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Regulator Racing and P1 Groupe with RENNtech Motorsports Break Through for Maiden Victories with Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway



DANVILLE, Virginia – First-year Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams Regulator Racing and P1 Groupe with RENNtech Motorsports each broke through for their first race wins with the Silver Star Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). Jeff Burton and Philip Ellis co-drove the No. 91 Regulator Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the overall and Pro-Am class win in Sunday’s featured Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS 90-minute race while Alex Vogel and Matt Bell improved an award-winning 23 race positions in the No. 43 P1 Groupe with RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 to secure a come-from-behind Pro-Am class victory in the one-hour Pirelli GT4 America race. The victories highlighted a competitive run of six podium finishes across three SRO America racing series for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams this weekend at VIR.

Veteran SRO America “Am” competitor Burton and top-rated Mercedes-AMG Motorsport professional driver Ellis hit it off in their first race together at last year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Indianapolis 8 Hour. They reunited for a full-season campaign in this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Pro-Am division with the new Regulator Racing entity, and both the team and its drivers made headlines since the very first race weekend as the first competitors to fully embrace this year’s new rule opening up race-starting driver selections.



In previous seasons, the professional drivers, like Ellis, in each Pro-Am pairing were required to start each weekend’s Sunday race in addition to filling the second or race-closing driver slot in the opening round of each doubleheader event schedule.


While the majority of the competition has held to the traditional rotation, Regulator has shaken things up with its reverse driver strategy. Ellis starts each weekend’s first race and then steps in as the closer in the final contest, racing against primarily Silver and Bronze Am drivers both days. Burton in turn has honed his skills battling in his race stints against mainly professional drivers.


The strategy has come close to paying off several times this year but clearly worked the best to date at VIR where Burton, showing solid and improved pace, turned some of his most competitive laps of the season. The team finished third in Saturday’s opening race to set the stage for Sunday’s victory.

After a strong opening stint by Burton, Ellis took over and immediately controlled the competition. He moved the No. 91 into first in Pro-Am just minutes into his stint and clearly had the pace to race into the overall lead. The team and drivers didn’t hesitate in going for it, and Ellis passed the winning Pro-class competitor with 11 minutes to go and went on to seal the first overall win for a Pro-Am team in GT World Challenge America this season with a 1.290 seconds margin of victory.



The P1 Groupe with RENNtech Pirelli GT4 win earlier on Sunday saw a similar charge to the front by Vogel and Bell. Rebounding from a disastrous weekend up to that point – the No. 43 twice returned to the paddock on the back of a wrecker and Vogel didn’t have a chance to qualify Saturday due to car damage – it all came together for the P1 Groupe and RENNtech team and drivers in Sunday’s final 60-minute race.

Starting from the back but staying out of trouble in his race-opening stint, Vogel passed several cars while keeping the No. 43 clean and avoiding the numerous contact and off-course incidents that sidelined many competitors. Bell took over at halfway and soon worked his way into the Pro-Am top five.


The final run to the front came after a late restart with just six minutes remaining, and Bell passed four competitors in the span of just over two laps to seal the first win for he and Vogel and the P1 Groupe operation.


Both winners were presented with the EBOOST Super Fuel Hard Charger Award for improving the most positions in their respective races. In addition to Vogel and Bell passing 23 cars, Burton and Ellis earned the honor for advancing five positions in the GT World Challenge race.


All three competing Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams at VIR reached the podium at some point in the weekend’s Pirelli GT4 races. In addition to P1 Groupe’s win, Michael Auriemma and co-driver Matheus Leist finished second in Pro-Am Saturday in the No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4. In the same race, Jake Cowden drove solo to a third-place Silver-class finish in the No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4. Cowden was permitted to drive solo in this weekend’s race after his teammate Demi Chalkias was sidelined due to an illness.


The VIR weekend’s other podium player was GT America powered by AWS championship contender Jason Daskalos who recovered from an early incident, due to a technical malfunction, which sidelined him in Saturday’s race for a third-place finish Sunday in the No. 27 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.


Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer teams in SRO America competition is an all-series weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 16 – 18.



