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Racing News: Beth Chryst Ready to Move Forward in MX-5 Cup Competition

  Beth Chryst races at Sebring. Photo: Mark Weber/SCCA

Beth Chryst Sets Goals, Ready to Move Forward in MX-5 Cup Competition
Beth Chryst is just one of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup drivers chasing a dream that began with a go-kart ride as a 14-year-old.

The Herndon, Virginia, native had grown up visiting the short tracks in her area, but didn’t truly become interested in driving herself until an acquaintance invited her and her father Martin to Summit Point Raceway to participate in the Woodbridge Kart Club’s fun finale. Fifteen minutes on the two-mile road course, and she was hooked.

For 10 years, the Chryst family traveled up and down the east coast, progressively running up the karting world’s ladder at events on road courses from Loudon, New Hampshire, to Daytona, and hitting circuits currently on the MX-5 Cup schedule, such as Road America and Mid-Ohio.

With Regional, Grand National and World Karting Association World Championships under her belt, and an accounting and accounts receivable job offering some flexibility, it was time for something new.

With relatively little seat time in a car, Chryst showed up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season 2011 season-opener and realized quickly that she was going to have to reassess her goals. After a couple of races, Chryst learned that the MX-5 Cup was an opportunity for a new driver to learn the ropes—both for working on the MX-5 and her driving.

During her rookie season, the 26-year-old entered the 2012 season-opening doubleheader at Sebring with optimistic, yet reasonable hopes. The improvements were noticeable, but the results still showed a 17th- and a 16th-place finish—further down the charts than the small team hoped.

Chryst plans to run the full schedule in 2012. In the meantime, she displayed her car—nicknamed “Miss Scarlet”—at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show over the winter, and blogs about her racing experiences at Female Racing News.

Chryst, and all of the competitors in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, returns to action this week with a doubleheader “home race” for the Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

  poison spyder
  Larry McRae drove the Poison Spyder Modified Ultra4 #4581 to a class win at the Ultra4 Cinco de Baja race last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Poison Spyder Larry McRae Wins Modified Class at Cinco de Baja
Larry McRae drove the Poison Spyder Modified Ultra4 #4581 to a class win at the Ultra4 Cinco de Baja race last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With this Modified Class Western Series win and the 2012 Modified Class King of the Hammers win, the Poison Spyder Racing team is leading the Pro Series Modified Class and the Western Series Modified Class points race.

Co-driver Shad Kennedy, a desert racing veteran, helped navigate the light blue and silver Modified Ultra4. The strategy for this race was to click off conservative laps early on and then see how the other competitors in the class were fairing. Depending on the split times they would decide whether to race the last three laps or stay conservative to ensure a finish. With the five-lap, 40-mile loop race, the attrition rate allowed the Poison Spyder team to continue the conservative pace and preserve the car.

The team managed to finish 11th overall in the much faster Ultra4 Unlimited 4400 class. They have already started full prep for the upcoming races this summer, including 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix in July and BITD Vegas to Reno in August, as part of the Ultra4 Modified Series.

Fuel 21st Inc. Becomes an Official Sponsor of Infineon Raceway
Infineon Raceway and Fuel 21st Inc. have entered into an agreement that will make the Napa, California-based company an associate level partner in the raceway’s Accelerating Sustainable Performance program.

Fuel 21 is an ethanol gel fuel made from sustainable sugarcane, which provides intense heat that lasts longer than other warming fuels. Fuel 21 is all-natural, non-toxic, sustainable and cost-effective.

The company’s products include portable fuels for use in food service, retail and government for emergencies and disaster relief. As part of this new relationship, Fuel 21 will also become the “Official Food Warming Gel Fuel of Infineon Raceway” and a partner at the raceway’s green performance summit, to be held in September.

The program builds on the raceway’s operational record as a sustainable business in areas such as recycling and water conservation, with new initiatives, such as a major solar-electric installation, and a series of demonstrations featuring the latest in high-performance green vehicle technologies.

Fuel 21’s sponsorship will include the use of its products by on-site caterer Levy Restaurants during major event weekends, as well as season-long ticket and promotional elements.

Irwindale Dragstrip Reopens
After almost three months off, the Irwindale Dragstrip roared back to life last Thursday night with more than 250 racers running and almost 2,000 fans in attendance. Fans are invited back this Thursday evening for more racing action. Gates open at 4:00 p.m., racing from 5:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.