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due to the quantity of releases we update on a weekly basis between april and november

HAMILTON JR BRINGS FEATURE WINS TITLE TO CHILDREN’S DREAM FUND 50

 

David Sink

February 19, 2024 – Davey Hamilton Jr. is the latest ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ entrant, and it comes as no surprise. Hamilton Jr. and his Kirk Morgan Racing Team are based out of Tampa, Florida and have dominated nearly every Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series event they have participated in in the past two seasons. Hamilton Jr. was also the winningest pavement sprint car driver in the country in 2023.

Hamilton Jr. may be one of the more intriguing entrants. He was the only driver in 2023 to have won both the Must See Racing Sprint Series Presented by Perfit-Parts and the BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series feature events. So, he is familiar with both series. The event will be a co-sanctioned race between both series.

Coming into this event, Hamilton Jr. would have to be considered one of the favorites. He won at Citrus County Speedway in early November and was leading the feature event when it was rained out a few weeks ago. The race will resume with Hamilton Jr. leading when the SSSS returns in April.

Citrus County Speedway is a track Hamilton Jr. has had success at in the past. In fact, he has won the past two 'Sandi DeCaire 41 Classics'.

“We’ve had a lot of success at Citrus County Speedway the last couple years. But I don’t think it will be as easy this time” explained Hamilton Jr. “There are a lot of good cars coming and we are on a new tire this year. We’re still trying to figure out the new tire. We’ve struggled at the start of the season compared to where we were at this point in the past.”

“One thing I really like about the ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ is the format using qualifications. I think the fans really wanna see qualifying. They wanna see these cars going fast. I like the format. It’s what Jim Hanks and Must See Racing use regularly. In my opinion it’s the first time we’ve had a good format here in Florida.”

“I was talking with Bobby Santos the other day and he agreed. With this many good caliber cars coming, using a format with qualifying is better for everybody. I think it’s good that we can draw this many cars to Florida. I think it’s also good we’re starting to get some good paying pavement sprint car races. It shows pavement sprint car racing is growing and getting the attention it deserves. $10,000 to win is good money.”

Davey Hamilton Jr is coming off his first venture into promoting racing events. He promoted the $50,000 to win Davey Hamilton Jr’s Open Wheel Showdown in Las Vegas this past December. He will move the event to Irwindale, California this November. The top three finishers from the Open Wheel Showdown have entered the ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50.’

“In all honesty, we wanna play our part in helping JJ Dutton and his daughter Sadie as well as the Children’s Dream Fund Organization with this event. It’s a great opportunity to help raise some money. Last year my Kirk Morgan Racing Team donated our entire winnings ($4,000) from that race to the Children's Dream Fund Organization. I’m sure we’ll do something to help again this year. I plan on bringing my merchandise trailer to the event. It will be the only time all year I bring it to Florida. The Childrens Dream Fund Organization is important to us.”

Don’t be surprised if Hamilton Jr. finds victory lane in the ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’. He’s used to the pressure of big money races with a field stacked full of the best. He finished third in last year’s Open Wheel Showdown and second place in the $30,000 to win Pink Lady Classic at Meridian, Idaho in September.

For more info on the 'Children’s Dream Fund 50' please visit http://www.citruscountyspeedwayandtrack.com

 

“SMOKE SHOW” HOLLEY TO PARTICIPATE IN CHILDREN’S DREAM FUND 50

David Sink

February 18, 2024 – Rick Holley today announced he will be competing in the March 2 ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. Holley will be representing the Must See Sprint Series Presented by Perfit in the co-sanctioned event with the BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series.

The Nelsonville, Ohio native who now calls Rochester, Pennsylvania home will be participating in Florida for the first time in many years. Holley is called “Smoke Show” due to his on the edge driving style, particularly when he qualifies. Often smoke can be seen pouring from his right rear tire as he puts it to the test. His driving style may be unorthodox by pavement sprint car standards, but it’s effective. Last year he was fast qualifier at Must See Racing events on two occasions at Owosso Speedway in Ovid, Michigan. In fact, his second time there he eclipsed the all-time track record.

Holley won’t be the only smoke show artist in town for this event. Canadian Aaron Willison, who has a similar qualifying stye will also be participating. When it was brought to Holley’s attention Willison will be in attendance, he joked he might have to up his game.

“Maybe we’ll bring some special tires with different colored smoke in them, "laughed Holley.

“When I first heard the announcement of the ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ I told myself I wanted to run this event. It was just the right time. It was also time for a vacation. I think we have a car that can compete down there. That’s what pushed it over the edge.”

Holley admitted he isn’t too familiar with Citrus County Speedway but has been doing his homework.

“I’ve been watching a few videos of past races there this week. I like the look of the track. It’s kinda short, but I like the look of the banking. It looks like a racy little place. Without being there in person, I hate to say it, but it reminds me of Owosso Speedway a little bit.”

If Holley indeed has plans of battling it out for the $10,000 first prize, he must bring his A-game. The entry list is currently well over 30 cars and is stacked with some of the best winged pavement sprint car drivers from all over the country.

“I think we’ve got just as good of a shot as anybody who's never been to the track. It’s all gonna be how quickly we can get acclimated to the track and get a good qualifying time. I’m confident I can stack myself up as a driver against these guys. It’s just a matter of equipment and luck, I guess. I think if we can be competitive, and run in the top five with these guys, we’d be happy with that” concluded Holley.

The ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ officially kicks off Friday March 1 with an open practice. The following evening will see a complete show with heat races, qualifying, B-main, and a 50-lap feature.
 

STORIES are being released in audio form from Women's Motorsports Network. The stories are shared from past issues of the Women's Motorsports Network News online magazine. Most episodes are 15 minutes or less. This makes it easy to listen in as you go to pick up your kids from school or perhaps wait at an appointment.  You have probably not heard of any or these women in motorsports, but they all have a story to share. That is the mission of the Women's Motorsports Network - Connecting and Celebrating all Women in Motorsports. Please subscribe to my podcast and my YouTube Channel.
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JEFF DYER OPENS A BUSY 2024 SEASON AT SATURDAY’S USAC/CRA RACE AT PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY

 

(Yucca Valley, CA, February 18, 2024) Sprint car racing California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Dyer will kick off a busy season when the Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series opens its 20th campaign this Saturday night, February 24th, at Perris Auto Speedway.  Dyer will be returning to the track for the first time since he closed his 2023 season last October.


 

 

2023 ended up being a triumphant year for the Dyer Motorsports team.  Jeff Dyer captured the championship in the final season of the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series.  In addition, his teenage son, Seth, whacked the field to notch his first win in a SWLS race at the Imperial Valley Raceway on October 21st.  As well as that accomplishment, the personable young driver was named the series Rookie of the Year.

 

Despite the triumphs, the season had tribulations.  Most notable was Jeff suffering a torn Achilles tendon playing softball last August.  Initial reports had “Ponch” done for the season.  However, he believed that he could make it back before the year ended.  Against the odds, he amazingly returned to action and dominated the competition in a Lightning Sprint Car race at the Mohave Valley Raceway on October 14th.  Hard work since then has him nearly as good as new. 

 

“It is going well,” the Yucca Valley, Californian commented on his rehab.  “I am probably about 85% back to normal.  It is getting better. In the morning when it is cold out, it is a little stiff until I get up and start walking around.  I can pretty much do everything I was doing before.”

 

Getting his Achilles straightened out did take some time away from working on the cars for the 2024 season.  However, the most important things were recovering from the injury and getting in better shape.  Happily, he has achieved both. 

 

“First of all, I have been working on myself and my fitness,” he said.  “ I have lost 30 pounds over the off-season.  I have been working hard on that.  On the cars, we kind of got off to a late start.  Me and Seth were kind of burned out through the end of the year.  We went through the holidays without touching the cars from the last race.  After the new year, we really started getting on it.  Now things are starting to get together and we are more excited about it.”

 

The plan for 2024 was for Jeff to run all of the Perris USAC/CRA races, a lot of CLS races, and when possible, a few races with the new Ultimate Sprint Car Series.  After an impressive run at the end of last season, Seth’s main focus this year is on the GAS Chassis Young Gun Sprint Cars at Perris Auto Speedway.  However, he will miss the season opener this weekend as his engine is not ready.  He will also run as many CLS races as possible. 

 

While Seth is out of action this Saturday, he will not have long to wait to get in his first laps of the year.  Both he and Jeff will be at the Imperial Valley Raceway when the California Lightning Sprint Car Series starts its 30th season during the Midwinter Fair on March 1st and 2nd. 

 

“When we get to Imperial it will be pretty much what we did last year,” Jeff said.  “The same cars.  Well, we built Seth a new car last year so it is ready to go.  We made a couple of changes on mine that will hopefully work.  I am not going to tell you what they are but we made some drastic changes to my car.  We are excited to see what happens with that.”

 

Saturday’s race, which will be the opener for Perris Auto Speedway’s 28th season, will begin at 7:00 p.m.  Spectator gates will open at 5:00.  Adult tickets are $30.00.  Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00.  For kids 6-12 it is only $5.00 and children 5 and under are admitted free.  The fairgrounds charge $10.00 for parking. 

 

Advance tickets for Saturday’s opener are available 24 hours a day at the following link https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7.  You can also order on the phone by calling 1-800-595-4849.  If you do not wish to purchase advance tickets, there will be plenty available for everyone at the ticket window on Saturday.

 

Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the freeway close Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in the City of Perris (92571).  Take the 215 Freeway.  Exit at the Ramona Expressway and head three miles east to the fairgrounds. 

 

In 2024, the following marketing partners are helping keep the Dyers on the track.  Dependable Machine Inc., Haircuts By Susie, Jobu Racing, LBA Investigations, Straight Time Stirrups, Justice Brothers, Fonseca Racing, Specialty Fasteners, and Blud Racing Lubricants.    If you would like to be a part of Dyer Motorsports in 2024, call (760) 550-7237 or send an email to mailto:dyermotorsports4@gmail.com.

 

Jeff is racing in memory of his grandparents, Glenn, and Beverly Sels, throughout the 2024 season.


sANTOS LATEST CHILDREN'S DREAM FUND 50 ENTRANT

David Sink Photo

February 15, 2024 – Bobby Santos III confirmed today that he intends to compete in the upcoming March 2 ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The $10,000 to win event will be a co-sanctioned venture between the Must See Racing Series Presented by Perfit and the BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series.

Santos originally had no plans to compete in the event due to his busy schedule preparing his sprint cars and USAC Silver Crown car for the upcoming season. He is in the process of building a new car. When he saw the promotion of the event, and the drivers who were entering, it caused him to change his plans.

“When I saw some of the guys who had already entered, it got my attention” explained Santos. “We enjoy running events that feature the best competition possible. When I saw Aaron Willison, Troy DeCaire, Davey (Hamilton Jr.), and Jimmy McCune had entered, I started to become interested in doing this race. My DJ Racing car owner Dick Fieler and I are always talking about running the races with the best drivers and competition.

There are some good drivers in Florda that I haven’t had the chance to race with yet.  Colton Bettis is a really good young driver I’m looking forward to racing against. He’s done a good job lately and I’ve been paying attention to what he has been doing. I was 13 when I got my start so I can relate to everything he’s doing.”

Santos has been one of the best winged asphalt drivers in the country for the past five seasons. Dating back to 2019, he was undefeated in West Coast races until last Decembers $50,000 to win Davey Hamilton Jr’s Open Wheel Showdown. He finished second to Aaron Willison and still brought home $20,000 for his efforts. He also found victory lane with Must See Racing last season.

When it was announced last week that the ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ will now pay $10,000 to win, that might have been the final piece of the puzzle that pushed Santos to enter.

“I think it’s great that Must See Racing and the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series are working together on this race. We need more series to come together like this and work together. Its only gonna help grow the sport. Cooperation between other series is good for everybody at the end of the day.

It’s nice that us pavement guys are starting to get some really good paying races. Jim Hanks and JJ Dutton have done a really good job putting this race together. It seems dirt guys have $5000 to win races regularly. It just shows the sport is growing because we’re starting to see some bigger paying races. It would really be a good start to our season to come out of Florida with a win. I’m looking forward to this race” concluded Santos.

Entries for the Children,s Dream Fund 50 continue to trickle in. As it stands now, the list of expected entrants is over 30 and growing.

 
 

 


 

AUSTIN WILLIAMS AND EDDIE TAFOYA JR. NAMED TO DRIVE FOR INLAND RIGGING SPRINT CAR TEAM IN 2024.

 

(Cypress, CA, February 12, 2024) Inland Rigging Sprint Car team owners Tom and Christy Dunkel are pleased to announce that star sprint car drivers Austin Williams and Eddie Tafoya Jr. will drive for the Menifee, California-based team during the 2024 season.  Williams, who ranks seventh on the all-time USAC/CRA victory list with 11 triumphs, has his eyes firmly affixed on the 2024 title in the series.  Tafoya, who was the 2018 Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns Sprint Car champion and the 2019 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year, will run an Inland Rigging car full-time in the new USCS Series.  One of his competitors for that crown will be Dunkel who will race in all of the USCS events and run a partial schedule in USAC/CRA. 

 

The shake-up in the team roster came about when 2023 USAC/CRA Series champion Brody Roa vacated the #17R to spend more time with his family.  While the split was amicable and they remain great friends, it piqued curiosity on the West Coast with some pit siders speculating that the Dunkels were stepping out of racing.  Quite the contrary.  Going into the year, six DRC chassis’ and four Shaver engines are in the team’s stable.  In addition, the team will also be taking delivery of a new One Way and Kistler engine shortly. 

