASCAR Loop Data categories for Driver Rating (139.0), Fastest Drivers Early in a Run (119.942), Fastest Laps Run (51) and Fastest on Restarts (118.489).
Dillon and Harvick ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in NASCAR’s Loop Data category for Fastest Drivers Late in a Run.
Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Combined, the RCR entries posted the fastest lap of the race for 70 circuits, or 32.2 percent of the race.

Second on Friday, Line Aims Higher in Houston

Event:  25th annual NHRA Spring Nationals

Location: Royal Purple Raceway, Baytown, Tex.

Day/Date: Friday, April 27, 2012

Summit Racing driver Jason Line and his fellow Pro Stock competitors faced an unusual challenge during the first day of qualifying for the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Tex.  Under normal circumstances, the “factory hot rods” would enjoy the benefit of extra power during their visit to the Lone Star State due to Royal Purple Raceway’s near sea-level altitude.  However, any potential gains were virtually negated on Friday due to the warm temperatures and high humidity, with crew chiefs scrambling to find the right tune-up to maximize their performance.

Just as he has all season, Line delivered another solid opening-day performance, posting the fourth-quickest time in the first session at 6.591-seconds with a top speed of 210.57 mph before stepping up to a 6.550-second, 211.00 mph run on his second attempt to claim the provisional second position midway through qualifying.

“We made a good run tonight and (provisional No. 1 qualifier) Allen Johnson just made a slightly better one, so I take my hat off to them,” said Line.  “Still, it was a good day for our Summit Racing team.  Besides, we have two more shots at it tomorrow, and we’re not going to go down without a fight.

“That second run wasn’t perfect, but they seldom are.  The important part is that there is something left in it, and we have a good direction with all three cars.  On top of that, the race track was actually better than I thought it would be coming into the weekend. The bumps even turned out to not be as bad, and they had it prepped pretty well.   We’re going to get after it tomorrow, and even if we don’t knock those guys out of the top spot, I think we’ll get close enough to scare them.”

Anderson Swinging for the Cycle in Houston

Mooresville, N.C., April 26, 2012 – Throughout the course of his illustrious Pro Stock career, Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson has won an NHRA national event an average of every 3.78 starts.  In a somewhat ironic twist, the four-time champion has a similar record at Royal Purple Raceway, site of this weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals, with his two wins spaced four years apart.  Having last visited the Texas quarter-mile winner’s circle in 2008, he is therefore looking forward to this year’s edition as he hopes to continue the trend and score his third win, which, factoring in his record in this season’s first five races, is a distinct possibility.

“Although we naturally wish we had won in Houston more often than we have in the past, we certainly don’t want to upset the racing gods and break our cycle there this year,” joked Anderson.  “After all, this Summit Racing team has had a great start to the season, winning twice, including at the last race in Charlotte, and going to four final rounds, so there’s no reason we can’t keep it going this weekend.

“So far this year, we’ve struggled a bit in qualifying, but managed to turn things around by Sunday and have had a great car in eliminations.  I’ve also been able to dodge a lot of the land mines and gone rounds, so we’re definitely doing a good job of points racing.  But, as the adage says, you’re only as good as your last race, and once we roll through the gates at Royal Purple Raceway, it’s a totally new ball game, and we have to be at our best from the very start.”

Located in the Houston suburb of Baytown, Royal Purple Raceway (formerly known as Houston Raceway Park), has been a fixture on the Full Throttle Drag Racing circuit since 1988, with its sea-level altitude offering the potential for record-setting performances, particularly for the normally-aspirated Pro Stock category.  Although there are some concerns about how the weather may have adversely affected the racing surface over the last year, Anderson and crew are looking forward to taking advantage of the horsepower-rich conditions.

“We always have great atmospheric conditions in Houston, and our Summit Racing Pontiacs usually run fast there,” said Anderson.  “From what I hear, we may have a couple extra challenges this year with the race track getting a little bumpier, which will be a good test for the crew chiefs and the crew guys – after all, that’s why we have shock absorbers on these cars, and have put a lot of effort into our shock packages over the last few years.

