VOLUME XII,  ISSUE 3 - JULY - SEPTEMBER,  2018

Power drives to third-place finish at Mid-Ohio

Will Power captured a third-place podium finish in the July 29th Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The 90-lap (203.22-mile) race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course was caution-free. Power, the winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500 piloting the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, now sits fourth in the standings with four races left on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

 

Defending Series’ champion Josef Newgarden brought his No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in fourth place and sits third in points, just sixty points down to the points leader.

 

Simon Pagenaud finished eighth in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet to give Team Chevy three of the top-eight finishers.

 

Alexander Rossi was the race winner and Robert Wickens completed the podium (both Honda). [08/24/18]

Pocono was a challenge for Chevy racers

Chase Elliott, driver of the #NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1, claimed first in Stage 1 Sunday, July 29, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Elliott finished 7th. 

 

Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta All-Pro Teachers Camaro ZL1, finished third; William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta/Imron Camaro ZL1, finished sixth; Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Camaro ZL1, was eighth; and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's For Pros Camaro ZL1, raced his 600th MENCS race to finish in 17th place.   [08/24/18]

Custom car builder defends use of off-shore suppliers

The Made in America discussions are part of the national news these days because of the rash of new tariffs. While many aftermarket products are sourced offshore simply because of cost, other critical components are manufactured offshore because the capacity to produce these products domestically doesn't exist.

 

Joe Whitaker, one of the owners of Real Deal Steel, explains why his company (and probably many others) uses high-quality offshore manufacturers to produce the steel for the '55-'57 Chevy, first-gen Camaro and '66-'67 Chevy II Nova bodies that they assemble and sell in a Guest Editorial ****INSERT LINK****[08/24/18]

GM employee plays role in Thailand cave rescue

A General Motors employee played a key role in the recent rescue of 12 boys who were trapped in a flooded Thai cave.

 

Ruengrit Changkwanyuen is an information technology launch manager at GM’s Thailand Rayong Plant, and he’s also an experienced cave diver. After seeing the news on TV, he volunteered his services to the rescue effort. Over a 10-day period, Changkwanyuen worked long hours at the rescue site. He served as a trainer and adviser for the Thai Royal Navy SEAL team that headed up the rescue. He also helped to secure special equipment and coordinate efforts with other dive teams on the scene.

 

After an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks, rescuers saved all 12 boys from the cave, along with the coach of their soccer team. However, one diver lost consciousness underwater and died during rescue operations.

 

Changkwanyuen received this acknowledgment from GM CEO, Mary Barra: “We’re proud to have Ruengrit Changkwanyuen, a regional launch manager at GM Thailand, on our team. He made a big impact in assisting with the Thai cave rescue, thanks to his technical diving expertise -- he first learned to dive in the Great Lakes!” [08/24/18]

Third straight runner-up finish for Garcia, Magnussen

Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored their third straight runner-up finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday, July 21, with a second-place overall finish at the Northeast Grand Prix.

 

Garcia and Magnussen combined to lead 138 of the race’s 178 laps in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R around Lime Rock Park, where Garcia qualified on pole position. Saturday’s result moved the No. 3 duo to within one point of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship leaders.

Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fourth Saturday in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – the same position in which Milner began the race.

 

Garcia led the entirety of his hour-long stint before he came into the pits for a driver change to Magnussen. The Dane drove a double-stint to the end and only lost the lead on the final pit stop cycle and an unfortunate off-track excursion with 10 minutes to go.

 

Magnussen passed a slower GT car coming into Lime Rock’s final, diving turn and slid wide on the exit of the corner. It took tremendous control for him to gather up the Corvette and rejoin without any damage.

 

Milner made an early jump into third place at the race start in the No. 4 Corvette and held that position until his first stop with 63 minutes running. Gavin took over and rejoined in fifth place with the goal of moving back up into podium position during the final two hours. His perseverance paid off as he went from seventh after his final pit stop with 62 minutes left to fourth by the end of the race.    [08/24/18]

Off the Track: New Book

Bristol: Stories of Oval and Drag Racing in Thunder Valley

by David McGee

 

Author and Bristol historian David McGee examines more than 50 of the greatest races and legendary moments from Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway. Stories about Dale Earnhardt, Don Garlits, Rusty Wallace, Rickie Smith, and others are told with more than 180 action-packed photos. Available in paperback (Item #CT600P) from CarTech Books or as print-on-demand. [08/24/18]

Rent your car through GM’s Mavin app

General Motors is expanding its Maven car-sharing platform to include a peer-to-peer offering that enables owners and eligible lessees to earn money by renting their personal Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac car or truck model year 2015 and newer.

