All posts by ARP Trish

Wally Brown Racing Recruits Janisch for ’23 Progressive AFT Season

Sent on behalf of Wally Brown Racing DAVIDSON, N.C. (February 2, 2023) – Wally Brown Racing has recruited 2022 Mission Production Twins Champion Jesse Janisch to compete in the 2023 Progressive American Flat Track series. Wally Brown Racing will step up to the premier Mission SuperTwins category after developing the WBR KTM 890 Duke into a two-time Mission Production Twins race winner with James Rispoli at the controls a year ago. This season, WBR and Janisch will run a limited schedule with continued support from KTM North America. The effort will utilize both the established WBR KTM 890 Duke and the all-new WBR KTM 790 Duke as KTM shifts its focus to the 790 platform to prepare for the 2024 rules package. The versatile Janisch has an extensive motorsports history, including dirt track, roadracing, supermoto, motocross, hillclimb, grass drag racing, and off-road racing. The Wisconsin native started racing professionally in 2003 and first made his name in Progressive AFT as a TT extraordinaire. In 2022, Janisch demonstrated his complete mastery of the sport, scoring seven victories and 13 podiums en route to the Mission Production Twins title. “I’ve been able to witness the triumphs of the WBR program at the expense of my own successes in 2022,” Janisch said, “As they say – if you can’t beat them, join them! I cannot wait to jump on the new 790 platform that they’ve been hard at work on this winter and see where we shake out at our first round. I was fortunate to compete in several Mission SuperTwins Main Events in 2022. I’m ready to improve upon my results and turn some heads in the class in 2023.” “Wally and the WBR team really did an amazing job in 2022 showcasing the Ready to Race potential of our KTM 890 Duke platform in the Mission Production Twins class,” said Chris Fillmore, Flat Track Manager for KTM. “It was good to hear they are excited and willing to also get an early start with the all-new KTM 790 Duke platform in anticipation of the displacement reduction the series will introduce in 2024. The bar has been raised with the series going to a single Twins class in 2023, but based on the team’s quick successes in the past, I know they are motivated and ready for the challenge. Jesse proved last season he has what it takes on a twin by winning the Mission Production Twins Championship. We are for sure looking forward to seeing how things develop.”
Team owner Wally Brown said, “Our team is looking forward to taking what we learned in 2022 and applying it to a new program this year. It will be challenging, but I feel certain we can make progress on developing a competitive package. The KTM Duke is a well-built machine and gives us a lot to work with.” WBR plans to compete at the Senoia Short Track in Senoia, Georgia, the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, the Bridgeport Half Mile in Bridgeport, New Jersey, and the Springfield Mile in Springfield, Illinois. 

chevy racing–indycar–california test–santin0 ferrucci

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

CONTENT DAYS

THE THERMAL CLUB OPEN TEST

THERMAL, CALIFORNIA 

AJ FOYT RACING DRIVER TRANSCRIPT

FEBRUARY 1, 2023

SANTINO FERRUCCI, NO. 14 AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:

What are your thoughts on getting back into an Indy car this week?

“It’s going to be weird because I actually haven’t driven on a road course in INDYCAR in quite some time. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike and just comes right back to us. It’s been nice though to be with the team since September, so I kind of already feel like I’ve had a season before the season, so we’ll see what we can do.”

Being out for a season, you’ve had a little bit of racing in there, but what do you do? What’s the hardest part about staying sharp?

“You can only train so much before you start to go a little stir crazy. I think the coolest thing was now this year, I’ve been basically inside five INDYCAR teams. Starting off with Rahal, then Dreyer, then Juncos, then Penske, and at the very end, Foyt. It’s just kind of a weird way of seeing how operations work, which was kind of unique for me. I think it’s a really unique position as a driver to see. Then running the Chili Bowl actually was really nice because it knocked a lot of my timing, honed a lot of my timing because driving those cars, they’re very fast. They mimic racecars for setup, just in the reverse. Everything’s just a complete opposite, but it’s still a racecar. It really hones your feeling again. I’m really excited to get back into an Indy car.”

What do you feel is the biggest key in allowing [AJ Foyt Racing] to turn the corner here?

We just needed some organization. I had this chat with Larry [Foyt] a while ago. The team has all the fundamentals to really put a good car out there. If you look back at the results, they’re really not a reflection of the actual speed of the car, in my opinion. I think that having someone like Michael Cannon come on board to really help organize this team, put them on the right track, give them what he calls Racing 101, we just need some consistency. I think that was our biggest thing and that’s what we’re hoping to really find. I’d like to see this team back inside the top-10 consistently and then go from there. We’ve got to be a little bit realistic. It is tough coming off of where the team has finished in the last couple years, but we definitely can see a lot of rapid growth hopefully throughout the winter.” 

Does it give you motivation knowing that you’re on the radar of the INDYCAR powerhouse teams now?

“It definitely makes you hungry and want more. I just want to do my best. I want to continue down the path I’m going because I think it’s the right path for me. Getting the opportunity to work with AJ [Foyt] and the team, and to take this team from where it is and to build something of my own with Michael and Larry is going to be nothing short of a challenge. But I’m really looking forward to that. I really think I’m up to that challenge now. It will be a reflection on all of us how we do this year because it’s not just on me, it’s not just on Michael Cannon, it’s not just on our leadership. It’s on everybody coming together as a team and making this effort, making a really good effort.” 

How does it feel to be sitting at a team being the senior driver, and what does that mean to you about going forward in 2023?

“It’s definitely a unique position to be in. I’m very fortunate for Benjamin [Pederson]. He’s actually unlike some of the other rookies I’ve seen on the grid. He’s very willing to learn and he’s very, very into it. Working with him and spending some time with him, it’s going to be really good. His dad is a very brilliant person who came in when we needed organization while we were trying to get people like [Michael] Cannon on board, and he really put the base layer down. It’s not common that you see someone like that do something for a team like this. I’m very much looking forward to being the senior driver. I know that I am not even close to the same driver I was in 2019 and 2020 as I am today. The way that I drive, the way that I get feedback, the way that I know what I want out of the car, I kind of hopefully can speed his progression up the best I can with my knowledge while getting us working in unison. We really need to be a team to get this thing accomplished.”

What are your goals for the test at Thermal this week?

“I’ve got to knock the rust off because I haven’t seen a road course in INDYCAR in quite some time. We’re going to have a little bit of fun just getting used to track. We want to make sure that we have our road course car set to look forward to Barber, and to get through some fundamental testing. It’s a new team, I’m new to them. We have a bunch of new engineering and other structure, so we’ve got to get into the rhythm of working with each other, the chain of command. Communication will be huge. Once we get through that, I think this two-day test will be more about understanding each other and making sure everything’s good with the car more than anything else.”

BENJAMIN PEDERSEN, NO. 55 AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:

Some changes at AJ Foyt Racing from last year to this year. How are things coming together for you?

“It’s been very exciting times at AJ Foyt Racing. New people, new organization, new structure, new methods, people are so hungry right now to be there and to improve and I think it’s been a lot of time, before my time there, of people wanting it but not knowing how to get there. Now there is a very good path with, as a team, how we can accomplish goals. People are staying extra during weekends to practice pit stops when they don’t have to be. People that don’t have to be there to help them are showing up to help them with that and it’s just really special to be a part of.”

You spent a lot of time last year shadowing AJ Foyt Racing. How valuable was that for you?

“It was so valuable. I felt like last year I was a part of the team. The only thing I wasn’t doing was driving the car; every team meeting I was a part of. Being on the timing stand, seeing strategy come into play, it was a really big help. It made me feel like I got a season’s worth of experience without driving the car, and now the only difference is, I’ll be driving the car. The strategy meetings, everything like that, will feel similar and I’m grateful to the team for letting me be a part of that last year. I can’t wait to do it now for real, and as an official driver for them and working together.” 

Can you take us into a little bit more of what you’ve seen in changes Larry and the team made, and how it will be beneficial in continuing to climb up the grid?

“When I talk about the restructure of the team, new people, some of those key players are additions like Michael Cannon who was at Ganassi for the last three years with [Scott] Dixon, who is now our technical director and oversees many different areas. Craig Brooks is a new person as well who helps run the team as a manager position. New mechanics, same engineers that have been involved in the program to keep building on what they have started. New parts on the car that will help with dampers, etc. It’s a lot of new things and a lot of hard work, but as soon as we go live at Thermal here in a couple of days, it’s going to be a lot of hard work and I cannot wait to work hard with the team.”

You’ve got a somewhat veteran teammate in Santino Ferrucci this year. How much do you think you can lean on him and learn from him? 

“He’s been awesome. I haven’t had too many interactions with him. The first one was at the Foyt Christmas party, actually. We were having dinner together, and the amount of information he shared with me that I would not expect him, or any teammate to share with me once you get to INDYCAR, it was pretty eye-opening, and I take my hat off to him for that. Everything from little advice or tips for how he has his cockpit set up, different tracks, what he prioritizes, and I was very impressed with what he shared. I can’t wait to work with him as a teammate, to help make this team better.” 

Are there any particular tracks you’re looking forward to this year?

“In terms of tracks coming back to, I’m very excited for Barber, one of my favorite tracks. Honestly every track on the calendar in terms of tracks I’ve been at, there’s not any track I don’t enjoy. I very much look forward to the new tracks like at the Indy 500, Texas, Toronto, Long Beach. Very excited to explore these new places.”

Are you particularly excited about the ovals in INDYCAR, and do you anticipate expecting any difficulty in differences of machinery from INDY NXT? 

“Personally, I’m a huge fan of the ovals. We’ve had a lot of success in INDY NXT the past couple of years on the ovals we have done. It’s not like I had a lot of experience on ovals before then, but we hit the ground running as soon as I was introduced to it. I’m looking forward to two superspeedways this year. I haven’t gone over 180-185 mph in a racecar, so I’ll be doing close to 240.” 

What have you been doing to prepare for INDYCAR vs. INDY NXT?

“I’ve personally spent a lot of time on the simulator I have at my house. I’ve been doing a lot of sim racing, long races, to get used to that. Been doing go-karting. Been taking advantage of any track time I can get, but really since being in a proper racecar, which was Laguna Seca last year, and honestly since my INDYCAR test, it’s been seven months. I’m looking forward to getting back in real life and pushing like crazy.” 

What are your goals for the test this week?

“I think the big goal is let’s get going. Let’s get comfortable in the car. To get used to a brand new track. My first goal is to push myself as hard as I can, and to work with the people around me to improve myself. Secondly, it’s also how can we improve the car. If we have a car that’s capable of being top-five, that’s what I expect. If it’s a car that we’re struggling in top-15, then anything over that I think is good. Whatever is realistic is what my goals are then we can always push for more.” 

chevy racing–indycar–california test–callum ilott

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

CONTENT DAYS

THE THERMAL CLUB OPEN TEST

THERMAL, CALIFORNIA 

JUNCOS-HOLLINGER RACING DRIVER TRANSCRIPT

FEBRUARY 1, 2023

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS-HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET:

On the team’s recent rebrand…

“Some big steps up. Hopefully that continues on the performance side as well. It looks really good, really professional so far, and I’m really impressed.” 

Getting going in 2023, how do you parlay the success you had last year to get going in the new season?

“That sets a good baseline for us. Obviously, Laguna Seca was fairly impressive for what we could do. I think more of the consistency stuff, which we’re getting to in Portland, the P10, P9, that was more of a solidity for us to work on the performance side. Going into St. Pete, Long Beach, the ovals, for me, that will be really where the performance gain is. To be able to really compare what the performance gain that we had across the season to last year compared to now this year, that will be important to see. St. Pete will be a tough one, but a good one to see where we’re really at.”

Your thoughts on having a teammate this year, and how much of an advantage will that be?

“Let’s see. Augustin is in a very tough position. It’s not being easy being a rookie, and it’s not easy being a rookie without single-seater experience. I’m very interested to see how he gets on and do my best to help him as best as possible, especially over the next few days here. The closer he is to me and the better he does, the better the team does. It’s quite important to get that comparison, and I’m sure he will do a good job.”

With you being a part of a rookie class last year, and four new rookies this year, people all over the globe are now interested in INDYCAR. Are you aware of being a part of this changing face of INDYCAR?

“It’s good. I saw a lot of potential in INDYCAR when I came over. I think there’s some things that it does really well. The racing is incredible. I think there are some things that can be improved, but most people know that and are in tune to it. That’s the part of a driver in anything, you want to improve and want to do better, and the potential it has as a series is really highlighted across the years. What sets it apart from Formula 2 or whatever, you are constantly competing with the best. If you look at the grid this year, it’s incredible. I thought last year was good, and this year is going to be a touch better.” 

You finished really well last year with ninth at Portland and qualifying second at Laguna Seca. How is your approaching heading into Year 2 now knowing the tracks, the car, do you feel in a better place?

“My race craft has always been slightly weaker than the qualifying side of things. That scenario for me to work on. I think, like in Laguna Seca, I proved that if we had a car we can be competitive, that’s what we can do with it and on the qualifying side. It’s up to the team to give the car on the weekend. Of course, I work as much as possible for it, but there’s only so much a one-man show can do in a year. I think the ovals are going to be a bit different. Having a teammate to share some feelings on will be helpful. The attitude, I’m just a bit more relaxed. I know my limits, I know what I’m confident in, and I know what should and shouldn’t happen. I think I can tame myself in the ways that I maybe didn’t last year while knowing where I could improve where there is the time.” 

Do you feel your improvement from last year be quantified by results this year? 

“I’m very quick. If you put me in the quickest car, I don’t think there’s many people quicker than me, honestly. Looking at Laguna Seca, we had a good car, and I was able to put it there. Once it’s there, I can always compete with it. That’s up to [the team] to do it. I rarely make mistakes in qualifying so if it’s slow, it’s partly 5% of the time it could be me. I feel a bit cocky to say it, but I can tell them when I’ve nailed it or when I’ve not. Normally, I’m quite honest if I’ve messed up. With the races and stuff, we’ve had incidents where I’ve made mistakes and made the wrong decisions under pressure. We’ve had incidents, like Iowa, where we had great race pace but we couldn’t keep up in the pit stops and you lose four or five positions every pit stop. It’s painful to do, but that’s the way it goes. Quantifying that, I think eliminating the mistakes, being consistent, if I’m doing a more solid, consistent job, we can easily see the strong tracks for us. Where we’re good, where we’re slow, the areas where we can improve. I have a good idea of where we needed to be better, especially the short oval qualifying, for some reason we’re just not quick. But when we get to the races, and the tire saving we have, we can’t extract the peak out of the tires, but we’ve ended up going five or ten laps longer than some other people. Some street circuits we could be better, so that’s why I’m interested in the first couple of races.”

