Archive for April 8th, 2017

Haas F1 Team: Bahrain Grand Prix Advance

Desert Yields High-Water Mark for Haas F1 Team
Second-Year Team Looks to Emulate First-Season Finish at Bahrain Grand Prix

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (April 10, 2017) – After securing its best starting spot in its still young history with a sixth-place qualifying effort March 25 in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team comes into the third race of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir looking to emulate its best finish.

In last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive fifth, effectively one-upping his debut with the American team two weeks prior when he finished sixth in Australia. Not since Shadow Racing – another American team – debuted in 1973 with consecutive points-scoring finishes by Californian George Follmer had an organization earned two top-six results in its first two races.

The back-to-back point-scoring efforts raised eyebrows in the paddock and staked Haas F1 Team as a legitimate Formula One outfit. But in a sport that moves at lightning pace, one’s efforts in the last race, let alone last season, quickly fade. Two races into its sophomore season and with all of 23 races under its belt, that fifth-place finish in the desert remains Haas F1 Team’s high-water mark.

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Kokomo USAC National Midget Results: April 8, 2017

USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 8, 2017 – Kokomo, Indiana – Kokomo Speedway – “Kokomo Grand Prix”

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.318; 2. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.320; 3. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.326; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.346; 5. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13,382; 6. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13,486; 7. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.499; 8. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-13.507; 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7B, Brown-13,595; 10. Tanner Carrick, 71k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.609; 11. Holly Shelton, 67k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.616; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.630; 13. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-13.652; 14. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson/Marshall-13.719; 15. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.722; 16. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-13.742; 17. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Hollingsworth-13.750; 18. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.796; 19. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-13,802; 20. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-13.918; 21. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.948; 22. Billy Wease, 12w, Wease-13.949; 23. Anton Julian, 44, Pace-13.991; 24. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-14,023; 25. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-14.100; 26. Ray Seach, 2, Seach-14.102; 27. Tyler Nelson, 88T, Nelson-14.116; 28. Brayton Lynch, 1k, RKR-14.263; 29. Kyle Schuett, 9k, Schuett-14.297; 30. Scott Orr, 88, Orr-14.520; 31. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-14.521; 32. Bear Wood, 8jr, LW Racing-14.568; 33. Cole Fehr, 15F, Live Loud-14,578; 34. Chase Jones, 22, Petry/Goff-14.747; 35. Brad Kraus, 6B, Kraus-15.052.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Darland, 3. K.Thomas, 4. Robinson, 5. Bright, 6. Walker, 7. Schuett, 8. Fehr, 9. Hollingsworth. 2:19.06
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Castroneves Wins Third Straight Long Beach Pole with Track Record

 LONG BEACH, California (Saturday, April 8, 2017) – He may be one of the elder statesmen of the Verizon IndyCar Series, but Helio Castroneves isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The Team Penske driver broke his own track record today in winning a third straight Verizon P1 Award to start on pole position in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

In the Firestone Fast Six, the third and final round of knockout qualifying, Castroneves pushed his No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course in a sizzling 1 minute, 6.2254 seconds (106.980 mph). It earned the 41-year-old Brazilian his third straight Long Beach pole and the 48th of his 20-year career, leaving Castroneves one behind fellow legend Bobby Unser for third on the all-time list.

“This competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it’s so incredible,” Castroneves said. “It’s ridiculous, plus every time you go into a session, it’s something different. The track changes, the tires change, traffic. It is absolutely very difficult. The crucial time when it comes, you see everybody hundredths of a second separated from each other.

“My car felt pretty good. Especially with the reds (Firestone alternate tires), my car came alive from this morning, so the AAA Chevy is working really hard.”