 

 “We are pleased to have these two guys on board for 2024,” Tom Dunkel said.  “They are top drivers who can win races and will be contending for the championships.  I’d like to thank the Roas for an amazing year racing together.  Christy and I wish Brody and family nothing but the best and hopefully we will see him in a #17 car sometime in the future.”

 

Whispers about the change in the USAC/CRA team surfaced a couple of weeks ago.  When some heard there may be some changes, questions began popping up and there was speculation on who may end up in the open USAC/CRA seat.  One who heard the whispers was Williams.  The driver who is getting married on May 18th decided to look into the situation and made some calls.

 

 

“I think Austin kind of caught wind that Brody and I were going our own ways,” Dunkel stated.  “He spoke with Malyssa Perkins and she kind of filled him in on what was going on.  We exchanged phone numbers and got on a call a few weeks back.  I brought him out to the house and showed him what we had equipment-wise.  He was impressed by what we had to offer.  I know he can go out there and get it done.  He made the most sense for us to go chase the CRA championship and run full-time in that deal.  I also spoke with a few USAC National guys.  Those guys have full-blown schedules.  We will probably do something with some National drivers at a few select races.”

 

In his career, Williams has sat in some very nice equipment.  In his early days racing in USAC/CRA, he was teammates with his Hall of Fame father Rip Williams, his older brother Cody and his younger sibling Logan on the Jack and Sharon Jory-owned sprint car team.  When Jack passed away, Williams ended up steering the famous Moose Racing #92 owned by Tom and Lauri Sertich.  When they decided to move to Indiana, the driver known as “The Big Game Hunter” ended up racing one of the Jory-owned cars that his father then owned.

 

When the elder Williams ended up owning the three cars from the Jory stable, the deal was his kids could drive them if they could pay all the bills.  Austin, who lives in Corona, California, found out that can be expensive.  Make that, very expensive.

 

“These last two years have really humbled me (running his own operation),” the friendly driver said.  “I used to race for Jack Jory and I had the best of the best.  Anything I wanted, pretty much we got.  Then racing for Tom and Lauri Sertich, they were really good car owners and gave me everything I asked for.  Now, this opportunity is going back to the time when I could actually race the racecar, get as many wins as I can and not have to worry about what I am doing the next race if I crash this car.”

 

“I was planning on racing as many races as I could (in his own car this year) with the little money that I had,” Williams continued.  “I had a good sponsor drop out on me, which really hurt my program.  I still had other sponsors.  Pacific Highway Rentals and Forefront Construction Services are still on board.  I think I am going to be bringing them over to the Inland Rigging team.”

 

Williams is excited to get into the Inland Rigging cars and he believes the transition will be a smooth one as he has been running DRCs with Shaver engines.  That is the same combo he will step into in the Dunkel-owned machines. 

 

Finishing third last season in USAC/CRA points meant he ran near the front.  That is not far behind where Roa ran for Inland Rigging most of last year as he won eight of the 18 main events in the series and his overall 40.9 win percentage was the best in the nation amongst 410 wingless drivers. 

 

The affable driver is chomping at the bit for the February 24th season opener at Perris Auto Speedway.  He believes the transition to the new car will be very smooth.  The only thing he will have to get used to is a different shock package.   

 

“Honestly, I do not think there will be a period of adjustment,” Williams enthused.  “The only thing that will be different from my #2 car to the #17A car is the shock program.  They currently have CSI shocks and I have always had Matt Hummel’s FK Shocks.  We will see how that transition goes.  I am sure it will be fine.”

 

“I got engaged (last year), and I am getting married this year.  I got the ride in the best sprint car this side of the Mississippi or even farther,” Williams boasted.  “I am very excited.” 

 

Dunkel and the Tafoya family are anything but strangers.  In 2015 and 2016 he competed in the USAC West Coast Series and the VRA Sprint Cars against Eddie Tafoya Sr.  They stayed in touch and last year the relationship grew tighter as Dunkel accompanied them on some of their sojourns for Eddie Jr. to race with the USAC National Sprint Cars.  He was very impressed with the rising young star and the way he carried himself.  That led Dunkel to offer him a full-time ride in the USCS.

 

“When Eddie Jr. started racing, him and I got to know each other,” Dunkel said.  “Last year we went back east with them a few times.  I just kind of helped out.  Got to know Jr. a little more.  He is a solid kid and his parents are great.  When the opportunity came up to run him at Turkey Night last year it was kind of a no-brainer.  With his experience back east, I thought it was a good fit.  We did not have a lot of luck in that race.  Nevertheless, it was a great weekend with him.”


 

 

The sprint car portion of Turkey Night features 360 sprint cars.  While at Ventura, the conversation came up about teaming up for some 360 stuff this season.  Then the West Coast Series (USAC West Coast Sprint Cars) folded up.  Subsequently, the new USCS series was born and inherited USAC West Coast Series tracks. 

 

“Eddie made the most sense,” Dunkel comfortably stated.  “We are really looking forward to running him this year.  He is extremely good with equipment.  That comes from running for your family.  You do not want to cost mom and dad any more than you have to.  He is very methodical and he likes to set up his own car.  On top of everything, the Tafoya’s are just a great family.  Julie (Eddie’s mom) runs Specialty Fasteners and is super cool.   She is hard on drivers, though.  She cuts Jr. no slack.  Me too!  I have come off the track feeling pretty proud of what I did and she says, ‘Ah, better luck next time.’”

 

Tafoya, who is based in Chino Hills, California will also chase the USAC/CRA title in his family-owned #51T, is eager to get started with the 2024 season.  When he rolls onto the track at Ventura for the USCS inaugural race it will only be his third time racing a 360 sprint car.  Last season he got taken out by another car at the Turkey Night Grand Prix.  Before that, he had one other 360 start.  Besides that it has been all 410s including a restricted 410 he drove to the Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns title in 2018.

 

“I ran one 360 maybe three years ago and it was not a full night as we had engine issues,” Tafoya said.  “So Turkey Night (last year) was my first full night in a 360.  Besides that, just 410s.”

 

I think we should be able to jump right into it,” the personable driver said on what he expects in the 360.  “It should all transition pretty well.  Most of the tracks we are going to run at are smaller and intend to slick off.  I won’t have to worry as much about getting myself out of trouble on the cushion or things like that.  In the 410 I have to be easy on the pedal sometimes.  I have to make sure when I am in the 360 I do not do that.”

 

One thing is for sure, Tafoya will be on a lot of different tracks in 2024.  The only tracks the two series will both be competing on are the rejuvenated Santa Maria Raceway and The Dirt Track at Kevin Harvick’s Kern Raceway.  Kern is the only track currently on his schedule that he has not competed on in the past.  That is a lot different from 2023 when Tafoya raced in the USAC National Series on many tracks he had never seen before. 

 

“I wouldn’t say I dislike any,” Tafoya commented on the tracks he will be steering the Dunkel’s car at. “To me, they are just a lot different driving styles.  I like Ventura.   I’ve gone quick time there (with CRA).  Santa Maria, I have gone top five.  Bakersfield I have been top five.  I don’t get to drive them much so I do not have a lot of feedback on them but I definitely think we will be up front.  I prefer big tracks and going faster.  I like just having some extra room to move around.  It seems like I always do good on the small tracks, too.  So, I definitely don’t have a problem with them.  I like going racing anywhere we can.”

 

“We have everything in our corner to go and win races,” Tafoya enthusiastically intoned.  “Zac (team manager Zac Bozanich) and I have been down there building up cars, getting the trailer ready and all kinds of stuff.  We will be ready to come out swinging.  It was a no-brainer for me when they asked.  Thanks to Tom and Christy, this year big things fell together and we have ourselves a whole other seat.”

 

Tafoya reckons he has worked on sprint cars every day for the last two months.  His new DRC for the USAC/CRA Series arrived last week and he started putting it together last weekend. 

 

A successful season is not just dictated by the drivers.  Dunkel and Zac Bozanich, Roa’s past crew chief and a past USAC/CRA mechanic of the year, made a deal for Bozanich to be the Inland Rigging team manager.  If that is not enough to scare the foe, Rip Williams will be heavily involved as will Dunkel and his son Aiden.  Tafoya and his father will also be occupied with helping maintain the cars.  Austin Williams will be hands-on and is bringing his longtime crewmen Paul Dean, Rich Ruston, and Joe Perez.  

 

“I have worked with Zac in the years prior to being around Brody,” Dunkel stated.  “With my smaller sponsorship that I did prior, Zac has always been top-notch and has always been a class act.  As we rolled into 2023 and really stepped up our game with the Roas, Zac jumped in and took me under his wing.  It just made sense towards the end of the year and things were winding down and some things were changing on what I was going to be doing with Brody.  Zac and I were able to strike a deal and bring him on board to help us execute our big plans this year.”

 

“We had our first shop day the day of the CRA banquet,” Dunkel recalled.  “Rip was there.  That was kind of surreal, to be honest.  I am not really a kind of star-struck kind of person but it was kind of neat to work with the “Ripper” in my own shop on my cars.  He is the guy I always watched as a kid.  To go full circle and be providing a car for his son is pretty bitchin.’”

 

Dunkel would like to thank the following 2024 season sprint car sponsors.  Inland Rigging, Dunkel Farms, Specialty Fasteners, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Osborne Speed & Machine, Maverick Transport, and HBC.  If you would like to join this championship team for another title run this year, please contact Dunkel using the information at the top of this release.


 

Matt Hagan Kicks Off New Year Taking Runner-Up at the PRO Superstar Shootout;

Leah Pruett Advances to Semi-Finals in Top Fuel in Her Lone 2024 Race 

 

·       Reigning NHRA Mission Foods World Funny Car champion Matt Hagan kicked off the 2024 drag racing season Saturday with a runner-up finish in the inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout
·       Driving the TSR Johnson Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat, Hagan advanced to the final round with victories over J.R. Todd in the first round and Bob Tasca in the semi-finals 
·       Hagan had a quicker reaction time off the starting line over Austin Prock in the final round and recorded his weekend-best 3.872 at 329.75 miles per hour, but lost to Prock’s 3.845
·       Leah Pruett, Hagan’s teammate at Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) made her only 2024 Top Fuel appearance and advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Mike Salinas in the quarter-finals
·       In a rematch of the NHRA finals last November against Doug Kalitta, Pruett clocked a 3.741 to Kalitta’s 3.709 as Kalitta went on to win the PRO Superstar Shootout event
·       Driving the TSR Johnson Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT dragster, it was Pruett’s lone 2024 Top Fuel appearance as she and husband Tony Stewart will start a family this year
·       Stewart, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, will take over the driving chores of the TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Top Fuel dragster at the NHRA Gatornationals set for March 8-10
·       Stewart, second in last year’s national NHRA Alcohol Dragster points, will be a rookie in the 2024 Top Fuel division as he seeks another title in a fourth different motorsports discipline 
·       Follow Dodge in NHRA action at DodgeGarage.com

 

February 12, 2024, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Reigning and defending NHRA Mission Foods World Funny Car champion Matt Hagan drove his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Johnson Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT® Hellcat machine to the runner-up spot Saturday in the inaugural SCAG Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
 
Hagan, the four-time NHRA World Funny Car champion, kicked off his 2024 drag racing campaign by winning two rounds of action under sunny Florida skies and advancing to the final round against rookie Funny Car racer Austin Prock, who replaced Hagan’s arch-rival Robert Hight in the John Force Racing car.
 
Hagan, who scored six NHRA national event wins in 2024, defeated J.R. Todd in the first round and Bob Tasca III in the semi-finals to go against Prock in the final round. Unfortunately, Hagan, who had a quicker reaction time, ran a 3.872 to Prock’s 3.845 and lost by a close margin.
 
Despite the final round defeat, Hagan was upbeat after the event as his TSR Dodge/SRT Funny Car team had some solid testing runs as they prepared for the Amalie NHRA Gatornationals set for March 8-10 in Gainesville, Fla., in the opening 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series event.
 
“It’s been a busy week with all of the testing before the race weekend started,” said Hagan. “All in all, we really couldn’t have asked for much more getting to the final round. I’m so thankful for my crew and how hard they all work. We had a good testing session. I think the PRO Superstar Shootout was a great event and a super way to kick off the 2024 season. We would have liked to beat Austin, but it was good preparation for the upcoming Gatornationals.”

 

Pruett, third in the 2023 NHRA Top Fuel point standings, made the decision in December to step out of the TSR Dodge//SRT dragster in 2024 to concentrate on starting a family this year with husband Tony Stewart and the PRO Superstar Shootout was her only 2024 Top Fuel appearance, driving the Johnson Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT car.
 
In the opening round Saturday, Pruett defeated Mike Salinas with a 3.972 to Salinas’ 4.412 and advanced to take on Doug Kalitta, who defeated Pruett in the final race of 2023 at Pomona, Calif., for the prestigious NHRA World Top Fuel crown. In another close race, Kalitta ran 3.709 to Pruett’s 3.741 and the Michigan driver went on to capture the PRO Superstar Shootout title.

 

“It was a perfect race for me to hang my hat on and feel good about my decision to step out of the seat for a while,” said Pruett after the race. “I got to enjoy the intensity of racing that came with just trying to qualify for the race, as well as two tough elimination rounds. I wanted redemption bad against Doug in the semis, but it will just have to wait a couple years now.

 

“We leave Bradenton with some more questions in our setup. But that is okay because our program will be stronger for it, as we transition into Tony testing the car and driving it from here on out. The PRO Superstar Shootout was very successful, and I’m honored to be a part of that history.”

  

Both Hagan and Stewart will now test their respective TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT racecars in the coming weeks in preparation for the March 8-10 Amalie NHRA Gatornationals, the opening event in the 21-race 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.  

