STATISTCAL ADVANCE: Tucson

STATISTCAL ADVANCE: Tucson

Analyzing The K&N West NAPA WildCat 150

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads to Arizona’s Tucson Speedway Saturday for the third race of the 2015 season, the NAPA WildCat 150. Below is a statistical look at the recent performance of the series and selected drivers, as well as some other statistical trends.

Tucson Race Setup:
• This will be the first time the K&N Pro Series West has competed at Tucson since March 10, 2001.
• Only one driver in the field, Johnny Borneman, has competed in a K&N Pro West event at Tucson.

Tucson Speedway
History
• Tucson Speedway was built in 1968 and the surface was originally clay.
• Was called Raven Speedway from 1968-93 and then Tucson Raceway Park from 1993-2010.
• The track was closed in 2010 and was re-opened in 2013 as Tucson Speedway.
• Tucson re-joined the Whelen All-American Series in 2014.

Notebook
• This is the series’ 12th event at Tucson and the first since 2001.
• The NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, May 7 (time TBA).
• Eleven different drivers, led by Ron Hornaday Jr. with two victories, have won at Tucson.
• Seven different drivers, led by Butch Gilliand with five, have earned the pole award at the track.
• The most cautions for a K&N Pro Series West race is nine on June 1993, November 1994 and January 1995, while the fewest is three (2001).
• The most caution laps for a race is 51 in November 1994 and January 1995, while the fewest is 25 from January 1996 and March 2001.
• The lead has changed hands an average of 4.66 times with a high of 10 in January 1999.

Tucson Data
Race: Three of 14 (5/2/15)
Track Layout: .375-mile paved oval
Race Length: 150 Laps (56.25 miles)
Banking/Corners: Variable banking (eight to 12 degrees)

Tucson Qualifying/Race Data
2014 Pole Winner: Event not held.
2014 Race Winner: Event not held.
1-Lap Qualifying Record: Butch Gilliand, Chevrolet, 15.284 seconds, 88.328 mph, June 15, 1996.
200-Lap Race Record: Johnny Borneman, Ford, one hour 24 minutes 50 seconds, 66.836 mph, March 10, 2001.

Tucson Leaders
Wins
Ron Hornaday Jr. … 2
Johnny Borneman … 1
Mike Chase … 1
Gary Collins … 1
Butch Gilliand … 1
Doug George … 1
Mark Krogh … 1
Bill Sedgwick … 1
Gary Smith … 1
Dirk Stephens … 1
Sean Woodside … 1

Poles
Butch Gilliand … 5
Ron Hornaday Jr. … 2
John Baker … 1
Jerry Cain … 1
Gary Collins … 1
Jason Small … 1
Gary Smith … 1

Laps Completed
Butch Gilliand … 1725
Scott Gaylord … 1395
Wayne Jacks … 1379
Bill McAnally … 1362

Laps Led
Ron Hornaday Jr. … 383
Butch Gilliand … 361
Mike Chase … 215
Gary Smith … 200

Selected Driver Information
Nicole Behar (Custom Welding & Fabrication Inc. Chevrolet)
• Her second-place finish at Irwindale set the mark for the highest finishing female in series history.
• Finished 21st in the season opener at California’s Kern County Raceway Park after an accident on Lap 141.
• Is ranked 12th in the championship standings.

James Bickford (No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Interstate Plastics Ford)
• Has tallied one top five and one top 10 in two starts this season.
• Was the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner after registering one win, eight top five and 10 top 10 finishes. 
• Recorded his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory at Idaho’s State Line Speedway on July 12, 2014.

Johnny Borneman (No. 8 Twisted X Boots Toyota)
• Won the last K&N Pro Series West race at Tucson in 2001.
• This is his 15th season in the K&N Pro Series West, his best finish was fourth in 2002.
• The season opener at Kern was his 108th start in the K&N Pro Series West.