“We’ve made tremendous progress as far as being able to handle a rough racetrack, so we look forward to trying to tame it, keeping the power to the ground.  If you can keep the tire on the ground, you’re going to run fast.  We look forward to racing on any track where we can run low elapsed times and big speeds, and Houston is one of them.  It’s one of the big barometer tracks where if the circumstances are right, you can set records, making it a fun race.

“We always seem to get a good turnout in Houston, with the fans packing the stands, and it’s a Pro Stock crowd.  It’s definitely a Pro Stock type track, and, as well as our Summit Racing Pontiacs have been running this year, we look forward to getting there seeing what we can do to improve upon our last race and get that third Spring Nationals trophy.  It’s going to be tough with everyone gunning for us, but I think we’re up to it.”

Greg Anderson & the Summit Racing Pontiac crew

By the Numbers – Royal Purple Raceway edition:

2 – Wins by Anderson at Royal Purple Raceway coming into this weekend, most recently in 2008.

4.67 – Average starting position for Greg in his previous 12 starts in Baytown.

7 – Top Three starts by Anderson in his 12 prior races at the Houston quarter-mile.

15 – Elimination round wins by Greg in his previous 12 starts at RPR, versus 10 losses for a .600 win percentage.

26 – Times Anderson has posted consecutive victories in his career coming into this weekend, most recently at the 2011 Brainerd and Indianapolis races.

Line Targets the Total Package in Houston

Mooresville, N.C., April 26, 2012 – The NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will visit 20 different tracks throughout the course of the 2012 season at locations spanning the continental United States.  Although the race distance for the Pro Stock category remains the same quarter mile at each stop, any other similarities are few and far between, with every facility having its own distinctive characteristics.

For example, Royal Purple Raceway, site of this weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Tex., is quite popular with the Pro Stock contingent due to atmospheric conditions that are particularly friendly to the carbureted, 1,400-horsepower “factory hot rods”.  As the primary engine builder and driver of one of the powerful Summit Racing Pontiacs, a visit to the former Houston Raceway Park therefore appeals to Jason Line on two levels, which he hopes to combine into a winning performance.

“It’s fun racing in Houston, because there’s always the potential to go really fast,” said Line.  “Royal Purple Raceway is a good air track, and the fact that it’s a high barometer is actually a naturally aspirated engine’s dream come true.  Although it’s been good the last two years, there are some concerns about the racing surface this year, which is something we’ll have to deal with when we get there, and in any case, it will be the same for everyone.

“Fortunately, we know our Summit Racing Pontiac is a really good hot rod – in fact, it is now the quickest and fastest in Pro Stock history (note: Line reset the NHRA top speed record at 213.91 mph two weeks ago in Charlotte, NC, and set the elapsed time mark at 6.477 seconds last fall in Reading, PA) and we hope to put it to good use this weekend.”

However, in order for Line to score his second win at the Lone Star State speed plant (and second of 2012), both he and his KB Racing crew will need to translate the competitive excellence shown in qualifying into round wins on Sunday.  In this season’s first five races, he has been the No. 1 qualifier three times and started second in the other two races, accumulating a wealth of the bonus points awarded after each qualifying session.  Although he has been a solid performer on race day and sits second in the championship standings he enters the weekend determined to add to his solitary victory.

“Our Summit Racing Pontiac has been phenomenal in qualifying but, with one exception, we have yet to turn that into race wins,” said Line.  “I can’t explain why that is, or exactly how we’re going to fix it, but I’m confident we will.  We obviously have the tools and the right people to get it done, so it’s just a matter of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.

“A winning effort starts with everyone on the team doing their jobs on all three days, making sure to avoid any mental mistakes.  If we do that, I’m pretty certain we will end up with a favorable outcome.  These conditions should work in our favor, and this is a track where we have historically done well.  I am extremely motivated to get back to the winners’ circle, and the way I see it, there’s no time like the present to do it.”

Jason Line & the Summit Racing Pontiac crew

By the Numbers – Royal Purple Raceway edition:

1 – Jason wins at Royal Purple Raceway coming into this weekend, which came in 2007.

2 – No. 1 qualifiers by Jason at RPR, most recently in 2009.

3 – Final round appearances by Line in Baytown (in 2004, 2005 & 2007)

3.25 – Average starting position for Jason in his previous 8 RPR starts.

7 – Top Five starts by Line in his 8 prior races in Baytown.

