Victory for Mike Skinner

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Mike Skinner has been involved in the world of racing since his first racing event in 1987. NASCAR is in Skinners’ blood, and over the weekend he proved that he still has the winning magic that he has become known for. And his victory in the O’Reilly Parts 250, which was held at the Kansas Speedway, was a moment of elation for both Mike Skinner and Randy Moss Motorsport. Randy Moss Motorsport was known as Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, but with the withdrawal of Rob Morgan, Randy Moss stepped in to team up with David Dollar.

The Randy Moss Motorsport team has two trucks in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, of which one is driven by Mike Skinner and the other by rookie driver, Tayler Malsam. Even though the Kansas Speedway was hindered by bad weather, Mike Skinner was determined to win the O’Reilly Parts 250, and had perfectly executed his racing plan.

A new rule, in regard to pit stops, seems to have hindered some of the efforts made by drivers, requiring that drivers make separate stops for tires and fuel. Under the caution that went out after the restart on Lap 11, and after fourteen laps being run under the caution flag, drivers and spectators were disappointed to see the weather worsening, and the red flag make its appearance. Fortunately, Skinner was in the lead at this stage, and till the end of the race, followed by Brian Scott, Ron Hornaday Jr and Brian Ickler. Racing was suspended by NASCAR due to the weather, and once racing resumed in intervals over Monday, the writing was on the wall, as Skinner retained his lead to not only win, but gain a 25 point lead on the point’s board in the series.

After the grueling and interrupted racing event, not even the miserable weather could wipe the smile off Skinners face. He spoke to the media afterwards, commenting on the weather conditions that plagued the race: “It’s always good to be leading the race, but you’re the first guy to get to the water. It was definitely too dangerous to drive, and my biggest concern was even if we didn’t slip and slide and wreck our own truck, in these times, it’s tough on the owners, and if one of these trucks slips and wipes out four or five trucks, it’s a lot harder on the owners than it is on the drivers.” But fortunately, all Skinner had to report back on, was great driving and a breathtaking victory.

Capps and Brown Leading Full Throttle Series

February 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Ron Capps and Antron Brown seem to be streaks ahead of the pack at this relatively early stage in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series. Both drivers have dominated their respective fields during the first two events of the season and have also started to build a rather impressive points lead in the Full Throttle standings.

Ron Capps may have endured a rather dismal 2008 season, but he managed to catch up somewhat at the end. This year he seems to have picked up where he left off. His explosion into the limelight this year started when he won the Funny Car season opener at Pomona in California. His most recent victory took place at the Firebird International Raceway on Sunday when he captured his second straight Funny Car title in the young campaign by beating Robert Hight and Del Worsham in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist Nationals. Not only did he win, but he managed to gain an impressive 97 point lead over fellow competitors. Commenting on his most recent victories, Capps told reporters: “I’m living a dream right now.” He also commented on his recent experiences behind the wheel, saying: “It’s like a really good cook learning how to cook again completely differently. The car is just so different to run, to feel, and it puts me in the trunk at half track. It’s so much fun to drive and when the win light comes on, it’s even better.” No doubt fans can expect to see more from Capps in upcoming races.

Brown began his 2009 Top Fuel season with a No.1 qualifier and a runner-up finish during the Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals held at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. He followed it up with his most recent performance in Phoenix which saw him take the lead over two-time event winner Brandon Bernstein to take the checkered flag. The win also boosted him to the lead in the Top Fuel standings. Speaking about his victory, Brown said: “This just shows how strong our team really is here at Mike Ashley Racing. With all the adversity we dealt with this off season, this is just an awesome feeling.” Brown and Capps were joined by Jeg Coughlin who won in Pro Stock at the recent 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series event.

Final Race of 2009 Jetta TDI Cup Announced

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Up until now only nine of the ten events for the 2009 season of the Jetta TDI Cup had been announced. Now Volkswagen of America, Inc. has finally announced the last host in the series of races – Miller Motorsports Park. The track, which is located in Salt Lake City, is set to host Round Three of the event from May 15-17.

The 2009 Jetta TDI Cup is SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned and fans already know that they can expect top racing from this fantastic auto racing event. Clark Campbell, the Motorsport Manager for Volkswagen of America, Inc., said: “I’m very pleased with the addition of Miller Motorsports Park to our schedule, as it is an excellent circuit to host one of our events. In addition, this race helps us broaden the geographic reach of our series in hopes of spreading the word about the many benefits of clean diesel performance and technology.”

This is only the second season of the still new and young Jetta TDI Cup and it is scheduled to begin at Virginia International Raceway on April 24. The racing action is always exciting since it sees 30 young, undiscovered and unproved drivers take to the track to compete in a series of ten different events on as many as eight different road courses around the country. There is no way of telling what will happen or who will come out on top. The prize money is good, with the series champion taking $100 000 home with him, while each and every driver also gets to earn a Pro Racing license from the SCCA by the end of the season. Drivers are aged between sixteen and twenty-six and the resulting explosion of talent and skill is nail-biting to watch. Competitors in the race are also aware that it is a great opportunity to kick-start their racing careers and they take it very seriously.