 

 

@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The
@DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar® drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series   

 and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

Dodge//SRT

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with a lineup that delivers 

 unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.

Dodge drives forward as a pure performance brand, offering SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Durango, as well as an R/T plug-in hybrid electric vehicle 

 (PHEV) version of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, representing the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle. Dodge delivers the drag-strip-dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT 

 Super Stock; the 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world; and the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful

 SUV ever; and best-in-class standard performance in the compact utility vehicle segment with the Dodge Hornet. Combined, these four muscle vehicles make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand,

 offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.

In 2022, the Dodge brand ranked No. 1 in the
J.D. Power APEAL Study (mass market), making it the only domestic brand ever to do so three years in a row. In 2020, Dodge was named the "#1 Brand in Initial Quality," making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). 

Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at
DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag racing news, including daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis
(NYSE: STLA).
  
Mopar

Mopar is the global name for Stellantis genuine parts and authentic accessories.

A simple combination of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar offers exceptional service, parts and customer care. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, Mopar has evolved over more 

 than 85 years to represent both complete vehicle care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle car era with performance parts to enhance speed and handling for both on-road and racing use. Later, Mopar expanded to include technical service     

 and customer support, and today integrates service, parts and customer care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Complete information on Mopar is available at
www.mopar.com and the newly redesigned Mopar blog at www.blog.mopar.com


Follow Dodge, Mopar and Stellantis news and video on:


Company blog:
blog.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Media website:
media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Dodge brand:
www.dodge.com
DodgeGarage:
www.dodgegarage.com
Mopar brand:
www.mopar.com
Mopar blog:
blog.mopar.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/dodge and www.facebook.com/mopar
Instagram:
@DodgeMoparMotorsports, @DodgeOfficial and @OfficialMopar
Twitter:
@Dodge, @OfficialMopar and @StellantisNA
YouTube:
www.youtube.com/dodge, www.youtube.com/c/mopar and www.youtube.com/StellantisNA

 

 

  Additional information/news from Stellantis is available at https://media.stellantisnorthamerica.com.

 


Dominic Scelzi Selected to Pilot Roth Motorsports Entry During High Limit Racing Doubleheader at East Bay Raceway Park

 

Inside Line Promotions - FRESNO, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2024) - The racing season is beginning a couple of weeks earlier than expected for Dominic Scelzi, who has been selected to fill in for Roth Motorsports driver James McFadden during the High Limit Racing season-opening doubleheader next week.

 

The new national series kicks off the 2024 campaign on Monday and Tuesday at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla., and Scelzi will be behind the wheel of a Roth Motorsports No. 83 sprint car during the Battle at the Bay.

 

"I got the call to fill in for James so I'm excited to make my High Limit and East Bay debut," Scelzi said. "Roth Motorsports has always been a big supporter of myself and our family team so I'm more than happy to step in."

 

The two races at East Bay Raceway Park will mark Scelzi's debut at the track as well as his first two starts with High Limit Racing.

"I'm excited to visit East Bay for the first time and get to race on the track before it's gone," he said. "Also, I'm planning to compete in some High Limit races in the Midwest this spring so this gets it started a little sooner."

 

Scelzi recently announced plans to start the season by racing in select High Limit Racing and World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series shows in the Midwest throughout March and April.

 

"I've raced with Roth Motorsports many times throughout the years," he said. "They have great equipment and a top-notch program so hopefully I can knock the offseason rust off quickly and we can be competitive each night. This will also be a great opportunity for me to get up to speed a bit before climbing into my family car next month. Thank you to Dennis and Teresa Roth and Todd and Brent Ventura as well as Toyota."

 

UP NEXT -

 

Monday and Tuesday at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla., for the Battle at the Bay with High Limit Racing

 

MEDIA LINKS -

 

Website: http://www.GaryScelziMotorsports.com

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scelzi41

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Roth Motorsports

Roth Motorsports is a championship winning sprint car team formed in 1992 by Dennis and Teresa Roth. For more information, visit http://www.RothMotorsports83.com .

 

"A huge thanks goes to Dennis and Teresa Roth and Todd and Brent Ventura for the opportunities they've given me over the years," Scelzi said. "It has been great to work with Roth Motorsports both driving for their team as well as having them support Scelzi Motorsports."

Scelzi would like to thank Red Rose Transportation, Inc., Scelzi Enterprises, Whipple Superchargers, System 1, Fuel Delivery Services, Inc., Red Line Oil, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Roth Motorsports, K&N Filters, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, NAPA Auto Parts, Todd Jorgensen, Sparco, Allstar Performance, Meridian Steel, Auto Meter, Kenny's Components and Worldwide Bearings for their continued support.

 


Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Open World of Outlaws Season With Win and DIRTcar Nationals Title

 

Inside Line Promotions - BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2024) - The opening weekend of the season was a success for Big Game Motorsports and driver David Gravel.

The team captured its first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory of the year and produced three top fives during the four-race Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals hosted by Volusia Speedway Park. That was good enough to garner the big gator trophy as the event champion for the second time in the last three years.

 

"It was a strong week," Gravel said. "I felt like about every time we hit the track we were good. I wish we could have got back two shots at those features, but we still ran fifth and sixth those nights. The guys did a good job preparing everything and it was a good week. As far as a consistency standpoint, that's what you're looking for to win the championship."

The big gator trophy was Gravel's third of his career, which is tied for the most.

"That's cool for sure," he said. "We were so close to winning last year and got into a wreck in the final feature so it was good to finish strong this year. And this year the big gator paid some money so that was nice."

The busy week began last Wednesday with Gravel qualifying fourth quickest in his group. He won a heat race and advanced from fifth to third place in the dash. The night ended with a third-place result in the feature.

"The track work got done and the track came back more than we expected," he said. "That's dirt racing and what makes it so hard and tough. We ran third so it shows how strong we are even when things aren't perfect."

Gravel was victorious on Thursday, when he timed in second quickest in his group and placed second in a heat race before winning the dash and the main event. It marked his fifth World of Outlaws victory in his last eight races at the track.

"I felt good and I think we're capable of doing that a lot of nights," he said. "It's about putting yourself in a good position and getting good dash draws. We made the dash all four nights, but only got one good draw. We capitalized on it Thursday."

Gravel qualified seventh quickest in his group to open Friday's program. He hustled from fourth to second place in a heat race to make the dash. Gravel placed fourth in the dash and fifth in the A Main.

"That's one night we were a little frustrated with that fifth place," he said. "We worked really hard to get to the dash and weren't able to capitalize. When we're not happy with running fifth that shows how good we are as a team."

The event wrapped up on Saturday. Gravel was second quickest in his group's qualifying session and he won a heat race to advance into the dash for the fourth straight night. However, he pulled the second-highest number - seven - during the dash draw and he finished where he started in the dash. Gravel gained a position in the feature to end sixth, which was good enough to secure the DIRTcar Nationals title.

"Drawing the seven in the dash was not ideal," he said. "The track was the wettest, narrowest, fastest all week. We had a car good the last 10 laps. We just needed to be better sooner to pass some guys on that track."

The team will take the next couple of weeks off before resuming World of Outlaws competition March 3-4 at Volusia Speedway Park during the World of Outlaws Bike Week Jamboree.

QUICK RESULTS -

Feb. 7 - Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. - Qualifying: 4; Heat race: 1 (2); Dash: 3 (5); Feature: 3 (3).

Feb. 8 - Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 2 (1); Dash: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (1).

Feb. 9 - Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. - Qualifying: 7; Heat race: 2 (4); Dash: 4 (5); Feature: 5 (4).

Feb. 10 - Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. - Qualifying: 2; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 7 (7); Feature: 6 (7).

SEASON STATS -

 

4 races, 1 win, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s, 4 top 15s, 4 top 20s

UP NEXT -

March 3-4 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the World of Outlaws Bike Week Jamboree with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series

MEDIA LINKS -

X: https://twitter.com/BigGameMotorspt

HUSET'S SPEEDWAY -

Huset's Speedway is a dirt oval located in Brandon, S.D. The track opened in 1954 and has undergone a large renovation within the last few years, making it a premier destination for both marquee racing events and weekly programs. For more information, visit http://www.HusetsSpeedway.com .

 

JACKSON MOTORPLEX -

Jackson Motorplex is a 4/10-mile dirt oval located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts special events from May through August, including races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Midwest Power Series, Midwest Sprint Touring Series and more. For more information, visit http://www.JacksonMotorplex.com .

TICKET LINK -

To purchase online tickets for events at either Huset's Speedway or at Jackson Motorplex, visit http://mpv.tickets.com/schedule/?agency=JKMV_PL_MPV&orgid=55369#/?view=list&includePackages=true .

 

 


LUYENDYK JR ENTERS CHILDREN’S DREAM FUND 50

February 8, 2024 – Arie Luyendyk Jr. is the latest ‘Childrens Dream Fund 50 ‘entrant. Luyendyk confirmed today his plans to compete in the March 2, 2024, event at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The event is a co-sanctioned race between the Must See Racing Sprint Series Presented by Perfit and the BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series that will pay $10,000 to win.

This will be only his second sprint car race. He competed in the inaugural Davey Hamilton Jr’s Open Wheel Showdown in Las Vegas last December. What started out as a bucket list item to drive a sprint car has now turned into a full-scale project. Luyendyk has purchased a sprint car and plans to compete in a few other races in Florida in the month of March. He then plans to head north to tackle the Must See Racing Sprint Series full-time this summer.

“Obviously I had a great time at the Open Wheel Showdow.  It was an awesome event and Davey (Hamilton Jr.) did a great job of promoting it” explained Luyendyk. For me I just saw the competition and was impressed with all of the drivers there and the speed. Over the course of my career, I jumped into a few different things, and I’ve been able to win pretty quickly. Now I’ve got the bug and wanna go out and be good and win some races.

“I’ve put out a limited schedule this year. I’ll do three races in Florida in March. After that I plan to do the Must See Racing deal and the Open Wheel Showdown in November. The idea is to go to Florida beginning with the ‘Children's Dream Fund 50’ to get warmed up for that. It’s pretty tough in the Midwest and I wanna make sure we’re dialed. The race in Las Vegas was really my first time in the car. I wanna change some things with the seating position to get me more comfortable. We can do some things like that since it’s mine” laughed Luyendyk Jr.

The 42-year-old Luyendyk Jr.is the son of two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Sr. He has run a variety of series in his career up to this point including SCCA Formula Ford Series, Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series, SCCA Formula Continental, Traxxas TORC Series, Stadium Super Truck Series, A-1 Grand Prix, and Indy Lights. In addition, he finished 28th in the 2006 Indianapolis 500.

Luyendyk gained additional fame by participating in several reality television shows including “The Bachelor” in 2017. He gained a huge social media following from the show that continues today.

Although he only has one sprint car race under his belt, he feels he is surrounded by the right people and can get up to speed quickly once he gets onto the Citrus County Speedway asphalt. He admitted he hasn’t done any research on Citrus County Speedway and doesn’t intend to.

“I have not done my research on the track as of yet, and I typically don’t. For me it is what it is. For me in the past I haven’t learned too much by studying tape or watching other on-boards. I just go in there with an open mindset. I don’t wanna go in there with any preconceived notion of what my line should be. It could all be different the day of.

“I do have a great coach in Davey Hamilton Jr. helping me along. I definitely wanna have fun in the Florida racing swing of my season, but it’s really just to get me prepared for the Midwest. I still know it’s gonna be a challenge in Florida. But it’s gonna play a big part getting me ready to compete with those guys up there. I have some guys in my court including Davey Hamilton Sr. and Kirk Morgan who will also help me get up to speed. I can’t wait to get to Florida” concluded Luyendyk Jr.

 

 

BRODY ROA TEAMS WITH CAR OWNER JAYSON MAY FOR THE 2024 RACING SEASON

 

(Cypress, CA, February 6, 2024) Veteran Southern California sprint car racer Brody Roa is teaming up with Taft, California car owner Jayson May for the 2024 season.   The team will launch its campaign on March 2nd at the Ventura Raceway in the inaugural race of the USCS Sprint Car Series.

 

The combo first got together in September of 2020 and won the first time out in a CAS race at Central Arizona Speedway.   Since that time, they have competed in several events collectively.  However, the upcoming race at Ventura will be their first time teaming up since the 2022 Turkey Night Grand Prix on the same ocean-side oval.


 

 

Roa, who resides in the shadows of Disneyland in Garden Grove, California, comes into 2024 after the best season of his career.  Driving the Inland Rigging #17R owned by Tom and Christy Dunkel, they won the USAC/CRA championship.  They took eight of the 18 main events in the series and Roa had a 40.9 win percentage on the year.  That was the best victory percentage for any 410 non wing driver in the nation.  His total of nine wins tied him for third-most in the nation amongst 410 non-wing drivers.  On top of everything else, Roa and his wife Tailor welcomed their second daughter into the world in the middle of the racing season.  It was a dream year.

 

With stats like that, why did he leave the Inland Rigging team, how did he get re-connected with May and what does the future hold?  Earlier this week, the “Pride of Garden Grove” took a few minutes to discuss the how’s, why’s and where’s. 

 

S.D.: After having the best season of your career, why did you step out of the Inland Rigging deal? 

 

B.R.: To take a little bit of a step back with the family now. Having time to spend with my family is the biggest reason for my switch.  Jayson and his family have such nice stuff and such a good maintenance prep program.  That kind of allows me not to have to do that during the week.  I want to spend some more time with my family and not being in the garage all week getting ready to go racing.   

 

S.D.: So just to alleviate the rumor mill before it starts, you were happy there and it is an amicable split, correct?