Jeff Burton, Driver – No. 91 Regulator Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It is nice that something finally worked out for us. Philip took the Pro-Am lead, but we wanted to go for it all and get the overall win too. It has been a lot of work, but it is just so much fun to race with a guy like Philip out there, who is just unbelievable, and with the relationship we have built. What a great teacher he is. He can really help somebody like me, an ‘Am’ driver. There are really just no words to say how cool this is.”


Philip Ellis, Driver – No. 91 Regulator Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “This is perfect. This is the opportunity we have all been waiting for with our reverse-driver strategy. It didn’t quite work out in the first race, but on Sunday it was actually quite perfect. It was really a fun race, and Jeff did a great job as well. We have been working hard to get us together on pace. We struggled a bit in our first race at Sonoma but since then it has just been an uphill trend, and it shows. We didn’t hesitate to go for the overall win and never would.”


Jason Daskalos, Driver – No. 27 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We had a left-rear ABS wheel sensor issue on Saturday at the start of the race and went sliding into a tire barrier at 100 mph. The crew guys were literally up all night, they didn’t get back until almost 4 a.m., but these CRP guys are amazing. We got back on track today and built back some of our championship cushion. It was down to two points after Saturday, we got it back to eight with Sunday’s finish, but we have built the lead to 15 points before, and we will do it again. That’s what we are going to do.



Alex Vogel, Driver – No. 43 P1 Groupe by RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “We made the RENNtech guys’ jobs really hard. Saturday was a fiasco, and they had to do a lot of work to get it back. They did an amazing job. Matt told me to just shake Saturday off, stick with these guys and do what the car will do, and what you know how to do, and as the race went on, I started to build confidence. It was great. Everything went as good as it could go.”


Matt Bell, Driver – No. 43 P1 Groupe by RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “Alex did an awesome job, particularly after one of my mistakes in qualifying that kept him from qualifying, and we had to start in the back. Alex just followed some other fast guys around that were also back there, and he did a great job keeping the tires clean. When I got in, the car still felt super fresh. The predictability and the endurance in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 are really its strong points. The platform is amazing. We have pieced this thing back together all weekend, and it is as strong as a tank. It has been a while since I felt like a race car driver. My last professional start since this season was in 2017, but I just did a lot of driver coaching and met a lot of amazing people along the way. If you are not in there doing this stuff regularly in competition, your competitive edge does fade, it softens, but these guys have given me the opportunity this year and given me a good enough car that I can gain some of that confidence back.”


Michael Auriemma, Driver – No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “The RENNtech Mercedes-AMG GT4 was running really well this weekend. Matheus and I both had really good lap times, good competitive times. It was good to be back up on the podium.”


Matheus Leist, Driver – No. 89 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “All in all, a very good weekend. We put in on pole, Michael was second in his qualifying and his pace overall was amazing. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 was very good, we had a lot of pace, and felt like we could fight for the lead.”



Jake Cowden, Driver – No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “It was an awesome race Saturday, but I really missed my teammate Demi out there. We hope she gets better soon. Our Mercedes-AMG GT4 was feeling great. I burned off the tires a little bit early on, trying to keep up with the leader, but through the heat we held it together and brought it home in P3. This was a huge confidence booster. Thank you so much to John Farrow and the entire JMF Motorsports team.”


Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Capture Brad Doty Classic, Joker's Jackpot and Kings Royal During Extraordinary Week in Ohio


Inside Line Promotions - ROSSBURG, Ohio (July 22, 2024) - Big Game Motorsports driver David Gravel enjoyed one of the most successful five-day stretches of his racing career last week.


Gravel recorded World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series triumphs during the $15,000-to-win Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic on Tuesday at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio, and the $175,000-to-win Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway on Saturday.

The team was also victorious on Thursday at Eldora Speedway during the $100,000-to-win Joker's Jackpot, which was sanctioned by Kubota High Limit Racing. On top of that, Gravel finished fourth on Wednesday during the Joker's Jackpot preliminary night and he ended second on Friday during the Knight Before the Kings Royal - pushing his total winnings throughout the five days to more than $300,000.