Rich DeLong III (No. 84 Country Girl Saloon/Ron’s Rear Ends Chevrolet)
• Has two starts in the K&N West this season.
• His career best finish is 12th at Kern (May 24, 2014) and Colorado National Raceway (June 26, 2014)

Chris Eggleston (No. 99 NAPA Filters/H20 Fire Protection Toyota)
• Scored his second K&N West win at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on April 11, 2015.
• Registered his first series win at Colorado National last season.
• Ranked second in the standings with one win, two top fives and two top 10s.

Noah Gragson (No. 7 Alert ID Ford)
• Is ranked fourth in the standings after tallying one top five and two top 10s in two starts this season.

Bobby Hillis Jr. (No. 0 Tucson Speedway/Hinkley Lighting Factory Chevrolet)
• Has made two starts this season and is ranked 24th in the point standings.
• Earned his best finish on September 1, 2001 at Utah’s Rocky Mountain Raceway finishing 10th.

Matt Levin (No. 14 Port of Tucson Toyota)
• Is ranked 16th in the series standings after two starts.

David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Service Chevrolet)
• Is ranked third in the current standings with one top five and two top 10s in two starts.
• Has eight wins, 44 top fives, 65 top 10s and 11 poles in 88 K&N West starts.
• Finished third in the series’ final standings last year.
• Was the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the K&N Pro Series West.

Christian McGhee (No. 06 TBA Toyota)
• Has recorded one top 10 in two starts and is currently ranked 11th in the standings.

Brandon McReynolds (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Is ranked 18th in the standings after two starts this season.
• Finished last season ranked fourth with 11 top five and 12 top 10 finishes in 14 starts.
• Earned his best career finishes, second, last May at Evergreen (Wash.) Speedway and Kern.
• Earned three top fives and eight top 10s in 14 career starts in the K&N Pro Series East, including one top 10 in two Iowa starts for the East.

Ron Norman (No. 30 Port of Tucson Toyota)
• Is 19th in the standings after two starts.
• Crowned the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series super late model division champion at Tucson Speedway and the Arizona champion with two wins, five top fives and six top 10s.

Ryan Partridge (No. 9 Eibach Springs/Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil Ford)
• Is ranked seventh in the standings after registering one top five and one top 10 in two starts this season.
• Won the 2014 Whelen All-American Series Irwindale Speedway and California titles in the division I late models.
• Is competing in his first full season this year with Bob Bruncati.

Gracin Raz (No. 27 Trinity Energy Ford)
• Is ranked fifth in the series after earning one top five and two top 10s in two starts.

Alex Schutte (No. 21 Proficio/Zitovault Chevrolet)
• Is ranked ninth in the standings after tallying two top 10s.
• Competed in one K&N Pro Series West event at Roseville on October 11, 2014 and finished 16th.

Brett Thompson (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking/61 Logistics/BluLng.com Chevrolet)
• Ranked sixth in the standings after recording two top 10s in two starts this season.
• Finished ranked 15th last season after earning four top 10s.
• In 133 K&N West starts he has tallied one win, 23 top fives, 74 top 10s and one pole.

John Wood (No. 36 Holleran’s Performance Toyota)
• After two starts, he is ranked 20th in the series standings.
• Has three top 10s in 50 starts.
• Ranked seventh in last year’s championship standings.

Up To Speed In The Series
• The 2015 season is the 62nd for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• This season will feature 13 races at 11 different tracks across seven states.
• Tucson is the third stop of 13 this season.
• Dalton Sargeant leads the series standings with one win, two top fives and two top 10s in two starts.

Brian France: NASCAR Looking At Shortening Races, Finally

Brian France floats the idea of finally shortening some of the races on the Sprint Cup schedule.

Brian France floats the idea of finally shortening some of the races on the Sprint Cup schedule.

It may have taken more time than was necessary but I find myself less critical of NASCAR than I was 8 years ago. There’s a reason for it. The day they came out with the COT, Car of Tomorrow for those with short memories, I knew it was a mistake.

It was designed in North Carolina at NASCAR’s newly built R&D facility, it was designed by an ex-driver and by an ex-crew chief not by high-end engineers, even though NASCAR had access to them. It was a pig.