AGUSTIN CANAPINO, NO. 78 JUNCOS-HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET:

Ricardo [Juncos] has discussed for a while adding a second entry alongside Callum Ilott and to build the team. When did the prospect start for joining INDYCAR, and when did conversations start for you?

“Everything started in the test, because we did exhibitions in Argentina. We had a lot of people watching the exhibitions and it was a successful event. It all started there in Sebring. After that, in exhibitions. Honestly, I didn’t expect that. I had all of my 2023 plans ready in my series in Argentina. Richardo [Juncos] called me in December. We had a chance to do that, and so I needed to change everything with my team owner in Argentina. I took this opportunity for me because it’s my first opportunity outside of my country and of course I know it would be difficult for me. I haven’t done a full season in a single-seat car, but I am very excited and will do my best.” 

What about this INDYCAR opportunity, as someone who has had little time in single-seater open wheel racing and success in stock cars in South America, why was this something you wanted to give a shot to?

“Because it’s INDYCAR. INDYCAR, in my opinion, is the most demanding and competitive category in the world. For me, it’s a big opportunity to try something at an international level. We’re here with [Romain] Grosjean, [Scott] Dixon, Callum [Ilott], some of the best drivers in the world. It’s a big opportunity. I don’t know the cars, the tracks, the ovals, but I love the challenge. I love the situation. I know it will be difficult to me, but I have confidence. I need time. I need to learn day by day, test by test.”

How big was the exhibition in Argentina, and how does that help seal the deal for being an INDYCAR driver?

“We had more than 70,000 people. In our country, the motorsport is very popular. It’s second after soccer. We have a lot of fans, so you can see on social media, the people are very crazy for this opportunity for me.”

Do you think there will be a smooth transition from the touring car to the Indy car?

“It’s very different, especially physical demand. INDYCAR is the most demanding. I did 45 minutes races in my home country, and here it’s hour and half, two hours. And especially the ovals. I think it’s very different, but at the end of the day, it’s racing cars. I think this is the most common thing – racing cars.”

You’ve had a long relationship with Chevrolet. How cool is it to keep continuing that?

“It’s awesome. In my country, Chevy fans are a lot. You can see a lot of people with tattoos of with the Chevy logo, my car, my signature. The Chevy brand in my country is very popular so for me, it’s a good thing.”

What are your goals for this test at Thermal Club, and the start of the season? 

“I need to do laps. To complete the races. Improve through the season, and then results after that.” 

chevy racing–indycar–california test–josef newgarden

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

CONTENT DAYS

THE THERMAL CLUB OPEN TEST

THERMAL, CALIFORNIA 

TEAM PENSKE DRIVER TRANSCRIPT

FEBRUARY 1, 2023

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:

Last year you talked about you have five wins, but you could win 10 in a year, that’s how good we are. Do you have momentum heading into 2023? What’s the goal right now?

“Honestly, I don’t feel that different leaving Laguna [Seca], where I was kind of at mentally there, my statements, what I was projecting. I feel very similar to that place. Not a lot’ has transpired between now and then. I’m just in the same spot, ready to get back going, improve where we can, be better in areas where we need to be, put a good season together. I don’t think we’re going to change much. I don’t know that we need to change anything as far as our approach or process. I think everything that we’re doing is what we need to be doing. INDYCAR just has that intangible side to it where you just can’t predict everything. You do need a little bit of I don’t want say lock but you need the tides to favor you at times. It’s preparation, hard work, maximizing each day, then timing needs to be on your side. Sort of the tides need to flow for you. I think most of everything went well for us last year. There were just too many events, just a couple too many races that didn’t go our way that we needed to.”

They used to say in a championship race that the leader, biggest contender is going to have a bad race. Almost seems like with as competitive as the series is, you can’t even afford that any more. Has it gotten to that point? 

“I think you can have a bad race. You just can’t have three or four of them. Three or four is a lot. It depends on the year. I think the complexion of each year is different. It’s always been hard for me to assess things by comparing year to year. They’re all different. There are some years you probably could afford three or four bad races. Last year was not a year that you could afford that. It depends on who’s having a great year. Sometimes people just have a good run and nothing seems to go wrong for them. That’s just the nature of the beast.”

What have you discovered when you dissected 2022? You said luck is a big part of it?

“It really is. I’ve done this enough I think to have a fair assessment of it. It’s my opinion there’s that intangible you can’t control. When I analyze other drivers and the seasons they’ve had, even my own, sometime timing just seems to work out really well for certain teams and individuals. That’s a thing you can’t control, unfortunately, right? With that kind of comes peace of mind. I focus on controlling how can we build the best cars possible to give ourselves the best speed, how can we make the best decisions we can strategy-wise, position-wise. You really just have to hope that the timing blesses you throughout the year as well. I am so positive, when we get a year where we get good timing paired with great speed and decisions, it will be a great year. It will be really great. Much better than what we had last year.”

A lot of drivers talked about continuity, how positive that is. You have another new engineer this year. Is that a scary thing or are there positives? 

There are positives. I always have great confidence in whoever’s around me at Team Penske. We just are able to attract some of the best of the best talent-wise. Anyone that’s in the doors there I feel confident to work with. You could put anyone with me and I’ll be happy to find a way to make the most of it. But I don’t want to say it just like that. It’s not me making the most of it. I’m going to be working with great individuals. But there are a lot of new individuals on the 2 car again. It’s going to be a new crew chief, new mechanics. There’s a lot of new faces again this season. But there’s some continuity there. I think we’ll be able to get everybody gelling pretty quickly. My new engineer was with me last year, which is really great, Luke Mason, who was kind of the performance engineer. He is fantastic. I think he will step into the role and absolutely shine. I have no doubt about it.”

With this test coming up tomorrow and Friday, testing in the off-season is so limited, a track that INDYCAR has never been to before, what do you feel you can take away from going to Thermal these next couple days? 

“You probably shouldn’t come out of here either too excited or too demoralized depending on how it goes because it is not incredibly relevant when it comes to at-track performance. We’re not going to run here this year for a points-scoring race. From that standpoint, it’s not relevant. What it is relevant for and what I’m excited about is just being on track. We definitely need it on the No. 2 car. We have a lot of new people. We’re going to maximize this time by just treating it like a race weekend in that we’re doing all the things we would do on a normal weekend to be fast and work well and efficient together. When we come out of the weekend we’ll have something to look at, what did we do well or not well. We have a good, relevant conversation piece to take into St. Pete. From that standpoint it’s excellent. If we finish 15th on the charts, yeah, maybe we shouldn’t read too much into that. It obviously matters, why were we 15th. I’m not going to be blowing up on the fact that we were 15th at Thermal when we’re not coming back here for a race this year.”

Bearing in mind your team won nine races last year, probably could have won at least three more, what do you still need to find? Are you just relying on Chevy finding another giant step? 

“Yeah, I hope not. I mean, I think the parity in the sport it’s because of the longstandingness of the car. You’re seeing most teams have reached a certain max to what they can really look for, look into. I am always pushing the team on how are we going to separate ourselves? It’s difficult because we’ve almost examined everything to the Nth degree. What can we do? We are Team Penske, we’ve got to find a separator within the rules. Within the rules, there’s a way we can continue to work to separate ourselves. We’re doing that. We’re trying to continue to dive deeper into areas we’ve already been through multiple times. We’re going to go through them again, keep hammering them. We keep finding little things. I do believe there is more. I think we need to continue to have that attitude because when you don’t have that attitude is when you stay flat and you go in reverse. We just can’t afford that. We got to keep going forward. Indianapolis is obviously the most glaring example of where we can continue to push forward. There are other areas where we’ve excelled better, but Indianapolis is still a weak point for us.”

Would it be fair to say that will be where the team’s focus has been in the off-season? 

“No doubt. It’s number one. It’s the number one objective. There’s just no excuse for it. We have to be better at Indianapolis, full stop. It’s not from a lack of trying. I can tell you it wasn’t from a lack of trying last off-season. We thought we were going to be exactly where we wanted to be. I think we made tremendous progress, but we weren’t fully there. We’re doubling down again. No excuses. We’ve got to make it better.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:

Three wins last year, three poles, seven podiums, eight top-fives, 12 top-10s. Remarkable season, yet you got to get better if you want to think about winning a championship and the Indianapolis 500. Your thoughts heading into a new year? 

“I know that we made a massive step personally for me last year. That was due to a number of things, things clicking, working out really good. But now what we know of INDYCAR racing, you just need to continue stepping up a little. McLaren is going to be fast, Andretti, Ganassi as we know is unreal. We need to continue to build as a team, myself. I’ve certainly looked at negatives that I can improve on. Hopefully that bodes me well for the rest of the season.”

What are the negatives you can improve on? 

“Yeah, for me, I made a couple mistakes mid-season. My Indy crash, Detroit going down the escape road, a few things that just sort of put me on the back foot championship-wise. If you looked at my season from maybe Road America on, I felt like everything sort of clicked. I just took races as they came. The way I finished the season last year, I’ve got to start and continue to do every race of the year like that. I can’t afford mistakes. You can’t afford mistakes in INDYCAR and be on the back foot.”

Took a big step in year two. Three wins. Josef said he wants to end the run of 17 consecutive years of the championship coming down to the season-ending race. Have you been in that situation before? You have to keep going up against two championships that are your teammates. 

“For me, it’s rewarding when you can beat those guys. You know that they’re at the top of their game. They’re probably the best INDYCAR drivers, some of the best INDYCAR drivers around right now. You know when you’re beating them, you’re doing a good job. As a team, we push each other. The competitiveness between us all, we hate losing to each other, but we also know the reward in beating each other, for the team to win. It’s just good camaraderie, the boys and girls push each other on the mechanics side. Whose cars get done the fastest. Good, competitive rivalry between everyone. That starts from how we interact, the three of us. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating that I have them as teammates. I think it’s like — I just want to chase something, if I’m better than them on the day, you have to be somewhere thereabouts.”

Last year when I interviewed Tim Cindric, he said you’re right where he expected you to be in year two. Year three he said he expected you to go into the last race of the season with the championship in his hand. How realistic is that especially after you’ve been through the fires of a championship battle? 

“I’m sure it’s realistic. I believe in myself that I can do it and be a part of the fight again. I mean, being a part of the fight last year was a pretty cool moment. Realistically, we weren’t really a part of the fight, but we were mathematically in it. This year for sure I’m excited to continue to learn and be a sponge and just execute the way I think we need to execute to be there at the end. I truly believe I can do that.”

Some athletes don’t buy into the you can take momentum from one season to the next. Do you feel like you can take what you just did at the end of last season over to 2023? Does a longer off-season negate that? 

“No, it’s the same length off-season last time. I think it’s more up to you and your mentality and what you think. I certainly believe you can’t stop me from learning what I learnt last year. I still know what I learn understand and what I can improve on. Whether it’s momentum or whether it’s just learnings, I know what I learnt and what I need to learn and be better at from last year, I know what I’ve had to work on in saying that. That’s what I’ve worked on. I think that hopefully will put me in good stead.”

You’ve felt pressure on yourself. You’ve always wanted quick results. Now everybody is pointing to you as a championship frontrunner. Do you feel that pressure? Do you block that out? 

“I think now you just know, like, the learning is over now. Team Penske, you got a car that you know can win races. You’re expected to compete for championships. That’s just an expectation that I have, that I had in Australia for five, six years. I understand the mentality and understand what it’s like to have that pressure. I feel like it’s not an unknown for me. I’m not really stressed about it. I sort of know my ability, what I can do. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough. Yeah, it’s not an unknown and I’m not too worried about it at all. I put more pressure on myself than anyone can put on me. I just focus on that myself.”

What are your goals for the test this week? 

“I need to learn the track first. I sort of don’t really know where it goes. I feel like I’m going to get lost out there. That’s probably the first thing. But we’ve got a bit of a list of things we got to get through, mate. We’ll work on that, get some bits and pieces done for what we think is going to help us later on in the season. We don’t know what the bitumen is like, if it’s hard on tires, low grip. It looks low grip and hard on tires. Who knows when you get out there, how long it will take for the track to rubber up. We got plenty to get through, like we always do. We’ll try to make the most of every lap we have.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:

I know you mentioned having not been in the car since you clinched the championship at Laguna. I know testing has been increasingly a little bit more limited these last couple years. What has that been like literally having not been in an INDYCAR for six months after coming off of such a high and such an important year in your career? 

“It’s the way it is these days, so you’ve got simulators that you can go through setup items and somewhat keep shot. It’s never the same as the real car. There’s no substitute for being in the real car. But everyone is in the same boat, and you’ve got to make the most of these very limited days.”

This next two days at Thermal, what have you understood about why INDYCAR is doing this, what you hope to gain from it? It’s a track you guys don’t race at. What do you think you can gain from it, and have you studied it much yet? 

“Yeah, I don’t know. I actually haven’t asked INDYCAR why we’re doing it here, but it’s a nice location. I think it’s a pretty nice track. As far as what you’ll get out of it is going through the motions of a race weekend basically. It’s not really — we won’t know until we drive on it what it really applies to, which track would be the most similar. I’m thinking Indy road course, sort of Portland. You could probably get some stuff from it there. I think it’s getting the group together, going through the motions of getting a setup for a track, and being fast and getting back into the flow of things more than anything.”

How helpful is it to you to keep your race craft sharpness that GoPro is just a few miles away from Team Penske’s headquarters? 

“Yeah, I love go-karting. It’s a lot of fun. It’s very intense, very competitive. Also, that’s somewhere you can get some race fitness for sure because you’ve actually got some G-forces. The simulator you get obviously the steering so you can work on your arms, but you actually get neck and whole body in the go-kart. I just love karting. I have since I was a kid. I do it for fun, and it keeps me sharp.” 

