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Extreme Speed Motorsports–Johannes van Overbeek Earns Pole for ESM Patrón

MONTEREY, Calif., May 3, 2014 – Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) showed its speed on Saturday afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with pole position for Sunday’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race. Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 2 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b was the fastest qualifier in a battle between the two ESM prototypes.

The Oakland, Calif., driver won his first overall pole position with a time of 1:18.561 (102.555 mph), which established a Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca qualifying record for the Prototype category. In addition, it was ESM’s first overall TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pole position. Back in 2012, van Overbeek earned a GT class pole at Virginia International Raceway.
During the brief 15-minute qualifying session, van Overbeek and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b swapped the lead several times. Dalziel eventually qualified with the third-fastest time with a 1:18.788 (102.259 mph) lap around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit. 

Ed Brown will start Sunday’s race for the No. 2 team and van Overbeek will drive second. Scott Sharp will start in the No. 1 machine and Dalziel will drive second.

The day didn’t start as the team planned. Following a traffic-filled opening session, ESM was uncertain about the performance of the prototypes and were fourth and sixth in class. In the second session, both machines shot to the top of the charts. In a preview of what was to come in qualifying, the two black and green machines traded the top spot several times. When the second session was complete, van Overbeek was quickest and Dalziel was third. 

Summit Racing–Alund Earns First NHRA Win at Four-Wide Nationals

Alund Earns First NHRA Win at Four-Wide Nationals
CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 13, 2014 – Sweden’s Jimmy Alund had an extraordinary day at the 5th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The Summit Racing Pro Stock driver, filling in for KB Racing’s Greg Anderson, knocked out a string of respected competitors on the way to earning his first trophy on American soil driving the powerful Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
With his triumph, Alund became the first European winner and only the fourth non-American winner in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
“To be able to outrun nine cars in one day – and against drivers and teams that I’ve been looking up to [while] racing in Europe is pretty awesome,” said Alund, who defeated runner-up Shane Gray and semifinal finishers Vincent Nobile and Erica Enders-Stevens in the final with a 6.562 at 211.59 mph that was a thousandth quicker than Gray in terms of elapsed time.
“Greg told me in Pomona to ‘drive like I stole it,’ and I’m actually thinking about stealing it right now,” joked Alund, who will race for Anderson at the Houston event in two weeks before handing the reins back to the four-time world champ, who is recovering from heart surgery performed earlier this season.
For Alund, who was contracted to race six events for Summit Racing, the clock was ticking. He had consistently made progress though, qualifying for each event on the tour beginning with the season-opener in Pomona, setting and resetting his career best numbers, and seeing his first win light in competition at the last race on the tour, the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
During qualifying at the Four-Wide Nationals, Alund recorded a best time of 6.550 at 211.96 mph to earn a position in the top half of the field for the second consecutive event. Starting eighth, Alund was second-quickest in his quad in the first round of eliminations on Sunday to advance, topping V. Gaines and Larry Morgan with a 6.554 at 211.53 that was only bested by No. 1 qualifier Chris McGaha.
In the second round, Alund saw another win light by putting up the best number in his quad, a 6.563 at 211.43, to advance along with second-quickest Shane Gray (6.555, 211.96) and put McGaha and Jeg Coughlin on the trailer.
The final in Charlotte was Alund’s first on the NHRA Mello Yello Series tour, and with only six allotted races to get the job done, it seemed a long shot for many. Alund, however, was powered by KB Racing and supported by a team that welcomed him with open arms and immediately accepted him as one of their own.
“This means a lot,” said Alund. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet; let’s put it that way. I have a lot of wins in Europe, but this is something special. It will be hard to climb out of the seat. We have a really great group of people in Pro Stock, and I’ve had a great time. The Summit Racing guys are awesome, and everyone is laughing and having a good time. I think that’s a very key ingredient.”