It was Brian France ultimately stating it was a mistake to build the car. He said: “Occasionally, we make a big one now and again. I would say that if there is one thing we could have done better in the last 10 years under my watch, is when we launched what we called ‘the new car.’ It is now called the Gen-5. We just didn’t get the collaboration we needed to get from the industry, the owners, the drivers, the engineers and car manufacturers. They had a voice, but they didn’t have a loud enough voice, and so we changed that.”.

I’ll argue that they wouldn’t listen to anyone else in an effort to tout their new R&D center and it’s capabilities, but that’s for another article. For now, at least, France admitted the mistake and moved on. That’s positive.

Now France has floated the next balloon which is shortening the races. It makes sense, we here at Motorsports Unplugged have been very vocal about it for over two years. Finally, NASCAR is looking at doing just that.

France recently said last week: “I think generally speaking, we want to see shorter events… not in every circumstance,… It’s no secret that attention spans, especially with the millennial fans, are changing, and we all know that. But what we like about it from our standpoint is it makes the actual racing event better because there’s no lull in between the beginning and the end, or there’s a lot smaller lull, so teams have to compete.”

He went on to say that longer races don’t really allow the drivers to relax and coast, “but they’re not as pressed to be up front at a certain time. But if you shorten it, they will, and we’ve seen that when we do shorten it,” he said.

The newest iterations of the Gen 6 car have made the competition tighter.

The newest iterations of the Gen 6 car have made the competition tighter.

He went on to say: “We tend to get better (quality of races), and we measure that by lead changes and how close the winning margins (are) and a lot of different metrics that we use. So we’ve got a pretty good handle on that, and … a 400-mile race will give us, most of the time, a better racing competition, and that’s in addition to the time spans and attention spans of millennial fans; those two go together for us to shorten it up somehow.” 

He added that shortening the races below 400 miles would: “also depend on if there are any format changes that we’d be willing to consider, that we look at all the time, that we historically haven’t done.”

What does all this mean? It means that if the competition we’ve seen so far this year is any indication of what the newest version of the Cup can do, then shortening many of the races will only enhance the show.

If by shortening some of these races it brings a greater sense of urgency to the drivers to get up front and stay there, it will have done it’s job.

The television revenues need not take a dramatic hit from going to a 400 mile event from a 500 mile event and the racing is better. Only time will tell.

What’s not to like about that?

NEWS & NOTES: Tucson

NEWS & NOTES: Tucson

K&N West Returns After 14 Years

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to Arizona’s Tucson Speedway for the first time since March 10, 2001 this Saturday for the NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150.

Despite being away from Tucson for 14 years, experience at the .375-mile asphalt oval may be a factor in Saturday’s event.

Only one driver on the current entry list has competed in a K&N Pro West event at Tucson: 2001 race winner, Johnny Borneman. The 37-year-old Ramona, California, native passed Tony Schmidt on the final lap to win the event.

James Bickford and Alex Schutte will have an edge heading into Saturday as well. Their crew chiefs, Bill Sedgwick (Bickford) and Steve Portenga (Schutte), competed against Borneman in 2001 and finished 15th and 18th, respectively.

Tucson has undergone major renovations since the last time the K&N Pro Series West was there. It has been closed twice, including most recently 2010-13. The track has seen extensive work with the most recent remodel occurring in 2013 by new owners John Lashley and Brad Cornelious. Since 2012, over two-miles of cracked asphalt was torn out and the surface was repaved and resealed. The stands, concession stands and bathrooms have been remodels and new landscaping has been done around the track.

One driver very familiar with the track over the years is NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Arizona champion Ron Norman. The local fan favorite won his ninth Late Model title at Tucson last year — fourth under the banner — en route to the state title. Norman tallied two wins, five top fives and six top 10s in six starts last year as Tucson returned to being a NASCAR-sanctioned track. This will be Norman’s third start in the K&N Pro West, earning his best finish of 14th at Irwindale.