Obviously now you’ve got the pole record. How big of a deal is it now to get that pole at IMS on the oval? 

“That’s one that’s eluded me for a long time, and I’ve had times that I’ve had the car to do it and then just sort of overshot or undershot in some way of trimming or it just hasn’t worked out or the wind. It’s a tough one because it’s often out of your hands. It really depends on the car you have that year, the time you go, the temperature, it’s all got to work. It’s all got to. Either it’ll happen or it won’t. Either it’ll all fall in place and it’ll be there, or — yeah.”

You’ve gotten poles at St. Pete. What is it about that track and the start of the season that amps you up or gets you going so quickly? Is it important to start off with a pole the first race? 

“Yeah, I think it’s the whole off-season of preparation, and you turn up and it’s a track that suits me. It’s pretty tight, technical, got to brush walls to get it. Yeah, everything I like about qualifying is that track, and there’s not much time to think so you’re always in a corner. Yeah, always look forward to going to St. Pete.”

You’re not known as an un-confident guy. What type of confidence does getting another championship and setting the all-time record in poles, how would you feel if you were able to get another four or five poles just this next year alone and another championship? 

“Yeah, that’s the goal. The confidence, I just think the older you get, the more comfortable you are with the situation. You just naturally gain confidence. You know your strengths. You know your weaknesses. You know how to extract the most out of yourself. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing. I would say I don’t have much pressure at this time in my career, so it’s all about the craft and getting the most out of it. Yeah, it’s a good space to be in.”

Was that kind of key to your amazing consistency through the season, just not letting emotion override…

“Yeah, like I said, every season flows differently, but just in general in my life, I just don’t put too much emotion into situations. There’s nothing to be gained from it. There’s just a lot of things that clicked last year within my team, the crew. Obviously, Dave Faustino and the new crew chief are all pretty good group, pretty good, positive group, enjoying the job.”

chevy racing–indycar–california test–rinus veekay

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

CONTENT DAYS

THE THERMAL CLUB OPEN TEST

THERMAL, CALIFORNIA 

ED CARPENTER RACING TEAM TRANSCRIPT

FEBRUARY 1, 2023

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:

When you look back at how INDYCAR started for you, where you’re at now, one of the up-and-coming drivers that can win races and challenge for the championship, has it happened according to your schedule or faster than you thought it would? 

“It’s going according to my schedule like I’d hoped it to be. It’s gone fast. The whole Road to Indy, I’m in INDYCAR now longer than I’ve been in the Road to Indy. Pretty crazy. I’m very happy with how it goes. No complaints.”

Last year was an up-and-down year. Not the consistency you wanted. What have you dug into or found this off-season or focused energy on to try to make this year across 17 races more of what you want from a performance standpoint? 

“That’s definitely something we focused on. We’ve had great pace at races, but we’ve been too up and down. With the engineers, we kind of took apart every full race weekend with Practice 1, Practice 2, like everything with the feedback, what I gave. Lap for lap, we looked everything back. We tried to find stuff that should have gone right but didn’t go right. Kind of kept going the whole weekend. Sometimes in practice one something happens, that kind of carries over throughout the whole weekend. Sometimes something goes very well in Practice 1, and it carries out throughout the whole weekend. We found a lot of stuff that I could prepare better in some ways. I feel like I can prepare a bit better in some ways. I found ways, different ways, to prepare, so I’m focusing on that now. Also within the team, they found a few things they can improve, so we can start off better.”

You mentioned you have some new people at the team. Can you elaborate on that? How many people did they bring in, what departments, and did you have any influence on that? 

“I did not really have an influence on that. Of course, I encouraged the team to get new people, extra people, new minds, new brains in the team. We have a new fueler. We have a new performance engineer. For me, the main people are still the same. I think there’s definitely people around that are going to pick up a little bit.”

When you look back at last season, do you feel you drove to pretty much what the maximum of the car gave you? Do you feel you didn’t leave anything on the table? Did you feel like there was more you could have done? 

“You know, I always try to give it my all. There’s been weekends where I’ve left some on the table. Like Portland, I definitely made a mistake while that was an easy top-10 when we were at that race. There’s been a few mistakes that were unnecessary that needed to be filtered out. For me, I think there was a top-eight in the championship that was possible with the car we had last year. I think now it was 12. I think if stuff would have gone my way a little, if I didn’t leave some stuff on the table, a top-eight would have been possible.”

You may have an opportunity at Detroit where I think you’ve done well, changing from Belle Isle to the new course. What can you say about the new course and how you perceive it?

“I think it’s going to be interesting for everyone to come to a new track. Definitely downtown is going to be I think a bit more alive. I think the fans, there’s going to be a bit more attendance from the fans. I’m curious to see how it’s going to go. Of course, I’ve seen the track from the aerial view. It looks very square. I’ve been on the track before with a road car. It actually looks very cool. If they change up some patches on the track, I think it’s going to be a very cool race.”

What are your goals going into the 2023 season? 

“My goals for the 2023 season is getting back to the top step of the podium, winning a race again, hopefully more than one. But ideally just to be more consistent and be closer to top-fives and top-10s all the time so we can be high up in the championship standings at the end of the season.”

Except for the Indy 500, what race are you looking forward to this year? 

“St. Petersburg; first race of the season. I’m excited for that.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:

You’re looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow? 

“It’s rare to get to drive our Indy cars now in the off time. These days are really, really important. It’s just honestly good from a physical standpoint just to get in the car. We can train all we want, and I’ve had the most consistent training regime of any off-season thankfully, so it feels good what we’ve been doing in the gym, but there’s nothing like getting in these cars to drive to really prepare yourself for the first race. It’s going to be important. Try to do as many laps as possible.” 

It is rare for you guys to get on track and do as many laps as possible. It’s even more rare to do it at a track you’ve never been to. What is the challenge going to be like trying to make the most out of this place? 

“Well, I’m trying to think back to I guess the last time we all had to learn a new track. It’s probably Nashville. We’re going to have to do it again at Detroit, right, because Detroit will be a new one for us this year. We’ve done it before. But when it comes to Nashville, it was very, very time condensed, then we went racing. This is just two full days of testing. It’s hard when it comes to just two full days of testing because obviously some people will adapt to it quicker than others. You might feel like a hero, then the next day you might feel like a zero because some people have caught up. It really kind of funny to see. It’s kind of a shame that it’s all officially timed and judged upon day one because it could be a complete flip in day two. These days are important because hopefully it is an indication for us on all the permanent road circuits that we go to, right? This is a permanent road circuit that we get to test at which is important for a number of tracks: Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Indy GP, all the permanent tracks we go to. Hopefully it’s helpful for us in all those scenarios.”

Is it important maybe to stay a little bit measured [at this test]? It’s not like any track exactly on the circuit. 

“Yeah, and it’s a long lap, too. I guess if we’re kind of thinking and simulating that it’s a minute 44, 43, 42. When it comes to tire stints, as well, we can only really get 18 to 20 laps out of tires. Like, that’s not a lot. Hopefully we can use those laps just as efficiently as possible. It doesn’t matter to us how fast we go, as long as we get something out of it, right? How do we judge some changes? If that’s great for a certain section of the track, that could represent a section of another road track we go to. There’s a lot that we can learn, for sure. Realistically we kind of have to keep ourselves in check with our expectations and what we want, make sure that we focus on our test plan, just get through that, and enjoy it, enjoy what we can learn, take a lot from it.” 

Go back to 2018. Did you think [100 starts] would be even close to possible? 

“It’s been cool to be around for nine seasons, but I’m just excited to be here again. This level of continuity is super important, right? We have a great off-season to work together with the team, to work with all of our partners, to really market what we want to market really well this year with BITNILE.COM. We want to be faster at certain places. We’ve been able to look at all those places all during the off-season, which is really cool. We got to do a lot of simulating days in the end of last season, the beginning of this season. There’s a lot of really cool stuff. Even after the Indy 500 last year, there’s areas where, like, I obviously have not been as good at qualifying there as my teammates have been, so that’s really an area I would like to be better. But, boy, have we been good in those races the last two years. Excited to take that to another level as well. We know our cars, when we show up there, are very, very good. All of it is good. I did not know I would get to this point. I’m 31 years old and I’m still racing Indy cars, which is kind of crazy. I hope to do that for many more years, too.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:

Going in with two full-time cars, your oval program, do you have any vision of filling out the rest of those street courses, Beth [Paretta], some other program or driver?

“Not for 2023. We had plans and talks about doing more, but we kind of set a date on the calendar. If we didn’t have everything in order from funding and people, the full program in place by a certain date, we wanted to be disciplined and focus on exactly what we’re doing. That’s the plan. I don’t see that changing. Things can always change. If we’re going to have growth, my focus is doing that in ’24.”

When Rinus [VeeKay] was in here, he mentioned there are some new faces. He said he was asking for extra help on the engineering side. Can you discuss some of that? 

“Yeah, we’ve been really fortunate. We’ve been able to bring in some new people. We lost a couple. All things considered I would say our turnover was low. For a year and a half, we’ve been trying to add a couple positions that we didn’t have. I think we’re happy with the people we’ve been able to bring in. Some new faces in engineering, some new faces out on the car. Hopefully have a deeper team, a little bit of a restructure at the shop, but minor relative to other teams.”

Any areas you’re looking to shore up?

“I really think it’s more depth more than a specific area. I think we’re not venturing. It’s not like we created a new department or project. It’s just more depth on the bench, more people working on the projects we already had going and furthering them. Just more depth.”

What are your goals for 2023? 

“My number one goal is the same every year, and that’s to win the Indianapolis 500, whether it’s in my car would be best, or the other team cars. After that, be as competitive as possible, win as many other races as possible, place our cars hopefully in championship contention at Laguna [Seca]. 

What’s your most favorite race, what race are you most looking forward to this year, except for the Indy 500?

“I would say Iowa. I think it’s a spectacular event, always has been. Hy-Vee is taking it to another level. I think consistently that’s put on some of the most exciting racing on the calendar each and every year. Now it’s just an all-around great fan experience as well.”

