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Racing News: Linda Vaughn Roast Panelists Announced

Linda Vaughn
Linda Vaughn Roast Panelists Announced
The Quarter Mile Foundation has announced the “Roaster Panel” to headline the upcoming Linda Vaughn Celebrity Roast, to be held August 29, at the “Sports Barn” at the Lucas Family estate in Carmel, Indiana. The roast will precede the NHRA’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

The “First Lady of Motorsports” will be roasted by some of the most respected names in the North American motorsports and performance aftermarket community, including: Joe Amato, Paul Candies, Corky Coker, Jeg Coughlin Sr., John Force, Chip Ganassi, Don Garlits, Bob Glidden, Lynn St. James and Jack “Doc” Watson.

Bob Frey, NHRA event announcer, will preside as the Master of Ceremonies. The evening’s schedule will include cocktails at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m., followed by the evening’s festivities beginning at 8:00 p.m. An auction of donated items from friends in the aftermarket, drag racing, IndyCar and NASCAR will also be held as a part of the evening. The auction will be split into two formats: a silent auction during the cocktail hour and live bidding on select items between the presentations of the roasters.

There will be seating for 350 individuals. Tickets are available online at the Quarter Mile Foundation website until August 19, 2012. Tickets will not be available for sale at the event. The VIP/sponsor tables seat eight people and will be available for $2,000 per table. Non-VIP tables can be sponsored for $1,500 per table. Individual seats can be purchased for $100 each.

The event will be filmed, and the DVD will be made available for purchase to the public. Proceeds will benefit Linda Vaughn, plus the Quarter Mile Foundation in its quest to capture the first-person stories of drag racing’s pioneers beginning in the late ’40s through the ’80s; plus the motorsports aftermarket, which was spawned from their efforts.

BIGFOOT No. 18, piloted by Dan Runte, makes a test jump.

Monster Truck BIGFOOT Attempts to Reclaim World Record Long Jump
The BIGFOOT monster truck is set to launch the all-new BIGFOOT No. 18 piloted by Dan Runte, Sunday, September 16—the final day of the 31st Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Fall 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals. The event is held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, September 14–16.

BIGFOOT and Runte first set the record in 1999 with a jump of 202 ft. in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Tennessee Aviation Day over a 727 jetliner. According to Guinness World Records, the current record is 208 ft. achieved by Joe Sylvester's Bad Habit Monster Truck in 2010 in Columbia, Pennsylvania.   

The exact departure time for the September 16 long jump and additional details will be made available online at or by calling 317-236-6515. In addition to the BIGFOOT World record jump, the 4-Wheel Jamboree weekend events will include 4x4 Trucks, Monster Truck Racing and Freestyle, NMRO Championship Mud Drags, Tough Truck Racing, Manufacturer's Midway and Show-N-Shine awards.

Left rear tire trouble cost Team Falken Tire the opportunity to move up through the GT field.

Team Falken Tire Rolls the Dice on New Chassis
 and Tire Combination at Lime Rock Park
Round 4 of the American Le Mans Series presented by Patron was a bittersweet event for Team Falken Tire. Accelerated shoulder wear on the left rear tire due to heavy load forced the team to pit and change tires more often than expected, costing the team the opportunity to move up through the GT field. The team stayed ahead of four other cars to finish seventh in the GT class.  

During the six-week "Le Mans" break, the team held two tests at Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio, focusing on tire development and overall car balance, and the team felt optimistic about the advances made.

The trouble started 40 minutes into the race when starting Falken driver Bryan Sellers noticed a vibration in the rear of the ’12 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The team did not pit, but stayed focused on tire pressures. Shortly after in lap 35, the team called Sellers in as the pressure in the No. 17 Porsche left rear tire rapidly dropped, forcing Sellers to limp into pit lane.

For the remainder of the race, the team cautiously watched as the left rear continued to show accelerated wear. On lap 92, Porsche Factory driver Wolf Henzler got behind the wheel with the best set of tires the team had all race. Overall, the team pitted four times during the endurance race, using different compounds and constructions from start to finish.  