The week started on Tuesday with Gravel qualifying sixth quickest in his group. He placed second in both a heat race and the dash before leading the final 24 laps of the feature at Attica Raceway Park to secure the second Brad Doty Classic win of his career.


"I was just biding my time," Gravel said in a post-race interview on DIRTVision. "Carson (Macedo) was racing pretty defensive. I think he knew he was in trouble and was running a lot of different lines and just trying to figure out what the best line was before I could get the lead because you're just guessing out there. All of those cautions. I don't know how many cautions there were, but it was so many. It was hard to get a rhythm.

"We unloaded pretty well. Didn't really feel good in qualifying, but whatever Cody (Jacobs) did to the car for the dash gave me a really, really good car - something I didn't have to push too hard and could kind of drive my own race."

Gravel was efficient on Wednesday at Eldora Speedway, where he raced the next four nights. He timed in second quickest in his group before advancing from seventh to fifth place in a heat race and from seventh to fourth place in the A Main to rank fourth in overall points.


The strong preliminary night earned the pole position for a heat race, which Gravel won on Thursday. He started the six-figure main event on the outside of the second row and methodically worked forward before leading the final seven laps.


Gravel opened the Knight Before the Kings Royal on Friday by qualifying second quickest in his group. A heat race win was followed by a third-place outing in the dash and a second-place showing in the main event, in which Gravel led nine laps.


The week concluded on Saturday with another strong performance. Gravel was 12 th quickest in qualifying out of 60-plus competitors despite going out late. He then charged from third to win a heat race to secure the inside front row starting position for the main event. Gravel initially took the lead on Lap 7 and held the point for nine laps. He fell to second, but rebounded to find the lead on Lap 18. Gravel lost the top spot inside of 10 laps to go two different times, but he pounded the cushion to prevail.


"Cody has a lot of confidence right now," he said in a post-race interview on DIRTVision. "I have a lot of confidence right now. Stephen (Hamm-Reilly) and Zach (Patterson) are doing a great job. It's just been a lot of fun. We've had a couple DNFs this year, but every time we're on the race track and this No. 2 car finishes, it's typically in a good way. Man, what a race. I just got to thank Tod Quiring for hiring me four years ago."

It added to the impressive list of crown jewel events Gravel has won, including the BillionAuto.com Huset's High Bank Nationals presented by MENARDS in 2023, the Knoxville Nationals in 2019 and the Williams Grove National Open in 2014 and in 2017.


Another busy weekend is on tap with World of Outlaws races this Wednesday at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pa., for the Bricker's Bash; Friday and Saturday at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the C&D Rigging Summer Nationals; and Sunday at Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y., for the Empire State Challenge.


Gravel enters the week with a 66-point lead in the World of Outlaws championship standings.




July 16 - Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio - Qualifying: 6; Heat race: 2 (3); Dash: 2 (4); Feature: 1 (2).


July 17 - Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 5 (7); Feature: 4 (7).


July 18 - Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio - Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (4).


July 19 - Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 3 (5); Feature: 2 (3).


July 20 - Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio - Qualifying: 12; Heat race: 1 (3); Feature: 1 (1).




40 races, 12 wins, 29 top fives, 36 top 10s, 38 top 15s, 38 top 20s




Wednesday at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pa., for the Bricker's Bash; Friday and Saturday at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., for the C&D Rigging Summer Nationals; and Sunday at Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y., for the Empire State Challenge with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series




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Starks Tackling Bob's Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals at Skagit Speedway This Weekend


Inside Line Promotions - PUYALLUP, Wash. (July 22, 2024) - Trey Starks is aiming to win one of the country's top 360ci winged sprint car events, which is hosted by Skagit Speedway this weekend.


The high-banked dirt oval in Alger, Wash., showcases the Bob's Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals on Friday and Saturday with the finale paying $15,000 to win.

"We've raced pretty good this year and have done well at Skagit so hopefully that translates toward a successful weekend," he said. "This is probably the biggest 360 sprint car race in the Northwest all year and one of the best in the country."