chevy racing–indycar–california test–pato 0’ward

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES CONTENT DAYS THE THERMAL CLUB OPEN TEST THERMAL, CALIFORNIA ARROW MCLAREN DRIVER TRANSCRIPT FEBRUARY 1, 2023
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET: Glad to get started back in the car this week? “I’m ready to get back driving and ripping around in my Indy car. It’s been long. Way too long. It’s been a great offseason but I’m excited, I’m anxious, I’m really looking forward to getting back into the flow of everything. Working with the guys and the engineers and mechanics.” 
“It’s a lot of new faces. I’m still in the process of learning all the names. It’s so cool to see we’re all growing. There’s been big steps each year, but in terms of personnel, this year has been a very big one. One reason being probably because of the third car, and the team is growing. It’s great to see, to see everyone’s enthusiasm. Everybody’s here for that one goal. We all put so much time and sacrifice and energy into making these racecars go quicker. We, as drivers, put it into how we can maximize it. Really excited to get this season underway.” 
You’ve now got Gavin Ward. How has that transition been? “Gavin is great. I’m a big fan of him. He, more than obviously trying to extract everything that our group can do in order to make our racecars quicker and more reliable, he really looks into how to get that performance. How can we make it easier on ourselves to find it and get it. I feel a lot of that comes with preparation that’s maybe not racecar related. Mental, physical, diet, I’m a huge believer in all those things from experiences I’ve had in my career. Going through the ranks, it’s so important to have. There are so many things that play into your performance that you have no idea.” 
Did you have any concerns with McLaren adding more people, or is it more of a testament to the McLaren brand? 
“That’s definitely not a rumor, right. I feel like it’s been so hard to find people in all departments. Form talking to not just the people on our team, but from other drivers or friends, it’s hard to find people. I trust the team. I think the group of people who are in charge know exactly what we need, and I trust they’re going to make the right decisions. From what I’ve seen, there’s so much talent. There already was, but so much more has been added on. It’s going to get us where we want to be.” 
You were kind of a lead driver here over the past few years. Alex was a lead driver at his team. Has that been a change with Alex coming into the team? “He’s been great to have around. We’ve all enjoyed the content days, the media that we’ve done with the team. At the end of the day, INDYCAR is as much as teammates will help in gathering data, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to specifically help you in what you need because it’s a series where you can really tailor the car to what you want rather than in, for example, Formula 1 where this is the car and you need to learn how to drive this certain car. In INDYCAR, it’s very different where you can tailor and customize it to what you want to feel like or to drive like. From past experience, I think Alex likes a car similar to what I do. I know he likes it to be to point well. From experience, I wasn’t there at Andretti for seven years like Alex was but from my experience it was an extremely strong car in the rear. I feel like our car is very different to that. I’m curious to see what he thinks and how he develops in where we can find some more time. I do think we have a very strong car in certain areas, but I definitely think he’s coming from a car where that other car has been strong than us at other racetracks. I feel like if we can find gains where we haven’t quite had a winning or podium car, that’s just going to help all of us, right? He’s been great. He’s been great to have around. I think he needed a fresh start and he’s excited to really work with all of us and create the strongest package.” 
You had some tough ups and downs in terms of the car last year. Do you feel like you were able to diagnose some of that stuff this offseason and come into this year not wondering if the car will last like some of the races you had last year? “For sure it’s been looked into. We’ve obviously looked for answers. Have we found them all? I really think it’s a hard statement to say because I feel like you can find and analyze reasons why things might have happened, but you never really know for sure. But what I do know is that we want to minimize those. The perfect thing would be to not have those issues, right? It’s possible for sure. The first two years I was with the team, I don’t think I never had a DNF. I had completed almost all laps all year, and last year, we had the best average qualifying positions we’ve had during a season. We had like four DNFs. One of those was unlucky. The others just had mishaps. It’s so hard to say. For sure it’s possible to make those a lot less than last year. We’re definitely starting this year with a clean slate and starting to work off the strong years we’ve built together.” 
Was it important to have Will [Anderson] on your car for the 2023 INDYCAR season? “I think it’s such an important relationship that you have with your race engineer. I’ve been working with Will since I joined the team, and he’s very calm. He’s in the same neighborhood as Taylor was in terms of voice volume and minimal speaking, which I enjoy. I think it’s good. I think it will obviously sound a little different, but I think it will be just fine.” 
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 6 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET: “I’ve been ready to go for a couple of months now. Things are finally kicking off. A lot of things to be excited about. New colors, new people in the team, another driver in the team. Another car. New partners. So, it’s super exciting. New track, that’s also fun. It’s not very normal in this series that we can go to a completely new place. No one has driven an Indy car here before. Good vibes.” 
“It’s great to have some foundation in the team now at this point. I feel really at home. This will be the longest I’ve been with a team in quite a while, probably since 2014 when I did Formula 3. To be with the same team for a third year is huge for me with consistency. Basically, [we have] the same group as the previous year, some changes here and there. I have a new engineer this year, Chris Lawrence, who is a good friend of mine. He’s been on the car for many years on what used to be the No. 7 car, now the No. 6 car crew. I think what you look to is to improve all the small details. It’s so tight and as we said, have some standouts last year. I think we had some low points as well, so I think that’s what we’ve been targeting. How can we get rid of the lows and improve the highs a little bit more? In INDYCAR, it’s very tight. It’s small differences that make you go from, let’s say P10 to P1, it’s all within a couple of hundredths or tenths. It’s good to keep building on that foundation we laid. We ended the season on a very good note last year in Laguna Seca. Just trying to continue where we left off.” 
What benefits and changes have you been getting with Alex [Rossi] coming on board? “I think it’s always depends on what driver, what’s the dynamic of the group and all that, but my feelings have been that it’s very good. We had a chance to hang out quite a lot with Alex, and I think he’s well integrated at this point. A couple of days in the simulator and at the shop with media days and so on. I think the fit has been really good with him, me and Pato. I think on a trackside perspective, it’s obviously huge to have a third opinion of things. Every driver is different, and every driver’s opinion is valuable in its own way. I think everyone on the team knows how me and Pato operate at this point, and in our differences from driver to driver, but it will be really interesting to see what Alex thinks about the car, how we work, especially here at Thermal. That’s when we have time to look into operational things, bigger picture things maybe that we can improve as a team and we’re open to listening to him and hear what he has to say. Obviously he comes from a lot of success at Andretti, so we’re super excited to have him on board.” 
How does it feel to be back with McLaren this year?
“I think it’s a massive opportunity to be back for a third year. I feel like I have all the tools I need to perform. I’m feeling pretty good with everyone at the car. There were so many things happening on and off the track, and as a team we really learned a lot from that we can bring into this season. So I think we will be tough this year. We have a lot of things in the bag to try early this season. A couple of things here at Thermal we want to try and going into the season, we have pinpointed some areas where we feel like we were lacking a little bit, like the short ovals, for example. I feel like we’ve done the best we can to attack all those areas and bring the best possible package we can going into the season.” 
What kind of influence do you think [Gavin Ward] will have? 
“I think he’s already had a lot of influence. He’s been very important to us in the transition to three cars. The transition to what we want to become in the future and the goals we have. We are very much on target I think with that thanks to him. He’s been great and I think everyone at the team agrees he’s been a great leader so far. It’s a new role for him. He’s been great. He’s a great leader. He’s a funny guy to be around. He brings good energy to the team, and I think he has had that ability to be funny and then switch it on in serious mode when he needs to which goes along with the vibe of our team in general. We have high hopes.” 
How are you looking at this season?  “First of all, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. It’s a long time until next year. But as I said, it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m in a great spot. I’m in a well-performing team, not only at Arrow McLaren but my No. 6 car will be strong this year. I feel well with everyone around me. I feel like I have good support from the team to go and perform. I just try to do what I can do which is go fast forward and races.”
Testing at Thermal, what can the team learn? “I think it’s always exciting to come to new tracks and it’s an amazing facility. We’re staying at the villas inside the track area. I’ve not been here before and I’m really blown away. I don’t know if there are ambitions to race here in the future, if that’s an option, but I’m pumped to be in California in January. There are worst places to be. Learning the track will be a good lesson to who will get up to speed the quickest. I think the closet one we race at is COTA, with the smooth F1-style layout. We’ll see. I just think everyone is taking on the challenge. It’s a fun challenge. You never really know until you hit the track.” 
ALEXANDER ROSSI, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET: There are a lot of great things happening with Arrow McLaren right now. Do you feel that too?
“100%. I think it’s been very cool to watch them evolve and expand over the past couple of months. Obviously, I don’t have a benchmark of what they were before, certainly the commitment to performance and results goes without saying and is apparent on every level of the organization. I’m very excited to get on track, to stop talking about it, and get to work and start driving.” 
“There were close to 40 hires over the last couple of months, so it’s been a good time to come in. Everyone’s finding a new role or position, and kind of learning who’s who, and finding everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.” 
Does this have the ingredients to have a really good breakout year for you? “I hope so. I mean, it’s a fantastic organization whose results speak for themselves. I think that what they’ve done in the past couple of years is very impressive. They’re a great organization with great partners and great people and getting to work now with GM and Chevy has been pretty cool as well; to see what they’re doing and to push the program forward. Like Is aid, it’s been a lot of conversations and things in theory, and we don’t really know anything until we get on track, but from where we sit, we’re very, very excited for what’s to come.” 
What’s it like working with Gavin Ward? You both have Formula 1 backgrounds. Does it help you both speak the same language?  “I think Gavin is a fantastic leader but also his background is really in everything. Whether it’s engineering, systems engineering or aerodynamics, and now kind of an all-encompassing role that has that technical director standpoint but also that team manager and team principal standpoint. He’s someone who his door is always open and he’s a very involved kind of person from every aspect of the whole organization. I think that’s been really cool to see and work with him on. He’s someone who understands the ins and outs of the sport from top to bottom and I think his big thing is maximizing people and their strengths. What they can bring to the table. If you can do that every single day and every single event, then you’re going to set yourself up in a good position.” 
What’s it like being teammates with Felix [Rosenqvist] and Pato [O’Ward] so far? “We haven’t really done anything yet other than some meetings and team activities together. I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in INDYCAR, and also their prior careers. I think that we will all bring something a little bit different to the table which I think is unique in terms of not only personalities but also driving styles and experience levels. I think that we have the ingredients to really be able to develop the team and continue to push the team forward at a better level than what they’ve shown in the past. It’s been a really positive experience.” 
Alex Rossi on testing at Thermal Club…
“You’re introducing INDYCAR to a demographic that has an interest in racing with some decent capital behind them. They may not know of INDYCAR. They may have known about INDYCAR but have not seen it in person, so what we’re doing is we’re able to bring and showcase what we believe is the best series in the world in front of people who are passionate about motorsports, participating in motorsports themselves and maybe haven’t seen it.” 
How much time have you spent with [Craig] Hampson before the test? What has that been like? “I’ve known Craig since 2016. He was at Andretti when I was there and I got to work with him a little bit. We’ve always been friendly in the paddock. That was a critical thing for me in terms of making the switch to Arrow McLaren was being able to work with Craig and kind of continue that relationship and develop it to be working together on the same car and same program. I have a huge amount of respect for what Craig has accomplished in his career. I think he’s a brilliant engineer and a great guy. His track record speaks for itself. Regardless of anything, I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.” 
Do you have a better sense over the past couple of months of why this team has become so successful so quickly consistently versus competing with them over the last couple of years? “I think there is just a very clear path in terms of what they’re trying to accomplish whether that’s on a daily, weekly, or monthly timeframe. There’s a very black and white set of objectives and reasons behind those objectives in terms of the development of the car, development of the people, the transition of people. I think there’s a lot of very detail-oriented people that are in a management role of the team, or senior role. With that comes a lot of structure down the pipeline that you’re very clearly able to see; path of progress as you go into the season.” 

TONY KANAAN, NO. 66 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET – INDIANAPOLIS 500 ONLY:
Considering how close you go to winning the Indy 500 last year, has that made you want it more? “You’re as good as your last result. When you start coming up to my age, which is 48, people ask you that question. People doubt you. People say, “Maybe is it time?” All those questions. The only way to reassure, even yourself. That weighs a lot also in my decisions going forward. Anything can happen in the 500, but as long as I have it in my head that I’m competitive. But if I think I still have the possibility to win, I will keep trying. But also I need others to see that.” 
As far as what Arrow McLaren has done since coming to INDYCAR, it’s been quite impressive. Are we on the verge of really seeing McLaren, the McLaren influence really raise the level of competition in INDYCAR? 
“Yeah, I mean, think about we hired so far 40 more employees since we went from three cars in Indy, two full-time to three full-time. I think Zak [Brown] has a vision that’s very aggressive, and he wants to grow the team and he wants to win. That’s all he cares. He’s a racer. Like a lot of the team owners in this series. Yeah, we have grown fast, and it’s going to be up to us to make sure that we keep up the expectations that he’s putting on us.” 
By bringing you on board, Zak has the finishers from positions 2 through 5 of last year’s Indianapolis 500. In a lot of ways, I think it’s a great situation to be in based off last year’s race.
“Yeah, I think if you take the example with Chip last year, he put all his cars in the top 12 and he put himself in a position that he was going to be covered to win the Indy 500 if something happened to one of his cars, and look what happened. We had five cars, and we made it happen. Two of them had an issue, but the other two covered the bases. Yeah, I like our chances a lot.”

LONG TIME COMING: Travis Varnadore Breaks Through for First Career East Bay Winternationals Victory


Buzzy Adams drives from out of Last Chance race, ascending from 17th on starting grid to runner-up finish

TAMPA, FL – Feb. 1, 2023 – He’s been competing in East Bay Raceway Park’s annual Winternationals event for nearly 15 years, but Wednesday night became Travis Varnadore’s first career trip to Victory Lane in the historic event.

Piloting a car with a 16-year-old frame, Varnadore wheeled his DIRTcar UMP Modified around the bottom of the 1/3-mile oval with veteran skill, taking the lead from two-time Winternationals finale winner Kevin “Buzzy” Adams before the halfway point and driving away from the field to seal the victory.

“It feels really good,” Varnadore said. “This has been a long time coming.”

Travis, the 31-year-old from Dover, FL, is a nephew to track co-owner and promoter Al Varnadore, who joined in the post-race Victory Lane celebrations with the rest of the Varnadore family, friends and crew.

“It’s great to have all of our friends and family here watching, being local,” Varnadore said. “All of our sponsors, they’re friends and family. Every one of them are here tonight, working on the car.

“It means a lot, not just to me, but it means a lot to them. I’m glad I got it done for them.”

The car he took to Victory Lane is the same car that was once driven to multiple Winternationals top-fives by brother Maverick Varnadore – a 2007 Harris Race Cars chassis. The crew said the car was well-maintained over the years and still contains all-original framework.

Though the frame had its age, Varnadore didn’t let anyone watching know it, as he turned a second-quick lap in his Qualifying group and later won his Heat Race. He took the green from fourth on the Feature starting grid and wasted little time, advancing to second on Lap 2.

After a couple quick cautions, a hard-charging Buzzy Adams entered the picture, already up 13 positions in the first seven laps after starting 17th. A restart on Lap 9 saw Adams thread the needle in between Varnadore and Tuesday night winner Drake Troutman going into Turn 1, driving by both of them to take the lead out of Turn 2.

“On the first lap, everybody just kinda stopped and they left me a lane,” Adams said. “I’m like, ‘Well, I’m either going to the house, or I’m going to wreck everything. Luckily, I got through and picked a bunch of ‘em off.”

But as soon as Adams made the move for the lead, Varnadore cracked the whip in the bottom lane. He caught Adams in three laps and found the extra grip he needed down low to take the lead on Lap 11.

“The last couple of weeks with the Crates, the top just hasn’t been there the entire race,” Varnadore said. “So, I figured I’d just keep it as low as I could around the bottom. I didn’t think the top was going to stick very long.”

From there, it was smooth sailing for the #205, crossing the finish line with a 1.5-second gap over Adams. Though he was strong in traffic, Varnadore had not forgotten about the competition behind him.

“I figured we were going to have [a yellow] with a couple laps to go, and Buzzy was going to sling it around the outside and catch us for the win,” Varnadore said. “We just got lucky with no late cautions, I guess.”

For the second-straight night, Adams comes home P2. He dropped back to third after starting on the pole of his Heat, which forced him to come through a Last Chance Showdown, but made the incredible comeback to take the Winternationals points lead with two nights left before the top-six in points are locked into the finale on Saturday.

“I didn’t even expect to get the lead when I did, so I didn’t know where to be on the track,” Adams said. “I think by that time, I had my stuff used up. But, I’m happier than hell with second, and we’ll keep working on this thing and try to get better.”

UP NEXT

The DIRTcar UMP Modified Winternationals action continues Thursday night with another full racing program. Hot Laps are set for 6pm. If you can’t be at the track, Follow DIRTcar Racing on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the program.