 

B.R.: The change is nothing against them.  We are still friends, obviously.  There was nothing about the deal (driving for the Dunkel’s) that made me want to do something else.  It was the home life and the everyday during-the-week stuff (working on the car).  When I talked to him, we left the door open on maybe doing a race together, here and there.  Hopefully, that door is still open.  That friendship we had is still there. We had a ton of fun last year.  Lots of good memories.  They deserve an endless thank you for what they did to jump on board as big as they did.  They stepped in a big way to chase that championship.  Tom wanted a championship and I wanted a championship.  That was my only goal last year.  Accomplishing that took a lot off of my plate, too.  Tom and Christy and Inland Rigging supported me with sponsorship for four or five years before becoming my car owners last year.

 

S.D.: How did you get reconnected with Jayson May?

 

B.R.: We never stopped talking when I was not driving his stuff.  Jayson and I became friends, too.  We talked every now and then.  I went to lunch with Tom a few weeks ago with no plan on what I was going to do, but I wanted to back down my schedule a bit.  That is when I started talking to Jayson a little bit more.  He just bought a new DRC from Scott Benic.  He was putting that together and was trying to figure out what he was doing.  He did not have anybody committed to run anything.  He barely raced at all last year.  He was just putting engines together.  It all just kind of fell into place.  He is going to figure out what he can afford to do and we will put a schedule together.”

 

S.D.: You and Jayson have a history.  In fact, you won a CAS main event at the Central Arizona Speedway the first time you teamed up.  So, each of you knows what to expect coming into this deal, correct?

 

B.R.: The first time I ran for Jayson and the Mays was right after my oldest was born.  So at the end of the 2020 season.  Then I ran a couple of races with him in 2021 and a couple of races for him in 2022.  Last year was the first time since that I did not drive his car all year.

 

S.D.: No championship aspirations this season, correct?

 

B.R.: Jayson and I are still working on the schedule of what we are going to do.  We are going to do some hit-and-miss shows I guess you could call it.  A part-time schedule.  Nothing full-time for points.  Won’t be stressing on running a full season again this year.

 

S.D.: Have you decided where you will be racing?

 

B.R.: A little bit all over the place.  I think mainly over the hill by him.  So Bakersfield, Kern, Santa Maria.  All of the CRA and USCS shows north of the Grapevine.  Between the two schedules, I think you run like 14 races between Bakersfield, Kern, and Santa Maria.  There is plenty of racing to do.  He will probably come down to Perris maybe once or twice this year.  It is so far for him to come down.

 

S.D.: If something else came up on the nights when you are not driving Jayson’s car, would you still take a ride in other CRA races or is that not in the plans this year? 

 

B.R.: If something comes up and it works out, yeah, I am pretty much open to do stuff in good equipment.  It all comes to the help side, too.  I am tired of wearing my dad into the dirt.  This will kind of allow him to rest a little bit at the races.  My schedule is kind of open but we are going to kind of play it by ear with the family.  If we do not have a race that weekend or anything committed, we can go to the desert or the river or somewhere else.

 

S.D.: You and your crew have been together for a long time.  Are they all going with you to the Jayson May ride?

 

B.R.: Pretty much the same with the exception of Zac (crew chief Zac Bozanich).  Zac is planning on helping Tom this year.  I do not know what the title would be, but he is doing a lot of the prep work and ordering what Tom needs to have a race-ready program.  All of last year we took my stuff (spares).  We had all of the spares.  So they are slowly building up Tom’s spare inventory.  Making sure he is dialed in.” 

 

S.D.: Before last year, you ran your own program for over a decade.  Do you still have all of your stuff? 

 

B.R.: I do.  I still have all of my stuff.  We are hanging onto all of our stuff for now.  Just because of this change, I am not going to sell all of my stuff.  That is pretty committed.  I will never be able to buy it all again.  We will see what the future brings.  Who knows what we end up doing?  I may hit the lottery and put my full program together again.  We will see.

 

Jayson May and Roa want to thank the following marketing partners for being a part of the #8M racing endeavors in 2024.  May Motorsports, Winfield’s Racing Engines, RDM Mechanics, Cooper’s Propane, TJM Distribution, TJM Distribution, Ten West Towing, Arctic Sea Mining, Wesco International, Elite Signs and Fastenal.  In addition, they thank Roa’s sponsors. “Biker” Bruce Fischer, ALR Virtual Services, Burris Racing, Caltrol, Jambo Barbeque Pits, Competition Suspension, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Driven Racing Oil, Baldwin Filters, and NGK Spark Plugs.  If you would like to be a marketing partner in 2024, contact Roa using the information at the top of this release.

 

@inlandrigging, @dunkelfarms @roygamityanauctioneer @burris_racing_usa @mikeburrisoc @csishocks @theoriginalloosebruce @alrvirtualservices @k1racegear @moleculesports @rodendsupply @baldwinfilters @ngkracing @originalngksparkplugs @usacnation @usac_cra @perrisautospeedway @b_roa91 @tai_xoxo_roa @zacboz35 @joegibb83, @caltrolinc @narc410 @drivenracingoil

 


 

Tony Stewart Racing Dodge//SRT Drag Racing Duo Pruett and Hagan

Ready for Return to Track in Special PRO Superstar Shootout

 

·       Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) makes its 2024 drag racing debut this week (Feb. 8-10) when Dodge drivers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan compete in the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Super Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage
·       Pruett, who came within one round of winning the 2023 NHRA Top Fuel title in her TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster, will make her lone 2024 Top Fuel appearance
·       Pruett will turn over the driving chores in the 11,000-horsepower machine to her husband Tony Stewart, who will campaign in the Top Fuel class in the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Pro Series
·       Pruett, who finished third in the 2023 NHRA Top Fuel points, will temporarily step away from 2024 NHRA competition to focus on starting a family but remains with the TSR operation as a driving coach and team strategist
·       Stewart, the former NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC champion, will begin his Top Fuel career in the NHRA Mission Foods Pro Series season opener on March 7-10 in the TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster in the Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla.
·       Reigning NHRA Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan returns to competition in the TSR Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat machine in the PRO Superstar Shootout after scoring six NHRA national event victories in 2023
·       Hagan recorded his fourth NHRA Funny Car title in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat and gave TSR its first World Championship in NHRA competition
·       Hagan will team with Stewart for the TSR effort in the 21-race 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Pro Drag Racing Series in the two-car Dodge//SRT Direct Connection nitro operation
·       Pruett and Hagan will vie for the coveted $250,000 top prize money in this week’s Top Fuel and Funny Car class in the PRO Superstar Shootout
·       Follow Dodge in NHRA action at DodgeGarage.com
 

February 7, 2024, Auburn Hills, Mich. - With Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Top Fuel and Funny Car squads returning to the track for the team’s 2024 debut, drivers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan have the coveted $250,000 top prize in their minds for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Super Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage this week (Feb. 8-10) in Bradenton, Fla.

The new season-opening event brings together the top professional drag racers for the largest single pro race payout in drag racing history and Pruett and Hagan come back to the drag strip after finishing the 2023 national tour in impressive fashion. Hagan captured his fourth NHRA World Funny Car championship in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT® Hellcat, and Pruett came within one round of winning the prestigious NHRA Top Fuel title in her TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster.

For Pruett, the PRO Superstar Shootout will be her lone Top Fuel appearance in 2024 as she and husband Tony Stewart plan to start a family this year. Pruett will continue to be an important element to the TSR operation, serving as driving coach and strategist throughout the drag racing season.

“We showed we have what it takes to perform at the highest level last year,” said Pruett. “That confidence is used as building blocks moving forward. I want to experience it all at the PRO event – being with the team, working on new projects, dusting driving cobwebs off, all while engaging with fans that feel it’s their last time to see me racing. But it’s not as if I won’t be around the track all year. It’s just going to be a lot to take in this week.”

 

With Pruett stepping away from the cockpit of the TSR Dodge//SRT Top Fueler, Stewart will move into Pruett’s machine and begin his Top Fuel career in the NHRA Mission Foods Pro Series season opener on March 7-10 in the TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster in the Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla. But Pruett is focused on winning this week’s special “All-Star” event and collecting the $250,000 top prize.

“I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation that has been surviving without a meal for months and is ready to eat,” Pruett said. “We’re hungry and a win this early in the season is great for our organization and the crew members. PRO is putting up big money and we want to capitalize on it this week.”

Stewart, a former NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC driving champion, admits he wasn’t sure if Leah and crew chief Neal Strausbaugh would want him to take over the driving chores for 2024, but they had confidence in his abilities earned in the Alcohol Dragster class, where he finished second in 2023 NHRA national points.

“To make a decision like this must be extremely hard for Leah,” said Stewart, a NASCAR Hall of Famer. “I’m very proud of her. We had discussed starting a family and this was her decision. I was very supportive as to whether she wanted to do it now or years from now. I’m very humbled that Leah and Neal felt I was the driver to fill in for her. I feel honored that I can drive the Top Fuel dragster for my wife and this team."

Hagan is confident entering the PRO Superstar Shootout with his JHG Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car after a sensational NHRA championship run in 2023. Hagan’s TSR crew is intact and back for the 2024 campaign with another title on their mind as well as the $250,000 first place cash this weekend.

“I’m moving into the new season as a defending champion, but at the end of the day, that was last year and this is this year, 2024,” Hagan explained. “We have to start fresh, and we plan to bring the package that was strong at the end of the year. We’ve never raced on this Bradenton facility, and everyone is gunning for you now after winning the championship.

“To race for $250,000 for each pro class is massive. Money motivates everyone and people want to see big-money races. It’s a new race structure to look at and an opportunity to do something big right out of the box. We still have to buckle down and work hard during this whole season to defend what we know we just accomplished in the past. Plus, this is Leah’s last race for awhile and I want TSR to score another ‘Double Up.’”

Action gets underway this Thursday (Feb. 8) at Bradenton Motorsports Park with testing at 10 a.m. EST and Pro qualifying at 6:15 p.m. Pro qualifying on Friday (Feb. 9) is scheduled for 12 p.m. EST and 3:15 p.m. Saturday’s events begin at 1 p.m. with opening ceremonies followed by the first round of Pro eliminations set for 2 p.m.
 
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

Dodge//SRT
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with a lineup that delivers unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.

Dodge drives forward as a pure performance brand, offering SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Durango, as well as an R/T plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet, representing the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle. Dodge delivers the drag-strip dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock; the 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world; and the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever; and best-in-class standard performance in the compact utility vehicle segment with the Dodge Hornet. Combined, these four muscle vehicles make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.

In 2022, the Dodge brand ranked No. 1 in the J.D. Power APEAL Study (mass market), making it the only domestic brand ever to do so three years in a row. In 2020, Dodge was named the "#1 Brand in Initial Quality," making it the first domestic brand ever to rank No. 1 in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). 

Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news, including daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis (NYSE: STLA).
  
Mopar
Mopar is the global name for Stellantis genuine parts and authentic accessories.

A simple combination of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar offers exceptional service, parts and customer-care. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, Mopar has evolved over more than 85 years to represent both complete vehicle care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era with performance parts to enhance speed and handling for both on-road and racing use. Later, Mopar expanded to include technical service and customer support, and today integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Complete information on Mopar is available at www.mopar.com and the newly redesigned Mopar blog at www.blog.mopar.com


Follow Dodge, Mopar and Stellantis news and video on:


Company blog: blog.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Media website: media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Dodge brand: www.dodge.com
DodgeGarage: www.dodgegarage.com
Mopar brand: www.mopar.com
Mopar blog: blog.mopar.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dodge and www.facebook.com/mopar
Instagram: @DodgeMoparMotorsports, @DodgeOfficial and @OfficialMopar
Twitter: @Dodge, @OfficialMopar and @StellantisNA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/dodge, www.youtube.com/c/mopar and www.youtube.com/StellantisNA

 