Round five of the American Le Mans Series takes place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport July 21–22.

Drivers Greg Parker and John Cooley, along with navigators Greg Atherton and Brian Saunders, piloted the No. 1022 Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Alumi Craft buggy to victory.

Team Competitive Conquers Fireworks 500
Team Competitive and Competitive Metals entered Reno, Nevada, with five sponsored race cars entered in the High Desert Racing Association (HDRA) Fireworks 500 held Saturday, July 7, at the Tahoe-Reno Motorplex. The event kicked off downtown Reno on Friday with race cars on display in conjunction with the All American BBQ Festival.

Drivers Greg Parker and John Cooley, along with navigators Greg Atherton and Brian Saunders, piloted the No. 1022 Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Alumi Craft buggy to victory. Cooley and co-driver Saunders took the race start at 9:00 a.m., and by mile 30 had taken the lead position. They would lose that position, though, after hitting a major log jam of more than 20 stuck race cars at mile 36. The mess lasted more than 30 minutes until Cooley was finally able to break free. The setback dropped the team back in the field. But with several hundred miles and many hours left of racing, Team Competitive pressed on, sticking to their strategic plan.  

Parker and navigator Atherton took over the car for laps two and three. Parker drove solidly giving the car back to Cooley for lap four. Cooley brought the car safely to Parker just before 9:00 p.m. After 12 hours of racing, victory was now just 83 miles away. Parker drove a perfect final lap, keeping his Grand Sierra Resort and Casino race car together to win the first-ever Fireworks 500 event. In addition, Team Competitive's Brandon Arthur placed second in class and Chris Isenhouer finished in third in class. 

In the latest rounds in L.A., the privateer Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3s piloted by Samuel Hubinette won his heat to earn automatic entry into the final.

Scott-Eklund Racing Chasing Podium in New Hampshire
Scott-Eklund Racing will continue its challenge for Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) honors this weekend (Saturday, July 14) in the fourth round of the series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

 In the latest rounds in L.A., the privateer Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3s piloted by Samuel Hubinette won his heat to earn automatic entry into the final. Although he was taken out in the six-lap final, the American was running third and matching the pace of second-placed Ken Block, and just shy of the lap times of eventual winner, eight-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.

Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal Andy Scott will head into battle in New Hampshire. He qualified strongly in seventh place, but did not make it through to the final for the first time this season. The British Rallycross vice champion will be looking to redress that after a strong start to his GRC campaign in Charlotte allowed him to blast to LCQ victory, and clinch fourth in the final, after a turbocharger issue had wrecked his qualifying.

Hubinette—the 2010 X Games bronze medalist—is the only driver to have won each of his heats in the opening three events, and qualified for each final.

Victor Davis Scores July 4 PAS Senior Sprint Win 
Simi Valley, California's Victor Davis swept the show by winning the heat race and the main event in front of the biggest crowd to ever see a PAS Senior Sprint Car Series race at Perris Auto Speedway July 4. 

Davis began the scheduled 20-lapper on the outside of the third row. Yorba Linda's Wiley Miller, a graduate of the now defunct USAC 3/4 Midget Series, beat "Hubcap" Mike Collins of Lake Forest to the first turn once Kevin Winters waved the green flag to start the main event. Defending series champion Bill Badger of Santa Clarita was up to second by the end of the opening circuit.

On lap three, Brian Williams of Newport Beach, who was running third, got sideways in turn four and was drilled by series point leader Bruce Douglass of Ventura. Those two had each won two of the first four races of 2012, and both were done for the night. On the ensuing yellow, Vista's Jim Styer also pulled out.  

Once the race restarted, Miller built a comfortable lead, but as he was doing so, Davis headed toward the front. The 49-year-old Davis caught Badger and slid him for second in turn one on lap seven. Badger, who was a regular in West Coast Midget competition in the ’70s, came right back at Davis and reclaimed the runner-up spot. They wrestled hard for the position until the end of lap eight when Davis took it for keeps.  