13 – Elimination round wins by Jason in his previous eight starts at RPR, versus 6 losses for a .684 win percentage.

Schatz Slips through Melee in World of Outlaws Victory at Farmer City


He regains the points lead as Swindell is caught in a crash that wipes out the top four
 
FARMER CITY, Ill. – April 25, 2012 – There were nearly a half-dozen drivers within striking distance of the lead eight laps into the World of Outlaws feature at Farmer City Raceway on Wednesday.
As the competitors banged wheels and narrowly negotiated lapped traffic, the packed stands took advantage of the first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval since 2003.

“When we got to lapped traffic the first go-around, there were four or five guys that could have got the lead at any point,” four-time Outlaws champion Donny Schatz said. “It was like a hornets nest. We needed to stay out of that situation and that we did. When the race restarted those guys were all beating and banging on each other around there, and I just stayed out of the way on the bottom and got through there.”

The excitement elevated a few levels on a restart following a caution on lap 13 when Shane Stewart and Cody Darrah collided in turn two. Polesitter Kerry Madsen, who led from the drop of the initial green flag, and runner-up Daryn Pittman spun in turn one in front of the field.

Sammy Swindell, who was running fourth, had nowhere to go and skidded into the duo as they slid toward the middle of the track. Third-running Craig Dollansky slid off the top of the track and nearly tipped over during the process to avoid the melee as cars were sideways trying to avoid the mess.

Schatz was there to capitalize. After restarting fifth and maneuvering through the mess, he inherited the lead. Schatz led the final 28 laps of the race to become the first three-time winner this season.

“On the start I got next to Dollansky and he got a good run off into the corner and I needed to slow down because I saw cars in front of us,” he said. “I just went to the bottom and was lucky enough to miss them.

“It doesn’t help to have guys fall out in front of you. We like earning these races. We’ve earned plenty of them, but we’ve had them go that way against us (as well). You had to be smart and stay out of the trouble, and that we did.”

The race was anything but over at that point. Brad Sweet, who went from sixth to second during that restart, stayed within a car length of Schatz for most of the race as the track slicked off with each completed lap.

“I’d like to try it over again,” Sweet said after a season-best second-place finish. “I don’t really know if I could have done anything different. I was just really trying to take care of my tires. It was really slick down in turns one and two. When I was coming off (turn) two I was just trying to take care of my tires and it was kind of on the cushion in (turns) three and four.

“Donny just never made a mistake. I was right there. If he would have made one little mistake or we got some traffic, I think we could have at least made a race out of it. I don’t know if we would have been able to beat him or not.”

Kraig Kinser charged from seventh to third. After losing a couple of positions in the opening laps, he took advantage of the wild restart.

“We were fortunate that we avoided some of the collisions there early in the race and got away with a pretty respectable finish I think,” Kinser said.

He moved to fifth after the restart on lap 13, passed Austen Wheatley for fourth place on lap 15 and eventually worked by Danny Lasoski for the podium finish on lap 23.

Lasoski placed fourth and Brady Bacon charged from 17th to fifth. Joey Saldana was sixth and Steve Kinser drove from 22nd to seventh to earn the KSE Hard Charger Award. Randy Hannagan advanced from 18th to eighth and Chad Kemenah from 23rd to ninth. Wheatley rounded out the top 10.

Madsen, Wheatley, Dollansky and Kraig Kinser each claimed heat race wins and Bacon won the Last Chance Showdown. Sweet turned the quickest lap in qualifying with a time of 10.609 seconds.

Schatz’s victory combined with Swindell’s low finish allowed the duo to swap the points lead. Schatz now leads by five points with Kraig Kinser third – 27 points back – and Saldana fourth – 40 points behind Schatz.

Tim Allison Year Begins

This past weekend our first race was at Limaland Motorsports Park.  We had a great turnout for our first NRA Sanctioned race.  As usual, the draw system wasn’t in our favor- we drew the high number in the hat and we started dead last in the first heat, and that was starting ninth on a very nice, very fast race track.  But we were able to get up to third and make the redraw for the feature and the inversion was a 5.  That put us starting in the ninth position for the feature.  Then Mother Nature ruined the evening by rain coming just as the feature was pushing off.  We have a makeup feature in two weeks for the NRA race, but we are back at LimaLand Motorsports Park again this weekend for our weekly show.