YOHO LOOKING FOR SUCCESS IN STEELE 125 THIS WEEKEND

February 7, 2024 – Pinellas Park, Florida – Showtime Speedway is set to host the fifth annual ‘Dave Steele 125’ this weekend capped off with a 125-lap non-wing sprint car feature event that will pay the winner $5000 and one of the nicest trophies in all of pavement sprint car racing.
The event will also help determine the overall Dave Steele Sprint Car Championship winner based off a three-race points accumulation that also includes last weekend’s twin 35-lap Dave Steele Winged Weekend events. Davey Hamilton Jr. is currently the overall points leader with Colton Bettis trailing closely.
Showtime Speedway promoter Robert “Showtime” Yoho is one of the drivers who will be competing in this weekend’s 125-lap event. Yoho performed well in last weekend’s twin 35’s and scored a sixth-place finish in the second 35-lap feature event despite running a winged car on special occasions.
In last years ‘Dave Steele 125’ Yoho started off the front row and was running with the leaders until drama set in early. His throttle stuck going into turn one sending him into the wall. The car turned onto its side and was briefly under heavy fire, forcing Yoho to quickly bail out of the car. Once out of the car Yoho was greeted to thunderous cheers from the crowd, and he acknowledged the crowd with a wave.
Yoho attributes his recent success to being comfortable in the Mac Steele owned #33 that he has driven the past two season on occasion.
“We had two races last weekend. I drive a little bit of everything. Sometimes I’m a little bit rustier” explained Yoho. “As the night went on, I got more comfortable and relaxed. Mac (Steele) changed the seat and that’s probably the most comfortable seat I’ve had since I’ve been in that ride. I feel comfortable and relaxed in the car now.”
Yoho was asked what we can expect from him at this weekend’s non-winged race since it’s been almost a year since he’s raced without a wing.
“It’s going to be interesting. I got a couple more laps last weekend. The last time I went from winged to non-winged I got into a bit of trouble. You have to remember you don’t have the wing to help you make the turn, and it is a big difference.
Early in last year’s race I felt something in my throttle. When I went down the straightway, I realized something was touching. The cockpits are open. You never know what’s going to come through the floor. It was the screw backing out of the stacks into the throttle linkage and that’s what caused the throttle to stick. When I saw the fire, I got out as quickly as I could. I thought Whose gonna run this place if I burn up” laughed Yoho. ”I got a tow truck and towed my own car off, went on my merry way, and started helping everybody else.”
Being the promoter and a racer on the same night has its challenges, but Yoho puts competent people in place to manage the program so he can race.
“You hire people and put them in certain places. You hope these people can take care of the matters. People always cry because they think things aren’t fair. I hired a new tech man, and he's been great. He decided he was gonna tech the cars thoroughly and everything. He made a couple guys pull the stacks so he could look at the restrictors. They were cursing and screaming. They did their job. People were asking why we were teching cars. I told them if you tech cars, you get more cars, because you keep it fair. You put your people in place, let them do their job, and support them 100%”.
This weekend’s race has special meaning to Yoho, like many others. Steele was a friend of Yoho’s. ”I was at Denny’s eating years ago when I was running the truck series at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It looked like a little kid eating near me. Someone said it was Dave Steele. I said come on, that kid needs a booster seat. I walked over and it was Dave. We started talking and became friends.”
“One year I penalized him from jumping the start and he didn’t come to Showtime Speedway for a while. Then he started back racing with us. I have to thank Lynn, Caroll, and Mac for letting us honor Dave with this race each year” concluded Yoho.
This weekend’s racing action starts Friday night February 9 with an open practice and ‘Dash for Cash’. The following evening will see qualifying and the $5,000 to win 125-lap feature. A pre-race autograph session and tribute is being planned with special guest speaker Dorathy Nowling. The race will be streamed as a Pay-Per-View by Sky Snap Productions. A special Dave Steele event t-shirt is being sold for just $20.
Attached Photo Credit: David Sink

 


 

 

TOMMY DUNKEL TALKS OF MIDGET CREW CHIEF AND MORE MIDGET RACES ON THE WAY 

(Cypress, CA, January 30, 2024) A little over a year ago, open-wheel racer Tommy Dunkel liked chili.  However, after only three nights of racing in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals inside the famous Sage Net Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he now loves the dish.  So much so, that the Murrieta, California-based driver is already making plans to start racing midgets on the Left Coast this season so he can be ready for the 40th annual Chili Bowl 11 months from now. 


 

   To many, Dunkel is a newcomer to racing.  In reality, that is far from the truth.  He had a brief foray into lightning sprints and 360 sprint cars a few years ago.  More recently, his Inland Rigging company became familiar to fans as a sponsor of longtime Southern California star Brody Roa.  However, Dunkel wanted more.  He had an itch to get back into a sprint car.  He finally did that at the end of the 2022 season, when he finished 13th in the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix at the Ventura Raceway.  


 

   With the desires on fire, Dunkel entered the 2023 Chili Bowl.  Things did not go as well as he had hoped.  It was one night and done.  He ran on his preliminary evening but called it a day before the Saturday finale. 


 

    In no way did the disappointment of the Chili Bowl deter Dunkel’s open-wheel ambitions. He was back in his sanitary white #17A in select 360 races on the West Coast and would add in his first 410 endeavors in 2023.  In addition, he and his wife Christy owned the #17R that Roa drove to the 2023 USAC/CRA championship.  In addition to Roa taking the title and posting numerous victories, Dunkel scored his first sprint car win at the Ventura Raceway on April 8th.  


 

   Even though Dunkel met with success in the cockpit and as a car owner in 2023, the Chili Bowl was still boiling on his mind.  He wanted another shot and he wanted to do it with a front-line car and team.  Enter longtime crew chief Jimmy May and the Josh Ford Motorsports team.  Known for fast cars and a top-notch crew led by May, they were just what Dunkel was looking for and a deal was set.  

   “They have been in that building so many times and they have had good success,” Dunkel enthused about May and his crew.  “Having that kind of confidence (in the crew and the equipment) going in was great.  That helped me a ton. I knew I could go out there and drive really hard and do my best because I knew I had good equipment underneath me.  You give them feedback and what they do with the wrenches from there is pretty amazing.  Those guys know how to tune for that joint.” 


 

   “Jimmy himself is such a natural,” Dunkel continued. “He can watch the dust, he can watch the TVs there and he can gauge what the track is going to be like even if there are four or five races to go (before he got on the track).  He knows what setup to put on by knowing what the track is going to do.  It seemed like all of us were in sync in working with Jimmy and his crew guys.  They are just spot on.  Some of the hardest working crew guys that I have ever had wrenching for me.  It was a pleasure working with them the whole weekend.” 


 

   January in Oklahoma in no way resembles Arizona in July.  Cold can permeate throughout the month and that can wreak havoc on the cars in the Chili Bowl.  Fans are used to pump fresh air into the building from outside.  That makes it anything but bikini-wearing conditions inside the massive SageNet Center.  It negatively affects the engines on the cars that were referred to as “doodlebugs” three-quarters of a century ago.  


 

   “We were chasing the cold,” Dunkel shivered recalling the temperatures in Oklahoma.  “It was a really big factor.  The temperature in the building was just shy of freezing.  With how cold it was outside, the fans were pumping 10-degree air into the building.” 


 

   Compounding the issues with the air were some unfortunate incidents that delayed Dunkel getting on the track.  

  

   “Unfortunately, every time before I went out something happened (on the track) in the race just prior,” Dunkel laughed.  “So I ended up sitting on the ramp a long time and the car was getting cold. That kind of factored into some of the issues we had but that is out of everybody’s control.  Everybody else was running into the problem with their cars getting cold, too.  We were all dealt the same cards with the temperatures.” 


 

   “My guys did not skip a beat,” offered Dunkel.  “They were wrapping the car in blankets and putting the engine heaters on it in staging.  They did everything they could possibly do for me to make the car better. I would have liked to have done a little better but I  could not have been happier (with May and the crew).” 


 

   With more laps at this year’s Chili Bowl and the guidance of May and his crew, Dunkel is already making plans for 2025.  He is teaming with May for four, five, or six midget races this year including the Turkey Night Grand Prix in November.  


 

   Dunkel wants to thank his family, Jimmy May, crewmen Sam and Charlie, the Tafoya Family, Specialty Fasteners, Malyssa Perkins, and Inland Rigging for making his Chili Bowl racing endeavor possible. 


 

   This Saturday, Roa and the Dunkel’s will receive their just rewards for last year’s CRA title at a banquet in Riverside, California.   After that, it will be back in the shop getting the cars ready for the upcoming USAC/CRA and USCS seasons.  Some exciting team news is on the horizon.  Stay tuned. 


 

   Dunkel would like to thank the following 2024 season sprint car sponsors.  Inland Rigging, Dunkel Farms, Specialty Fasteners, BR Motorsports, King Racing Products, Osborne Speed & Machine, Maverick Transport, and HBC.  If you would like to join this championship team for another title run this year, please contact Dunkel using the information at the top of this release. 

 

 

Delaney Gray heading to Florida for INEX Winter Nationals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – LA GRANGE, North Carolina (Feb. 1, 2024) – For the second time in her young career, Delaney Gray is set to travel down to Florida for the prestigious INEX Winter Nationals at Citrus County Speedway.
 

The week-long event regularly sees many of the best young drivers in Legends and Bandoleros battle it out for a shot at a championship. Delaney will compete in the Bandit class this year after previously participating in the Beginner Bandolero division back in 2022.
 

Having garnered plenty of on-track experience since her last visit to Citrus County, Delaney is eager to partake in the INEX Winter Nationals once again and excel against many of the brightest young stars in racing.  
 

“We’re hoping to do really good [at Citrus County],” Delaney said. “I feel kind of nervous but also really excited. I’m hoping to get some Top 5s, a few wins and to bring the car home in one piece.”
 

Delaney has plenty of momentum heading into the INEX Winter Nationals, as she is fresh off an eight-win season in 21 starts.
 

The consistency Delaney displayed at facilities like New River All-American Speedway was exactly what her father Brandon wanted to see in 2023. Since the start of her career, Brandon has guided Delaney through the fundamentals of proper race craft and has been impressed with the maturity she continues to display on and off track.
 

A goal Brandon has established for Delaney this season is to have her pursue the INEX North Carolina state championship. Running the INEX Winter Nationals is something Brandon believes will help Delaney get prepared for a hectic year in Bandolero competition. 
 

“We had no idea we’d win that many races [in 2023], so it was a really good year,” Brandon said. “This is Delaney’s final year in Bandits before she moves up a division. We probably won’t be in Bandoleros next year and will change vehicles all together, so this is her year to shine.”
 

The INEX Winter Nationals present plenty of unique challenges Brandon is eager to see Delaney tackle. No spotters are permitted for the INEX Winter Nationals, while Citrus County’s larger layout requires Bandolero competitors to rely on off-throttle time as opposed to building runs in a draft with restrictor plates.
 

Although Delaney has more experience with restrictor plates on her car, she said spending the past season learning more about car and throttle control has given her some confidence about excelling at Citrus County next month. 
 

“We mainly race at speedways, so short tracks and speedways for Bandoleros are much different,” Delaney said. “At speedways you’re wide open and at short tracks you’re on and off. You just need to know when you need to go back to the throttle and hit your brakes.”
 

Brandon also believes Delaney has grown consistent with lap times at tracks that require her to work the throttle. He still wants to see improvement from Delaney when it comes to setting up passes, but stressed the INEX Winter Nationals will provide excellent practice in that regard with no spotter to rely on.
 

While both Delaney and Brandon intend to enjoy the experience the INEX Winter Nationals at Citrus County offer, they each want to see their hard work and diligence translate into strong performances. With a stellar 2023 now behind them, Delaney is confident in her ability to contend for wins. 
 

“I really hope we can be strong all week,” Delaney said. “We have some really good cars, so hopefully our time at Citrus County will be successful.”
 

The 2024 INEX Winter Nationals for Delaney begin on Feb. 12 with a race every day through Feb. 16. Each Bandit event will consist of 20 laps or last 20 minutes.
 

Delaney would like to thank her family, her team, MPM Marketing and all her partners in Bob’s Muffler Shop of Goldsboro, Brandon Gray Racing, Solid Rock Carriers, Dillon Spain Motorsports, W.G. Speaks Inc., Carolina Family Pool & Patio, K1 RaceGear, Wiley X, and Carolina Mobile Refrigeration.

 

 


 

SPORT ALLEN ENTERS CHILDREN’S DREAM FUND 50

David Sink Photo
 

January 30, 2024 - 2021 BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series (SSSS) champion Sport Allen confirmed he will be participating in the March 2, 2024, ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The $5,000 to win 50-lap event will pit the SSSS against the Must See Racing Sprint Series Presented by Perfit.

The ‘Childrens Dream Fund 50’ is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated pavement sprint car events seen in Florida in many years. Nearly 30 cars are expected for this race and the Pinellas Park, Florida resident Allen knows he will have his work cut out for him if he is to have success in this event.

“When I first heard about this race, and who was coming, the first thing I thought was it’s gonna be tougher, a lot tougher,” laughed Allen. “We just switched to the American Racer tires, and they (MSR) have been running them for a while. We’re struggling. But I’m glad this race is paying a little extra money. Hopefully these guys can work together, and we can put some more events on in the future if this goes well.”

“I’m excited to run against some new guys, but I don’t know those guys. It’s a catch 22. I don’t know if they have good habits, bad habits, or how they race. I just don’t know that many of them.”

Citrus County Speedway is a track that Allen has won at in the past.

“Believe it or not, I’ve won 1 or 2 features there, but that was way back when. I am always right there and then something always happens. It’s been going on for a while there lately. We were really, really, good there for a stint. Then I didn’t run there for a while after that. That was back during the TBARA days. Then when I came back, I didn’t have any mojo, I was terrible there. We figured it out, but we quit running there so much util recently.”

With the number of cars this race could draw, and the quality of the cars, Allen was asked what it would take for him to have a successful ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’.

“At least a top 3 I would think. At least a chance to be one of the guys who stops on the straightway and thank your sponsors. That would make me happy” concluded Allen.

The ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ officially kicks off Friday March 1 with an open practice and a Barbeque and Meet and Greet following practice. Teams from both series will be able to meet each and interact prior to the following night’s racing program.

 
For more info on the 'Children's Dream Fund 50' please visit http://www.citruscountyspeedwayandtrack.com 
 

 

Big Game Motorsports and Gravel Aiming for World of Outlaws Championship as Season Opener Arrives Next Week

 

Inside Line Promotions - WINDOM, Minn. (Jan. 29, 2024) - The 2024 season begins next week for Big Game Motorsports and driver David Gravel.

 

The team will venture to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the 53 rd annual Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals. The half-mile oval hosts World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series races Feb. 7-10.

 

"It's been a really good track the last couple of years," said Gravel, who resides in Florida. "It's nice leaving that morning and driving over to the track and being able to race. It's the only time I get to do that all year long. Plus, it's a good feeling to get the season started.

 

Gravel captured the first two races and three of the five World of Outlaws main events at Volusia Speedway Park last year. He's won four of the last six series races at the track dating back to his first World of Outlaws win there during the 2022 DIRTcar Nationals.

 

"You just never know with that track," he said. "There's been lots of variations. In the past it can be very racy and get really slick. Last year I felt it was fast paced most of the time. We'll have to see what we get this year. I don't care what track you're at, you want to qualify good and start near the front no matter how racy the track is."