RACE: NAPA Auto Parts WildCat150
PLACE: Tucson Speedway
DATE: Saturday, May 2
TIME: 8:30 p.m. MST
TV SCHEDULE: Thursday, May 7 TBA on NBCSN
TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile paved oval
2014 WINNER: Event not held
2014 POLE WINNER: Event not held
EVENT SCHEDULE: Friday – Optional Track Test: 4-9 p.m. Saturday – Garage Opens: 9 a.m.; Practice: 4:45 p.m.; Rookie Practice: 1:45-2:05 p.m.; Final Practice: 2:15-2:45 p.m.; Driver/Crew Chief Meeting: 4:45 p.m.; Qualifying (2-Laps): 5:30 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session (On-Track): 6:15 p.m.; Driver Introductions: 8 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150: 8:30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: John Lashley, General Manager, (520) 850-2822 or whipsails@msn.com
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #WildCat150
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142 or bfranceschini@nascar.com, @BrookeFran04

*All times are local (MST) and subject to change 

RACE CENTRAL LIVE (EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST)

The Race: The NAPA Auto Parts WildCat150 is the third race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It is the third of 11 oval track events and 13 races overall on the schedule. This is the series’ first visit to the track since March 10, 2001.

The Procedure: The race will be run in two segments. There will be a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75. The starting field is limited to 24 starters including provisionals. The first 20 starting positions will be determined through two-lap qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

The Track:
Tucson Speedway was known as Tucson Raceway Park until 1993 and was named Raven Speedway from 1968-93. The track was built in 1968 and originally had a clay surface. The track was closed in 2010 and it re-opened in 2013. Tucson re-joined the Whelen All-American Series in 2014.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record was set by Butch Gilliand on June 12, 1993 at 15.343 seconds, 87.988 mph. The race record was set on March 10, 2001 by Johnny Borneman at one hour, 24 minutes 50 seconds at 66.836 mph.

TUCSON RACE NOTES
Sargeant Returns East
Championship points leader Dalton Sargeant has one win, two top fives, two top 10s and two poles in his previous West starts this season. Sargeant, who competed for Jefferson Pitts Racing in the K&N Pro Series West, is concentrating on the NASCAR K&N Pro East schedule. That opens the door for a new points leader after Tucson.
Chris Eggleston trails Sargeant by two points and is one of four drivers within nine points of one another. The group includes David Mayhew (four behind Eggleston) and rookie teammates Noah Gragson and Gracin Raz.

Kann Making Debut
Bill Kann will make his season debut this weekend at Tucson. The 21-year-old Scottsdale, Arizona, native competed in six events last season, tallying two top-10 finishes at Colorado National Speedway (eighth) and Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park (10th). This will be Kann’s ninth series start.

Home Tracks: Banghart Has Early Lead At Tucson
In addition to the NASCAR K&N Pro West, Saturday’s racing will include several of the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions: Pro Stocks (Div. II), Modifieds (Div. III) and Hornets (Div. V). Paul Banghart leads the Div. I Super Late Models by eight over Ron Searle Jr. and 12 over Chuck Wares. Jason Davis (Pro Stock) and Michael Egurola (Div. IV Late Model) are the other early points leaders, while the Modifieds will race their first event. Tayler Riddle kicked off the racing season at Tucson in February by winning the track’s second annual Chilly Willy 100 Super Late Model event in a photo finish over Jason Jefferson.

PIT BOX: K&N Pro West Returns To Tucson

PIT BOX: K&N Pro West Returns To Tucson

Dozen Whelen All-American Track Openings Highlight Weekend

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

• The K&N Pro Series West returns to Tucson Speedway for the first time since since March 10, 2001, but at least two drivers will have previous Victory Lane experience at the .375-mile paved oval. Johnny Borneman of Ramona, California, won the previous West event in 2001, while Ron Norman has won nine Late Model championships at Tucson, including four under the NASCAR banner. Norman is the defending track and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Arizona champion. Points leader Dalton Sargeant, who is running full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is not in the event, opening the door for championship contenders Chris Eggleston, David Mayew, Noah Gragson and Gracin Raz. The four are seperated by just nine points after three races.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST

NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150 at Tucson (Arizona) Speedway
Saturday, May 2, 8:30 p.m. MST
Twitter: #WildCat150, #KNWest

RACE CENTRAL LIVE  |  ENTRY LIST

All times local and subject to change

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

• Thirty-five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks have already opened their seasons, with 12 more getting underway in the first weekend of May. Motordrome Speedway, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, takes the green on Friday night. Saturday will see the opening races for Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire; Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York; Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Nebraska; Lake County Speedway in Painesville, Ohio; Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia; New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut; Riverhead (New York) Raceway; and Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ontario, Canada. Sunday, Chemung (New York) Speedrome and Seekonk (Massachusetts) Speedway host their season openers.

Bowman Gray’s 67th season opener was postponed from last weekend and will kick off with a 200-lap main event for its Div. I Modifieds. Airborne Park celebrates its 62nd season with a 100-lap special Modified event, while Motor Mile (twin 75s for Late Models) and Riverhead (twin 30s for Modifieds) will also hold double-features for their Div. I. Sunset is a member of the Whelen All-American Series for the first time, while Seekonk is re-joining the series for 2015.

Race Central Live: Tucson

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will hold its third race of the 2015 season with the running of the NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150 Saturday, May 2 at Tucson Speedway in Tucson, Arizona.

EVENT SCHEDULE | ENTRY LIST | PRACTICE RESULTS | QUALIFYING RESULTS | RACE RESULTS

 

Hometown Win Perfect For Pitkat

Hometown Win Perfect For Pitkat

Stafford Driver Claims Whelen Modified Spring Sizzler Victory

See video

STAFFORD, Conn. — Woody Pitkat completed a picture perfect homecoming Sunday afternoon.

The 35-year-old Stafford, Connecticut, driver powered to the victory in the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200, the traditional season-opening event for Stafford Motor Speedway. In the process, the driver of the No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet became the first hometown driver to win the prestigious NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

It was Pitkat’s third career tour win. He scored his first career win last year in the August event at Stafford before following it up with a win a month later at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“To have a car that’s that good – and it’s been that good since I’ve been with these guys – it’s just unreal,” Pitkat said. “I never thought at 16 years old racing a DARE Stock that one day I’d come here and win a tour race, especially the Spring Sizzler with how big it is.”

Sunday, Pitkat led the last 40 laps after muscling his way past Todd Szegedy through the bottom of Turn 3. It was the last of 11 lead changes.

Szegedy held onto the runner-up spot, followed by Ryan Preece. Preece won the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday’s qualifying, just edging Pitkat for the top spot. Preece led four times for a race-high 69 laps, while Pitkat led 49.

Eric Goodale and Donny Lia were fourth and fifth, respectively, in Sunday’s race.

“I would say that Woody just won the race of his life,” said Szegedy. “To win at his home track, to win the Spring Sizzler, that has to be amazing. He’s mastered this track and he’s come a long way.”

Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Patrick Emerling, Jamie Tomaino and Sunoco Rookie of the Race Brandon Bock rounded out the top 10.

Pitkat assumed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points lead for the first time in his career, three points ahead of Coby and seven over Preece. Szegedy and Goodale are both 12 points behind Pitkat.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track Saturday, May 30 with the Mr. Rooter 161 at Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY | AUDIO: FIRST-PLACE WOODY PITKAT | AUDIO: SECOND-PLACE TODD SZEGEDY | AUDIO: THIRD-PLACE RYAN PREECE

nwmt_stafford_woody-pitkat_checkered_042615

Woody Pitkat takes the checkered flag to win the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Sunday at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images for NASCAR

Whelen Euro ELITE 1: Vilarino Leads Flag To Flag

Whelen Euro ELITE 1: Vilarino Leads Flag To Flag

Scores 18th Career Win And Takes The Points Lead

See video

Nothing could stop Ander Vilarino (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) from winning the ELITE 1 Race 2 at Valencia. The Spaniard started from the pole and led flag to flag to score his first win of the season, the 18th of his NASCAR career and the fourth on the Spanish track. 