Kyle Novak, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup SCCA Program Manager, noted that the 2009 Jetta TDI Cup season would see these young drivers competing on some of the most challenging and illustrious road courses in North America. He said that these circuits would be a “test of driving ability” and that the result of this would be that “drivers will be equipped with the skills necessary to launch their careers in racing.” He added that the events provide “great exposure because they’ll often be racing alongside some of the best road course drivers and teams from Grand-Am and ALMS.” The 2009 Jetta TDI Cup is certainly not one to be missed so start making your arrangements now!

Richmond International Raceway

February 9, 2009 by  
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The now very popular Richmond International Raceway started life as a little track known as ‘Strawberry Hill’. It was first used as a racetrack venue in 1946 when Ted Horn drove his champ car to victory on the 0.5-mile dirt track that came to be known as ‘Strawberry Hill Speedway’. These races were usually held once a year on the third Saturday of April. In the period that followed between 1953 and 2000, the track had three name changes and four configuration changes. The surface was changed from dirt to asphalt and lights were added to the facility in 1991. Ever since then, all races have been held ‘under the lights’ – something which helps make Richmond International Raceway somewhat unique.

Today the Richmond International Raceway is known for hosting some of the best NASCAR and IndyCar Series racing. The raceway features a D-shaped, 0.75 mile (1.2 km) asphalt track and is part of the 800-acre, multi-purpose Richmond Raceway Complex. Although the track is fairly short, it’s layout allows for excellent side-by-side racing and drivers are able to reach speeds similar to that of a superspeedway. This means that only the most skilled drivers can make their way to first place and there is plenty of action during the course of the average race. The Richmond International Raceway currently hosts the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the Busch Series, the Indy Racing League, the United States Auto Club Silver Crown and National Sprint Car Series. The last 30 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races have been sold out and the track is known for producing some of the best racing in the sport.

In the past, Richmond International Raceway has been known as the ‘Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds’, the ‘Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds’, the ‘Virginia State Fairgrounds’ and the ‘Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway’. From these various names it is easy to tell that the Raceway complex is not only used to host racing events. It is also used to host a number of agricultural shows, expositions, sports and crafts shows and seasonal fairs. This means that the raceway complex is almost always busy with some major event but the most popular of these are the races.

Belgian Grand Prix

February 9, 2009 by  
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Belgium held its first national race in 1925. It took place at the race circuit in the Spa region, which was an area rich in racing history. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was constructed in 1921, used primarily for motorcycle racing until 1924, but also hosting Grand Prix racing. In 1923, a very successful 24 Hours of Le Mans was raced in France, which led to the Spa 24 Hours race to be hosted at the Spa track.

The Belgian Grand Prix is a favorite amongst both the fans and the drivers. The Spa-Francorchamps is also famous for it extremely unpredictable weather conditions. For example, it had rained for 20 Belgian Grand Prix’s consecutively. Drivers are constantly confronted with conflicting weather on different parts of the track. One side will be sunny and clear, while the other is slippery, miserable and rainy. To many F1 drivers, the Belgian Grand Prix is the most dreaded circuit on the Formula One racing calendar, due to its challenging conditions.

Antonio Ascari, took first place at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1925, and his son, Alberto, would go on to win in the years 1952 and again in 1953. Antonio Ascari was tragically killed in the French Grand Prix, after winning the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix. While leading the Belgian Grand Prix in 1939, Richard “Dick” Seaman, a British driver, lost his life. Alan Stacey was killed when a bird flew into his face, and Chris Bristow also lost his life in the same race, in 1960.

After deciding Spa was too dangerous in 1972 Belgian officials made the decision to alternate the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix between the Nivelles and Zolder circuits. Unable to sustain the Belgian Grand Prix at the Nivelles circuit, the race track eventually faded out, and Zolder was used in the following years. However, the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix returned to Spa-Francorchamps in 1985, where it has remained. Michael Schumacher made his debut at Spa-Francorchamps in the year of 1991 and returned in 1992 to win his first race in Formula One. He also surpassed the all-time record of Alain Prost, by securing his 52nd Grand Prix win at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Spa-Francorchamps Circuit is completed in 44 laps, with a total race length of 306.94 kilometers. The FIA announced in 2006, that Belgium would not be part of their race schedule for that year, as major work to repair the track, had been started. The Belgian Grand Prix returned to the schedule in 2007 with Kimi Räikkönen taking first place. The year 2008 saw a controversial win by Filipe Massa, after Lewis Hamilton received a drive-through penalty which negated his first place position. Kimi Räikkönen took first place again in 2009.

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