Fredric Aasbo crowned Formula Drift champion for a second time
Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra wins title with second at Irwindale
IRWINDALE, California (October 24, 2021) – Fredric Aasbo won the 2021 Formula Drift championship on Saturday, taking second place at the Irwindale Speedway season finale in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra to clinch the title.
“We did it. We freaking did it,” said an emotional Aasbo on Saturday. “The competition has stepped up tremendously since 2015 when I won my first title and this one was much harder fought. It took so much from everyone to keep up the charge all season and I have nothing but gratitude to my team, our partners and our families who make it possible for us to chase our dreams.”
The result also secured the Manufacturer’s title for Papadakis Racing partner Toyota, while partner Nitto Tire won the Tire Cup crown.
Aasbo joins a short list of multi-time Formula Drift champions, including Tanner Foust, who scored back-to-back championships with Papadakis Racing in 2007 and 2008. Papadakis Racing is the most winning team in Formula Drift history.
“Championships are won on the track, but they’re built in the shop,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “A lot of things need to come together to bring home a title, not only with the driving but technically as well. I’m proud and humbled by the commitment of everyone in this effort including car chief Shawn Hillier, and the teams at Rockstar Energy Drink, Toyota and Nitto Tire, who all work so hard behind the scenes to make this happen.”
It was an all-or-nothing weekend for Aasbo, who entered the season-ender needing to score second-place or better to guarantee the title. He started strong, qualifying in the No. 1 position to bypass the opening Round of 32. In the Round of 16, he faced Jonathan Hurst and advanced to meet his teammate Ryan Tuerck in the Great 8.
Even with high championship stakes, the Papadakis Racing Toyota team encourages its drivers to earn their wins on the track and does not issue team orders. Fans were treated to a showcase battle as two of the best drivers in the sport were unleashed on track. It was close, and Aasbo had the edge to advance past his teammate into the Final 4.
There, he met longtime rival Vaughn Gittin Jr., a formidable opponent who had denied Aasbo a title in a similar Irwindale face-off in 2018. It was another close fight but this time Aasbo prevailed to lock in the championship. He went on to face Odi Bakchis for the final battle and secured second place in the event.
The story of the championship was one of consistency for Aasbo, who scored six podium results in eight rounds this season in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra. The final tally included one win, four second places and one third-place result. He entered the last round needing to fight off three other contenders for the championship and won the title by 31 points over Matt Field.
For his part, Tuerck started the weekend sixth in the standings in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil 1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and came back from a practice crash in the minutes before qualifying to earn the 22nd spot on the ladder. He met Taylor Hull in the first round, then advanced past Dylan Hughes in the Round of 16 before teammate Aasbo halted his run in the Great 8. The result was all that was needed to keep Toyota on top of the Manufacturer’s Championship standings and with a podium record of two second place finishes this year, he finished the season sixth in the points.
Aasbo joined Papadakis Racing in 2011 and earned his first series crown in 2015. He started his Formula Drift career in 2010 as a privateer in a Mark IV Supra. He has a record 16 career victories in the series -- all with Papadakis Racing.
Tuerck is a leading social influencer and top-tier driver. His down-home charm, commitment to the sport's grassroots, and talent in front of the camera have brought him a social fanbase of over a million followers.
The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2004 and is the most winning team in Formula Drift history. Two-time champion Aasbo has 16 career wins to date. The team also won back-to-back championships with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.
Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan the sport has rapidly grown to one of the most popular youth-oriented motorsports in the world. Here in the United States, Formula Drift events routinely host capacity crowds, while live-streamed multi-platform broadcasts attract millions of online viewers.
Fredric Aasbo hoists the championship trophy at Irwindale Speedway Saturday night. (Image: Larry Chen Photo)
Fredric Aasbo and the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra (left) meets teammate Ryan Tuerck in the
Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil 1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback during the Round of 8 at the Formula Drift finale in Irwindale.
The duo were top scorers for Toyota to lock in the Manufacturer's Cup. (Image: Larry Chen Photo)
Williamson Rallies for Career-Best Short Track Nationals Finale Finish
Inside Line Promotions - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 25, 2021) - Garet Williamson capped his 2021 campaign by earning a career-best 12 th-place result during the 34th annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires finale on Saturday evening at I-30 Speedway.