RESULTS

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 205-Travis Varnadore[4]; 2. 40-Kevin Adams[17]; 3. 12-Lucas Lee[7]; 4. 99-Blake Brown[10]; 5. 5-Drake Troutman[2]; 6. 33W-Rodney Wing[5]; 7. 54J-Jason Jack[6]; 8. 17-Chris Wilson[22]; 9. 2-Devin Dixon[14]; 10. 20-Brian Skaggs[12]; 11. 25-LJ Grimm[18]; 12. 2J-Troy Johnson[1]; 13. 65-Todd Sherman[11]; 14. 25W-Allen Weisser[19]; 15. 1S-Brian Shaw[8]; 16. 8L-Jimmy Lennex[13]; 17. 25A-Jason Altiers[20]; 18. 4-Mike Learman[23]; 19. 24-Zeke McKenzie[16]; 20. 18C-Miles Cook II[15]; 21. 25N-Tyler Nicely[3]; 22. 145-Kyle Hammer[21]; 23. 85A-Brandon Hutchinson[24]; 24. 3F-Rob Fuqua[9]

CORNWELL® QUALITY TOOLS EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN FORCE RACING

(Feb. 01, 2023) – John Force Racing announced today they have expanded their partnership with Cornwell Quality Tools as the Official Tool of John Force Racing with a primary sponsorship of Robert Hight’s Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
In addition to seeing the Cornwell Quality Tools name and logo on all the John Force Racing hot rods throughout the 2023 season, Hight will also race the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car at 11 of the 21 NHRA Nationals events. The Cornwell Tools livery will debut at the NHRA Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK at Route 66 Raceway May 19-21.
“Cornwell Quality Tools has been an amazing member of the John Force Racing family. Having them step up and invest even more into the relationship is a testament to that. I’m extremely honored and excited to represent Cornwell Tools and their family of franchises,” said Hight, who is also the President of John Force Racing. “Cornwell Tools is a perfect partner for me personally because I was a former crew guy. I know tools and Cornwell Tools are the best that John Force Racing has ever used. If we ever get into a bind between rounds, I will grab some Cornwell Tools and go to work alongside my guys. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish this year together.”
“Cornwell Quality Tools has had a fantastic partnership with the John Force Racing team, and we are extremely excited and thrilled to continue to grow our relationship, now as a primary sponsor of the 3-time NHRA Funny Car Champion Robert Hight,” said Bob Studenic, President and CEO of Cornwell Quality Tools. “The Robert Hight primary sponsorship will continue to move the Cornwell Tools business forward, to achieve greater brand awareness and drive franchise engagement. Robert has been a true champion for JFR, and he has been a great supporter of the Cornwell Tools family. We cannot wait for the start of another fast-paced and successful NHRA race season.”
In addition to debuting at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Hight will pilot the Cornwell Tools Chevy Funny Car at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., a stint of eight straight races from the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Denver through to the NHRA Carolina Nationals and finally the NHRA Nevada Nationals.

 NEW JOURNEY: Johnny Scott Embarks on First Full Tour with World of Outlaws

The Las Cruces, NM driver enters DIRTcar Nationals 11th in the Series standings

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 1, 2023 – Johnny Scott is embarking on a new journey in 2023.   

After a few years of racing his dirt Late Model across the country, the Las Cruces, NM driver has joined the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series for the first time. 

It’s an adventure he said he didn’t feel he was ready for until this year. 

“I always wanted to do a touring series with the Late Models,” Scott said. “I didn’t feel like the last couple of years I was ready for that, and I needed more experience and stuff. With Jason Durham (Jonathan Davenport’s crew chief last year) helping my brother (Stormy Scott) this year and consulting with me, I figured now is the time to do it. 

“I feel like I’m ready to do it. I just need to put everything together.” 

When the Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park for DIRTcar Nationals on February 16-18, Scott will be one of seven drivers battling for Rookie of the Year honors. However, his past accomplishments separate him from the rest of the pack. 

He’s the only rookie with a national tour victory, along with a preliminary Feature win at the World 100—an experience he said gives him the knowledge to compete on a nightly basis. 

“Obviously, the [World of Outlaws] and [Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series], those guys are the best of the best,” Scott said. “I think with winning on the Lucas Oil MLRA Series and the Diamond Nationals last year, I know what it takes to win those races now.  

“Just racing with all these guys, and racing with all these national guys the last few years. I know what it takes. You just got to put everything together. Your team has to work together, and having Jason (Durham) this year to consult with and help me at some of these tracks I don’t have notes at will be a big help for me.” 

One of those tracks he’s learning at is Volusia.  

Despite having a 15th and 20th place finish to open the season at Sunshine Nationals, he continues to make strides behind the wheel of a Longhorn chassis. 

“I don’t have a lot of notes or experience for that place,” Scott said. “But it seems like the more laps I get to make, the better we get. We kind of had a rough start because the first night (of Sunshine Nationals) I broke an oil pump belt in the [Last Chance Showdown], so I had to get a backup car out and I think we got up to 20th or something like that. 

“The second night, I was up to eighth in the Feature. Then I made a driver mistake and messed up on one of them restarts and messed up and gave up five spots.  I think the next we go, I’ll know where to start as far as the car setup, so I think we’ll just keep getting better and better.” 

Scott hopes to make another stride on his World of Outlaws CASE Late Models journey when the Series returns to Volusia Speedway Park on February 16-18 for Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals. For Tickets: CLICK HERE. 

If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App

CLEAN SWEEP: Troutman Dominates UMP Modified Winternationals Opener at East Bay

Troutman now atop Florida Speedweeks points standings with 10 races remaining

TAMPA, FL – Jan. 31, 2023 – Three races into Drake Troutman’s DIRTcar UMP Modified tenure with Jerry Foster Racing, and it’s already paying dividends.

Troutman, the 17-year-old racer from Hyndman, PA, claimed victory on the opening night of UMP Modified Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park with a clean sweep of the evening – turning the fastest lap of 59 cars in Qualifying, winning his Heat Race and the 25-lap Feature.

“I couldn’t be more happy with the way things are going,” Troutman said. “What a way to start off with a bang. Confidence is up, and we’ve just got to keep on working and make sure that things stay perfect.”

After several seasons behind the wheel of his family-owned UMP Modified operation, Troutman partnered with Maryland racer and car owner Jerry Foster for the 2023 season and set out on their first racing venture on the Florida Speedweeks trail. Back-to-back top-five finishes in their first two races at North Florida Speedway last Saturday-Sunday were great confidence boosters right out of the gate and have placed them atop the Speedweeks points standings with the win Tuesday night.

A win in Heat Race #2 gave Troutman the pole for the Feature after the redraw, which he wasted little time in using to his advantage. Outside polesitter Tyler Nicely grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and led the first seven circuits around the 1/3-mile oval before Troutman cashed-in on his opportunity.

With momentum from a great run out of Turn 2, Troutman shot down the backstretch and into Turn 3 with a head of steam and swung it down low, putting a big slide job on Nicely through Turn 4 to take the lead.

“With these guys, you never know – it could be your last shot to try something,” Troutman said. “I just figured I could go for it there; I knew I could clear [Nicely]. He and I race together a lot. These guys are all class acts.”

Now in command of the field, and the pace, Troutman cranked up that pace immensely, riding the high side and stretching out to a comfortable lead in traffic. The lapped cars gave him no issues either, clearing each that stood in his way with ease. By the checkered, Troutman had led 18 laps and amassed a gap of over three seconds to second-place Buzzy Adams, claiming his third career East Bay Winternationals victory.

Adams, who started fourth, was able to get around Nicely on Lap 14 for second before setting out on a chase through traffic to catch Troutman. Try as he may, however, Adams was unable to make up the gap, despite his speed on the high side.

“I thought we were getting good at the end, but Drake was so far gone that there was no catching him,” Adams said. “We had a rough start to this Speedweeks journey, and we’re just happy to get a good finish after working our butts off for the last couple days.”

Adams and his crew from Cameron, WI, worked feverishly since the weekend to prepare their car for Tuesday after suffering engine issues in the Feature at North Florida on Saturday. They dropped in a new power plant and were solid right from the jump, but came up a bit short in the end. Still, Adams was pleased with the runner-up spot.

“Honestly, a restart maybe would have made it fun,” Adams said. “But [Troutman] was really good. He took off good and he ended good. He was just better than us tonight, so we’ll go back to work and try and get another good finish.”

Allen Weisser drove from sixth to complete the podium with a last-lap pass on Ray Bollinger, who came home fourth. Ohioan Brian Skaggs advanced from his P8 starting spot to complete the top-five.

UP NEXT 

The UMP Modified Winternationals action continues at East Bay Raceway Park on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Tickets are available at the gate. If you can’t be at the track, Follow DIRTcar Racing on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the program.

RESULTS

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 5-Drake Troutman[1]; 2. 40-Kevin Adams[4]; 3. 25W-Allen Weisser[6]; 4. 77-Ray Bollinger[3]; 5. 20-Brian Skaggs[8]; 6. 25N-Tyler Nicely[2]; 7. 12-Lucas Lee[11]; 8. 69B-Bryan Bernhardt[17]; 9. 24-Zeke McKenzie[12]; 10. 2-Devin Dixon[5]; 11. 21-Devin McLeod[15]; 12. 25A-Jason Altiers[10]; 13. 33W-Rodney Wing[14]; 14. 99-Blake Brown[20]; 15. 8L-Jimmy Lennex[21]; 16. 44-Jeff Parsons[19]; 17. 90-Tim Gay[16]; 18. 21S-Denny Schwartz[23]; 19. 205-Travis Varnadore[9]; 20. 18C-Miles Cook II[24]; 21. 2A-Matt Altiers[22]; 22. 25-LJ Grimm[13]; 23. 1S-Brian Shaw[18]; 24. 17-Chris Wilson[7]

Zach Daum Returns to Defend Xtreme Midget Title, Building New Zealand-Brand King Chassis

Inaugural Series champion begins title defense at Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, March 10-11

CONCORD, NC – Jan. 31, 2023 – New season, same goal for Zach Daum. The inaugural Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota champion will return to the national tour in 2023 to defend his title with a new car and team combination he’s built himself.

Even with four national Midget championships already under his belt and a cabinet full of trophies from his past successes, Daum knows his best years are still ahead of him. At 31 years of ageg, his constant improvements and a relentless drive to compete have been catalysts for his return to defend his crown in the Series’ first full-length national schedule.

Read Also: Midgets Slated For 34 Races, $80,000 Points Fund In Second National Season

BUY TICKETS

“I feel like I’m at the best I’ve ever been at driving,” Daum said. “Obviously, you feel like you get better every year. I think we’re getting better and better every year; it’s just making sure you adapt is the biggest thing. Midget racing has changed so much, you have to make sure you adapt with it.”

But compared to previous seasons, 2023 will be different. With sponsorship from Kiwi Landscaping and Rockwell Security, Daum will be his own boss and race in his own equipment – built right in his 5d Speed Shop in Greenville, IL.

Daum has partnered with Auckland, NZ, fabricator Justin Insley to become the one and only authorized King Chassis builder/dealer in the United States – the same chassis Kyle Larson drove to back-to-back Chili Bowl Nationals victories in 2020 and 2021.

He’ll pilot a new King Chassis for the first time in the Xtreme Outlaw Series opener at Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, IL, March 10-11. Starting off fresh with his own equipment, sponsors and crew is a welcomed change for Daum after driving for various car owners over the past two years.

“We’re gonna be able to have my own car again, which is really cool for me,” Daum said. “I kinda got burnt out on Midget racing a couple years ago, and getting to run last year gave me a little bit of fire to go back.

“At the end of the day, my heart and soul is in Midget racing.”

After several years racing at the national level, Daum’s competitive tank ran dry during the 2020 season, leading him to a short hiatus. Intermittent appearances for multiple car owners in 2021 soon landed him a ride with Bundy Built Motorsports in 2022, with whom he captured the inaugural Xtreme Outlaw Midget championship – his first national title since 2016.

Returning to work on his own operation is a feeling of comfort for Daum, who will continue 5d Speed Shop operations alongside his first chassis-building venture.

“I’m not a huge control freak, but just having the car in your own shop, being able to work on it, making sure everything is how you want it and is done – it’s peace of mind when you get to go racing,” Daum said.

As a 15-plus-year veteran of the Midget ranks, Daum has seen his fair share of good competition come and go throughout his career. He cut his teeth as a rookie racing alongside some of the modern-era’s most accomplished names – Clauson, Hagen, East, Hines, Coons Jr, among several others – and sees that same competitive edge in the incredible wave of youth that has taken the Midget ranks by storm over the past several seasons.

“It’s just different guys than there are now, and I feel like it was really tough,” Daum said, reflecting on the start of his Midget career. “The racing’s changed. The kids are really tough now. Everything’s just kinda changed, and I’m glad I got to see the transition of it.”

Regardless of who he competes against or how old they are, Daum is ready to take on whoever stands in his way of a repeat Xtreme Outlaw Midget championship in 2023.

“As long as we can stay consistent, stay up front, we can figure this car out pretty quick,” Daum said. “I feel like we have everything in place to win a championship, and that’s our plan.”

Tickets to see Daum and entire cast of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota are on sale now. Click here to get yours.

If you can’t be at the track, watch every lap of all 35 races live on DIRTVision.

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Davenport Collects First Lucas Oil Win of 2023 at Bubba