Casey Currie at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park

Anaheim Hills, CA (April 25, 2012) – Loading up the Monster Energy/General Tire/Nissan Pro Lite, off road driver Casey Currie and crew set out to conquer a new stop in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series—Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park—a track with big airs and even bigger energy in the crowd. With expectations high, and the truck and team in unison running strong, Casey and team knew this track would launch some drivers onto the podium, and send others back to the pits.

“Saturday’s race started off so strong,” explains Casey. “A 3rd row start, and moving to 2nd position quick, I battled for the lead the entire first half of the race. The second half turned rough once the track was watered down—going into the right-hander someone drove up my inside and used me as the berm, resulting in a flat tire and the end of my chance at a win or even the podium.”

That’s racing—no looking back, so the team pulled together and shifted focus to Sunday after Saturday’s disheartening finish. Casey and team made the necessary tweaks to the Pro Lite and took her back out on Sunday with confidence.

“Starting in 7th position on Sunday, I moved into 5th right away. The top 5 battled hard, and then once again, without fail, my bad luck struck again after the mid-way caution. I took the left-hander after the tabletop hard, and was struck by another truck sending me into the K-rail, having to then limp my way to the finish.”

It’s pretty clear that racing is in the Currie blood when weekends like this don’t get Casey down—they only fuel his fire. One thing about being born into racing: you tend to have many ways of doing things, and usually a secret weapon or two up your sleeve. Casey plans to have his secret weapon ready to romp before the next race, while we sit in anticipation wondering what Casey and his team could possibly be planning.

Subaru Race Team Prepares for Solid Run in Miami

– Drivers Eager to Gain in Points Standings at Next Race –

Phoenixville, Pa., April 25, 2012 – The Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) has set its sights on a solid points-earning finish for its Subaru WRX STI to be driven by Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, Pa., and co-driver Bret Spaude of nearby Bushnell, Fla.  The 2.3-mile infield road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway, south of Miami, Fla., will host round three of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge this Saturday.
 
Aquilante and Spaude are one of 39 teams competing for the win in the Grand Sports class. The team’s race-prepped #35 SRRT 4-door WRX STI is developed specifically to race against rival teams fielding cars producing over 400 horsepower.
 
“At both Daytona [International Speedway] and Barber [Motorsports Park], we proved that Subaru can run ahead of many of the V8-powered cars,” said SRRT owner Joe Aquilante, principal of Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa., where the SRRT Subaru WRX STI is prepped and maintained.  “Our lap times have been competitive at both races this year, and we expect the same level of performance in this next event.”
 
Added James Han, motorsports marketing manager for Subaru of America, Inc., “To say that we’re looking forward to this next race at Homestead[-Miami Speedway] is an understatement.  Our #35 Subaru WRX STI has been performing at a very high level, and the team has made significant developmental inroads.  We simply have to convert our impressive potential into solid race results.”
 
Qualifying is Friday at 4:15pm (ET). The 2 1/2-hour race takes the green flag Saturday at 2:45pm (ET). The 11-turn layout combines much of the banked NASCAR oval track at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with a flat-as-Florida twisting infield road course to throw all the configuration variables at the teams.

Hoek Handles Charlotte – Lands on Podium in Round 2

Holland, MI (April 24, 2012) – By the time the Ignite Racing Fuels -Venom Energy – Ford Ranger of Ross Hoek left Charlotte, the competition knew the Michigan native had stepped up his game for 2012. During both nights of racing, the #21 PRO-Light Ford showed the field that the team had the pace to be a contender for the championship. The weekend culminated with a hard fought finish on the podium.
 
After spending the off-season updating the truck and working with the team’s marketing partners, the Ross Hoek Motorsports team wondered if they would make it to North Carolina in time for Friday’s opening round of racing when the team’s transporter had mechanical issues stranding them almost four hours from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. After an eighteen hour delay, RHM arrived at Charlotte ready to hit the track, but just after the Thursday evening practice session.
 
The very technical .9 mile long track consisted of moguls, whoops, high speed jumps and a table top that taxed every aspect of the truck as well as a driver’s talents.
 
After the first Friday practice session the team made adjustments to the truck’s suspension while Ross used the Stack data logger to promptly diagnose and resolve a fuel pressure problem.
 