The Bryant Paver Motorsports driver enjoyed a fast race car throughout the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour doubleheader, which began on Friday with Williamson qualifying second quickest in his group. He was running inside a lock-in position in a heat race when a late incident hampered his result.
"I stepped on it in the heat race," he said. "I was trying to get another car. We both went to the bottom. I didn't want to wipe us both out so I backed out of it and the car came around on me. That buried us in points."
An eighth-place finish in the heat race relegated Williamson to a B Main. He won that to transfer into the main event.
"We were fast in the A Main, but were too far back," he said. "The track was wide open around the bottom so everyone was evenly fast. There weren't a ton of yellows or wrecks to bunch everyone up and potentially grab a bunch of spots. We were able to get a few and that set us up okay on Saturday."
Williamson rallied from 17th to 11th in Friday's feature.
Saturday began with a heat race win followed by a runner-up result in a B Main.
"Drawing the pole didn't help as we needed to get as many points as we could," he said. "We knew we had to win that to be up front in a B Main. We won the heat and got through the B Main.
"In the feature we were really good around the top. The leaders got to us when they got toward the back of traffic and we left them. It's hard to do a lot being that far back, especially not having yellows to help you, but I felt like we had one of the fastest cars and we were able to move forward."
Williamson's drive from 17th to 12th gave him his best Short Track Nationals finale finish of his career.
"It wasn't the result we wanted," he said. "I think we were a lot better than our results show, but it was my fault in that heat race on Friday. The track was super fast all weekend so it was tough to pass a lot of cars so I was pleased with our progress of battling back."
QUICK RESULTS -
Oct. 22 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 8 (3); B Main: 1 (1); Feature: 11 (17).
Oct. 23 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Heat race: 1 (1); B Main: 2 (3); Feature: 12 (17).
SEASON STATS -
51 races, 1 win, 12 top fives, 19 top 10s, 27 top 15s, 32 top 20s
Suárez To Wear Dia de los Muertos Helmet in Martinsville
Joins Jay Leno's Garage at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC Wednesday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2021) – No. 99 Good Sam Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez will sport a special helmet Sunday when the NASCAR Cup Series battles for 500 laps on the flat, half-mile at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
The Monterrey, Mexico native is bringing a little of his home country to Southern Virginia as he celebrates Dia de los Muertos - the Mexican holiday associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
The multi-day holiday held on Nov. 1-2 involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died.
Though it originated in Mexico, the holiday is now commonly celebrated worldwide, especially throughout Latin America.
A few years ago, Suárez had the helmet design created by Agustin Chavez, a Dallas-based artist who originally hails from Suárez’s hometown of Nuevo Leon. Locally, Chavez in known for his mural designs. The helmet is modeled after the calavera, or sugar skull, which are traditionally decorated with icing to be colorful and fun.
Suarez arrives in Martinsville after finishing 10th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Oct. 17 and 15th at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Only Martinsville and next weekend's title race at Phoenix are left on the 2021 schedule.
NBC will televise Sunday's Martinsville race at 3 p.m.
Suárez Joins Jay Leno's Garage Wednesday Night
Jay Leno's Garage is a star-studded action-packed exploration of all things automotive. Leno and his celebrity friends are only happy to celebrate anything on four wheels - from extravagant super cars to extravagant art cars. never forgetting its the people behind the wheel who provide the real story.
In this visit, Leno blindfolded Suárez then challenged him to identify several different cars by touch.
Tune in Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC to see how well Suárez performed.
Watch a preview of Wednesday's Night's Episode
Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 99 Good Sam Chevrolet Camaro
What makes Martinsville special?
“I love going to Martinsville. It’s just a different atmosphere and they have things so unique to them – the trophy, the style of track, etc. It’s one of those tracks that you have to go slow in order to make yourself fast. You have to back up the corner and go slow going into it, then you really get your speed coming off of it to pass people. There’s a lot of beating and banging between all of us on the track and it’s something really fun to watch for the fans.”
Tell us about the helmet?