OCALA, Fla. (January 30, 2023) –  Jonathan Davenport regained the lead from Dennis Erb Jr. on lap 29 and then led the last 12 laps to win Monday night’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Bubba Raceway Park. It was Davenport’s 66th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win. Ashton Winger made a late-race charge to come home in second followed by Erb Jr. The remainder of the top five were Tyler Erb and Devin Moran. Davenport took the lead at the start of the race as Winger, who started from the pole, moved into second behind his fellow Georgia racer. Those two ran first and second until Erb Jr. was able to get by Winger for second with 20 laps complete. Erb Jr. then tracked down Davenport and coming off turn number four for to complete lap 26 he was able to get underneath Davenport to take over the lead. Erb Jr. would lead two more circuits as Davenport went to the outside of the track off turn number two to regain the top spot on lap 29. Davenport then had to contend with the tail-end of the field when a caution flew with 37 laps scored. On the restart Winger found some speed on the outside of Erb Jr. coming off turn number two as he moved back into second. Winger then was making a bid on Davenport for the lead when the caution came out for Ricky Thornton Jr. with one lap to go. With the green and white flag waving simultaneously, Davenport held his line and went on to become the fourth different winner in the first five Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events of 2023. “I was thinking I screwed up there off turn four. It was getting slick there off of the corner,” said Davenport. “I left the bottom open. He [Erb Jr.] raced me clean. I had a pick there with Bronson, so I just drove it hard to try and get back by him [Erb Jr.] for the lead. On the last restart I knew somebody was going to throw a Hail-Mary around the top there. I didn’t know exactly how good it was.”  “It feels good to be back in Victory Lane here,” Davenport added. “My guys have been working hard, just circumstantial stuff, I think that’s the reason we haven’t been up here, I really don’t know how I found the right line. I kept just trying to find a little brown there. I was afraid I was going to move around move out of the fast line. I just kept changing my line a little bit every lap just trying to find something a little better and it paid off.” Winger, in his first series race of the season on Sunday night finished third, finished one spot better with his Monday night performance. “There is nothing to be angry about. JD just outdrove me there. I had two shots probably at the start and that last restart where I was able to find that middle down there in one and two and roll it for a corner and I just didn’t really get turned enough down here to catch the brown down the straightaway and I let Dennis [Erb Jr.] get back up beside me and it was all I could do to hang onto second. We ran well and this is awesome. But I expect a lot out of myself. We had a good run and didn’t tear anything up.” Erb Jr., who was seeking his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win since East Bay a year ago, rounded out the Big River Steel Podium. “We got up there and probably should have moved around a little bit. Our car was working well. We just had a little problem over in three and four we just couldn’t get off the corner good over there. All-in-all after last night having a good finish here tonight really helps.” The winner’s Lance and Darla Landers, Double L Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions, Dyno Gro Seed, Lucas Oil Products, VP Fuels, Mark Martin Automotive, ASC Warranty, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Midwest Sheet Metal and Bilstein Shocks. Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton, Max Blair, and Earl Pearson Jr.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Winter Nationals – Night #2Monday, January 30, 2023Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, FL
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Ashton Winger / 14.462 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Earl Pearson, Jr. / 14.420 seconds 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 12-Ashton Winger[1]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 3. 66C-Matt Cosner[5]; 4. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[6]; 6. 89-Logan Roberson[7]; 7. 5-Mark Whitener[4]; 8. 7-Ross Robinson[8]; 9. 99B-Boom Briggs[9]; 10. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[2]; 3. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[5]; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley[4]; 5. 81J-Jack Riggs[7]; 6. 20-Jimmy Owens[9]; 7. 18D-Daulton Wilson[6]; 8. 96V-Tanner English[10]; 9. 25B-Mike Benedum[8]; 10. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[3]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[1]; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening[10]; 5. 2-GR Smith[7]; 6. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[8]; 7. 11-Spencer Hughes[6]; 8. 6-Blake Spencer[5]; 9. 23-Chad Walter[9]; 10. 14W-Dustin Walker[4]
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 2. 18-Chase Junghans[3]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[4]; 4. 19M-Wil Herrington[5]; 5. 6K-Kyle Larson[2]; 6. 40B-Kyle Bronson[7]; 7. B5-Brandon Sheppard[6]; 8. 22*-Payton Freeman[8]; 9. (DNS) 25C-Shane Clanton
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie[1]; 2. 81J-Jack Riggs[2]; 3. 89-Logan Roberson[3]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson[6]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens[4]; 6. 99B-Boom Briggs[9]; 7. 58-Garrett Alberson[12]; 8. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[11]; 10. 96V-Tanner English[8]; 11. (DNS) 5-Mark Whitener; 12. (DNS) 25B-Mike Benedum
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[4]; 2. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[3]; 3. 6K-Kyle Larson[2]; 4. 11-Spencer Hughes[5]; 5. B5-Brandon Sheppard[6]; 6. 2-GR Smith[1]; 7. 23-Chad Walter[9]; 8. (DNS) 6-Blake Spencer; 9. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman; 10. (DNS) 14W-Dustin Walker; 11. (DNS) 25C-Shane Clanton
Winter Nationals – Night #2 Feature Finish (40 Laps): 
Race Statistics Entrants: 39Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Ashton WingerLap Leaders: Jonathan Davenport (Laps 1-25); Dennis Erb, Jr. (Laps 26-28); Jonathan Davenport (Laps 29-40)Wieland Feature Winner: Jonathan DavenportArizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 1.061 secondsStop-Tech Brakes Cautions: Jack Riggs, Hudson O’Neal, Loan Roberson, Wil Herrington (Lap 1); Kyle Bronson (Lap 1 Restart); Blair Nothdurft (Lap 37); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 39)Series Provisionals: Brandon Sheppard; Daulton WilsonFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: Garrett Alberson; Spencer Hughes; Tanner English; Ross RobinsonTrack Provisional: n/aBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Jonathan Davenport, Ashton Winger, Dennis Erb, Jr.Penske Shocks Top 5: Jonathan Davenport, Ashton Winger, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tyler Erb, Devin MoranTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Tanner English (Advanced 15 Positions)Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Finisher: Chase JunghansDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Finisher: Daulton WilsonEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Jonathan Davenport (37 Laps)Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Tyler ErbMidwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon OvertonO’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/aEtchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Jonathan Davenport (Lap 1 – 14.924 seconds)MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Cory Fostvedt (Jonathan Davenport)ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Kyle Larson (14.695 seconds)Time of Race: 23 minutes 32 seconds
The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

DITCH DUG: Lee Wins at North Florida, Breaks Winternationals Runner-Up Streak

Lee takes UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks points lead from Tyler Nicely going into East Bay

LAKE CITY, FL – Jan. 29, 2023 – After three runner-up finishes in his last four starts at North Florida Speedway, Lucas Lee is finally a Winternationals Feature winner.

It was one he wanted bad after being passed late while leading on two occasions in this event in the last three seasons. But after 25 trips playing defense around the sandy, 3/8-mile oval, Lee’s bridesmaid curse was broken Sunday night after holding off Justin Haley and Tyler Nicely to bag his first career victory at the track.

“It feels good – a win anywhere is good,” Lee said. “I don’t like seconds, whether it’s 10 years in-a-row or what. I just don’t like them. I’m expected to win, my dad expects me to win, and that’s what we try to do every time we come out.”

Lee, the second-generation racer from Paris, TN, said he and crew member Travis Nored prepared the car in a hurry before an early start time Sunday, which may have contributed to their sixth-quick time in Qualifying after setting Quick Time in the Speedweeks opener on Saturday. Regardless, Lee took the front-row starting spot in his Heat and won, besting NASCAR Cup Series regular Haley to claim P2 on the Feature starting grid.

The outside-lane starting spot played right into Lee’s hands, as he got the jump on polesitter Drake Troutman at the drop of the green and took off.

“It’s a lot easier to look at the flag stand on the outside,” Lee said. “You’re further out there, and you can see better. Down there, you’ve got to worry about hitting the big tires. You’ve gotta watch that and you’re trying to watch the flagman at the same time – it’s a lot more difficult.”

From that point, there was no slowing Lee down. Several caution flags dotted throughout the 25-lap event gave his competition plenty of chances to make a bid for the lead, but all were denied. The toughest of which came from Haley with 10 laps remaining.

Haley had worked his way through the top-five from fifth on the starting grid, using the restarts and high-momentum straightaways to make passes on the way to the head of the field. He cracked the whip and kept pace with Lee in the final laps, nearly getting under him in Turns 3-4 at one point but was unable to make the pass in the end.

“We were better on the long run, and we just kept having those cautions,” Haley said. “We’ll try to figure out how to heat up the right-rear a little quicker and go get ‘em at Volusia.”

Haley, competing in his first North Florida Winternationals, used the weekend test his new car/engine combination before heading to Volusia Speedway Park for the 52nd Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals, Feb. 6-18. A runner-up finish Sunday was great turnaround after spinning in Turn 4 coming to the checkered flag in Saturday’s Feature.

“We had really good dig in our car, good turn, and had a good piece all around,” Haley said. “Happy we came down here to shake it down, and we’ll go next week and see what we got.”

The win now puts Lee in command of the UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks points chase with 11 races still on the schedule. He takes a one-point advantage over Saturday winner Tyler Nicely into the upcoming five-race stretch at East Bay Raceway Park, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, though Lee said he’s not worried about the margin at this point.

“I don’t like points racing – it’ll be what it is at the end,” Lee said. “Tyler’s going to be really hard to beat all the way through. There’s going to be a bunch of us that will be tough to beat all the way through it.”

Lee knows Nicely, who came home third on Sunday, will be among his toughest competitors for the Speedweeks points title, which stretches through the end of the Modified portion of DIRTcar Nationals on February 11.

“Tyler’s going to be tough to beat, period,” Lee said. “Me being points ahead of him right now… I’m a realist; I don’t really think about it being a gap, to be honest.

“I don’t wish anything upon him. We’ve just gotta go out there and not have any DNFs. If he gets one or two, then we’ll capitalize on it. We’ve just gotta keep going.”

UP NEXT

DIRTcar UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks action continues with a trip to East Bay Raceway Park for the 47th annual Winternationals – Tuesday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 4. Follow DIRTcar Racing on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the program.

RESULTS

Feature (25 laps) – 1. 12-Lucas Lee [2]; 2. 99-Justin Haley [6]; 3. 25N-Tyler Nicely [4]; 4. 5-Drake Troutman [1]; 5. 8-Jimmy Lennex Jr. [9]; 6. 25W-Allen Weisser [8]; 7. 25A-Jason Altiers [12]; 8. 44-Jeff Parsons [11]; 9. 7-Brad DeYoung [22]; 10. 57-Fletcher Mason [14]; 11. 16c-John Clippinger [10]; 12. 41-Brad Goff [7]; 13. 60-Jim Manka [17]; 14. 96-Kyle Arvin [21]; 15. 4M-Timothy Monroe [20]; 16. 2A-Matt Altiers [5]; 17. 24-Zeke McKenzie [16]; 18. 9PG-Percy Gendreau [18]; 19. 141-Justin Galbreath [13]; 20. 23B-Ethan Boomsma [19]; 21. 97-Mitch Thomas [3]; 22. 2J-Troy Johnson [15]

Thornton Gets Redemption with Bubba Raceway Park Victory

OCALA, Fla. (January 29, 2023) – Ricky Thornton Jr. found redemption on Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park – winning the 40-lap Winter Nationals main event for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The 32-year-old led the last 25 laps of the race to score his first win of the 2023 season after recording two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish at Golden Isles. With the win, Thornton becomes the third different winner in four events this season. Max Blair recorded his best career finish in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by coming home in second with Ashton Winger taking the third and final Big River Steel Podium spot. Hudson O’Neal was fourth with current point leader Brandon Overton rounding out the top five drivers. Thornton, who started on the outside front row, led the first two laps until yielding the point to pole sitter Devin Moran. Moran then led until he suffered a right front flat tire after a lap 15-restart. Moran would pit to change the tire and rejoin the field. Thornton would pick up the lead again with Earl Pearson Jr. moving into second place and Blair now running in third. A red flag came out for a multi-car incident in turn two with 19 laps complete. After the extended stoppage of action, the race resumed with Thornton still holding the point.  Pearson, who was celebrating his 51st birthday, had his hopes of getting by Thornton for the win end when he suffered a right rear flat tire on lap 26. Blair then picked up the runner-up spot which he held to the finish. “It’s pretty awesome to win here,” said the winner who is now just five points behind Overton in the championship standings. “I love coming to this place. It’s so technical and different compared to all the other places we go to. I got the jump on the start on Devin [Moran]. I felt like I was running as hard as I needed to and then he slid me. He was running way harder than I wanted to go and I thought let him go and I will just keep pace with him. I don’t know what happened to him on that restart he went down into one and it didn’t turn.” “I got the lead back and just kind of held on, under that red my left front went flat,” Thornton added. “Luckily it didn’t put me in the fence. Overall, it was a good night. I had big time flashbacks from the last two nights. My crew guy was telling me that Max [Blair] was getting closer and I thought here we go again. On the last lap I screwed up off two and four. I felt like I was going to put it in the fence and give it away again. Overall, I am good, and we are happy we really have had a good Speedweeks so far.”  Blair overcame his struggles at Golden Isles with a runner-up finish. “We were real competitive all night long. I really faded the last 10 or 12 laps. As a team we really needed a good run, and we got it. It’s a good group of people we are with. I am really, really excited for the future. I think this is going to be a real good fit.” Winger finished third in his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series start of the season. “A couple of guys fell out there. I think I had one good restart where I passed three or so guys. I kind of figured out all those guys were jostling for position. I headed into turn one and the car stuck. We were pretty good. Congrats to Ricky for winning on three tires. I felt like we were better the longer we went. One of those cautions kind of killed us.” The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns, SSI Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales Company, D&E Outside Services, Certified Inspection Service Company Inc., Sunoco Race Fuels, Bilstein Shocks, and Murty Farms Completing the top ten were Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Jonathan Davenport, G.R. Smith, and Devin Moran.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Winter Nationals – Night #1Sunday, January 29, 2023Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, FL
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Devin Moran / 14.083 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Max Blair / 14.101 seconds
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran[1]; 2. 96V-Tanner English[3]; 3. 12-Ashton Winger[2]; 4. 10-Garrett Smith[5]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[6]; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb[7]; 7. 81J-Jack Riggs[4]; 8. 5-Mark Whitener[8]; 9. (DNS) 4S-Danny Snyder; 10. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 16-Tyler Bruening[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 3. 25B-Mike Benedum[4]; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson[5]; 6. 49-Jonathan Davenport[10]; 7. 25C-Shane Clanton[3]; 8. 14W-Dustin Walker[7]; 9. 6-Blake Spencer[9]; 10. (DNS) 23-Chad Walter
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[1]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 4. 2-GR Smith[6]; 5. B5-Brandon Sheppard[5]; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson[4]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[7]; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes[8]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 10. 18-Chase Junghans[9]
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[2]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 3. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 5. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 6. 19M-Wil Herrington[6]; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner[9]; 8. 40B-Kyle Bronson[7]; 9. (DNS) 7-Ross Robinson
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[4]; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb[3]; 4. 25C-Shane Clanton[6]; 5. 14W-Dustin Walker[8]; 6. 6-Blake Spencer[9]; 7. 5-Mark Whitener[7]; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 9. (DNS) 81J-Jack Riggs; 10. (DNS) 4S-Danny Snyder; 11. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman; 12. (DNS) 23-Chad Walter
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard[1]; 2. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[2]; 3. 19M-Wil Herrington[4]; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[6]; 6. 11-Spencer Hughes[7]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[5]; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith[9]; 9. 7-Ross Robinson[11]; 10. 18-Chase Junghans[10]; 11. 40B-Kyle Bronson[8]
Winter Nationals – Night #1 Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Race Statistics Entrants: 39Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Devin MoranLap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-2); Devin Moran (Laps 3-14); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 15-40)Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 1.401 secondsStop-Tech Brakes Cautions: Daulton Wilson (Lap 14); Devin Moran (Lap 15); Ross Robinson (Lap 19); Tyler Bruening, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tim McCreadie, Garrett Smith (Lap 19 restart); Earl Pearson, Jr. (Lap 26)Series Provisionals: Garrett Alberson; Spencer HughesFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: Ross Robinson; Kyle Bronson; Logan RobersonTrack Provisional: n/aBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Max Blair, Ashton WingerPenske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Max Blair, Ashton Winger, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon OvertonTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Advanced 11 Positions)Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Brandon SheppardDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Spencer HughesEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (28 Laps)Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon OvertonO’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/aEtchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 20 – 14.198 seconds)Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.)ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (14.869 seconds)Time of Race: 46 minutes 57 seconds
The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