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH: Qualifying results

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“What They’re Saying” from Qualifying at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was just one of those unfortunate things. I understand the penalty because I interfered with (Helio) Castroneves’ lap. I backed up a little to set up a second lap on the (alternate tires) and Helio was right there. I was boxed in; there was nothing I could do. The Menards Chevy was fantastic. We’ll start from the back. St. Petersburg was won from the back and we’ll try to do that, too.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Hum by Verizon Chevrolet was good enough to transfer, but we just couldn’t make it happen. It’s nothing to spend a lot of time thinking about. We just need to move on to Sunday and get to the front. The car is plenty fast. We’ll see what we can do strategy-wise and see how the cautions fall and make some decisions from there.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet): “This competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it’s so incredible. It’s ridiculous, plus every time you go into a session, it’s something different. The track changes, the tires change, traffic… It is absolutely very difficult. The crucial time when it comes, you see everybody hundredths of a second separated from each other. My car felt pretty good. Especially with the reds (Firestone alternate tires), my car came alive from this morning, so the AAA Chevy is working really hard. Today is extra special because Long Beach is a great place. I remember winning here from the pole in 2001 and, the last two years, we were right there. We’re not going to let this escape again.”

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Benjamin Goes Back-to-Back at Greenville

Collects First K&N Pro East Victory of 2017

EASLEY, S.C. – Kyle Benjamin capitalized on a late-race restart to win the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway on Saturday night.

Benjamin started on the pole after running a track record lap of 19.144 seconds at 94.024 mph. The Easley, South Carolina, native ran inside the top-five nearly all night long and led 46 laps. At the halfway mark on lap 75, Benjamin in the No. 40 MDM Motorsports Toyota was running third.

On lap 108, Benjamin passed Dillon Bassett for the race lead in Turn 3. Benjamin maneuvered through lapped traffic and held off the hard charging cars of Ruben Garcia Jr., Todd Gilliland and Dillon Bassett. A lap 144 caution set the field up for a two-lap dash to the finish. Benjamin was able to stay out and front and win his second race in a row at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
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Waterman Leads List of Winners on Icebreaker Saturday at Thompson

The ice is breaking and racing is back at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The 43rd Annual Icebreaker got underway on Saturday with six feature races at the historic motorsports facility.

The Lite Modifieds, Street Stocks, NEMA Lites, Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series and Vintage Outlaws all ran feature races on Saturday, and for the first time a “Race of Champions” event was held featuring all four Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park track champions from 2016 in equally-prepared race cars.

The Vintage Outlaws was the first feature of the day. Jim Lowrey walked away with the win repeating his success from the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing in 2016.
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April 8th Tulare Canceled

TULARE, CA……..Tonight’s AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car and Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget race at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway has been canceled. With heavy rains expected overnight and Saturday, track officials have canceled the show and the race will not be rescheduled.

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will prepare for the April 15th return to Bakersfield Speedway.

For more event information, visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com.

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PRACTICE: Dowling Fast at Thompson

2015 Sunoco ROY Tops Chart for Whelen Modified’s Icebreaker

THOMPSON, Conn. – While making his first appearance of the 2017 season on Saturday, Chase Dowling was the fastest overall in practice for Sunday’s Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Although Dowling was 15th fastest in the first session, he rocketed to the top of the charts in the final practice with a time of 18.769 seconds (119.879 mph) behind the wheel of his No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet.

Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby — who has five career Thompson victories – was second fastest overall with a fastest lap of 18.844 (119.401). Coby was the second fastest car in final practice, and was quickest in the opening round.

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Abreu Closes Western Swing in Victory Lane

Abreu Closes Western Swing in Victory Lane Arizona Speedway

Gravel and Brown finish on the podium at Arizona Desert Shootout

QUEEN CREEK, AZ — April 8, 2017 — In a caution free event that saw passing throughout the 24-car field, it was Rico Abreu that perfectly timed a slide-job in Turn 2 to take over the top spot from Brian Brown at the half-way point of the 30-lap event. David Gravel was able to follow Abreu through to give him the second position. Abreu held off a hard-charging Gravel as they made their way through heavy lap traffic to pick up his first World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win of the 2017 season at Arizona Speedway.

Coming into the Arizona stretch of the 2017 season, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series full-time drivers scored wins in first 12 events of the season. That stat changed after Brian Brown ran away with the Yuma Valley Showdown at Cocopah Speedway on Friday Night. The outsiders were looking to make it two-for-two in Arizona when the Series visited the Arizona Speedway for the second time in their history.

For the second night in a row, Brown started from the pole position. After jumping out to an early lead, Brown opened up a half-second lead over Abreu after a pass attempt that didn’t stick.

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QUALIFYING: Benjamin Breaks Track Record

Easley Native to Sit On K&N Pro East Pole at Greenville

EASLEY, S.C. – Kyle Benjamin, a native of Easley, South Carolina destroyed the track record in group qualifying to sit on the 21 Means 21 Pole for Saturday’s Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway.

Benjamin, driver of the No. 40 MDM Motorsports Toyota ran a lap of 19.144 seconds at 94.024 mph to capture the pole on Saturday afternoon. The previous track record was a lap of 20.534 seconds at 87.659 mph set by Brett Moffitt back in April of 2011. The newly paved corners at Greenville Pickens Speedway is what’s attributing to the faster lap times.

Last season, Benjamin finished second at the speedway during the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East’s visit in March, and he won the September race. Benjamin is second on the all-time list of laps led at the speedway. He only needs to lead 95 laps on Saturday night to surpass Brett Moffitt’s record of 356 laps led.
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PRACTICE: Gilliland Paces Field at Greenville

Leads Sole K&N Pro East Practice Session

EASLEY, S.C. – Entering the weekend with three wins in a row in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Todd Gilliland topped practice at Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday.

Gilliland, driver of the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota is making his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start at the half-mile speedway in Easley, South Carolina this weekend. With just nine minutes to go in final practice, Gilliland clocked a scorching, 19.383-second lap. Gilliland’s lap was much quicker than the 20.534-second qualifying track record that was set back in 2011 by Brett Moffitt.

Second fastest during the one and only practice session was Dillon Bassett who ran a lap of 19.388 seconds. Although the driver of the No. 44 Bassett Gutters and More Ford dominated during the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway, he’s coming off a disappointing 24th-place finish after being caught up in an accident in Florida. Bassett, however, did finish fifth in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 last year, and he followed that effort up with a sixth-place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway last September.

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From 13th, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Wins at Texas Motor Speedway

FT. WORTH, Texas (April 7, 2017) While several drivers have entered the season with back-to-back wins with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. is the first to go three-for-three right out of the gate; adding his third win in as many outings with a dominating run from 13th at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

The opening night of Tony Stewart’s Texas Sprint Car Nationals presented by Machinery Auctioneers, the win is also Hafertepe’s third at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track since 2014.

“My third win here, I feel like we’re getting pretty comfortable here, but I have to thank these fans for coming out tonight. I tried to make it an exciting race, and I think we did coming from 13th,” said Hafertepe who is also Friday’s CP-Carrillo Hard Charger of the Night.

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‘Blackjack’ Brian Brown Returns to Victory Lane at Cocopah Speedway

Brown’s first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory in three years
 
SOMERTON, AZ – April 7, 2017 – Brian Brown ousted the field in the Yuma Valley Showdown at Cocopah Speedway for his first World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series win in over three years. It was a race where track position was key and Brown had just that by starting on the pole of the 30-lap Feature event. Donny Schatz grabbed his tenth top-five of the season with a runner-up finish.
 
By winning the Craftsman Club® Dash, Brian Brown was awarded the pole position – a starting position that proved to be invaluable. At the drop of the green flag, the Grain Valley, MO-driver quickly jumped out to an early lead over the 24-car field.
 
“This is awesome, we’ve had a rough couple of nights,” said Brian Brown. “It’s been an awesome start to the year, but the last couple of nights haven’t been good. The [crew] had a talk before the race and decided to hit the reset button. We’ve been in position to win some of these races this year, we just haven’t capitalized. To beat these guys is an honor and we’re excited to get to [Arizona Speedway] tomorrow. I can’t thank Casey General Stores, FVP and my crew enough for this.”

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