“I am very proud to leave Valencia as the championship leader because there are many really strong drivers competing for the win in each race,” said the driver of the #2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS. “A lot of people came today to see me in my home race and it feels amazing to win in front of them.”

Vilarino jumped to an early lead immediately after the start, building a comfortable margin over Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Chevrolet SS) and Anthony Kumpen (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS)  but a safety car brought out to recover Roberto Benedetti’s car (#9 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet SS) from the gravel at turn 12 compacted the field again and led to a restart on lap 6.  Vilarino kept the first position ahead of Gabillon and Kumpen, dictating the pace while the Frenchman and the defending champion battled for second. 

Some contacts shuffled the field in restart, with Nicolò Rocca (#56 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Borja Garcia (#1 Active Racing Competition Ford Mustang) losing various positions, while Romain Iannetta (#7 TFT Chevrolet SS) climbed up to fourth, followed by yesterday’s winner Eddie Cheever III (#51 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS).

The top-5 remained unchanged until the last corner of the last lap, when the Italian dived inside Iannetta and took fourth under the Checkered flag, while Vilarino crossed the line first by 3.6 seconds on Gabillon and Kumpen. 

Iannetta closed fifth, followed by Wilfried Boucenna (#4 Efficaciter Ford Mustang) and a very consistent Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang). Luke Wrigth (#7 DF-1 Racing Chevrolet SS) completed a splendid comeback from the last row on the grid to finish eight, ahead of Borja Garcia and Philipp Lietz (#67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang), who completed the top-10.

Vilarino also took the points lead by just 2 points on Cheever and 10 on Kumpen. 

By finishing fourth, Saturday’s winner Eddie Cheever III increases his advantage in the Junior “Jérôme Sarran” Trophy with a second win. Wilfried Boucennat takes P2 with a good sixth position. Florian Renauer completes the podium after a solid race.

The Challenger Trophy contenders were all close in the end. Twelveth finisher Dominic Tiroch (#99 GDL Racing Dodge Challenger) takes the win in front of Fabrizio Armetta (#12 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Eric De Doncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang).

The Valencia American Fest gathered 20.500 fans to the track for the event and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is now looking forward to the first oval race of the season in Venray, Netherlands (May, 23-24). Fans can stay in touch on the Series’ official Facebook page and on Twitter. See you soon race fans! 

COMPLETE ELITE 1 RACE 2 RESULTS


Whelen Euro ELITE 2: Ferrando Wins With Late Move

Whelen Euro ELITE 2: Ferrando Wins With Late Move

17yo Takes Knauf Racing Team to Victory Lane

Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Ford Mustang) won his third career race with a late pass on yesterday’s winner Gianmarco Ercoli (#9 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet SS) to complete the climb from fourth on the grid to the top step of the podium in the ELITE 2 Race 2 of the Valencia American Fest. The 17-year-old french talent brought debutant Knauf Racing Team to Victory Lane for the first time.

Ferrando lost some positions at the start, but quickly came back, delivering a brilliant overtake on Lietz (#67 GDL Racing Ford Mustang) and taking advantage of an eventful third lap – which resulted in a drivethrough penalty for Lietz and many positions lost for Longin – to climb up to second place, while at the front Ercoli was building a 2-second advantage. Ferrando eroded the italian margin and finally took the lead with three laps to go to cross the finish line celebrating his first win of the season.

“What a wonderful day! The crew made an outstanding job on the car and we constantly improved during the weekend,” said Ferrando. “It is amazing to win with the Knauf colors, and have all the Knauf group in Victory Lane. Now we have to keep going and continue improving.”

Florian Renauer (#5 Dexwet Renauer Team Ford Mustang) came from sixth on the grid to a close third behind Ercoli to score important points for the championship, while Nicki Petersen (#44 GDL Racing Racing Ford Mustang)  and Salvador Tineo Arroyo (#1 Active Racing Competition Ford Mustang) completed a top-5 even younger than yesterday’s, averaging less than 20 years of age.

Martin Van Hove (#21 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), Francesca Linossi (#99 GDL Racing Dodge Challenger), Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS), Carole Perrin (#55 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) and Eric DeDoncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang) completed the top-10.