 

Called Peer Cars, it is available now in beta testing in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.

 

Maven is an on-demand mobility-sharing service available through an app. It offers Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles loaded with technology to fit every need, from compacts, to electric vehicles to SUVs. Members are able to rent cars by the hour, the day, the week or the month. Maven users have access to all the benefits of a car without the costs of ownership or membership fees.

 

The Maven service has resulted in more than 300 million miles driven and 180,000 reservations. All vehicles are insured through GM’s $1 million insurance policy, and every driving member is vetted before they are approved to use the service. Owner support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from trained Maven and OnStar advisors.

 

Eligible vehicle owners can start the process of listing their car with Maven by enrolling through GM’s Maven website.[08/24/18]

KCIR to re-open in 2019 at new location

I-70 Speedway and Kansas City International Raceway (KCIR) were originally built by the same group in the late 1960’s to serve the Kansas City market. Both facilities closed within the past 10 years and will now get a fresh start with the help of multiple companies, including the same corporation that revamped Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, and National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Both tracks will be rebuilt on the property in Odessa, Missouri, that originally housed I-70 Speedway. The facility will be named I-70 Motorsports Park and be home to both race tracks.

 

A quarter-mile dragstrip will be built on the Odessa property, along with a half-mile clay dirt oval. The National Hot Rod Association will sanction the dragstrip and while the dirt track will hold special feature Sprint Car action from several different sanctioning bodies.

 

Leading the project is Kansas City businessman and entertainment property owner, Chris Payne. "I'm super excited to be involved with rebuilding two historical race tracks which have been a part of the local communities for decades. Like most successful projects, it takes a group of devoted people and companies, including the support of the local governments, to complete the project. Our hopes are I-70 Motorsports Park becomes a staple in the community for all to enjoy for generations to come."  [08/24/18]

Drivers try out new ROVAL™ at Charlotte

Like the settlers of the Old West, NASCAR’s top guns ventured into the great unknown – the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL™ – for an up-close look at NASCAR’s newest track during the second and final ROVAL™ Test Fest on July 17. Drivers including Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon let the rough side drag around Charlotte’s 2.28-mile, 17-turn road course oval before the inaugural Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 race weekend Sept. 28-30.

Austin Dillon takes the No. 3 car through the NOVAL.

 

Busch set the day's fastest time, a one-minute, 16.9-second lap averaging 106.8 miles per hour during the afternoon session. Logano set the second-quickest time in the afternoon session – a 1:17.1-second lap – with A.J. Allmendinger third-fastest with a 1:17.4-second lap. Busch's 1:17.9-second lap was fastest in the morning session. [08/24/18]

Parsons wins Outlaw Pro Gas at Fontana, takes series points lead

Steve Parsons went to his second Outlaw Pro Gas final round this season on July 15, this time driving his ’63 Corvette roadster to the winner’s circle with a win over Mark Fenton Jr. and taking the series points lead. Parsons went to the final of the first race of the year but lost to Ken Mostowich.

 

Parsons won the semifinal round recording an 8.927, 164.03 (8.90 index) to defeat Paul Wiechmann, losing with a too quick 8.894.  Fenton got a bye run into the final. The final of the Ginz Choppers-sponsored race was quite bizarre, as Parsons left the line first with a .011 light, but his throttle stop failed to release and he coasted through the lights with a 13.13 time.  Fenton wasn’t aware of the Parsons’ woes, and he drove his ’27 roadster .004 too quick and settled for the runner-up spot.

 

With two of the four events competed, Parsons holds the points lead with 152 points followed by Fenton at 114, Wiechmann with 104, and Mostowich with 97. The third race of the year will be August 18 at the Fontana, CA, track.  [08/24/18]

Chase really is ‘wicked quick’ at Yellowstone

The "Wicked Quick" Chevrolet of North Dakota's Jim Chase leaves on the green on its way to a 6.17 blast at 225 mph, a win over Tony Arcuri's "Firefighter" Ford and, the overall race victory at Yellowstone Dragstrip. The Billings, Montana, track hosted the Rocky Mountain Superchargers all funny car show along with a strong contingent of Rocky Mountain Nostalgia A/FX racers.