The qualifying session saw the Ignite Racing Fuel Ford Ranger qualify sixth fastest among the field of PRO-Light racers. Ross knew there was room for improvement and continued to make adjustments leading up to Friday night’s live broadcast on SPEED. .
 
Friday – Round One
The starting grid had the #21 Ford on the pole as TORC officials inverted the starting order of the top six qualifiers. When the green flag was waved to start the eighteen lap event, Ross found himself in the middle of a four truck battle for the three podium positions. Just before the competition caution at the midpoint of the race, the race truck lost brake pedal pressure, leaving Ross with little or no brakes. Undaunted, Ross changed his driving style looking to keep his truck from plowing into his fellow competitors. Needless to say his race pace dropped off, but he finished Round One in seventh place.
 
“Our Ignite Racing Fuels -Venom Energy – Herculiner Ford Ranger is really fast,” noted Ross Hoek. “It’s unfortunate we had brake issues tonight. I am confident we will correct the issue, and will come back tomorrow night even stronger.”
 
The next morning, Ross and the team sorted out the brake issue, and made a minor change to the rear suspension.
 
Saturday – Round Two
The line-up for the two wide rolling start had the orange #21 starting seventh right behind Friday’s race winner. Ross steadily picked up positions and found himself in contention for a podium position at the midpoint of the race. Throughout the entire eighteen laps, Ignite Ford Ranger battled the RAM trucks of Caddell and Johnson as well as the Toyota of Greaves. The top four positions were in a heated battle. Ross even led the race for a couple of laps. When the checkered flag was waved, Ross Hoek finished a well earned third place, the highest finishing Ford in the field. The RHM team was smiling and high fiving each other during the podium celebration.
 
“We are small team compared to guys that finished in front of us, but we showed everyone we can compete at a very high level,” commented Ross Hoek. “Yesterday’s practice session was the first time behind the wheel this season. I know if we had any seat time before this weekend, our finish on Friday would have been better, and who knows where we’d be tonight.”

PERMATEX/FOLLOW A DREAM TEAM SWEEPS RICHMOND

Marstons Mills, MA -April 24, 2012-At the Eastern Regional opener at
Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream
team picked up its first Top Alcohol Funny Car title of the season and moved
into sixth place in the NHRA national standings. Driver Todd Veney qualified
No. 1 and set low e.t. and top speed en route to victory with a 5.600 at
258.07 mph.

“Running back-to-back-to-back races made it impossible for a couple of guys
on the team to make it to this one, but everybody else stepped up and we got
the job done,” Blake said. “Everyone did his job perfectly, and it was a
great team effort. This is the first time NHRA has been in Virginia in a few
years, and it was awesome to get the win in our first trip back.”

Veney defeated Melinda Green-King in the first round, 5.65 to 5.80, veteran
Eric Lourie in the semifinals, 5.71 to 5.74, and second-generation driver
D.J. Cox in the final, 5.66 to 5.69. “This is my best win ever,” he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve qualified No. 1, and the guys were able to parlay
it into a win. We really needed that kind of performance, too – the
semifinals against Lourie and the final against Cox were great races decided
by just a couple hundredths of a second.”

The event was the second of three events on consecutive weekends for the
Permatex/Follow A Dream crew, including the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte,
where the team made its two quickest (5.52 and 5.53) and two fastest (262.64
and 261.98 mph) runs ever. The tour winds up this weekend 1,200 miles from
Richmond at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, where the team will have
two qualifying attempts Friday and a final qualifying session Saturday
morning. The first of four rounds of eliminations is scheduled for Saturday
afternoon.

Easter Thunderball 2012


Easter Thunderball 2012
Santa Pod April 6th – 9th
 
Hello everyone,
 
The new Showtime FC was scheduled to make it’s track debut at the opening event of the 2012 season. Unfortunately a combination of “new car niggles” and wet weather scuppered our plans.
 
All the team assembled at the workshop on Friday, which was not a scheduled race day for Pro classes. We set about completing all the little things which are so important when preparing a race car – 99% OK is not good enough!
 