Starks has been strong during the event in past years. Last year he hustled from 12 th to fourth during the preliminary night and was in contention during the finale when a mechanical problem occurred. Starks advanced from 16 th to third during the 2022 preliminary night before he won the finale. In 2021, he ended fourth during preliminary action and was eighth in the finale.


"It was a big win for us in 2022 and we were right there last year until about 10 laps to go," he said. "I feel confident we have similar speed heading into the event this year so hopefully luck is on our side."


Starks has won three of the four 360 sprint car races at the track this season and he currently leads the championship standings by 53 points.




17 races, 8 wins, 13 top fives, 13 top 10s, 15 top 15s, 16 top 20s




Friday and Saturday at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., for the Bob's Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals




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Estenson Scores Sixth-Place Result at River Cities Speedway to Highlight Weekend


Inside Line Promotions - GRAND FORKS, N.D. (July 22, 2024) - Tim Estenson highlighted a three-race weekend with the Buffalo Wild Wings Northern Outlaw Sprint Association and the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series with a sixth-place run on Friday at River Cities Speedway.


He qualified eighth quickest and won a heat race to advance into a dash. Estenson placed fourth in the dash before he moved up a spot to finish sixth in the main event.


"We qualified decent and had a good spot in the heat race," he said. "We capitalized with a heat race win so we made the dash. They reworked the track. The bottom was so good and we were only able to move up a spot in the feature to end up sixth."


The weekend began on Thursday at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn., where Estenson timed in fourth quickest in qualifying. A seventh-place result in a heat race relegated him to the B Main, which he won to transfer into the back of the A Main. Estenson then charged from 21 st to 11th, marking the second-most positions gained in the feature.


"We shook down a new car and we went forward so that was nice," he said. "The track rubbered down so it was pretty singled out about halfway through."


The weekend concluded on Saturday at River Cities Speedway, where Estenson set quick time during qualifying. He improved a position to place third in a heat race before drawing the back of the dash. A fifth-place result lined him up on the outside of the fifth row in the main event.


"We came out of the box with quick time overall," he said. "We moved up a spot in the heat race to make the dash, but we drew the worst spot there. Early in the feature we were good and I was up to fifth or sixth. We were gaining some momentum. There was an open red and Jack (Dover) made the right adjustments. Too many yellows and another red flag blew up our momentum. Then I made an error and blew it off turn two on the white flag lap. I got too aggressive and that was a tough way to end it."


The late incident relegated Estenson to a 13th-place finish.


A busy week is on tap with Midwest Sprint Touring Series 410 Sprint Cars races on Wednesday at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, Iowa, and Friday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn. The weekend wraps up on Sunday at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D.


"Hamilton will be a new track for me so I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I'm excited to go back to Jackson, where I had a good run a couple of weeks ago. And then we've been getting better and having a solid year at Huset's so I'm aiming to qualify a little better on Sunday to set ourselves up for the end of the night."


Estenson enters the week with a 32-point lead in the MSTS 410 Sprint Cars championship standings. He ranks second in the Huset's Speedway standings.




July 18 - Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn. - Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 7 (3); B Main: 1 (1); Feature: 11 (21).


July 19 - River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. - Qualifying: 8; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 4 (4); Feature: 6 (7).


July 20 - River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. - Qualifying: 1; Heat race: 3 (4); Dash: 5 (5); Feature: 13 (10).




25 races, 2 wins, 4 top fives, 12 top 10s, 20 top 15s, 21 top 20s




Wednesday at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, Iowa, and Friday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., with the Midwest Sprint Touring Series 410 Sprint Cars and Sunday at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., for The Border Battle




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JDP Electric, Inc. provides professional electrical services for residential, commercial and industrial establishments of Fargo, N.D. For more information, visit http://www.JDPElectric.net .


"Joel Peterson has been a long-time friend of our family," Estenson said. "JDP Electric, Inc. is one of the top electrical companies in the Fargo area and quite possibly the state, and has been a valued sponsor of our team since 2018."