 

Next on the series schedule is Aug. 17-18 at SRCA Dragstrip in Great Bend, KS.   [08/24/18]

Pagenaud leads Chevrolets at Toronto Grand Prix

Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 DXC Technology Team Penske IndyCar Chevrolet V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, July 15, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Toronto Grand Prix through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

Charlie Kimball, driver of the #23 Novo Nordisk Carlin Racing IndyCar Chevrolet V6, finished in fifth place; Tony Kanaan, driver of the #14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing IndyCar Chevrolet V6, finished sixth; and Josef Newgarden, driver of the #1 Hitachi Team Penske IndyCar Chevrolet V6, was ninth.  [08/24/18]

What a way to win for McGaha

In what had to be one of his wildest days of racing, Chris McGaha got his first Pro Stock win of the year at Epping, NH, on July 8.

 

It started with a holeshot win over Jeg Coughlin Jr. (0.009 RT to 0.030) and another one over Greg Anderson (0.025 to 0.079). In the semifinal, McGaha’s Chevrolet went into severe tire shake and coasted to a humiliating 16.762 at 49.34 mph, however, opponent Kenny Delco had turned on the red light and McGaha went on to the final, where a resurgent Erica Enders also red-lighted, handing the win to McGaha.

 

With eight different winners in 13 races this season, Pro Stock is much more competitive than it has been in the past.

 

“You look at it and Greg (Anderson) and Jason (Line) haven’t won a race yet,” said McGaha. “That’s pretty serious after the dominant seasons they’ve had coming up to this point, so the fact they haven’t won says a lot. It says a guy like me even has a chance.”     [08/24/18]

Pro Mod and Pro Stock wins for Alund in Finland

Finland is Jimmy Ålund’s new favorite country thanks to victories in Pro Mod and Pro Stock at the third race of the 2018 European FIA Drag Racing season, the Finland Hot Rod Association (FHRA) Nitro Nationals in early July. It marked the first time ever that one driver has won both FIA Pro Mod and FIA Pro Stock on the same afternoon.

Due to rain delays on Friday, there were only three qualifying runs in Pro Mod. Ålund drove Magnus Petersson’s The Old 51 Chevrolet Business Coupe to the Number One qualifying spot, but it wasn't pretty. Ålund only made it to the finish line twice, and just once under full power.

 

"We had issues with the shut-off box and tire shake, but got that one 6.86-second run. It was enough for the top spot," Ålund said.

 

Sunday's eliminations were the complete opposite of qualifying. Ålund won the first round with the second quickest ET of the round. A bye run in Round 2 put him in the semifinals, where he ran the quickest ET of the round to take the win and go into the finals against reigning FIA Pro Mod champion Micke Gullqvist. Ålund left hard while Gullqvist ran into problems; The Old 51 crossed the finish line first with a 5.92 second pass to Gullqvist’s 6.55.

 

The win at Alastaro extended Ålund’s points lead in the 2018 FIA Pro Mod championship.

The qualifying demons that plagued Ålund in Pro Mod followed him to Pro Stock. He qualified dead last with slowest ET ever for an FIA Pro Stock car, a less than stellar 19.08 seconds. What’s worse, the Summit Racing Camaro never made it to the finish line under full power. (photos courtesy Summit Racing Equipment)

 

"There are firsts for everything," Ålund explained "To add insult to injury, a hopped-up agricultural combine harvester had us covered by more than three seconds during its exhibition runs.

 

"We went through the whole car, everything," Ålund continued. "We concluded that the problem was in the tires. We had tested all of the tires we brought along, but no-go. Then fellow racer Michael Malmgren stepped up and let us have a set of his tires for Sunday's eliminations. We can't thank Michael enough for his generosity."

 

Just as in Pro Mod, Pro Stock eliminations turned out totally different than qualifying. Ålund won the quarter- and semifinals, running the quickest ETs and fastest speeds in both rounds. And like in Pro Mod, Ålund went up against the reigning class champion in the finals. He did his job one last time and won the race over Bengt Ljungdahl.

 

“We didn't know if the problem was solved until we got to the 60-foot mark in the quarter finals," Ålund said. "To say that we struggled in qualifying would be the understatement of the century. But like the saying goes, 'it ain't over 'til it's over,' and Sunday turned out just perfect for both The Old 51 Pro Mod Car and the Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro."

 

The next event on the FIA European Drag Race Series schedule is the NitrOlympX, August 17-19 at the Hockenheimring in Hockenheim, Germany. Ålund will be driving The Old 51 in Pro Mod but leaving the Pro Stocker at home. [08/24/18]

Disappointing Daytona for Chevy racers

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger Clicklist Camaro ZL1, raced to a 3rd place finish with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #95 Thorne Wellness Camaro ZL1 who finished in 4th place and Chris Buescher, driver of the #37 Kleenex Wet Wipes Camaro ZL1 who finished in 5th place Saturday night, July 7, in the caution-filled Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. [08/24/18]

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