Cable, line and hose routings checked for potential chaff points, cockpit controls checked for accessibility and smooth operation, access to inboard chassis components, levelling the body, mounting and checking the parachutes, plus a myriad of other things as they cropped up and finally checking every nut and bolt on the car for tightness. A few jobs were left that would be best completed trackside on Saturday.
 
Rain greeted us on Saturday morning, the car was taken trackside and our pit area and awning set up. The car was ready to fire early afternoon and preparations were underway when…..Bang! One of the hydraulic lines to the jacks ruptured leaving the back of the car on the ground and the front in the air with it’s jack locked in the extended position. A fellow competitor repaired the line for us and then the complete system had to be bled, by which time it was the end of the day.
 
Sunday and we were going to fire the car. Before that a last check that everyone knew who was doing what as this car has a few differences to the old one. All OK and the engine was fired on Methanol only. No apparent problems.
 
Check and re-check all systems etc and prepare to fire on race fuel. The engine burst into life but was running lean, shut off to investigate. The motor was stripped as we would for a routine service and there was a problem with the blower and possibly the fuel management system. That was it for the day.
 
A spare blower was fitted Monday morning and all systems “dry run” to check operation. The motor was fired again on race fuel and everything was A OK, downloaded data confirmed all systems working. The only thing that wasn’t working was the weather as the meeting was called off at lunchtime due to rain.
 
A frustrating weekend at times but we were left in the knowledge that the car is fully prepared, tested and race ready. We now look forward to seeing it on the track at the FIA Main Event at the beginning of June.
 
Thank you to everyone for supporting us in 2012, ARP, Arrow Precision, Earls Performance, Ferrea Valves, Nimbus Motorsport, Panelcraft Graphics, Torco Oil, Webster Race Engineering, Whiteley Brooks, Willans Harness

RCR Post Race Report — Kansas Speedway NSCS

RCR Post Race Report — Kansas Speedway
 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series   
RACE: STP 400
TRACK: Kansas Speedway  
DATE: April 22, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished sixth(Kevin Harvick), 18th (Paul Menard) and 22nd (Jeff Burton).
With 122 passes, Kevin Harvick was scored first in the NASCAR Loop Data category Green Flag Passes.
Harvick ranked third Fastest Drivers Late in a Run, with a speed of 164.822 mph.  
Menard ran as high as eighth and as low as 34th, maintaining an average running position of 21.041 during the 267-lap STP 400.
Gaining three positions in the final 10 percent (27 laps) of the race, Menard tied for first in the NASCAR Loop Data category Closers.  
Burton’s 12th-place qualifying effort was his second-best career start at Kansas Speedway.
Burton made 86 green-flag passes during the 400-mile race.
Denny Hamlin scored the win in Sunday’s race. He was followed to the checkered flag by Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Richmond 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 28, televised live on FOX beginning at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 6 p.m. EST.
 

RCR Post Race Report– Kansas Speedway CWTS

RCR Post Race Report — Kansas Speedway
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series   
RACE: SFP 250  
TRACK: Kansas Speedway  
DATE: April 21, 2012  
 
Race Highlights:       
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Ty Dillon), 14th (Joey Coulter) and 17th (Tim George Jr.).
George Jr. earned his career-first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole award.
According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Dillon spent 96.4 percent of the race running in the top 15 while Coulter spent 61.6 percent in the top 15, ranking them seventh and 13th, respectively.
Coulter earned a 101.5 driver rating ranking him sixth overall.
Dillon made 65 green-flag passes during the 167-lap event, the most of any driver.
Dillon ranked third in the Closers category, gaining seven position in the final 10 percent of the race, while Coulter ranked sixth by advancing five spots.
Loop Data Statistics scored George Jr. with 26 quality passes in the SFP 240.
James Buescher took the checkered flag followed by Timothy Peters, Brad Keselowski, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Todd Bodine.
The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 18. The fifth 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 Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

World of Outlaws

HAUBSTADT, Ind. – April 21, 2012 – Nope, no full moon.
That didn’t stop the World of Outlaws drivers from taking part in a feast-or-famine feature on Saturday at Tri-City Speedway – arguably the smallest track the series has competed on this season.

Craig Dollansky survived a couple of run-ins and a heavy dose of thick lapped traffic to pick up his second Outlaws victory of the season and the $10,000 prize. It also extended his streak of claiming each World of Outlaws feature at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval during even years since 2006.