Estenson would like to thank Estenson Racing, Truline Logistics, Yamalube, Arai Helmets, JDP Electric, JDP Automation and Backlund Plumbing for their continued support.



Kaleb Johnson Posts Top Five at Knoxville Raceway During First Race With Aaron Long


Inside Line Promotions - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (July 22, 2024) - Kaleb Johnson tied his season-best result at Knoxville Raceway last Saturday when he produced a fourth-place finish while making his debut driving for Aaron Long.


Johnson qualified ninth quickest in the 410ci winged sprint car division before he advanced from fourth to second place in a heat race. He then gained a spot in the main event to earn his eighth total top five of the season.

"I was very pleased with it," he said. "We qualified pretty average. We fine-tuned the car all night and got me more comfortable. The heat race went pretty well, especially with how the track was. It stayed wet, which is unusual for Knoxville. In the feature I fell back a spot early, but worked my way back into the top five and got up to fourth. I thought for our first night it went pretty well."


Johnson also competed in the 360ci winged sprint car division for Dennis Gainey. He was sixth quickest in his qualifying group and moved from fifth to fourth place in a heat race, earning the night starting spot in the A Main.


"I feel we qualified decent for going out in the later portion of the group," he said. "In the feature we started ninth and stayed there the first few laps before we had a red. After the next restart the guy in front of me hopped a wheel. It sent him straight up the track and I had nowhere to go and away we went. It was the wrong place at the wrong time type of thing."


The collision resulted in Johnson flipping, ending his night early with a 21st-place finish.


This week will showcase four straight nights of racing with Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., hosting a Gunderson Racing Inc. Midwest Sprint Touring Series 360 Sprint Cars show on Thursday before the Merle Johnson Memorial 410 Border Battle presented by New Fashion Pork on Friday featuring the Midwest Sprint Touring Series 410 Sprint Cars. Johnson will then pilot a car for Gainey on Saturday at Knoxville Raceway before heading to Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., on Sunday. He enters the night leading the track's championship standings.


"I'm looking forward to the busy weekend," he said. "I feel we had a good run at Jackson this year so hopefully we can build on that and put together some solid finishes there. I'm really excited for Friday's race since it's in honor of my grandpa. Saturday will be our last time at Knoxville prior to the 360 Nationals so hopefully we can get dialed in. And we've been consistent at Huset's so the goal is to put together another solid night there."




July 20 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (410 sprint car) - Qualifying: 9; Heat race: 2 (4); Feature: 4 (5).


July 20 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (360 sprint car) - Qualifying: 6; Heat race: 4 (5); Feature: 21 (9).




26 races, 0 wins, 8 top fives, 19 top 10s, 21 top 15s, 21 top 20s




Thursday and Friday at Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, Minn., with the Gunderson Racing Inc. Midwest Sprint Touring Series 360 Sprint Cars and the Midwest Sprint Touring Series 410 Sprint Cars; Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa; and Sunday at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., for The Border Battle




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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Folkens Brothers Trucking


Folkens Brothers Trucking is a livestock hauling service with headquarters in Lester, Iowa. The company has been running since 1979. For more information, visit http://www.FolkensBros.com .


"I feel very honored to have the support of Folkens Brothers Trucking," Johnson said. "To look at a list of the drivers they've supported over the years, it's an honor to be aligned with them. We're very appreciative and looking forward to earning success together."

Johnson would like to thank Merle Johnson Farm Toys, Oddson Underground, Inc., Folkens Brothers Trucking, Blondie Motorsports, Construction Products & Consultants, GRP Motorsports, Innovative Design/Sletten Properties, Cressman Sanitation, State Bank of Fairmont, AB Custom Construction, Specialized Caulking Sealants, The Minnesota Mafia, Guaranteed Rate-Mike Brudigan Home Loans, The Ron Weber Team, David Kramer Drywall, Big Al's Diecast, Heartland Properties, Dave's Lawn Care & Landscaping, TL Racing, Hepfner Racing Products, TJ Forged Wheels, Howe Motorsports, Moyle Racing Engines, FID Media, Team DGRD and Hefty Seed Company for their continued support.






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