With his podium finish, Renauer also took the first position in the Rookie Cup, edging three other rookies: Nicki Petersen, Salvador Tineo and Martin Van Hove, who ended up just in front ofFrancesca Linossi closed the race in seventh position. She was the first contender in the Lady Cup. Carole Perrin took second thanks to her ninth place. Defending champion Erika Monforte (#88 Euro Kart Racing Chevrolet Camaro) was third. 

Eric De Doncker took the Legend Trophy win, followed by Leonard Vernet (#2 TFT-Banco Santander Chevrolet SS) and Didier Bec (#8 RDV Competition Ford Mustang).

In the Gentleman Trophy, Simone Laureti (#12 Double T by DAV Racing Chevrolet Camaro) was first under the checkered flag. Jerry De Weerdt (#78 Brass Racing Ford Mustang) and Sebastien Morales (#4 Eficaciter Ford Mustang) completed the podium. 

Today’s winner Thomas Ferrando was put under probation and will have a 5 positions penalty on the Venray grid for the first race because of an unsafe green-flag procedure by his team.

Elite 1 drivers are already waiting for the afternoon race, at 2PM. The last race of the opening season week-end will be streamed live on fanschoice.tv and you can have more informations on the series on Race Central Live, Facebook and Twitter.

COMPLETE ELITE 2 RACE 2

QUALIFYING: Preece Sizzles At Stafford

QUALIFYING: Preece Sizzles At Stafford

On The Pole For Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler 200

See video

STAFFORD, Conn. – Prior to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway, Ryan Preece said simply of his race car, “it’s good.” He spoke the truth.

Preece, of Berlin, Connecticut, laid down a fast lap of 17.960 seconds (100.223 mph) to score his 13th career Coors Light Pole Award. He just missed the tour’s track record – that he owns – by 0.036 seconds.

It was Preece’s fourth career pole at Stafford overall, but third for the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200, Stafford’s traditional season-opening event. He set that track record prior to the 2012 edition. Preece has three career Whelen Modified Tour wins at the historic half-mile, but has not yet captured the Sizzler checkers.

Starting alongside Preece’s No. 6 TS Haulers/East West Marine Chevrolet in the front row on Sunday will be Woody Pitkat, who recorded a quick qualifier of 18.047 (99.740) behind the wheel of his No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet.

Rowan Pennink, Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five qualifiers. Ted Christopher and Bobby Santos – with eight Spring Sizzler 200 wins between them – will roll off sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Timmy Solomito, Todd Szegedy and Keith Rocco.

Defending Whelen Modified Tour champion and 2015 season-opening race winner Doug Coby qualified 11th at 18.230 (98.738).

The NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 is set to take the green flag Sunday at approximately 3:15 p.m. The NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party will get the day’s festivities underway at 11 a.m. and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series features are set to commence at 1 p.m.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

PRACTICE: Pitkat Springs To The Top

PRACTICE: Pitkat Springs To The Top

Fastest In Stafford NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Prep

STAFFORD, Conn. – Very few NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers have logged more laps at Stafford Motor Speedway than hometown favorite Woody Pitkat, who rode that experience to the top of the speed chart in practice for the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200.

Pitkat, of Stafford, post a fast lap of 18.104 seconds (99.992 mph) during the 75-minute practice session Saturday morning at the historic half-mile. A winner of 72 feature events at Stafford during his career, Pitkat won his first tour race there last August.

Ryan Preece was second on the speed chart at 18.003 (99.817) and Eric Goodale followed at 18.069 (99.618). Todd Szegedy, Timmy Solomito, Ted Christopher, two-time defending Sizzler winner Bobby Santos, Rowan Pennink, Donny Lia and Steve Masse brought home the top 10.

Defending Whelen Modified Tour champion and 2015 season-opening race winner Doug Coby finished 13th in practice at 18.234 (98.717).

Coors Light Pole Award qualifying is set for today at 2:30 p.m., and the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 green flag will fly Sunday at approximately 3:15 p.m.

PRACTICE RESULTS

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