“I don’t know what there is to that,” he said. “It takes a team to win races and a great team, especially on this tour. It’s not easily done.

“At Haubstadt, there’s definitely a lot going on at this race track. There was a lot of back and forth, and sliding back and forth. It was great racing and that’s what you see here.”

After winning the dash, Dollansky started the 40-lap feature on the pole. Once the green flag waved, it was a no-holds-barred match between the 24 drivers in the bullring setting.

Several drivers were three wide and a couple popped wheelies on the opening lap as Dollansky took charge of the top spot. He chose the bottom line on a trio of double-file restarts in the first five laps before lapped traffic began to play a role.

With fifth-place starting Joey Saldana a close second, Dollansky entered lapped traffic on lap 11. Saldana closed within inches on several occasions as both drivers tried to maneuver around the slower cars. However, Saldana’s night ended on lap 16 when contact with Dollansky sent him airborne.

As the duo exited turn four a handful of laps prior to the midpoint of the feature, Dollansky worked toward the bottom of the track to avoid a slower driver. Saldana shot for a similar opening, but his car made contact with the left rear tire of Dollansky. The impact launched Saldana, whose car flipped several times across the finish line to bring out the red flag.

“I was working on some lapped cars and we got to the 66 car (of Alex Shanks),” Dollansky said. “I got to him a couple of times, but couldn’t get him cleared and he got us a little bit sideways on the frontstretch. As I was trying to get corrected and get going down the frontstretch, Joey was on my left rear there. I hate it for him. I hated to see him break an axel and get tipped over there. You never want to see that kind of stuff.”

After hopping out of his mangled car, Saldana found Dollansky parked in turn three during the stoppage. Saldana marched across the infield toward Dollansky to the roar of the crowd and the duo exchanged words before Saldana walked to his pit as the cars refired.

Brady Bacon dove to the bottom on the restart to capture the lead, which he relinquished a couple laps later after a broken fuel valve forced him to the infield with a 21st-place finish.

Dollansky regained the top spot and he manipulated traffic for the final 22 laps en route to the victory.

Dale Blaney capitalized on the final restart two laps before the midpoint by charging from seventh to third. After Bacon fell out of the race, Blaney advanced to the runner-up position to earn a season-best finish with the World of Outlaws.

“If you were a little bit better than a guy you could slide across and make a guy lift pretty easily,” he said. “If your car was really good you could maneuver a little bit.”

Championship leader Sammy Swindell, who entered the race with an eight-point advantage over Saldana, salvaged a third-place finish after fighting a broken right front shock for most of the race.

“I had a great car,” said Swindell, who now leads Donny Schatz by 36 points in the standings. “We just had a problem where we did a wheelie and broke a shock. I got the front up and I let it drop down too hard. We salvaged it with a third-place finish.”

Cody Darrah earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 18th to fourth and Steve Kinser finished fifth.

Stevie Smith was sixth, Lucas Wolfe seventh, Kraig Kinser eighth, Schatz ninth and Jason Sides rounded out the top 10.

Swindell, who has five World of Outlaws feature wins at Tri-State Speedway – including last season – timed in quickest with a top lap of 11.766 seconds.

David Gravel, Blaney and Kraig Kinser each won a heat race, and Geoff Dodge claimed the Last Chance Showdown.

Swindell’s Aggressive Move Wins Kasey Kahne Challenge

SEDALIA, Mo. – April 20, 2012 – Friday was a night of attrition as the cream rose to the top in the opening round of the Kasey Kahne Challenge.
Sammy Swindell and Joey Saldana, who entered the $10,000-to-win World of Outlaws event at Missouri State Fair Speedway within five points of each other for the championship lead, put on an electric show on a crisp night in front of a stellar crowd at the fairgrounds.

The duo nearly took each other out on a restart with three laps remaining as they made contact entering turn one on the half-mile oval. Instead, Swindell held on to the top spot after an aggressive move to get to the bottom of the track and he pulled away to pick up his first World of Outlaws win at Missouri State Fair Speedway since 1985.

“We’re not just driving around people so you’ve got to use every bit that you have and you’ve got to take advantage of it,” said Swindell, who also won with the Outlaws in Sedalia in 1982.