"It's Halloween this weekend and I’m also celebrating the Dia de los Muertos holiday, which is very special to my Mexican culture. The helmet has been popular the last few years so its a good weekend to bring it back."
What was filming with Jay Leno like?
"it was so much fun to fly out to California and film with him. He was really great and he loves cars. There aren't many people who know more about cars than Jay."
Trackhouse Owner Justin Marks Ready to Race in All-American 400
Tootsie's and Kid Rock Join Saturday Night at Nashville Fairgrounds
Trackhouse owner Justin Marks will have more than just Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on his mind this weekend. Marks will race in the All-American 400 at the Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday night.
He will drive the No. 78 Super Late Model prepared by BJ McLeod Motorsports with Travis Braden with support from Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse.
Kid Rock will serve as Grand Marshal of the 37th running of the Super Late Model crown jewel.
With more than 2.2 million members, Good Sam is the world’s largest RV membership organization. Founded in 1966 to help fellow RV travelers on the road, the Good Sam brand has been supporting and assisting RVers for more than 50 years. Rooted in helping others, Good Sam branded services and plans are geared towards protecting, insuring and promoting the RV lifestyle, and include services such as extended warranty service, emergency roadside assistance, property and casualty insurance, travel protection and consumer directories, shows and publications.
No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Next Gen Chevrolet
Daniel Suárez and the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing team tested its Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro on the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11-12. It plans to return to Charlotte on Nov. 17-18 to test the oval. The team also plans to test Phoenix International Raceway on Dec. 14-15 and Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 11-12.
"That was a blast," said Suárez. "Our new car was looking great and a lot of fun to drive. It's a completely different race car. The brakes are amazing and the aero is awesome. We have to keep working. learning and prepare for next year."
Suarez admitted all Cup teams still have work to do preparing the car for competition and expects some growing pains. But, he says the teams will overcome all potential issues.
The first competitive look at the Next Gen car will be on Feb. 6 in the season-opening Clash exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The event is to be contested around a quarter-mile asphalt oval that will be built around the facility’s football field. The venue has hosted two Olympic Games will add NASCAR Cup Series racing to its 98-year-old portfolio next season.The Los Angeles event will mark the first time the preseason Clash will be held outside of Daytona International Speedway since its inception in 1979.
Join The 'I Feel Good Tour' - Trackhouse Racing Did!
Trackhouse Racing's Future is Bright
Watch the Press Conference
Founder Justin Marks announced on June 30 that his Nashville-based Trackhouse Entertainment Group has purchased Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operation.
The transfer of all of CGR’s NASCAR assets to Trackhouse Racing will be completed immediately following the final NASCAR Cup Series race on Nov. 7, 2021.
Trackhouse Racing will field two full-time NASCAR Cup Series entries in 2022 with Daniel Suárez driving the No. 99 and Ross Chastain driving the No. 1 Chevrolets.
Trackhouse Wins Team Diversity Award
NASCAR executives, partners, drivers, crew members and other industry leaders were on hand for the 14th annual event held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, as NASCAR presented awards to 12 recipients whose commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has contributed to a more diverse and inclusive sport.
Trackhouse Racing received the team award for its work in 2021.
“The substantial progress our sport has made with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion is a result of the collective work of many leaders within the NASCAR community who are driving us forward together,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “These awards celebrate those whose passion and commitment are strengthening a NASCAR culture that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone that shares a love of racing.”
Trackhouse Racing debuted in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 with Mexico native Daniel Suárez behind the wheel of the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.
The mission of team owner Justin Marks and partner Pitbull is to compete for wins and championships in the sport’s premier series – but also to promote diversity and inclusion and introduce new fans to NASCAR. Throughout the year, Pitbull and Suárez have engaged in various ways with the Hispanic community including visits with students at the tuition-free charter school SLAM! (Sports Leadership and Management Inc.), founded by the world-famous entertainer.
Notes of Interest
- In 2016, Suárez became the first Mexican driver to win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, claiming three victories at Michigan, Dover and the championship finale at Homestead-Miami.
- Suárez owns 84 Xfinity Series starts posting three wins, 33 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes.
- Suárez owns 28 Camping World Truck Series starts posting a win (Phoenix, Nov. 11, 2016) 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
- In the Cup Series, Suárez owns two poles (Pocono, July 16, 2018), (Kentucky, July 12, 2019.)
- Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks competed in six Cup Series races with a best finish of 12th-place in the 2018 Daytona 500. He made 35 starts in the Xfinity Series posting a win, three top-five and seven top-10s. He won the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 13, 2016 driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Marks competed in 38 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series posting four top-10s and capturing two pole awards. He joined four co-drivers in winning the 2009 Rolex 24 in the GT division.
- Before turning a wheel, Trackhouse Racing became one of the more popular teams in NASCAR when it announced GRAMMY® Award-winning global superstar Pitbull had become a co-owner. Not only will he serve as an active partner on the Trackhouse executive team, but Pitbull also serves as a brand and philanthropic ambassador. Together, Marks and Pitbull will foster the launch of a racing-themed STEM curriculum within the SLAM! (Sports Leadership Arts and Management) inner-city charter schools -- which Pitbull helped establish seven years ago.
No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Crew List
Owner: Justin Marks, Rocklin, California
President: Ty Norris, Sumter, South Carolina
Driver: Daniel Suárez, Monterrey Mexico
Crew Chief: Travis Mack, Louisville, Kentucky
Car Chief: Clay Alexander, Franklin, Tennessee
Spotter: Frank Kimmel II, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Engine Builder: ECR Engines, Welcome, North Carolina
Fueler: J.P. Kelley, Luray, Virginia
Front Tire Changer: Tim Sheets, Carmel, Indiana
Rear Tire Changer: Chris McMullen, Canton, Michigan
Jackman: Corbin Martin, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Tire Carrier: Lamar Neal, Virginia Beach, Va.
Engineer: Jose R. Blasco-Figueroa, CDMX, Mexico (Mexico City, Mexico)
Engineer: Eric Smith, Joliet, Illinois
Mechanic: Griffin Rider, Lawson, Missouri
Mechanic: Andy Seuss, Hampstead, New Hampshire
Truck Driver: Dennis Valverde, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Truck Driver: Michael Brookes, Marion, Ohio
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Pitbull at the Track in 2021
Pitbull Joins Trackhouse Racing
Justin Marks Talks About Ganassi Acquisition
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Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Set New Track Record at Lakeside Speedway
Inside Line Promotions - KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 25, 2021) - David Gravel established a new track record before earning a top 10 in the feature last Friday during the FVP Platinum Battery Showdown.
The Big Game Motorsports driver shattered the previous track record at Lakeside Speedway before he won a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series heat race from the pole position.
"We were really good in qualifying and by ourselves," he said. "We were able to start on the pole of the heat and win the heat. Drawing the eight in the dash hurt us. We didn't have the dirty air thing handled. We were too good in clean air and didn't figure it out. Then our wing blew off coming to the white flag in the dash. We had to fix that and weren't able to work on our car like we wanted to to set it up for the feature."
Gravel placed seventh in the dash, which lined him up on the inside of the fourth row for the main event.
"We were too tight," he said. "If I had open air and open track I was okay. On starts and restarts it was not good for me. I needed to open my entry going into the corner, but if someone was there it didn't work out. I was too tight and couldn't rotate the corner."
Gravel battled inside the top 10 throughout the feature before ending ninth, which was his 59th top 10 of the season with the World of Outlaws. He remains second in the championship standings entering a doubleheader this Friday at Lawton Speedway in Lawton, Okla., and Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, for the Texas Outlaw Nationals.
"I've only been to Lawton once and ran third," he said. "It's a pretty unique place. Turns one and two is more sweeping and turns three and four is pretty tight. It's a fun track.
"Devil's Bowl is a track I have a better handle on now after being there for several years. My last race there I ran second. I'm confident going there."
Gravel placed third at Lawton Speedway and second at Devil's Bowl Speedway, where he led the first 14 laps of the feature, during a doubleheader at both tracks last year.
QUICK RESULTS -
Oct. 22 - Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. - Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 7 (8); Feature: 9 (7).
SEASON STATS -
78 races, 13 wins, 43 top fives, 64 top 10s, 73 top 15s, 76 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday at Lawton Speedway in Lawton, Okla., and Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, for the Texas Outlaw Nationals with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
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