Five laps later, he gained control of second, Davis chased down Miller and relieved him of the top spot. Once he got to the point, Davis ran away for a full straightaway win. Badger, driving a car crew chiefed by his brother Jim, also chased down Miller and took the second position away on the next to last lap. Pacific Beach's Jesse DeNome, making his initial PAS appearance of 2012, and Collins rounded out the top five.

Like he did in the main, Davis came from the sixth starting spot to win the eight-lap heat race.

The PAS Senior Sprint Car Series will be back for more action July 28 when it joins the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Series and the California Lightning Sprints in the annual "California Racers Hall of Fame Night." The Seniors will also race at The PAS in August and September before closing the season at the 17th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals on November 3–4. 

Bentley Continental GTC V8 (back) and 4.5L Blower on the way to 2012 Le Mans Classic.

Derek Bell and Bentley Inspired by Mission Motorsport Team at Le Mans Classic
Bentley’s brand ambassador and five-time Le Mans winner, Derek Bell, returned to the French race circuit last weekend to spearhead a unique motorsport challenge.

Racing a 4.5L Bentley Blower at the Le Mans Classic (in partnership with owner Martin Overington) Bell was supported by a three-man pit crew from Mission Motorsport—a UK charity that rehabilitates seriously injured military personnel by actively involving them in a wide range of competitive motor racing challenges.

Bell’s support team was led by former Royal Marine Commando Tony Compson, working alongside Gary Dunning and James Gillborn. All three men have suffered serious, life-changing injuries on active service, but that did not stop the Mission Motorsport team from delivering some of the fastest possible pit stops for Bell and Overington or working right through the night to ensure the Bentley Blower was able to race on Saturday.

While there was disappointment that the Bentley Blower was unable to compete on Sunday, Bell and Overington secured 15th out of 69 entries in the Saturday race with the Mission Motorsport team achieving a 92-second pit stop.

Michael Carpenter took the STX win in the shadow of Mount Rainier. Photo: SCCA

Mount Rainier Forms Backdrop For Tire Rack SCCA Packwood Solo
The Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour schedule took competitors to Packwood, Washington’s Hampton Mills for the Packwood National Tour and the Western States Championship to begin the month of July and the home stretch for the season.

At the finish, eight classes were decided by less than two-tenths of a second, with four of those less than one-tenth apart. The closest class of the weekend, Street Touring Compact, was separated by less than a blink of an eye. Jim Harnish’s Honda Civic Si and Shane Jensen’s Les Schwab Tires Honda Civic Si nearly matched each other’s composite times, with Harnish sneaking out a 0.007-second win.

With Michael Lillejord and Kevin Dietz co-driving the Jims Detail Shops/Evolution Schools Honda S2000, Lillejord just outpaced Dietz, grabbing a 0.017-second victory.

Michael Carpenter drove the Murphy’s Law Subaru WRX to a 0.075-second win in Street Touring Xtreme, running a final time just faster than Jason Morrow in a Subaru WRX to claim the class win. Jim Daniels followed suit with a narrow victory behind the wheel of his D Prepared Mazda Miata, topping Ron Bauer’s Bauerspeed Racing Mazda MX-5 by just 0.089-second in Packwood.

Even the Ladies Classes were a part of the close finishes. Tasha Mikko’s MAPerformance/CIRO Design Mitsubishi Evo pulled out a 0.179-second combined time victory over Michelle Miller’s TC Motorsports/English Racing Mitsubishi Evo in the Street Touring Ultra Ladies class with times that would have put the pair in contention for a trophy in the open class. Carol Wong and Avril Morrison co-drove to a close battle of their own in the Petrel Data Systems/VCMC Swift DB-1 in C Modified Ladies, with Wong taking a 0.145-second win in the class.

X Prepared’s Britain Smith ( Porsche 914) and C Prepared’s Frank Stagnaro (Maier Racing Ford Mustang) also each snagged victories by less than two-tenths of a second.

The Tire Rack Solo National Tour travels from Mount Rainier to the Rocky Mountains, July 14–15, for the Colorado National Tour at Pikes Peak International Raceway.