Tracy Hines Racing Ninth on Both Nights of Oval Nationals

Tracy Hines Finishes Ninth on Both Nights of the Oval Nationals
By Tracy Hines Racing PR
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — Nov. 3, 2013— Tracy Hines always wants to race against the best competition, no matter what type of vehicle he is competing in. He was able to do that this past weekend as one of the largest fields of the year assembled for the 2013 season-ending Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series at Perris Auto Speedway in California, with over 50 cars present at the half-mile for the two-day event. The veteran driver came away with a pair ninth-place finishes aboard the Hansen’s Welding Inc./The Carolina Nut Company DRC.
Hines was quickest in qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 2, with a total of 45 drivers taking to the clock. The top-six finishers from the preliminary feature the night before were already locked into Saturday’s main event, and thus did not take part in time trials.
The native of New Castle, Ind., lined up 15th for the 40-lap main event and used a strong second half of the race to work his way into the top-10, ultimately finishing ninth for the second straight race. A total of four caution periods slowed the event at the high-banked half-mile.
Hines finished third in the first heat race earlier in the evening, but with just the top-two transferring to the main event, he found himself in the first B-main. He would win that 12-lap contest to secure a spot in the A-Feature.
In the opener of the Oval Nationals on Friday, Nov. 1, Hines came home ninth in the 30-lap preliminary feature. He lined up 15th in the feature that saw a red flag on the fifth circuit, followed by a 10-lap stretch of racing and another caution flag period on lap-15. The remaining 15 circuits went non-stop. Hines worked his way into the top-10 in the opening four laps.
The 2002 Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series champion was 16th-fastest in time trials on the first night of the Oval Nationals. He lined up third in the first heat race and came home fourth in that 10-lap contest to earn a spot in the 30-lap preliminary feature.
Hines wrapped up the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series season sixth in points. He was victorious twice, with both of those wins coming in the season-opening three-night event at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida. In his first season driving his self-owned machine, Hines picked up 19 top-10 finishes, with eight of those being top-five performances.
“For the first year of running our own deal, it was a respectable season,” said Hines. “We a couple of wins early and would have liked to have won a few more. We had a few chances and things just didn’t fall into place. With the level of competition we face every night, it’s no easy task and we know some of the things we have to work on in the winter and when we get home in a few weeks, we’ll get on it and start getting ready for next season.”
After taking next weekend off, Hines will return to action the following week at Canyon Speedway Park in Arizona, in the running of the famed Western World Championships, which will feature the Honda USAC National Midget Series and the USAC Southwest and West Coast Sprint Car Series.

Wood Brothers Racing–Missing Spring Rubber Leads to a Tough Day in Texas For Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

Missing Spring Rubber Leads to a Tough Day in Texas For Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team
November 4, 2013

Trevor Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion struggled with an ill-handling car through the early portions of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Long green-flag runs hampered the crew in its attempts to diagnose the problem, which also caused tire issues that forced unscheduled pit stops that led to lost laps.

 Finally, a late caution period allowed the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew time to carefully inspect the car, and the problem was located.

 “A spring rubber had fallen out of the right-rear spring,” team co-owner Len Wood. “They replaced it, and it made a different car out of it.”
Spring rubbers are pieces of rubber inserted into the coils of a spring to change its affect on the car’s handling. They’re also useful during races because they can be quickly inserted or removed, thus providing a significant chassis adjustment. With the spring rubber back in place, Bayne was able to run competitive laps and race with those around him, but by that time he had lost four laps to the leaders and wound up finishing 29th.

Wood said the chassis adjustments the crew made during the race didn’t produce the expected results because the missing spring rubber so adversely affected the chassis set-up of the No. 21 Ford Fusion. “It would take three times the usual adjustment,” he said.

Wood and the rest of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had praise for Bayne and his handling of the challenges of the afternoon, especially the issues with the tires, which wore excessively due to the missing spring rubber. “He caught it each time and did a nice job of getting the car to pit road,” Wood said, explaining that a blown tire likely would have meant a wrecked car especially at a high-speed track like Texas Motor Speedway.

 Now Wood and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team turn their attention to the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

 “We tested there last week, and we’ve got a good plan and a different car for the Ford 400,” Wood said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Chevy Racing–Chicago–Post Race

SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
JOLIET, IL – September 16, 2013 – Following lengthy rain delays before and during the opening round of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick led the way for Team Chevy in his No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS at the GEICO 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway with a third-place finish.  It was Harvick’s seventh top-10 finish of the season and eighth top-10 finish at Chicagoland.
A mid-race five-hour red flag changed track conditions from day to night, which created a challenging situation for all. But Team Chevy Chase contenders made a strong showing with four drivers finishing in the top-10 overall.
Kurt Busch continued to impress in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/Serta Chevrolet SS as he came home in fourth position and now moves to sixth in the standings with nine races to go in the Chase for the championship.  Busch was followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who finished fifth and sixth respectively. 
Johnson is third in points in his quest for a sixth NSCS title, while Gordon moved up to seventh after being added to the Chase field on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway after NASCAR ruled to include the No. 24 team as the 13th contender in this season’s Chase field.
Behind the wheel of his No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, Ryan Newman came away with a 10th-place finish after the post Richmond International Raceway shuffle that put him in the Chase. He sits eighth in the standings. Contact on pit road forced Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, to the attention of his pit crew several times under caution for repairs, but he rallied to a 12th place finish in the 267-lap/400-mile race. He is 10th in the standings.
A mechanical issue forced Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Time Warner Chevrolet SS to the garage on lap 224. He was scored 35th and sits 13th in the standings.
Matt Kenseth (Toyota) was the race winner and Kyle Busch (Toyota) was second to round out the top five.
The next race on the tour and the second race of the Chase is September 14th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Joining us now, we have Kevin Harvick. Let’s hear about the race tonight. Currently in fourth place in our Chase standings is Kevin Harvick. Kevin, talk about your run out there tonight and maybe how the track obviously changed from the beginning first segment, then after that and finishing it out.
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, the first half of the race for us, we were really tight, struggled with the handling of our car to be able to get the car to turn through the center of the corner.  We sat down, the engineers and Gil sat down in between the rain delay there and came up with some good adjustments and we were able to make some good ground.
Our car was really good on the restarts, so you could pick a bunch of them off pretty easy there going into turn one and two.  All in all, it was a good night, just too loose at the end to run with those guys up off the corner, but still a good night.
KERRY THARP:  We’ll take questions for Kevin.
Q.  Did you notice anything different in terms of the radio communications with the digital access for spotters being gone, generally the restarts, all the changes?
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, I mean, we didn’t really have anything different that affected what we did in the car.  I didn’t notice anything different.
Q.  Restarts pretty much the same?
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah.  I think everybody can be a little bit more aggressive as you saw at the end, not worrying about shoving the other guy in front.  I think when the green flag goes, you just start going and make a decision as to whether you want to go low or push the guy in front of you.
Q.  Kevin, what happened on pit road?  Can you talk about virtually everybody in the top six had something possibly happen to them tonight.  You were able to get through it.
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, we went from top five three times to 16th or 18th.  Once was just everybody took two tires.  Another time was the 7 coming into his pit stall, stopped and going.  We all stacked up and had to stop to not crash.  The rest of it was just bad performance on pit road.
Q.  Kevin, you gave Matt the push.  Did you feel you were going to be able to follow him through and challenge him later on?
KEVIN HARVICK:  I didn’t know.  Looked like the run before, Kyle was a little bit better than the 20.  They were evenly matched.  I was hoping they would get side‑by‑side, you have one of them slide up, able to get three‑wide or something happen.  I figured that was better than going to the bottom and getting three‑wide and being pinned on the bottom and getting passed by two or three cars on the top. I figured that was my best option.      
Q.  Kevin, five hours of rain delay.  How do you keep yourself in focus, ready to get back behind the wheel?
KEVIN HARVICK:  Honestly, I just went back and hung out with DeLana and my son, ate some dinner, relaxed and watched football.  That’s what I did; really not think about racing.  When it was time to go, you get back into the right frame of mind.
Q.  Did the track conditions change after the rain delay?  Track temperature went down 17 degrees.        
KEVIN HARVICK:  Yeah, I mean, the pace definitely picked up.  My car was way better in the night than it was in the day.  I mean, there was a couple times three‑quarters down the straightaway, sit on the rev limiter, I hadn’t touched it all weekend.          
KERRY THARP:  Kevin, thanks for putting on a great performance for us today.
     FastScripts by ASAP Sports
ADDITIONAL POST RACE COMMENT FROM: Mark Martin, No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS – Finished 17th
“I felt like we had a better racecar than that, but I feel like we had a great effort. Made a couple of mistakes on the racetrack, but we recovered from them. Like I said, we had a pretty good Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. That last run, the car got tight. I think I could’ve passed a couple more cars there if it hadn’t tightened up on me, but for some reason, after that last stop, it tightened up on me. I feel good about the speed we have. We know where we need to work now. We’ve been together long enough to know what we need. We’re building a foundation and we’ll keep learning. It was a good effort.”