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.
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.
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!
The sport of motor racing has thrilled thousands ever since it first began. It wasn’t long after the first ‘horseless carriages’ had been invented and improved upon that the idea of pitting the strengths of different designs, and the skills of drivers, against one another in a race was conceived. The first organized racing event was in actual fact a Reliability Trial run which took place between Paris and Rouen in 1894. The winning vehicle had to, not only cross the finish line first, but had to be safe, easy to control and reasonably economical to run. The first over the line was Count de Dion, but his vehicle was deemed impractical and the prizes were awarded to the next two cars instead. The winning average speed was only 17km/h but the event gave birth to a new craze – motor racing.
As designs continued to be improved upon, the new sport saw a continued increase in cylinders and engine size. The addition of the pneumatic tire was impractical at first but soon gained popularity. Chassis design changed radically and new brake and tire designs struggled to keep up. And as soon as one design became the winning standard, other car manufacturers would strive to improve upon these to bring their own names into the lime-light. By the early 1900s car speeds were approaching 100mph and races where held on open roads, where both drivers and spectators where often involved in bad accidents. Eventually in 1906 the very first Grand Prix for manufacturers was held by the French. The race took place on a 64 mile course which was lapped six times a day for two days.
It did not take long for other countries to follow suit. Germany became a popular place for racing and their Mercedes motorcars often dominated the scene. The Alfa of Italy and the Fiat and Peugeot of France rose to the challenge, and soon they claimed supremacy for themselves. Because of the dangers involved in racing on public roads, wealthy enthusiasts soon started building oval racing circuits which became very popular. An attempt was made to counteract the dangers of the sport by increasing the rules and regulations surrounding the event. Eventually a recognized and standardized racing sport emerged and much of these standards are still maintained in the motor racing sporting events of today.
The Italian Grand Prix is a time-honoured tradition in the world of Formula One motor racing. It is considered to be one of the longest running motor racing events and has been held on an annual basis since September 1921. The first Italian Grand Prix was held at Brescia. However, by the following year the course at Monza – which has since become the home of the Italian Grand Prix – had been built just in time to host the 1922 Italian Grand Prix. Although the Italian Grand Prix has been held at a few other locations over the years, the track at Monza has certainly proven to be the most popular location for the event. In fact, in the more than 80 years that it has been running, the Italian Grand Prix has only been held at locations other than the Monza track on five occasions.
It is interesting to note that the Italian Grand Prix was one of the two races which formed part of the inaugural Formula One Championship races in 1950. Prior to this, the Italian Grand Prix had only operated on a national scale in Italy. The decision to participate in an international race was well supported and the Italian Grand Prix features in the World Championships ever since. The circuit length at Monza is 5.79 kilometres (3.60 miles) in length, and it is lapped 53 times. This means that the complete race measures a total of 306.72 kilometres (190.59 miles) in length. Currently Ferrari is the constructor who has enjoyed the most wins, having taken 18 wins on the Monza track. Michael Schumacher has enjoyed the most wins at Monza with five Italian Grand Prix wins under his belt.
The 2006 Italian Grand Prix was the memorable event of German racing superstar Michael Schumacher’s last Grand Prix race – and Grand Prix win. At the end of the 2006 racing season Schumacher announced his retirement from Formula One racing. Whilst fans mourned the loss of this spectacular driver to the F1 racing fraternity, it opened the way for other excellent drivers to show their skills. Schumacher’s position at Ferrari was filled by Kimi Raikkonen at the start of the 2007 season.
The 2008 Italian Grand Prix was a memorable one for Red Bull Racing as their driver, Sebastian Vettel went down in history as the youngest driver to win a Formula One Grand Prix at the age of 21 years and 74 days. Despite the wet conditions, Vettel led the field for the best part of the race, crossing the finish line 12.5 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen. In 2009, Rubens Barrichello of Brawn GP F1 Team took the checkered flag at the Italian Grand Prix. The 2010 Italian Grand Prix is set to take place on 10-12 September, and no doubt fans are waiting in keen anticipation to see who will be victorious this year.