 

The DIRTcar Nationals kicks off a grueling season for Gravel and Big Game Motorsports, who have earned a runner-up result in the World of Outlaws championship standings each of the last three seasons.

 

"We enter the year every year wanting to win the championship," he said. "It's a very realistic goal and has been the last couple of years. A couple of little things here and there have been growing pains. We have all the tools and experience to get the job done."

 

Gravel led the series with 12 feature wins last year, including the biggest payout in World of Outlaws history when he captured the $250,000-to-win 2 nd annual BillionAuto.com Huset's High Bank Nationals presented by MENARDS at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D.

 

The dozen World of Outlaws triumphs were the second most wins in a season for Gravel, who also posted his most top fives in a season. He led the series in heat race wins and podium results. Gravel ranked second in top 10s, in Quick Time Awards and in dash appearances.

 

"I think the consistency with the podiums we had last year and the top fives, it was a very high percentage," he said. "We were consistently the fastest car on the track. We just had some DNFs that hurt the final goal. I feel if we could match or be better than what we did last year and not have the DNFs, I think we're pretty unbeatable (when it comes to being a championship contending team)."

 

UP NEXT -

 

Feb. 7-10 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the 53 rd annual Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series

 

MEDIA LINKS -

 

X: https://twitter.com/BigGameMotorspt

 

HUSET'S SPEEDWAY -

 

Huset's Speedway is a dirt oval located in Brandon, S.D. The track opened in 1954 and has undergone a large renovation within the last few years, making it a premier destination for both marquee racing events and weekly programs. For more information, visit http://www.HusetsSpeedway.com .

 

JACKSON MOTORPLEX -

 

Jackson Motorplex is a 4/10-mile dirt oval located in Jackson, Minn. It hosts special events from May through August, including races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Midwest Power Series, Midwest Sprint Touring Series and more. For more information, visit http://www.JacksonMotorplex.com .


 

 

Winward Racing Secures Second Rolex 24 At Daytona Victory in Four Years as Korthoff Preston Motorsports Moves IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Title Defense Off to a Winning Start

 

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing team Winward Racing secured its second Rolex 24 At Daytona GT Daytona (GTD) race win in the last four years while Korthoff Preston Motorsports moved its IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC) title defense off to a fast start this weekend in the 62nd running of America’s premier 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway. Russell Ward, Philip Ellis, Indy Dontje and Daniel Morad co-drove the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the team’s second Rolex 24 GTD win Saturday and Sunday at the “World Center of Racing” following 2021’s initial victory. Mike Skeen, Mikael Grenier, Kenton Koch and Maximilian Götz in turn finished fifth in GTD while securing enough segment points during the race to win the opening round of the 2024 IMEC in the GTD division.


Winward’s convincing victory was the second in a row and third in four years for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in the Rolex 24. In addition to Winward’s pair of victories, WeatherTech Racing secured the GTD Pro win in last year’s Rolex 24.


Including Lone Star Racing, which finished eighth in its Rolex 24 debut, the three Mercedes-AMG GT3 entries competing in the GTD class combined to lead 424 of the race’s 731 laps over the 24 hours. The total was anchored by Winward’s GTD class-high 383 laps up front that saw each of the team’s four drivers lead the race at least once.

 


 

Morad was at the wheel for the finish and steadily opened a gap in the final 23 laps for a 2.731 seconds margin of victory. All four Winward drivers captured their second Rolex 24 victories, with Morad first earning the title in GTD in 2017 and Ward, Ellis and Dontje all part of Winward’s maiden Daytona victory in 2021.
 

Reigning IMEC GTD champions, the No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports team and drivers battled in the lead pack for the majority of the race and led a total of 36 GTD laps. The team was ultimately just a tick off the front runners in the final fight to the finish, but they backed up their fifth-place result at the checkered flag by winning Daytona’s opening round of the IMEC in the GTD class.

 

The Daytona IMEC win was anchored by a first-place finish in the opening segment of the season at the race’s six-hour mark. The Korthoff Preston team and drivers and Mercedes-AMG head into round two of the five race IMEC championship in March at Sebring International Raceway leading the GTD standings.

 


 

Lone Star’s initial attempt at the Rolex 24 rarely looked like a first-time effort as team drivers Scott Andrews, Adam Christodoulou, Salih Yoluç and Rui Andrade joined Winward and Korthoff Preston in frequently contending for the lead. The No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 led five laps and finished eighth only because of some pit procedure penalties and an untimely late caution knocked them from a likely top-five result. Yoluç, Andrade and Andrews are set to co-drive the Lone Star No. 80 in the Sebring 12 Hour race in March.
 

Another race-leading performance was turned in by SunEnergy1 Racing that was the lone Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing team competing in the GTD Pro class. Kenny Habul, Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Luca Stolz co-drove the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and, after leading six laps, were just settling in to battle with the class leaders Saturday evening when the entry retired with a technical issue.
 

Winward’s top weekend also included a close second-place finish in Friday’s season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. With Morad once again the closing driver, the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 was catching the race leader on the final lap but settled for the runner-up result 1.936 seconds behind the race winner. Morad co-drives with Russell Ward’s father Bryce Ward who ran in the top-10 throughout his race-opening stint in the eight-hour race.

 


 

The Daytona opener also saw the debut of Mercedes-AMG GT4 standouts Michai Stephens and Jesse Webb who scored a top-10 Pilot Challenge GS-class finish in the No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 

Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is the 72nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 14 – 16 at Sebring International Raceway.
 

Russell Ward, Driver – No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “This one is pretty special to me. The first victory wasn’t luck of course, everybody put their work in, but to come here and do it again is a great feeling. Our work really began at the mid-December test. We experienced the new Michelin tire, which is quite different from last year’s tire, and we just kind of set the car for the long run. That’s what we all like. You can put a fast lap together, but at the end of the day you just want a car that is good on the long run. The team did a great job on that, and that was big for our race this weekend. We have had a pretty consistent crew the last five years that has stayed with us and that really helps us be successful.”
 

Philip Ellis, Driver – No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We have done a flawless job. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 was in top condition in the closing stages as well and that is the basic requirement to be able to push at the end. Generally, Winward Racing has done a great job. The strategy was always right and that is how we were able to work our way up step by step and remain in front. At the end, we had to give it our all once again, but fortunately, we had the better outcome. I am simply just grateful for being here.”

 


 

Daniel Morad, Driver – No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT4: “It was just a perfect weekend, starting with the Michelin Pilot Challenge. We definitely had the performance against us, but we really over-achieved big time for the championship. Once that was all finished the focus went on to the big race with the Rolex 24. I just had a feeling we would be in the hunt. We worked so hard on the prep, Winward Racing gave us just an unbelievable car, and the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was just incredible with the tire degradation. That was a big key to the win: we had the rear tire, and the other guys did not.”
 

Indy Dontje, Driver – No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Obviously, it is a great feeling. A two-time winner of the Rolex 24 is a really amazing feeling, and I am happy to be able to do it together again with Winward Racing and all of our teammates from the first win. Daniel wasn’t there for the first one, but I am really happy he joined us for this race together. It was an exciting race at the end, and I really couldn’t watch!”
 

Maximilian Götz, Driver – No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Fifth place is not what we had in mind. We had a very good pace at times but lost it again. Especially in comparison with Winward Racing, we have to sit down and analyze this. The heat in the last six or seven hours caused us problems. Unfortunately, we also had a drive-through penalty. The rear wheel spun in the air during a pit stop, which is not allowed. That threw us a bit out of rhythm. Congratulations to Winward Racing who did a great job. They were the benchmark. It’s nice to have a star at the top.”

 


 

Kenton Koch, Driver – No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It feels good to get the endurance cup off to a good start but this year we want to go for wins and this weekend we fell short. It was unfortunate, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying, that’s for sure. Everyone here did everything they could this weekend. We were fast for a lot of the race and in certain conditions we just were not. That’s just how it goes sometimes but I feel very fortunate to be here again for the endurance races this year.”
 

Mike Skeen, Driver – No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “The guys did an awesome job. We ran a really good race but unfortunately at the end we just didn’t have the pace the front-running cars had. We were in the mix all night, and kept the car up there without any mistakes, and not banging it up, but when the pace went up in the morning, we just didn’t have it. Frustrating in a lot of ways but very proud of the team and good points to start the season.”
 

Adam Christodoulou, Driver – No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “What a roller coaster of a race. I started the race and straight away the car felt really, really nice. We were really on the backfoot here, this was kind of a last-minute deal and we missed all of the testing the other teams were able to do, but I was still happy to get the call up just five days before the Roar test. We started almost last and moved up to second, but some penalties and safety cars kept us always fighting to get back into the top three. In the end we were sixth but got caught out when we just passed the pits as a safety car came out. That led to some other issues and our race was basically done. I think we would have had a podium for sure but staying out of trouble is so key for this race.”

 


 

Scott Andrews, Driver – No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was a massive effort from everybody involved just to get here. We were the last car entered in this year’s Rolex 24. Less than two weeks ago the car we raced wasn’t even in IMSA specifications and we didn’t even have a full team assembled. I think if you had told us two weeks ago we would get a top-10, we would have taken it, but everybody saw how the race went. With our driver lineup and the pace of the Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, I think we deserved a podium for sure.”
 

Maro Engel, Driver – No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We had a good car and a great team. Many thanks to SunEnergy1 Racing! The team spirit was great, and the car handled really well at the beginning of the race. However, we had an issue with the fuel system that forced us to retire. Sadly, something like that happens at times, there isn’t much one can do about it. Too bad, but we will fight back and compete for victory again next year. The atmosphere at Daytona was really great thanks to the record crowd.”

 


 

Bryce Ward, Driver – No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “We were hoping for a top-10 on Friday but honestly that was a win. To get a second-place finish is just incredible. The strategy just worked out so well, the pit stop crew worked so hard and were the reason we jumped two competitors, and what can you say about Daniel. He fought every single lap. So proud of everybody.”
 

Jesse Webb, Driver – No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “We are getting in the rhythm, knowing how the pit stops work, knowing how IMSA works, just learning how everything operates. It was good to have that long race to give us more time to build an understanding of this big step and we learned a lot. We are definitely looking forward to building on that and Michai and I are both extremely grateful to even be here. Everybody on this entire JMF team worked extremely hard to have us here at Daytona and to get a top-10 in our first outing in GS is a great step. We will keep moving forward.”

 


 

Michai Stephens, Driver – No. 34 JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4: “We raised our flag high for the JMF Motorsports crew, and we did it with the support of Mercedes-AMG, rolling on Michelin tires, and we appreciate it all greatly. Long story short, we now know the height of the mountain, how far we need to climb, and I think as a unit we will be able to surpass that. This was our IMSA GS debut, and for the team in its entirety as well, so we are just going to continue to be one big family moving forward and the bond will grow stronger.”


 

EDDIE TAFOYA JR’S. BEST CHILI BOWL TO DATE

 

(Chino, CA, January 24, 2025) After a late call with the offer of a ride, Chino Hills, California’s Eddie Tafoya Jr. turned in his best Chili Bowl Midget Nationals performance to date.  The 2019 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year raced his way into the A main on his qualifying night and contested the E main at the event finale. 

 

Five days before his preliminary night, Tafoya was approached to drive one of the Josh Ford Motorsports entries in the 38th running of the prestigious Tulsa, Oklahoma event and he jumped at the opportunity.  The leap was a no-brainer as the California-based operation has fared well at past events inside the world-famous Sage Center.  Tafoya booked flights and quickly was on his way to midget racing’s premiere event.

 

When he got the call for the ride, Tafoya jumped into high gear to make plans.  Not only plans for the trip but also plans on what he was going to have to do on the track.  Despite the instantaneous shot of pressure, he was ready for the task ahead.  Since he was last at the race in 2021, he has grown as a racecar driver by leaps and bounds.  From his previous experiences at the “Bowl,” he knew exactly what he had to do going into the event.  That proved to help a lot.    

 

“Yeah, for sure, like I said in our pre-Chili Bowl interview, I needed to be up to speed a lot quicker than I have done before,” Tafoya said.  “I definitely did that.  I felt comfortable right away.  Jimmy May and all of his help had me really comfortable and they gave me a good car.    It felt more natural to me than in prior years.  More like I was driving a sprint car.  We had Jimmy and two of his main helpers, Sam and Charlie.  They know their stuff and have their ducks in a row when it comes to racing.  They made my life a lot easier as a driver.”

 

On his qualifying night, the handsome driver started and finished second in his heat race.  He followed that up finishing third in his qualifier.  That placed him on the pole for the B main and he led it from green to checkers. 

 

The B main triumph catapulted him into the night’s stacked A main that included racing superstar Kyle Larson.  Tafoya started 18th and ended up 22nd in the night’s feature event.  While things did not go as well in the main, Tafoya was happy with the overall performance on the night and making it to the finale.     

 

“It was definitely a huge weight off of my shoulders,” Tafoya said about making the main.  “Everything came together quick that week and I did not know how I was going to do or what to expect after being out of a midget for three years.  I think everyone was excited and pleased.  Everyone who races at the Chili Bowl says your heat race is the most important race. I am glad we could stay towards the front there (the heat) and have a good shot.  It put the whole night together.  I think I only made one mistake the whole time so I was pretty happy.”

 

“Just had to deal with traffic,” he continued about what happened in the main.  “Being so deep, I am not used to racing these cars, these people, and not sure what people are going to do.  So, I was not really comfortable putting myself up against the wall like when people are coming up the track and stuff like that.  And being in other people’s equipment, I took what I could get and looked to Saturday after that.”

