After a lot of reorganizing in seems the IndyCar Series is getting ready for a great season next year. They recently announced their 2009 schedule, which not only featured eighteen different races, but revealed two exciting new racetrack venues. The changes extend the championship by an entire month and will no doubt prove to be very popular with auto racing fans.
The 2009 IndyCar Series schedule promises to offer drivers and fans one of the most diverse ranges of challenges in motor sports. The new schedule not only features 10 oval races, but also includes three permanent road circuits and five temporary courses. Many of the venues are not new to the IndyCar Series as they hosted the event this year, but there are two new venues to look forward to. The exciting action will start on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 5 – giving the 2009 season a great kick off. After that it will be moving to the Streets of Long Beach where the IndyCar Series will be making its debut at a venue that has already hosted F1, CART and Champ Car races during the course of its 35 year history. The series will then move from street circuits to ovals for a while, starting with the Kansas Speedway on April 26. It will go on to be hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile, The Texas Motor Speedway, the Iowa Speedway, the Richmond International Raceway, the Watkins Glen International, the Streets of Toronto, the Edmonton City Center Airport and the Kentucky Speedway. The races at the Texas Motor Speedway, the Richmond International Raceway and the Kentucky Speedway will all take place at night, giving the season’s program even more variation.
The action will then move on to two road courses – the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Infineon Raceway, before hitting the Chicagoland Speedway for another great night race. After that it’s off to The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a brilliant 2.906-mile street course, before returning to oval racing at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi. The exciting season of racing will conclude at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and will take place on October 11. No doubt the 2009 racing season will provide fans with all the fun and excitement that they have come to expect from the IndyCar Series and we look forward to the new season with pleasure. However fans should note that venues may still be subject to change.
Matt Miller, who has been running just below the radar in the Summer Nationals so far this season, just hit the big time. With his performance in the last two races showing him to be ‘average’, no one suspected that he’d be able to rocket to the front of the pack and take the trophy at the 60-lap event that took place this weekend.
The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Birthday Race’ is the biggest event to hit the three-eighths-mile oval at Oakshade Raceway every season. So when Matt Miller took the checkered flag, he also took the $10 000 racing purse. Miller certainly was pleased with his victory, noting that “it all worked out”. But how exactly did it all work out? For most of the race, Miller stayed just behind the race leaders, using knowledge gained on previous races on this track to his advantage. He made sure to take care of his tires and waited for the track surface to black up before making a late move on about the fortieth lap to overtake Jeep VanWormer and take the winner’s trophy. This is not the first time that Miller has raced at Oakshade Raceway. He has won races at the track before and said that he loves racing at Oakshade. Well his past experiences on this track certainly did help him during the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Birthday Race’ this weekend. The 60-lap race was fast and furious and, as was to be expected, things changed in a hurry near the end of the race. VanWormer was the winner of last year’s ‘Birthday Race’, but this year Miller beat the defending champion by quite a wide margin.
Miller was followed over the finish line by Jeep VanWormer, Dennis Erb Jr., Doug Drown, Casey Noonan, Kris Patterson, Jon Henry, Ky Harper, Jason Feger and Zac Davis respectively. Though he started and finished in third place, Dennis Erb also went home smiling. The points scored by his consistent driving helped him to clinch the tour championship for the second time in a row. This enabled Erb to go home with a whopping $25 000 in prize money after claiming the Summer Nationals championship.
Despite a slow start to the season, the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Northwest Region will soon be kicking into first gear with the Northwest Speedweek, only weeks away. This exciting annual race promises fans some exciting drivers, and cars are already being tweaked to ensure that they provide drivers with the best performance.
The Northwest Speedweek will be taking place from July 14 to 19. The series will feature six nights of non-stop, action-packed racing, during which the best 360 sprint car drivers in the region will be put through their paces. The racing will get started on Monday at the Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford. The action will then continue to be a feature on different Oregon tracks for the next four nights straight. The second stop is Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, followed by Willamette Speedway in Lebanon. The Oregon leg of the Northwest Speedweek series will then end at Sunset Speedway in Banks, before crossing over to Washington where it will conclude with a massive two-night show at Grays Harbor Raceway. Since undergoing an extensive renovation, Grays Harbor Raceway is considered to be one of the premier dirt tracks in the country and fans can expect to see some truly great racing here. This is also the first year that teams will not be given a night off to regroup during the Northwest Speedweek. As the event approaches we find Seth Bergman in the lead with Henry Van Dam just four points behind him. Jayme Barnes is in third place but only time will tell how these positions will be altered by the end of the Northwest Speedweek.