Thornton Gets Redemption with Bubba Raceway Park Victory

OCALA, Fla. (January 29, 2023) – Ricky Thornton Jr. found redemption on Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park – winning the 40-lap Winter Nationals main event for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The 32-year-old led the last 25 laps of the race to score his first win of the 2023 season after recording two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish at Golden Isles. With the win, Thornton becomes the third different winner in four events this season. Max Blair recorded his best career finish in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by coming home in second with Ashton Winger taking the third and final Big River Steel Podium spot. Hudson O’Neal was fourth with current point leader Brandon Overton rounding out the top five drivers. Thornton, who started on the outside front row, led the first two laps until yielding the point to pole sitter Devin Moran. Moran then led until he suffered a right front flat tire after a lap 15-restart. Moran would pit to change the tire and rejoin the field. Thornton would pick up the lead again with Earl Pearson Jr. moving into second place and Blair now running in third. A red flag came out for a multi-car incident in turn two with 19 laps complete. After the extended stoppage of action, the race resumed with Thornton still holding the point.  Pearson, who was celebrating his 51st birthday, had his hopes of getting by Thornton for the win end when he suffered a right rear flat tire on lap 26. Blair then picked up the runner-up spot which he held to the finish. “It’s pretty awesome to win here,” said the winner who is now just five points behind Overton in the championship standings. “I love coming to this place. It’s so technical and different compared to all the other places we go to. I got the jump on the start on Devin [Moran]. I felt like I was running as hard as I needed to and then he slid me. He was running way harder than I wanted to go and I thought let him go and I will just keep pace with him. I don’t know what happened to him on that restart he went down into one and it didn’t turn.” “I got the lead back and just kind of held on, under that red my left front went flat,” Thornton added. “Luckily it didn’t put me in the fence. Overall, it was a good night. I had big time flashbacks from the last two nights. My crew guy was telling me that Max [Blair] was getting closer and I thought here we go again. On the last lap I screwed up off two and four. I felt like I was going to put it in the fence and give it away again. Overall, I am good, and we are happy we really have had a good Speedweeks so far.”  Blair overcame his struggles at Golden Isles with a runner-up finish. “We were real competitive all night long. I really faded the last 10 or 12 laps. As a team we really needed a good run, and we got it. It’s a good group of people we are with. I am really, really excited for the future. I think this is going to be a real good fit.” Winger finished third in his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series start of the season. “A couple of guys fell out there. I think I had one good restart where I passed three or so guys. I kind of figured out all those guys were jostling for position. I headed into turn one and the car stuck. We were pretty good. Congrats to Ricky for winning on three tires. I felt like we were better the longer we went. One of those cautions kind of killed us.” The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns, SSI Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales Company, D&E Outside Services, Certified Inspection Service Company Inc., Sunoco Race Fuels, Bilstein Shocks, and Murty Farms Completing the top ten were Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Jonathan Davenport, G.R. Smith, and Devin Moran.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Winter Nationals – Night #1Sunday, January 29, 2023Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, FL
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Devin Moran / 14.083 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Max Blair / 14.101 seconds
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran[1]; 2. 96V-Tanner English[3]; 3. 12-Ashton Winger[2]; 4. 10-Garrett Smith[5]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[6]; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb[7]; 7. 81J-Jack Riggs[4]; 8. 5-Mark Whitener[8]; 9. (DNS) 4S-Danny Snyder; 10. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 16-Tyler Bruening[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 3. 25B-Mike Benedum[4]; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson[5]; 6. 49-Jonathan Davenport[10]; 7. 25C-Shane Clanton[3]; 8. 14W-Dustin Walker[7]; 9. 6-Blake Spencer[9]; 10. (DNS) 23-Chad Walter
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[1]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 4. 2-GR Smith[6]; 5. B5-Brandon Sheppard[5]; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson[4]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[7]; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes[8]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 10. 18-Chase Junghans[9]
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[2]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 3. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 5. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 6. 19M-Wil Herrington[6]; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner[9]; 8. 40B-Kyle Bronson[7]; 9. (DNS) 7-Ross Robinson
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[4]; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb[3]; 4. 25C-Shane Clanton[6]; 5. 14W-Dustin Walker[8]; 6. 6-Blake Spencer[9]; 7. 5-Mark Whitener[7]; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 9. (DNS) 81J-Jack Riggs; 10. (DNS) 4S-Danny Snyder; 11. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman; 12. (DNS) 23-Chad Walter
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard[1]; 2. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[2]; 3. 19M-Wil Herrington[4]; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[6]; 6. 11-Spencer Hughes[7]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[5]; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith[9]; 9. 7-Ross Robinson[11]; 10. 18-Chase Junghans[10]; 11. 40B-Kyle Bronson[8]
Winter Nationals – Night #1 Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Race Statistics Entrants: 39Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Devin MoranLap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-2); Devin Moran (Laps 3-14); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 15-40)Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 1.401 secondsStop-Tech Brakes Cautions: Daulton Wilson (Lap 14); Devin Moran (Lap 15); Ross Robinson (Lap 19); Tyler Bruening, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tim McCreadie, Garrett Smith (Lap 19 restart); Earl Pearson, Jr. (Lap 26)Series Provisionals: Garrett Alberson; Spencer HughesFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: Ross Robinson; Kyle Bronson; Logan RobersonTrack Provisional: n/aBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Max Blair, Ashton WingerPenske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Max Blair, Ashton Winger, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon OvertonTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Advanced 11 Positions)Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Brandon SheppardDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Spencer HughesEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (28 Laps)Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon OvertonO’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/aEtchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 20 – 14.198 seconds)Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.)ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (14.869 seconds)Time of Race: 46 minutes 57 seconds
The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: Close… but Second in Rolex 24Garcia

Garcia, Taylor, Milner fight from behind to challenge for GTD PRO class win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2023) – Corvette Racing started its 25th season of competition with a runner-up class finish Sunday in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner teamed up for the second-place GT Daytona (GTD) PRO result in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.After a drive back from two laps down in the middle of the night – due to a flat left-rear tire and a rear brake change – the No. 3 C8.R moved back to not just contention for the Rolex victory but to the lead just before sunrise Sunday morning.
The chaotic events of the middle eight hours looked like they would give way with a caution-free run of more than five hours into mid-morning. Taylor drove a double-stint for his final laps in the car and led the class multiple times. At that point and with a little more than three hours to go, Milner took over from Taylor and drove two stints of hard, intense racing that saw the Corvette and two other competitors swap the GTD PRO lead.
Milner gave way to Garcia for an even more chaotic final one hour, 45 minutes. The top three cars – the 3 Corvette, the 14 Lexus and 79 Mercedes – swapped back and forth through three full-course caution periods in the span of an hour and 20 minutes before a final 26-minute run to the flag with Garcia coming home second in class.
An up-and-down middle eight hours saw Corvette Racing re-emerge from two laps down and back into contention for a class victory as daylight arrived Sunday. The three Corvette Racing drivers  each drove triple-stints through the darkness as they rotated through the C8.R for the second time. 
Garcia, who started the race Saturday, worked with the Corvette Racing engineers to improve tire performance through his three stints. By the time he handed over to Taylor a little before the 10-hour mark, the C8.R was in a better state than when Garcia took over as Taylor left the pitlane in the class lead thanks to a solid stop by the Corvette pit crew.
Things began to look dire near the 10.5-hour mark when the No. 3 Corvette suffered a left-rear flat tire just before Taylor came on the Turn 1 speedway banking while running second in class. He nursed the car back to pitlane even as the tire came off the wheel before the Corvette made it back to pit entry.
The team quickly changed tires but had to stop a lap later to change the Corvette’s rear brakes due to damage from the flat tire. It dropped the No. 3 C8.R to two laps down.
Critically, Taylor was able to stay ahead of the GTD PRO leader and not lose another lap before a full-course yellow just before the halfway point of the race. The Corvette Racing crew got a lap back during a pass-around before stopping for fuel and tires, and then the crew changed the front brakes a lap later to return the Corvette to full strength – and the lead lap – with just over 11-and-a-half hours to go.
Taylor gave way to Milner from the sixth position in class about an hour later with the Corvette rejoining in fifth. Less than an hour into his opening stint, the race’s eighth full-course caution drew Milner closer to the front. He ran third in class and seven seconds from the lead as the race entered the final eight hours.
Corvette Racing’s next event in the WeatherTech Championship is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 18.
Photos: Richard Prince, Chevrolet Racing
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTD PRO: “P2 at Daytona… it was a bit crazy out there. With the P3 cars ahead of us, it was a lottery especially in turns One and Three. Everybody was getting super crazy. When you have a car with ABS, you can just go for it and that’s what people are doing. But we did all we could. That was all we had. A lot of times, I was very surprised to be where we were. We seemed to be good on fuel, which seemed to be our only chance. We just didn’t have the outright pace.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTD PRO:“The Rolex 24 is always kind of a stand-alone race for us every year. If you look at our race as a whole, we had some adversity during the night but came from two laps down. Everyone executed well. We were in the hunt most of the way. We didn’t have the outright pace, but it was a true Corvette Racing race where we battled our way back to second. We started with a third-place car and finished second, so that’s a win in our book.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTD PRO:“Based on how everything was going in practice and in the Roar, I think P2 in the end is quite good. When you have a chance to fight for the win like that and for us to run up front for so much of the race, to miss it by that much at the end is tough. We knew going in that the Mercedes guys were quick, the Aston was quick, the Lexus was quick. It was a great job by the team to persevere and to keep pushing all throughout the race. My teammates did a great job. We were just missing a little bit of pace at the end. It was a good race for all three of us. We were racing super-hard and pushing super-hard. We just came up a little short.”

Cadillac V-LMDh roars to podium finish in Rolex 24

Cadillac Racing starts GTP era with stout efforts, reliability of three new race cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2023) — Cadillac Racing began the Grand Touring Prototype era with third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Renger van der Zande earned a podium spot, driving the electrified No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh for the final stint of the mentally- and physically-taxing race on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona International Speedway road course. He shared the seat with Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon.
Earl Bamber, Alex Lyn and Richard Westbrook co-drove the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh to fourth place in the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken persevered after a pre-dawn incident involving a GTD that necessitated a 25-minute trip to the garage finish fifth. The incident was the lone substantial setback for the new Cadillac prototypes, which only began on-track development in early July.
Questions were answered as teams, drivers and Cadillac engineers continue to learn about the car. Durability: No major mechanical or hybrid unit issues. Engine performance: Powerful. Drivability: Smooth. 
“We brought three Cadillacs, which was the most of any brand, and all three took the checkered flag,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said. “I’d say everyone who has worked on this project, whether it be the engineers at Cadillac, the designers at Cadillac, the engineers at Dallara, Chip Ganassi Racing, Action Express Racing – everyone – should be so proud of everything we’ve accomplished.”
The Cadillac V-LMDh features an all-new Cadillac 5.5-liter DOHC V8 engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion team based in Pontiac, Michigan. Cadillac is the only GTP competitor with a naturally aspirated engine.
The body, codeveloped by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and chassis constructor Dallara, incorporates key Cadillac V-Series production car design elements.
The No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh and No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh will next compete March 18 in the Twelve Hours of Sebring on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway. The No. 2 Cadillac V-LMDh will make its FIA World Endurance Championship debut March 17 in the 1000 of Sebring.Cadillac Racing driver quotes
No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh (qualified fourth, finished third) Sebastien Bourdais: “Obviously, didn’t run the perfect race but as close as you can get to it considering it was the first outing in a race for the Cadillac V-LMDh. Honestly, I just didn’t think it was going to take the perfect race and some. I’m really surprised that the competition beat us on performance and everybody ended up having a very clean race. It’s tough to be on the wrong side of things but scoring some good points. All the hard work from Ganassi, Cadillac and Bosch, Dallara and everybody that has been involved in this project has been rewarded with a triple finish. We’ll keep working and thanks for everybody’s hard work.” 
Renger van der Zande: ““Yeah, finishing second or third is not what we came for, but hey it’s the first time and we got points for podium to start the season off with Ganassi.  At the end of the day, we didn’t have the pace to win, and we didn’t have the speed on the straights to win. It’s time to collect and see where we can improve as a team. I think it’s a tribute to GM and to Dallara and Ganassi to build a car that lasts for 24 hours. I think that is an amazing thing and yeah, congrats to the winners.”
Scott Dixon: “Pretty decent finish and great work by the team and all the partners. That’s a feat in itself. I think coming down toward the end we knew it was going to be a tough fight, especially with the speed of the other cars. It was a fun race and just came up short.”
No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh (qualified fifth, finished fourth)Richard Westbrook: “What a journey for us to get to this point. To run flawlessly for 24 hours in the debut of the Cadillac LMDh is something we can all be proud of. Obviously, there is initial disappointment because we just missed out on the podium and had the potential to win. But listen, we just have so much to be proud of to get the car home without any issues is just a testament to the team, Cadillac, and everyone involved.  We are only going one way and that is forward.”
Earl Bamber: “I think just an all-around good job by Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac to come out and run 24 hours and have both cars on the lead lap, have both cars with potential to be on the podium. Missed a little bit of pace to Acura and hate we missed out on the podium, but its good points in the championship. Now we can go on to Sebring and WEC.”
Alex Lynn: “We are disappointed not to get the win. That’s what you turn up to Daytona to do. The car ran flawlessly. Big congrats to Cadillac for building such a great car and we’ll be back.”No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh (qualified sixth, finished fifth)Pipo Derani: “It’s just one of those things and one of those races where you have to be there at the end and unfortunately, we got crashed by a GT. It wasn’t major, it was just a touch from the GT. But after two hours after that touch, our rear suspension gave up.  So, really unfortunate there. The team did an amazing job to repair the car and put us back in contention. The car was really quick, so kind of bittersweet because we had a strong enough car to be on the podium, but that’s racing. Looks like we are going to be a strong team and I am looking forward to Sebring. The machine has worked flawless over a 24-hour race, which is incredible.”
Alexander Sims: “It’s always disappointing when you get to the end of a long race like that, put in so much effort and don’t get the result you feel you deserve. But that’s the way racing is; it’s sport. There’s one winner and a lot of losers and that’s what makes it so special when you do win. It’s the fierst race we’ve had with this car, a lot of learning has been done and I think already we see where we can make decent improvements on the car side, on my side and that’s just part of building that overall picture to continue through the championship and get the results as we go along.” 
Jack Aitken: “To finish fifth after everything that we went through in this race is quite an achievement and I think it goes to show how much attrition was out there as well. It is a shame because we led laps and were running with the leaders at the time. But that’s just bad luck in multi-class racing. We have a lot to be really proud of and it’s just the start of the season, so lots of really promising things happening. It was a great experience and very different from the other 24-hour races that I’ve done. I want to come back and hopefully get on the top step.”