 

In his previous two Chili Bowl trips, Tafoya began J and H mains on the final day.  On a day when drivers are desperately trying to advance in the program, those mains at times become chaotic.  With the less experienced drivers and some who only race one or two times a year, sometimes what can possibly happen, many times does.  Crashing and wrecks are common.  The farther up a driver rises in the main event ladder, the talent level rises as well and it makes it much easier to race with less worry about getting a car junked and suffering an injury.  Tafoya found that out in the E main when he narrowly missed transferring to one of the Ds.   

 

“There is way more precision and thoughts going on rather than just having to try to stay out of the wrecks,” he said after the Chili Bowl.  “When you get to those higher mains, you are there racing.  You are not trying so much to save yourself, and just finish.  There are more quality guys and more pressure on you not to make mistakes.  We missed transferring to the D main by two spots.  We were right there in the hunt.”

 

“I especially want to thank my mom and dad, Tommy Dunkel, Specialty Fasteners, and Inland Rigging for letting me race cars around the country and go out and have some fun,” the grateful driver said.  “I do not have plans yet for next year (2025 Chili Bowl) but I hope to be there.”   

 

Tafoya will be in his familiar #51T on Saturday, February 24th when the Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series opens its 20th season at Perris Auto Speedway.  One week later he will be in a Tommy and Christy Dunkel-owned Inland Rigging sprint car for the inaugural race in the Ultimate Sprint Car Series presented by Inland Rigging at the Ventura Raceway,

 

If you would like to hear the friendly driver on his 2023 Dirt Tracks and Rib Racks Podcast, please visit the following link https://open.spotify.com/episode/1Hox9dg0iRGXo0szabeqDy

 

Tafoya’s great-looking shirts and hoodies are available online at www.specialty-fasteners.com.

 

Fans can follow Tafoya on Instagram @eddietafoya51.

 

Tafoya and the #51T team would like to thank Specialty Fasteners, DRC Chassis, Ryder Racing Engines, Simpson Safety Products, Bell, Benic Enterprises, BR Motorsports, PSC Powder Coating, Magik Graphics, Gasper Transportation, Owen’s Insurance Services, and Weld Wheels for supporting its racing program.

 

 


 

Forte Racing Fifth on the GTD Grid for The Rolex 24 At Daytona

Daytona Beach, Florida (Friday, January 26, 2024) – Loris Spinelli had a fantastic qualifying session on Sunday to put the No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini Huracan EVO2 fifth on the IMSA WeatherTech GTD grid for this weekend’s season-opener at Daytona International Speedway with a qualifying time of 1:44.709. Spinelli was just 0.002 seconds behind the fastest GTD Lamborghini driven by Kyle Marcelli and just slightly over two-tenths of a second behind the pole time of 1:44.494.


 

Spinelli, a Lamborghini factory driver, will be joined this weekend by fellow Forte Racing drivers Misha Goikhberg, Devlin DeFrancesco and fellow Lamborghini factory driver Sandy Mitchell. The four drivers have been very successful in their respective careers and the team is confident that with such a strong driver lineup they can continue to carry the momentum they built at the end of the 2023 season. The goal is to start the 2024 season as they finished 2023, with a win!


 

“Qualifying went really well,” Spinelli said. “At Lamborghini we are all quite close with our pace. We have the speed to chase the fastest for the race. Everything will work around the strategy at the last. The guys are really working hard to make it possible. I’m really looking forward to the last couple hours of the race. See where we are, and we can attack.”  


 

Forte Racing full-season driver Misha Goikhberg will start his 10th Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend. With one 24 Hour win under his belt (2016 Prototype Challenge), he’s confident that he and his teammates have the car and the talent to get back to the top step of the podium. Goikhberg was instrumental in the team’s 2023 Petit LeMans win and having him return for this season, and next, gives the team the consistency they need to be contenders for the IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship.  He’s confident that, if the team can stay out of trouble, Forte Racing has a shot at winning this weekend to start the season.


 

“We’re looking to have a solid race, not make any mistakes and be there at the end,” Goikhberg said. “I think it’s a benefit to qualify up front because it’s going to be easier to hopefully stay out of trouble. The longer we run according to our plan, stay clean and manage our tires, the better shot we have. I’m very excited and hope we have a solid, mistake-free race.”

While NTT INDYCAR driver Devlin DeFrancesco has also won at the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona as part of the winning LMP2 team in 2022, he’s still hoping to add another watch to his collection. DeFrancesco will participate in all five 2024 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races. With all three of Forte Racing’s endurance drivers having won at least one endurance race, the team is expected to be in contention for the win on Sunday. 


 

“I’m happy we’ve qualified up front and are out of the mess,” DeFrancesco said. “We have a strong car and a very good team. We need to make sure we make no mistakes and execute for 24 hours. This will be key for us to have a strong finish.” 


 

Lamborghini factory driver Sandy Mitchell has extensive experience with endurance racing including two wins, a second and a third-place finish in the 24 Hours of Spa. In an effort to add to his already impressive endurance results, Mitchell returns to the Rolex 24 At Daytona for his second attempt at winning the iconic race.


 

“I think the ROAR went really well,” Mitchell said. “We progressed throughout the days and put in a really solid qualifying. We’re starting fifth in class which is a nice place to start, right up at the front end of a really stacked field in GTD. I think the level (of competition) this year is super high, as high as I’ve ever seen it. It’s going to be exciting going into the race. I think a lot of people think they have a chance to go and win this race with how close it’s been throughout testing, so that’s going to be fun. From our side, we’re feeling confident. We’ve got a really strong driver lineup in terms of all four drivers having pretty similar pace, which I think during the night, that kind of thing is going to serve us well. We’ve just got to keep the car out of trouble and go and fight for the last few hours.”


 

GTD team manager Michael Harvey is confident of the team’s chances this weekend. “We are optimistic as we head into the 24 weekend, buoyed by the great support and collaboration from the Lamborghini family. Our drivers are eager to get going, tapered with a calm approach to the challenges ahead."


 

Make sure to tune in and watch the No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini this weekend at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The iconic race will air on network TV for the start of the race live on NBC Network at 1:30 p.m. before switching to USA Network at 2:30 p.m. USA Network coverage is Sat., 1/27 - 2:30-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sun. 1/28 – 6 a.m.-12 p.m. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage of the entire 24-hour race starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday 1/27.


Team Hornaday’s Jimmy Renfrew Accelerates Into 2024 With a Full-Time zMAX CARS Tour Season


 

Morresville, N.C. (January 23, 2024) - Team Hornaday Development has announced that 20-year-old Jimmy Renfrew Jr. will compete full-time in the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model series in 2024.


 

The up-and-coming talent will pilot the Renfrew Motorsports No. 00 Toyota Camry with Jeff Labrecque as his crew chief.


 

“I am grateful to be a part of Jimmy’s next step as he rolls into the Cars Tour Season and I think that it will be a unique challenge. We will often be at new tracks that we have not even stepped foot in before as well as working with a new car and rules package that we aren’t 100% accustomed to yet, all of this on top of being 1000 miles from our home race shop in New Hampshire,” Labrecque said. “However, I am confident that if we work hard and utilize all of our resources, most of this “new” stuff will normalize and just like every track in New England, our competitors will know we are there.

R & R Race Parts N.H. and Renfrew Motorsports will support the rising star for his 2024 campaign.


 

“I’m feeling pretty excited to take on a bunch of new tracks. This gives me a lot of opportunities to learn different driving techniques and speeds,” Renfrew Jr. said. “Something else I am excited about is the new ownership group (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Justin Marks). They have all competed at the professional level and understand how the series should run.”


 

Renfrew Jr. is not the only one eagerly awaiting competition in the series. Labrecque also shares his excitement as they gear up for the new season.


 

“The biggest thing I look forward to this year, like I always do, is going to the track with a driver that is going to be fast. I know that if we do our job and give Jimmy a good piece, we are going to be at the top of the board and be a threat. Our goal is to show up prepared, and to be in contention for the win every week,” Labrecque said.


 

Renfrew Jr. a multi-race winner and champion in numerous series also plans to race in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS), American Canadian Tour (ACT), JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and CARS Tour West during a busy 2024 season.


 

For More Information

TEAM HORNADAY DEVELOPMENT:

For more information regarding Team Hornaday Development, please visit: https://www.teamhornadaydevelopment.com/


 

JIMMY RENFREW JR.:

For more information regarding Jimmy Renfrew Jr., please visit: https://www.facebook.com/p/Renfrew-Motorsports-100057525067856/


 

zMAX CARS Tour:

For more information regarding the zMAX CARS Tour, please visit:https://carsracingtour.com/


Team Hornaday’s Hudson Bulger Gears up for a Full-Time zMAX CARS Tour Campaign in 2024.


 

Morresville, N.C. (January 23, 2024) - Team Hornaday Development has announced that Hudson Bulger, the 16-year-old Fort Valley, Georgia native, will compete full-time in the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model season in 2024.


 

Bulger will pilot the No. 17 Hamke Pro Late Model for Hudson Bulger Racing. The young driver brings an experienced crew with him to the 2024 season, with Chris Dilbeck as his spotter and Brett Ragan as his crew chief.


 

“As someone who has been at the highest levels of racing, it's very gratifying to be able to play a small part in helping lay a foundation for a kid climbing the racing ladder. I'm just glad I can use some of my past experiences to help shorten Hudson's learning curve,” Ragan said. “The CARS Tour has a lot of hype & excitement around it right now. We are looking forward to being a part of that, as well as being able to run some new & different tracks, some of which I've never been to before in my racing background. We feel very privileged to be able to be a part of such professionally run series to continue Hudson's development."


 

The up-and-coming driver is carrying positive momentum into this year following his successful 2023 season. Bugler captured several Pro Late Model wins at Crisp Motorsports Park, finishing second in the championship points standings. He then earned the Montgomery Motor Speedway ‘Sunoco Rookie of the Year’ award in the Show Me The Money Series.


 

Bulger hopes to expand upon that success in the upcoming zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model season with his team of sponsors. The sponsors continuing to support his success on and off the track includes Can-Am, Byron Outdoor Superstore, Hamby Chevrolet, Antler Extreme, Morris Bank, Coldwell Banker Free Reality and XPS Lubricants.


 

Bulger said he’s looking forward to his 2024 campaign and is eager to take on the competition.


 

“I’ve never been to a CARS Tour race so it will definitely be an experience in itself,” Bulger said. “I’m excited about the amount of television time and car count, which comes with a very competitive field of cars. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in 2024.”


 

Team Hornaday’s youngest driver also plans to compete in Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models during the 2024 season.

For more information:

TEAM HORNADAY DEVELOPMENT:

For more information regarding Team Hornaday Development, please visit: https://www.teamhornadaydevelopment.com/


Motorsports Mugs 'N' More

Motorsports Mugs 'N' More on Etsy

Visit the Women's Motorsports Network Etsy Shop where you will find a variety of motorsports theme mugs (a few samples pictured) as well as other handmade items. New items will be added weekly. Any questions or suggestions for items to add to the shop, email me at iwmanation@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 


 

THE ‘BULLDOG’ JIMMY MCCUNE ENTERS CHILDREN’S DREAM FUND 50

 

 

January 25, 2024 – Five-time Must See Racing Sprint Series Presented by Perfit champion Jimmy McCune has officially entered the March 2, 2024 ‘Children’s Dream Fund 50’ at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The 50-lap event will be a co-sanctioned race between MSR and the BG Products Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series with the primary goal of raising money and awareness to the Children’s Dream Fund organization. the 50-lap event will pay $5,000 to the winner.

 McCune’s announcement that he will participate in the event is surprising due to the fact that McCune has been somewhat exclusive to MSR and hasn’t traveled much in recent seasons. In fact, he didn’t compete in Davey Hamilton Jr’s Open Wheel Showdown 50k event in Las Vegas this past December.

 The Toledo, Ohio veteran is definitely someone to keep an eye on and a serious contender for the victory. He claimed five feature events in 2023 with MSR despite not running the entire season.

 When McCune was asked what his reasoning for competing in this event, he was quick to respond.

“I’m bored. There’s no racing to do right now,” laughed McCune. ”It sounds like it’s going to be a good event. That’s probably one of the biggest factors why we want to run”.

 It may come as a surprise to many that McCune has competed with the SSSS in the past and also competed at Citrus County Speedway. He drove for Florida car owner Jason Reynolds at Showtime Speedway in 2021. He last competed at Citrus County Speedway in the mid-2000’s.

 "We ran Citrus when I drove for Dave Durnwald around 2007, I believe. We went down there with a borrowed cast iron 360. I think we got through hot laps and we got rained out before the heat races. It was a fun little racetrack from what I remember. It was racy, so that’s a good thing. We had a lot of fun”.

 Nearly 30 cars or more are expected for this race. It has been a long time since McCune has faced a field of cars that is expected for this race, and he seems eager to take on the challenge.

 “What’s different? I mean at this point what’s different than any other night? We go to the racetrack every week and gotta race really good cars wherever we go. We’ve run out west at the Pink Lady and there were 50 cars. We’re gonna race the racetrack like we always do and could care less whose there”.

 This race is more than just a race due to the involvement with the Children’s Dream Fund organization and McCune acknowledged that is another reason he wanted to support this race and help promoter JJ Dutton and his cause.

 “I think it’s awesome. I haven’t got the chance to read into it too much. But from what I’ve been told, it's an awesome program. I’m proud to be a part of this race and we’re looking to have some fun down there” concluded McCune.

 The Children’s Dream Fund is a St. Petersburg, Florida based non-profit organization that was founded in 1981 with the single purpose of fulfilling dreams for children ages 3-21 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and who live in West Central Florida. Dreams are referred to by doctors, nurses, Child Life and Social Workers, friends, families, and other patients.