“The main thing is to put yourself in the right position. When we’re in front we had control of the first corner. Once it was like that and you get out there running, the guy has to run behind you in the dirty air and if theirs were like mine, it wasn’t much fun.”

It was a bittersweet night for Saldana, who is only eight points behind Swindell after a runner-up finish.

“When you’re racing guys like Sammy Swindell, Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz, they’re champions (and) have won a lot of races,” Saldana said. “You’ve got to learn from your mistakes and hope that you don’t do it again. We were in position. I just had to put my car in a better spot and I think we could have won the race.”

The drivers battled throughout several aggressive restarts, including one on lap 15 when the duo made it three wide with leader Cody Darrah getting stuck in the middle. Swindell capitalized on momentum in the outside lane to rocket into the lead off turn two as Saldana catapulted off the bottom lane to move into a close second.

Missouri native Brian Brown maneuvered from sixth to third on the same restart as the trio pulled to a sizeable advantage. Darrah, who was running fourth, brought out a caution with three laps remaining when he stopped in turn four with a broken U-joint.

Swindell chose the outside lane on the double-file restart and Saldana entered turn one side by side for the lead. They exited turn two in a tight battle before the final caution waved as NASCAR star Tony Stewart sustained a flat right rear tire while running fifth.

Swindell again picked the outside lane, which set up a drag race to turn one. In what looked like a dead heat, Swindell edged Saldana to the inside groove in turn one as their cars touched. Saldana lost momentum as Swindell cleared him for the lead.

“The way he raced me going into (turn) one, I should have raced him a little harder going into (turns) three and four,” Saldana said. “I had position on him there and I let it go. I just should have raced him harder because of the way he raced me earlier in that lap.

“I was just trying to race my car really clean. You get to a point like that and you kind of have to throw that out of the window if you’re going to win an Outlaws show. Tonight I think I just drove my car a little too easy.”

Brown closed within two car lengths of Saldana before his car began to show signs of running out of fuel, forcing Brown to race conservatively the last two laps.

“When you run a top three anywhere, it’s good, especially with the Outlaws,” he said. “With two to go, I was running out of fuel or I thought we may have had something for them. Hats off to Sammy and Joey. They’re at the top of their game right now and to run third to those guys is an honor.”

Donny Schatz earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after driving from 19th to fourth, which kept him third in the championship standings – only 20 points behind Swindell. Jason Sides, who started 14th, rounded out the top five.

Kerry Madsen drove from 12th to sixth with Kraig Kinser finishing seventh. Brady Bacon was eighth and Craig Dollansky placed ninth after violently flipping on the first lap of the dash. David Gravel charged from 17th to round out the top 10.

Stewart, outside polesitter and Missouri native Danny Lasoski, and Swindell each claimed a heat race. Brown won the Last Chance Showdown and Dollansky was the fast qualifier with a time of 15.975 seconds.

Round 2 of the Kasey Kahne Challenge is Sunday, May 20, at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Md.

PERMATEX/FOLLOW A DREAM TEAM SETS FOUR ALL-TIME BESTS

Marstons Mills, MA –April 18, 2012-At the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team made not just its quickest and fastest run of all time but the two quickest and two fastest.

Driver Todd Veney ran a 5.52 at 262.64 mph off the trailer in the first session and a 5.53 at 261.98 mph Saturday afternoon in the final session and the eventually settled into the No. 2 qualifying position, equaling a career high established last year at this race. After an easy win over first-round opponent Bill Naves, who broke, Veney lost to perennial championship contender Mickey Ferro in the quarterfinals, 5.57/260 to 5.69/258.

“It was still a good weekend for our team,” Veney said. “Tuner Tommy Howell made some great calls and had this car running better than it’s ever run before. I hated losing to Mickey, but he’s one of the top drivers in the country for a reason, and we out-qualified a lot of great teams.”

“We had 20 kids from a local shelter in the pit with us this weekend, and it was great for our team to be around them and, hopefully, great for them to be around us,” Blake said. “Losing in the second round was a huge disappointment after the performance we had earlier in the weekend, but we’re expecting really big things this year. I spoke at the New York International Auto Show in New York City right before this race, and it’s like I told those students: Everybody wants to win every time, but only one team is going to.”

Racer News and Results