That may mark the end of the Northwest Speedweek, but it is not the end of the racing in the northwest regions. ASCS Northwest Region teams will go on to compete at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, in a non-points event before darting off to compete in the Fred Brownfield Memorial and the Championship Weekend in Yakima, Washington, on September 26-27. Clearly racing fans in the northwest have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months. You’d better make sure that you’ve got your tickets ready if you don’t want to miss out on all the action!
When most people think about the Mansfield Motorsports Park, they think of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250. This might be the biggest event at the park, but it definitely isn’t the only one. Racing fans in the area will be happy to know that there are plenty more great races that are scheduled to take place at Mansfield Motorsports Park this year.
Mansfield Motorsports Park’s summer racing season will see at least five more nights of top racing action. There are also a further two community events that have been slated for the 2008 racing season. The next exciting date on the park’s calendar is June 14. This is when the Greased Lightning 250 will stop by for its Northern Division. The race is the first of two USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup Series races that will be taking place at the Mansfield Motorsports Park. The series will return on August 30 with the Sears Auto Center 250; the race that will mark the kick-off of the Championship Series. The Hooter’s Series has become incredibly popular over the past five years and today it is one of the premier events held at the track each year. Last year’s Hooter’s Championship Series race was held on Labor Day weekend and won by Bobby Gill. There was good support for the event, excellent weather and the racing was worth watching. Indeed, Hooters is the premier short track stock car series in the U.S.
The racing action doesn’t end with the Hooter’s series. On the June 28th the American Speed Association’s Late Model Challenge Series will be making its way to Mansfield for the PPG All American Classic 200. July is a quiet month for the track with only the annual Freedom Festival and Fireworks Show being scheduled for July 4. August 9th is the next big date to watch for, with the Open Wheel Extravaganza returning to the track along with the Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series. Later that same month the NASCAR Camping World Series makes a stop here, as does the Whelen Modified Tour. As if that wasn’t enough, the Hooter’s Championship Series brings the racing action to a close just one week later. The final non-racing event to take place at the park is the Autism Awareness Walk-A-Thon, which will take place on September 20th. Clearly Mansfield supporters can look forward to a fun, action-packed season.
The 49th season of racing at Thunder Road International Speedbowl got underway yesterday as cars revved their engines and fans streamed through the doors to witness this great event. According to Ken Squirer, the co-owner of Thunder Road, auto racing is still the “largest spectator sport” in this particular state. Short track racing plays a key role in this and the quarter-mile oval track Thunder Road is the perfect place to get the season underway.
Races kicked off yesterday with a burst of speed as rubber was shredded on this short track for the first time this year. The main event of the day was the Merchants Bank 150. This race marks the third event in the 12-race schedule of the American-Canadian Late Model Tour. Other divisions that raced included the Junkyard Warrior, Street Stock and Tiger Sportsman divisions. From the start the race looked poised to unleash some exhilarating action as teen Joey Polewarczyk Jr. got ready to start from first place with the 165 points he’d gathered during the season opener earlier at Lee USA Speedway. He faced stiff competition from drivers Cris Michaud, Patrick Laperle, John Donahue and Brent Dragon. These drivers are followed up by legendary greats Scott Payea and Jean Paul-Cyr. Payea, who took off from seventh place, is the defending champion of the Merchants Bank 150. Jean Paul-Cyr, at eighth place, is also no blow-over with six ACT championships under his belt.
Three-time champion of the Thunder Road track Cris Michaud, noted that the new racing schedule that has been set up makes it very tempting for drivers such as himself to run fulltime on the ACT during the summer months ahead. However, he noted that Thunder Road was his first priority and he certainly seemed ready for action at the track yesterday.
Clearly this year’s racing season is off to a good start, but it will not be ending here. The four different divisions of racing will continue to take place regularly at Thunder Road throughout the summer. The wildly popular Thursday night races will start on June 12 and end on September 28 with the massive Milk Bowl race. With the excellent start to the season that took place last night, it certainly looks as if fans can expect to enjoy an excellent racing season this year.