Dreams vary as much as the personalities of the children the organization serves. They may involve meeting a celebrity, a trip, a gift such as a computer or playground, or their most-requested dream, a week at the Give Kids the World Village, which enables a child to visit all the Orlando-area theme parks.

 The Children’s Dream Fund is not affiliated with a national organization. They do not tele market to raise funds. Since its inception in 1981, the Children’s Dream Fund has made dreams come true for over 4,000 children. According to their most recent audited financial report, 87% of all expenses go to make children’s dreams come true. Over 50% of all dream costs are covered by in-kind donations.


 

Lap sponsors are currently being sought for this event. Fifty percent of the money raised for each lap will go to the leader of that lap and the other half will go to the Children's Dream Fund. Contact Rick Day (813) 377-5862 to sponsor laps.

 Additional drivers who have confirmed and are expected to compete in this event will be announced in the coming days / weeks. Please log onto www.mustseeracing.com, http://www.citruscountyspeedwayandtrack.com/, or https://southernsprintcarshootout.com/ for more info.

 

JEFF AND SETH DYER TO BE HONORED AT SATURDAYS POWRi SOUTHWEST BANQUET

 

(Yucca Valley, CA, January 23, 2024) When the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series hosts its awards banquet this weekend, Jeff Dyer and his teenage son Seth will be fittingly honored for their accomplishments in the 2023 season. Jeff will receive his due rewards for becoming the series’ fourth different champion in four years and Seth will be crowned Rookie of the Year.

 

   The lofty awards came from a busy season that saw the father and son combo compete in four different series in 2023.  Jeff and Seth both raced in the POWRi Southwest and California Lightning Sprint Car Series.  In addition, Jeff competed in the 410 USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and Seth made his late-season debut with the Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns. 

 

   Jeff, a California Highway Patrol Officer, won the SWLS title despite not contesting the entire schedule.  He scored three wins and had a total of six podium finishes.  His triumphs, which came at Perris Auto Speedway, the Barona Speedway, and the Mohave Valley Raceway, tied him for the series lead in victories.

 

   Jeff captured the crown despite incurring a serious injury in early August that nearly ended his season.  While playing softball, he tore an Achilles tendon.  He initially thought his season and title hopes had evaporated.  However, quick healing and a Perris race postponed by Hurricane Hillary, re-ignited his hopes of capturing the title.  Instead of the initial projection that listed a six-month recovery period, he was back in action and shocked everyone when he scored a runaway win in a co-sanctioned SWLS/CLS race at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway in October.

 

   Seth’s season highlight came on October 21st.  On that night, the protégé easily outdistanced the competition for a convincing win at the Imperial Valley Raceway.  It was his first-ever lightning sprint car victory.

 

   The family duo looks to be just as busy in 2024 with both competing in the CLS again.  In addition, Jeff will be back in the Dyer Motorsports/Cal Smith #39 to contest all of the USAC/CRA Series races at Perris.  Also, he will race on selected dates in the newly formed USCS Sprint Cars organization.  Seth’s ledger will also include a full season run seeking the title in the PAS Young Guns.

 

    The first outing for the pair in 2024 will be at Perris Auto Speedway’s 28th season opener on February 24th.  Jeff will be competing in the USAC/CRA portion of the show and if Seth’s engine is done, he will race in the Young Guns.  One week later on March 1st and 2nd, father and son will both be in action at the 30th season opener for the California Lightning Sprint Car Series at the Imperial Valley Raceway.  The Imperial races will be part of the annual California Mid-Winter Fair.

 

   In 2023, the following marketing partners helped keep the Dyers on the track.  Dependable Machine Inc., Haircuts By Susie, Jobu Racing, LBA Investigations, Straight Time Stirrups, Justice Brothers, Fonseca Racing, and Specialty Fasteners.  They are all coming back this year.  In addition, the team is excited to welcome Blud Racing Lubricants on board for 2024.  If you would like to be a part of Dyer Motorsports in 2024, call (760) 550-7237 or send an email to mailto:dyermotorsports4@gmail.com.

 

   Saturday’s banquet will be held at Marichiaro’s Italian Restaurant at 14120 Olde Highway 80 in El Cajon, California.  For more details contact Kim Arringdale at https://www.facebook.com/kim.arringdale/about

 

As pictured, the Dyer Motorsports team shirts are now available.  You can pick one up in the pits after the races or you can order via email at mailto:dyermotorsports4@gmail.com

 

Jeff is racing in memory of his grandparents, Glenn, and Beverly Sels, throughout the 2023 season.


Dominic Scelzi Starting Busy Season With Two-Month Trip to Midwest

 

Inside Line Promotions - FRESNO, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2024) - Dominic Scelzi is kicking off his 2024 campaign by spending the first two months of his season competing in the Midwest.

 

Scelzi, who has focused on racing along the West Coast for the last three years, will start the year the opening weekend in March with ASCS Elite Outlaw Sprints shows at Hunt County Raceway in Greenville, Texas (March 1), and at Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, Texas (March 2).

 

The team will spend the next five weekends racing with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Scelzi will compete in a handful of races with High Limit Racing in Arkansas and Oklahoma before returning to his home state of California toward the end of April.

 

"We've been working hard to return some Midwest racing into our schedule and we are very excited to be able to do that this year," he said. "Some of the tracks will be new, but many are ones we've been to in past years so it'll be great to see those fans again."

 

Scelzi will spend most of the remainder of the year racing along the West Coast, tackling various NARC 410 Sprint Car Series and Sprint Car Challenge Tour events - including speedweeks with both series - as well as all of the World of Outlaws and High Limit Racing shows in California, Oregon and Washington.

 

"We've put together a busy schedule competing in a lot of big events against the best competition," he said. "During the last three years, we've won a lot of races and been contenders in a lot of the top events on the West Coast. I'm looking forward to continuing our consistency."

 

Scelzi is riding a streak of three straight seasons with double-digit victories.

 

"We have built a great foundation for this team with many amazing supporters," he said. "Jimmy (Carr) is back as the crew chief and I think our program will continue to take steps forward in 2024. I can't wait to get to the Midwest in a few weeks to get the season underway."

 

UP NEXT -

 

March 1 at Hunt County Raceway in Greenville, Texas, and March 2 at Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, Texas, with the ASCS Elite Outlaw Sprints

 

 


 

eam Hornaday’s Hudson Bulger Gears up for a Full-Time zMAX CARS Tour Campaign in 2024.


 

Morresville, N.C. (January 23, 2024) - Team Hornaday Development has announced that Hudson Bulger, the 16-year-old Fort Valley, Georgia native, will compete full-time in the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model season in 2024.


 

Bulger will pilot the No. 17 Hamke Pro Late Model for Hudson Bulger Racing. The young driver brings an experienced crew with him to the 2024 season, with Chris Dilbeck as his spotter and Brett Ragan as his crew chief.


 

“As someone who has been at the highest levels of racing, it's very gratifying to be able to play a small part in helping lay a foundation for a kid climbing the racing ladder. I'm just glad I can use some of my past experiences to help shorten Hudson's learning curve,” Ragan said. “The CARS Tour has a lot of hype & excitement around it right now. We are looking forward to being a part of that, as well as being able to run some new & different tracks, some of which I've never been to before in my racing background. We feel very privileged to be able to be a part of such professionally run series to continue Hudson's development."


 

The up-and-coming driver is carrying positive momentum into this year following his successful 2023 season. Bugler captured several Pro Late Model wins at Crisp Motorsports Park, finishing second in the championship points standings. He then earned the Montgomery Motor Speedway ‘Sunoco Rookie of the Year’ award in the Show Me The Money Series.


 

Bulger hopes to expand upon that success in the upcoming zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model season with his team of sponsors. The sponsors continuing to support his success on and off the track includes Can-Am, Byron Outdoor Superstore, Hamby Chevrolet, Antler Extreme, Morris Bank, Coldwell Banker Free Reality and XPS Lubricants.


 

Bulger said he’s looking forward to his 2024 campaign and is eager to take on the competition.


 

“I’ve never been to a CARS Tour race so it will definitely be an experience in itself,” Bulger said. “I’m excited about the amount of television time and car count, which comes with a very competitive field of cars. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in 2024.”


 

Team Hornaday’s youngest driver also plans to compete in Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models during the 2024 season.

 

 

ameritruck Joins Forte Racing for 2024 WeatherTech GTD Season

Daytona Beach, Florida (Tuesday, January 23, 2024) – Ameritruck, America’s Used Truck Superstore, will partner with Forte Racing for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship. With its headquarters in Charlotte, NC and with sales nationwide, Ameritruck has been a leading source for the buying and selling of late model, quality used equipment for almost 30 years.  


 

CEO and owner of Ameritruck, Jon Tepper, along with his wife Cami, have enjoyed watching the Forte team establish themselves in such a short time. The couple joined the team last year for the season finale at Petit LeMans and were excited to be on-site to celebrate Forte Racing’s first GTD win.  


 

“We were fortunate enough to be with the team for their win at the Petit Le Mans last year and are really looking forward to a full season partnership with this great group of people!” says Jon.


 

Forte Racing will be back for its second attempt to win one of the most prestigious races on any race calendar. Last year, in the team’s series debut, drivers Misha Goikhberg, Loris Spinelli, Marco Mapelli and Benjamin Hites finished a respectable seventh place on the 3.56 mile, Daytona International Speedway Road Course. This year’s driver lineup of Misha Goikhberg, Loris Spinelli, Devlin DeFrancesco and Sandy Mitchell plan to improve on that result and are confident that they can place the No. 78 Huracan GT3 EVO2 on the top step of the podium. 

2024 will be the company’s first full season sponsorship in sportscars. They will help the team kick off the season at this weekend’s season-opener at the famed Daytona International Speedway for the iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona.


 

“I’ve worked with Jon (Tepper) for several years and it was great to have him and Cami (Tepper) join us at Petit LeMans and get a taste of the excitement of IMSA WeatherTech racing,” Forte team manager Joe Guza said. “We’re extremely pleased to have them come on board for the full 2024 season and look forward to getting another win or two for them. They’re a great company and we’re proud to have them as a sponsor.”


 

Whether it is one truck or 55, owner-operator or small and large corporations or race teams, Ameritruck takes pride in offering the best possible customer experience! Offering the highest quality used trucks for some of the most aggressive pricing in the industry, their team of buyers also provide the best prices for equipment that meets their high buying standards.  Their commitment is simple...to provide the best solution to meet any customer’s needs.  


 

There are a couple of options for watching the No. 78 Forte Racing Lamborghini this weekend at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. On network TV the start of the race will air live on NBC Network at 1:30 p.m. before switching to USA Network at 2:30 p.m.  USA Network coverage is Sat., 1/27 - 2:30-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sun. 1/28 – 6 a.m.-12 p.m. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage of the entire 24-hour race starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday 1/27.

*Photos Courtesy of Jamey Price

About Forte Racing (Formerly known as US RaceTronics)

Forte Racing is a Los-Angeles based Motorsport team supported by Lamborghini Squadra Corse and competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the IMSA VP Racing Sportscar Challenge and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series.


 

Founded in 2023 and operated by US RaceTronics, the Italian-American team’s GT Daytona title contender is a Lamborghini Huracan EVO2 GT3 driven by Pro driver Loris Spinelli and Misha Goikhberg. The ream finished the 2023 season with four top-five finishes in the last five races of the season and included a 2nd-place finish at Indianapolis and a win at the season-finale Petit LeMans. The team finished an impressive rookie season fifth in the IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship.


 

The team line-up for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship includes the team's 2023 Petit LeMans winning driver Goikhberg and Spinelli along with NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Devlin DeFrancesco for the five IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races.


 

US RaceTronics (USRT) was founded by Shane Seneviratne in 2005 to compete in the Atlantic Championship, a formula race car series. The team finished 5th in points its first year and continued its success during the succeeding years, ultimately amassing a total of 21 podiums, 7 poles, 5 race wins and finishing 3rd in the 2009 Atlantic Championship. USRT was put on hold after series officials announced the Atlantic Series was put on hiatus.

 

Seneviratne fully returned to racing in 2015 after receiving an invitation to manage the O’Gara Motorsport entries in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North American (LBSTNA) Series. The team won the Team Championship, Dealership Championship, Pro Championship and Amateur Championship that season. 

 

The success of 2015 reignited Seneviratne's passion for racing and he relaunched US RaceTronics to compete in the 2016 LBSTNA Series. The team has won multiple North American and World Championships and expects to add to their success as they enter their eighth season in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American Series. The team also competed in 2023 with one car each in the IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship and the IMSA VP Challenge and will be expanding their entries in 2024.

 

For more information on how to become a driver with US RaceTronics, learn more about the Series, or attend a race, visit www.usracetronics.com.

 

About O'Gara Motorsport

O'Gara Motorsport was founded in 2014 by owner Tom O’Gara and celebrated winning the 2015 North American Lamborghini Super Trofeo driver and team Championships. The team goal is to achieve victories in the Series as well as showcasing the brands of their sponsors both on and off the track. With a vertically integrated platform that starts at the dealership and accelerates to the top levels of professional sports car racing, everyone at O'Gara is dedicated to providing a comprehensive program for anyone, from the casually curious to the dedicated racer.

 

About Change Racing

Founded by Lamborghini Charlotte CEO and long time real estate developer, John E. Littlefield, Change Racing is the premier championship winning team. Claiming 18 titles in various classes; Change Racing has competed in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series since its inception in 2013.

 

Most recently claiming the 2021 Amateur World Championship in Misano, Italy. Change Racing also claimed all SIX 2020 North American Championships, including the Pro, Pro-Am, Am and LB Cup class championships as well as the Team and Owner championships.


 

 

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