Cadillac Racing leads Rolex 24 after 16 hours

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2023) — Cadillac V-LMDh cars were running first and third at the 16-hour mark of the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course.
Sebastien Bourdais, a two-time Rolex 24 winner, drove the No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh to the front of the field. Alex Lynn challenged for the lead after the seventh caution period of the race and was running third in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh.The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh, running in the lead pack, sustained left-rear suspension damage after contact with a GTD car. Quick work by the crew in the garage returned the hybrid car to the track with Jack Aitken taking over the seat from Pipo Derani.
All three Cadillac V-LMDh race cars have led laps in the twice-around-the-clock race. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener is also the debut of the electrified Cadillac entries in the rejuvenated Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class.The race is being broadcast on NBC and its associated channels (all times EST):Today – USA Network, 6 a.m.-12 p.m.              NBC, 12-2 p.m.Flag-to-flag streaming on Peacock Plus and IMSA.com
Scott Dixon, No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh: “The last set of tires we kind of missed on the pressures, so that was tough to manage. We’ll keep working at it and see what we can do in the early morning hours.”Alex Lynn, No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh: “Right now, we’re having a good night. The car is running really good and that’s the main thing. We have an A1 car now with eight hours to go. We’ll just keep our heads down.”

WINTER HEAT: Nicely Holds off Lee for North Florida Winternationals Victory

Round 2/13 of UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks goes green Sunday

LAKE CITY, FL – Jan. 28, 2023 – He won last year’s edition of Winternationals at North Florida Speedway, and now, Tyler Nicely has backed it up with his second win at the venue in two seasons.

The opening round of UMP Modified Florida Speedweeks featured a classic battle between two of DIRTcar’s toughest heavyweights right on the front row. Defending Speedweeks champion Lucas Lee turned the fastest lap of the night in Qualifying and won his Heat Race to claim the pole for the Feature, while 2020 Speedweeks champion Nicely kept up him the whole night with a second-best Qualifying lap and a win in Heat Race #2 to start P2.

The green dropped, and Nicely hammered the throttle out of Turn 4. With Lee still to his inside, the two drag raced down the front stretch and into Turn 1. Nicely edged ahead in the outside lane and sealed the pass out of Turn 2 to take the lead.

“I knew that if Lucas started on the pole, I was going to have to get a really good jump to get to the lead and try and dictate my own race,” Nicely said. “We went harder than most other guys on tires, so I knew once I could get out front, I should be okay.”

From that point forward, it was Nicely’s race to lose. Lee gave it everything he had to catch and pass the leader but was unable to give Nicely a serious challenge. Several caution flags scattered throughout the 25-lap Feature presented Lee with multiple opportunities to attempt a pass, but Nicely came prepared and denied him at every turn.

“I was mainly worried about getting a good restart,” Nicely said. “If you don’t get a good restart and you mess-up in Turn 1, you end up getting behind. It could lose you the race.

“I knew Lucas was going to be tough, and Drake [Troutman] was on the outside of me one restart. I didn’t really know what was going on behind me, but I felt like I had a balanced race car.”

Lee’s perseverance actually paid more dividends than what the box scores show. On a Lap 9 restart, young Pennsylvania racer Drake Troutman muscled his Jerry Foster Racing #5 Longhorn Chassis past Lee to take second. Lee didn’t take that lightly, as he returned the favor the very next restart, though he was still not as comfortable with his car as he had hoped for the first race of the season.

“I could turn well; I just didn’t have any traction when I got back in the gas,” Lee said. “We didn’t get any heat in the motors on the start, so my motor was just at 100, and didn’t fire off well.”

Being the first DIRTcar-sanctioned Modified race of the 2023 season anywhere in the country has its significance, especially being part of a 13-race swing through Florida over 15 days. Nicely’s feeling the momentum already and is looking to carry it on to win his second career UMP Modified Speedweeks title.

“Any time you can get a win is awesome, but for the first race out – all your jitters and that kinda go away when you can just knock one off,” Nicely said. “Hopefully, we can take this momentum into East Bay and even Volusia.”

Lee is aware of the stakes as well. Coming in as the defending Speedweeks champion, who beat Nicely last year by over 100 points, he knows his competition is going to be tough throughout the three-week grind.

“Tyler’s gonna be there every night,” Lee said. “We’ve gotta be better than him. We’ve gotta do what we’re supposed to do early in the night, win the Heat Race, and maybe he doesn’t one night.”

UP NEXT

The DIRTcar UMP Modified action continues with the second of two races at North Florida Speedway on Sunday, Jan. 29. Follow DIRTcar Racing on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the program.

RESULTS

Feature (25 laps) – 1. 25-Tyler Nicely [2]; 2. 12-Lucas Lee [1]; 3. 5-Drake Troutman [4]; 4. 7-Brad DeYoung [19]; 5. 141-Justin Galbreath [8]; 6. 24-Zeke McKenzie [13]; 7. 8-Jimmy Lennex Jr. [11]; 8. 41-Brad Goff [16]; 9. 25A-Jason Altiers [17]; 10. 44-Jeff Parsons [14]; 11. 57-Fletcher Mason [9]; 12. 2J-Troy Johnson [20]; 13. 99-Justin Haley [6]; 14. 40-Kevin Adams [5]; 15. 97-Mitch Thomas [3]; 16. 59-Ronnie Chab [21]; 17. 3-Josh Sandford [22]; 18. 25W-Allen Weisser [7]; 19. 72-Todd Neiheiser [12]; 20. 4-Mike Learman [10]; 21. 16C-John Clippinger [15]; 22. 27-Jason Floyd [18]

Overton Denies Thornton in Golden Isles Finale

WAYNESVILLE, Ga. (January 28, 2023) – Brandon Overton utilized a last lap pass coming off turn number four to barely edge Ricky Thornton Jr. at the finish line. Overton earned a Golden Isles Speedway record $25,000 payday on Saturday night in the final night of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing – presented by ICON Electric Vehicles. Overton’s 0.056 seconds margin of victory at the finish line was one of the closest in series history. For the second night in a row Thornton suffered a late-race heartbreak to come home in second. Tanner English finished third with Brandon Sheppard and Hudson O’Neal completing the top five finishers. For the third night in a row Overton started from the pole and would lead the first 22 laps of the 60-lap event. Thornton, who started fourth, charged by Hudson O’Neal on lap 13 for second and then pursue Overton before grabbing the point from him on lap 23. English, who started on the inside of the fourth row, moved into the runner-up slot behind Thornton on lap 33. A caution for a slowing Daulton Wilson on the frontstretch on lap 34 would bunch the field up. On the restart Overton got back by English for second and set his sights on Thornton. With five laps to go to Thornton was holding a precarious lead over Overton as he was battling with cars at the tail end of the field. Overton started to move to the top of the and close the gap on Thornton as they took the white flag. Overton with the momentum on the top as the duo exited off the final corner would make the winning pass against the outside retaining wall to steal the victory from Thornton. Overton in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the fifth time in his career at Golden Isles emerged from his car to the cheering fans in his home state. “I got lucky tonight. Last night I stuffed it in the fence. When I sent it in there tonight, I made sure I had the back end pointed out and on the chip. It just worked out. I hate it for Ricky, but that’s what it takes lapped traffic sometimes to play a big part of it. I knew when he [Thornton] passed me I had to stay in second and I had to do a better job of managing my tires. I knew a Hail Mary was all I had. Ricky’s run well this week. I am so happy. I love this stuff.”  “I couldn’t let Kyle [Larson come down and show us up like he did last night,” Overton added. “I just keep playing it back through my head just trying to make sure I didn’t go too soon. I seen the white and I said alright here it is I was going to knock the motor out of it, or I was going to get him. It worked out perfect.”  Thornton ended the week at Golden Isles with a third-place finish and a pair of runner-up finishes to maintain second place in the championship standings behind Overton. “The bottom was really good. I wanted to stay stuck there and I thought I had enough gap to Dennis [Erb Jr.] and then they got to racing in front of him and it kind of slowed my pace down. I knew he [Overton] was going to throw a Hail Mary in three and four. My crew guys were telling me to move up. It was like one of those deals where I tried it once and it about destroyed the car. Congrats to Brandon. It stinks to lose another one here. But the good part is we have good speed going into the next two days at Bubba.” English had his best run of 2023 coming home in third to round out the Big River Steel Podium. “It definitely feels like a win especially against those two guys. They are two of the toughest in the business. We have got to figure out how to get better. It’s feels like a rough month, but it’s only been a few weeks. We are turning it around.” The winner’s Wells and Sons Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Garnto Southern, Victory Fuel Flavored Electrolyte Water, Muscle Factory, Clean Way Clearing and Grading, Dirt Mafia, Boswell Oil, R.W. Powell Construction, Penske Racing Shocks, EZ-GO, Earnhardt Technologies, Convenience Lube, H&A Development. Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport, Mason Zeigler, Shane Clanton, and Kyle Bronson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing FinaleSaturday, January 28, 2023Golden Isles Speedway – Brunswick, GA Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Brandon Overton / 14.798 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Hudson O’Neal / 14.939 seconds  Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 2. 96V-Tanner English[3]; 3. 89J-Jeff Choquette[2]; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening[4]; 5. 01-Jason Garver[6]; 6. 5-Mark Whitener[7]; 7. 19M-Wil Herrington[5]; 8. 6-Blake Spencer[8]; 9. 4S-Danny Snyder[9]
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran[1]; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[3]; 3. 2-GR Smith[6]; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[4]; 5. 111-Steven Roberts[2]; 6. 20-Jimmy Owens[9]; 7. 18-Chase Junghans[5]; 8. 14W-Dustin Walker[7]; 9. 4-Kale Green[8]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 25C-Shane Clanton[2]; 2. 8-Brian Shirley[4]; 3. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[3]; 5. 773-Christian Thomas[6]; 6. 2V-Allen Murray[1]; 7. 58-Garrett Alberson[8]; 8. (DNS) 25B-Mike Benedum AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1H-Hudson O’Neal[1]; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 4. 93-Carson Ferguson[5]; 5. 99B-Boom Briggs[8]; 6. 111B-Max Blair[4]; 7. 114-Jordan Koehler[6]; 8. 78-Matthew Brocato[9]; 9. 21H-Robby Hensley[7]
Super Clean Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[2]; 3. 2X-John Henderson[3]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[8]; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin[4]; 6. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr[5]; 7. 8K-Kyle Strickler[6]; 8. 89-Logan Roberson[9]; 9. 20V-Rece Vaught[7]
Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 2. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 3. 11-Spencer Hughes[5]; 4. 44D-Dalton Cook[6]; 5. 7-Ross Robinson[8]; 6. 81J-Jack Riggs[7]; 7. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 8. 22*-Payton Freeman[4] Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 16-Tyler Bruening[1]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[3]; 3. 5-Mark Whitener[7]; 4. 19M-Wil Herrington[10]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens[8]; 6. 6-Blake Spencer[13]; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson[2]; 8. 58-Garrett Alberson[12]; 9. 25B-Mike Benedum[17]; 10. 18-Chase Junghans[11]; 11. 773-Christian Thomas[6]; 12. 111-Steven Roberts[5]; 13. 2V-Allen Murray[9]; 14. (DNS) 01-Jason Garver; 15. (DNS) 14W-Dustin Walker; 16. (DNS) 4S-Danny Snyder; 17. (DNS) 4-Kale Green
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 93-Carson Ferguson[1]; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb[2]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin[5]; 4. 111B-Max Blair[7]; 5. 99B-Boom Briggs[4]; 6. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 7. 89-Logan Roberson[14]; 8. 44D-Dalton Cook[3]; 9. 78-Matthew Brocato[13]; 10. 8K-Kyle Strickler[11]; 11. 81J-Jack Riggs[9]; 12. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr[8]; 13. 114-Jordan Koehler[10]; 14. 20V-Rece Vaught[17]; 15. (DNS) 18D-Daulton Wilson; 16. (DNS) 22*-Payton Freeman; 17. (DNS) 21H-Robby Hensley
Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing- Night #3 Feature Finish (60 Laps): 
Race Statistics Entrants: 52Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Brandon OvertonLap Leaders: Brandon Overton (Laps 1-22); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 23-59); Brandon Overton (Lap 60)Wieland Feature Winner: Brandon OvertonArizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Brandon OvertonMargin of Victory: 0.056 secondsStop-Tech Brakes Cautions: Shane Clanton, Carson Ferguson, Garrett Smith, Spencer Hughes, Tyler Erb (Initial Start); Brian Shirley, John Henderson, Tyler Bruening, GR Smith (Restart); Devin Moran (Lap 8); Daulton Wilson (Lap 34)Series Provisionals: Garrett Alberson; Daulton WilsonFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: Ross Robinson; Kyle Bronson; Wil Herrington; Logan Roberson; Jimmy OwensTrack Provisional: n/aBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Overton, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Tanner English Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Overton, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Hudson O’NealTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Kyle Bronson (Advanced 16 Positions)Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Jonathan DavenportDeathridge Opticians Lucky 13th Place Finisher: Spencer HughesEarnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (37 Laps)Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon OvertonO’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/aEtchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Brandon Overton (Lap 4 – 15.844 seconds)Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Kent Fegter (Brandon Overton)ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Ryan Gustin (15.054 seconds)Time of Race: 37 minutes 44 seconds The Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings: