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Archive for October, 2011

ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil National Champion to Get His Tryout on November 21st

Monday, October 31st, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Barry Beggarly, the 2011 ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Member Track National Champion, will have his tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing on Monday, November 21. The tryout will take place at a familiar place for Beggarly, Ace Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Altamahaw, NC.

“I am really looking forward to it, this should be fun,” the 2011 National Champion from Pelham, NC said. “I am also looking forward to visiting with JD Gibbs and touring their race shops.”

Beggarly will meet up with the Joe Gibbs Racing team at Ace Speedway on Monday, November 21 for a full day of testing. Beggarly won his fourth track championship at the ASA Member Track as he held off Jason York for the title.

Fans are invited to come to the track and watch the tryouts for free from the grandstands.

On Tuesday, Beggarly will travel to Joe Gibbs Racing in Harrisburg, NC where he will have a meeting with JD Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing President, and possibly Coach Joe Gibbs. He will also get an up close tour of the Joe Gibbs Racing facilities.

“Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing is excited to have Barry Beggarly test one of our cars at the track that won his championship,” JD Gibbs said. “I am really looking forward to sitting down to visit with him and hope he enjoys the tour of our shop. We are eager to meet this champion driver.”

Beggarly became the fourth different driver to win the ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Member Track National Championship. Beggarly held off Zack Franks of Newport Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Newport, TN, and Chrissy Wallace of Lebanon I-44 Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Lebanon, MO.

“ASA is once again excited to give one of our ASA Member Track members an opportunity of a lifetime with one of the top teams in NASCAR,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “We wish Barry Beggarly all the best with his tryout and we hope he enjoys this unique prize. We encourage his fans to come out to Ace Speedway on Monday, November 21 to cheer for your champion!”

Fans can look at their favorite driver statistics by visiting SpeedNetDirect.com’s Championship Insider at www.championshipinsider.com. It is a free membership site, sign up today!

Drivers from participating ASA Member Tracks across the United States have chosen one of their divisions as their premiere divisions. These drivers competed in their premiere divisions, are an ASA member in good standing, and won their 2011 track championship, became eligible to compete against other ASA Member Track champions for the National title.

ASA has teamed up with speednetdirect.com to create a proprietary point system that is much like a batting average in baseball. Some of the factors used to create an average are wins, number of cars passed, finishes, car count, and number of events. The value of each factor is not known.

Race fans and competitors can view the 2011 final standings by clicking the ASA Member Track logo at www.speednetdirect.com.

Past National Champions are Cary Stapp, Thunderhill Raceway (2008), Tommy Cloce, Adirondack Speedway (2009), and Bryan Wordelman, Rocky Mountain Raceways (2010).

Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, sponsor of the American Speed Association National Short Track National Championship, is the same oil developed and used by Joe Gibbs Racing. The team sells the oil so racers across the country can have access to the latest technology in racing lubricants.

Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and a driver development program. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl champion as head coach of the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and more than 80 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.

The ASA Member Track program sanctions dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information call (386) 258-2221, or send an email to info@asa-racing.com. The latest news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA can be found by visiting www.asa-racing.com

De Silvestro’s season review

Monday, October 31st, 2011

If someone would’ve told me at the beginning of the 2011 season, as I was fighting for that podium spot with Tony Kanaan on the streets of St. Petersburg, how the rest of this season would unfold, I wouldn’t have believed them.

We really kicked it off in style this year. My Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was new and fast, and I was coming off a great rookie season. We raced strong at St. Pete and I had a career-best, fourth-place finish. I felt great about the direction my sophomore season was headed in.
Quick stats

Top 10s: 3
Top 5s: 1
Run at finish: 11
Best start: 13th (3 times)
Best finish: 4th (St. Pete)

After a second top-10 finish at Barber, we had a somewhat disappointing race at Long Beach, but I remember that it made me even more excited to go to Brazil. The race on the streets of Sao Paulo is one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I lead laps there during my very first race in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Maybe it’s because I love driving in the rain. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t wait to get out there.

My excitement faded quickly after an early incident put me nine laps down. The rain ended everyone’s day early, but when I got back on track Monday morning, I ran the fastest lap of the race and was proud to take home that trophy. It wasn’t for a podium finish, but something I could take pride in nonetheless.

After Brazil, it was on to Indy! I was the reigning champion of the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors and I wanted to make this year even more special. I try not to relive what happened too much in my head, so let’s just say that the massive crash was something I hope never happens to me again. I’ll admit that I considered walking away from racing. The support I got from my family, team and sponsors was incredible – they told me that it was my decision. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that this is what I believe I was born to do. I’m a racecar driver and I don’t want to do anything else. So even though I was terrified, I got into that car and made that qualifying run… three times.

We didn’t have a great race at Indy, but I feel blessed to just be part of the experience. I’m one of only 33 people who can say they raced in the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500. That’s pretty special.

From that point on, it was me and my trusty sidekick, Pork Chop. We didn’t have the best start together – after Texas, the crash in qualifying at Milwaukee lead to a concussion. For the first time in my career, I didn’t feel physically able to drive and as a driver, it’s hard to admit that. I wanted to be tough and push through it, but I knew that wouldn’t be the right decision and could have consequences later on.

Not being medically cleared to drive at Iowa was tough, but I understand. In the long term, it was the best thing for everyone involved that I got back to being 100 percent. The whole experience was trying and I couldn’t wait to return to the road/street courses.

My excitement must’ve shown on the streets of Toronto and we brought home another top-10 finish. The next few races seemed to fly by – Edmonton, Mid-Ohio, New Hampshire – and then I thought I’d take a few days to go home and visit my family in Switzerland.

The plan was to fly back in time for the Sonoma race. Everything worked according to plan until I landed in Washington-Dulles and wasn’t allowed to enter the country! With all the proper paperwork and without being given a reason, I was sent back home to watch my team compete from halfway around the world. I was thankful that Simon Pagenaud was willing to step in and help us out. Although it was tough not being there, he did a great job.

My birthday is September 1st and as luck would have it, that happened to be the day I was granted access back into the U.S. I flew in just in time to enjoy the Baltimore race weekend. It was definitely one of my favorites this year. We had awesome hospitality from our partners (and friends) at the InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel and it felt like my “home” race because all of the folks from Entergy Nuclear and AREVA came out to cheer me on. I was leading for a brief time during that race and I really felt like I was back.

The trip to Japan was fun, as always. It probably won’t surprise anyone that I was glad we were driving the road course. The fans are awesome and I hope we go back there someday.

I went into the Kentucky race weekend with a simple goal of continuing to improve my confidence on the ovals. At the end of the second practice session, I was actually having a great time out there, and managed to put together a solid qualifying run. It made me realize how cool it is to drive for a diverse series. It allows drivers of different backgrounds to showcase the skills they already have and improve on the ones they need to.

Finally, it was off to Vegas for the IZOD IndyCar season finale. What started as a great celebration ended in a tragedy that none of us could’ve ever expected. We got to put on a great event Thursday night on the strip, followed by some fun appearances, all of which lead up to what was supposed to be an exciting finale to the 2011 season. As we got strapped into our cars, we wanted to put on a show for the fans.

In the aftermath of the Lap 11 accident, all of us – drivers, teams, officials and fans – have been looking for answers and mourning in our own separate ways. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Susie and the boys. Secondly, IndyCar has made it clear that safety is paramount and they’re working to answer our questions. As drivers, we understand that there’s risk involved with our sport. We have to be strong and involved in making it even safer.

As always, I want to say thanks to my team for a great season. I also want to express my sincere appreciation for my fans. During a very tough season, you continued to cheer me on and your support gave me strength. I look forward to a new start in 2012, a leveled playing field with the new car and another chance to connect with all of you. Have a fun and safe off-season. See you in St. Pete.

Points VS. Wins

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Points VS. Wins
Halloween is a favorite night of the drivers and the fans and they were treated to an exciting night of action. The RaceCar Engineering Late Models and Barrett’s Race Cars Hobby Stocks returned while the Amsoil V-8 Thunderstocks, Mini Stocks, and
Gladiators inched closer to their respective finales.

Young Devin Walker started on pole but quickly fell through the field and spun inturn 1 with Scott Haas and Donald Woosley After 1 completed lap. It was later found out that Walker had a broken axle. Walker spun again on lap 2. The restart gave Trevor Gamble the shot he needed and he took the lead from Mike Scranton. An amazing 5-man battle between Gamble, Scranton, Tim Powers, Johnny Zackery, and Brett Barrett followed. Lap 9 saw a debris caution halt the field once more with Gamble in front, Powers in 2nd, and Scranton 3rd. Powers took the lead by a nose as they came back around but Gamble took it back immediately. Sean Babcock’s crazy night began when he slowed on lap 12 bringing the yellow out again. A jump on the restart occurred before they went back to green. Tim Powers took the lead on lap 14 and never relinquished it even with a dying engine. Gamble took 2nd with Brett Barrett on the podium in 3rd. Scranton fell to 4th and Johnny Zackery held onto a top 5 spot. Tommy Ausburn used a 6th place finish to jump into the top 5 in points while Buck Woodhouse used 7th to take 2nd in the standings. Joe Boyd finished 8th, Scott Haas 9th, and Mark Maresca finished in the top 10.

It was a battle between 3 former track champions at the front. A debris caution flew on lap 1 allowing JO Nobles to practice his restarts. On lap 6 Len Parrish hit the frontsrtech wall with trouble on the right front of the 72P. Nobles was fantastic on
restarts which allowed him breathing rooM as the field began to catch him. Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. and Mark Whitener stayed on the 18 but couldn’t nose in front of him. Larry Anderson spun in turn 2 while trying to give the leaders the racing grooves. Immediately after a debris caution was thrown for tires in turn 4. The final caution flew on lap 20 for Bubba Clem’s spin on the backstretch. A 5 lap dash ensued. Nobles restarts and blocking proved just a bit too much for Ivedent Lloyd’s attacks and Whitener’s raw speed. Nobles took the topless win while Whitener got past Lloyd in the closing stages for 2nd. Jack Nosbisch was a quiet 4th and Dillon Wood rounded out the top 5. Christian Augspurger was 6th, Bo Allen 7th, Tim Zackery in 8th, Bubba Clem gave a lucky fan some 9th place cash, and Larry Anderson rounded out the top 10 after Brandon DeWitt’s last lap spin.

The Mini Stocks put on a caution free race and kept the damage to a minimum in this 1. John Yates put 3 cars on track and they went 1-2-3. Jamie Burrows took his 2nd win of 2011 while Brittany Yates extended her points lead with a 2nd place finish.
Ray Folwell completed the Yates’ domination of the night with a 3rd place finish. Buddy Pope finished 4th while Kody Kinsey took a top 5. Ray Ethridge was scored 6th with a DNF as was 7th place Ryan Babcock.

Double Points with 7 left in a title battle. $500 to win with 41 drivers trying for 25 spots. The title battle was jumbled up when 3rd place Gordon Cade, 4th place Vaughn Woodall, and 7th place Chris Watson didn’t qualify for the feature. On lap 2 Jonathan Appleby had an accident. The restart saw Jeff Stalnaker, Jr. in 1st, David Miller 2nd, and Tom Hughes 3rd. Miller used the restart to overtake Stalnaker for the lead. On lap 6 Eddie Lake stopped on course briging the yellow back out. Lap 6 restart 1 saw Matt Schell spin in turn 1. The 2nd saw Jonathan Gillette stop at the exit of turn 4. Mike Tovet spun separate from Richard Calmes and Tim Hughes on the 3rd attempt before leader Miller stopped and Davey Kinsey, 3rd at the time, pulled in for a tire. That allowed Jeff Stalnaker, Jr. to lead again, Jeff Baer was given 2nd, and Ryan Lasik was 3rd. Mike passed Jeff on lap 10 but not before driving over the 77. Both continued on until Jeff’s engine let go a few laps later. DJ Horiski spun out of turn 4 on lap 13 and the yellow was shown. Stalnaker led with Brian Shea now 2nd and Jason Blackmer 3rd. On lap 18 Davey Wolf found the wall bringing the yellow back out. Stalnaker held on to win his 4th consecutive of 2011 while Brian Shea drove a stake through the hearts of his title contenders with 2nd. Jason Blackmer finished an impressive 3rd while Davey Kinsey came back for 4th. Jason Gamble had the quietest run of his season after passing 20 cars to finish 5th and salvage points. Mike Tovet was 6th, Jesse Corbitt 7th, David Miller 8th, Jeff Baer 9th, and Marlon Durbin rounded out the top 10.

Reid Christensen pulled off on lap 2 and the next lap Steve Cox helped him out by smacking the wall, ending his night and the debris was enough to be the only cautio nof the night. Ray Hunter sat in 2nd trying to set Robert Graham up. He finally made the pass after 10 completed laps and never looked back. Ray Hunter took his 2nd consecutive win while Robert Graham finished 2nd. Steve Johnson was 3rd, Curtis Clark, Jr. 4th, and Matt Kramer in 5th. The 87 was 6th, Jerry Taylor 7th, Casey Feaster 8th after a broken hose, Steve Cox 9th, and Reid Christensen 10th. However, Robert Graham was disqualified in tech moving everyone up 1 spot.

Next week-end is Night Of A Thousands with the UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds, Barrett’s Race Cars Hobby Stocks, Amsoil V-8 Thunderstocks, Gladiators, and Florida Mini Sprints Association. For more information you can check out www.bubbaracewaypark.com or call the Speedway hotline at 352-622-9400.

Federal-Mogul’s Champion® Brand to Offer $100,000 in Racing Sponsorships Through Web-Based ‘Search for a Champion’ Contest

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Southfield, Michigan, …The legendary Champion® spark plug, filter, wiper and performance chemicals brand from Federal-Mogul Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML) will support a new generation of talented amateur racers through an innovative Web-based video contest that will award $100,000 (USD) in motorsports sponsorships.

Through the “Search for a Champion” contest, Federal-Mogul will award each of five finalist prize winners a $10,000 (USD) motorsports sponsorship and one grand-prize winner a $50,000 (USD) sponsorship for submitting videos that best demonstrate their ability to win a racing championship in 2012. Entries will be accepted from amateur teams in any form of engine-driven racing, whether on earth/dirt, asphalt, snow, ice, water or other course. Judging will be based on viewer voting on the brand’s newly updated www.AlwaysaChampion.com website as well as input from NASCAR® driver and team owner Kevin Harvick. (See www.AlwaysaChampion.com for contest rules.)

The contest was announced by Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet in Sprint Cup racing and official spokesperson for the Champion brand. “I got my start racing go-karts, so I know what a sponsorship can mean to a small race team,” he said. “This program enables Champion to give back to the sport that has helped make it one of the world’s most popular brands by supporting local racers who have what it takes to capture a title in local and regional racing.”

California, here they come: Bakersfield to sanction IMCA SportMods in 2012

Friday, October 28th, 2011

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Bakersfield Speedway has become the first California track to sanction its SportMod division with IMCA.

Regular 2012 point races for the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods begin in March and continue through September. IMCA Modifieds also return to Saturday night cards at the 1/3-mile clay oval.

“We ran a non-sanctioned sportmod division in 2011 and had a pretty good following. Our highest car count during the season was 14, which was pretty good,” said promoter Scott Schweitzer. “I decided now was the best time to sanction this class with IMCA because I can see how their division is growing.”

Introduced in 2005 at four tracks in Iowa and Nebraska, the Northern SportMod class crowned champions at 47 tracks in nine states this year.

“Both the rules and the economics of the SportMods are very important, but they’ll also be a good next step up class for us,” Schweitzer said. “We don’t have an economical next division between our hobby stocks and the IMCA Modifieds.”

He added that the SportMods could allow former competitors to get back into the sport.

“We have several drivers who used to race Modifieds and would like to start racing again,” Schweitzer said. “This division has shown it can get drivers back into racing because of its rules and cost effectiveness.”

Bakersfield has sanctioned its Modified division with IMCA since 1990. That’s the longest consecutive tenure of any track in California.

“IMCA has a long standing history with Bakersfield Speedway. It’s a great facility with an outstanding fan following and is well run and promoted by Scott,” said Brett Root, vice president of operations for IMCA. “It’s no surprise that Bakersfield is also the first track in California to sanction Northern SportMods. We expect more tracks in the state to follow their lead.”