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Racing News: Team Falken Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes Third at Formula Drift Round 6 "After Dark" in Vegas

Vaughn Gittin Jr. takes third place in Vegas.
Team Falken Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes Third at Formula Drift Round 6 "After Dark" in Vegas
Team Falken Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., took the final step on the podium with his third-place finish at the late-night run in Vegas, keeping him in the lead in the points standings for the final showdown for the Formula D championship to be decided in October.
Qualifying fifth in his Monster Energy/Falken Tire ’13 Ford Mustang on a new track configuration at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Gittin Jr. glided through the Top 32 and Top 16 rounds. Falken teammates Justin Pawlak, also in a ’13 Falken Tire Ford Mustang, qualified ninth, and Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara was 17th. By the Top 8 Round, only Gittin Jr. was left, and he moved on to the Top 4 Round only to lose to Fredric Asabo during a “one more time.” In the Final Round, Gittin Jr. defeated Robbie Nishida for third, while Asabo lost to eventual Vegas winner Rhys Millen.

The third-place finish for Gittin Jr. added more points to his total of 473. He leads second-place Daigo Saito by 25.5 points. Millen moved to third with 428.25.

While Gittin Jr., is in first, Pawlak sits in fourth and “Dai” in fifth, just 1.5 points behind Pawlak. The Title Fight for the championship is scheduled for October 12–13, at Irwindale in Southern California.

Marty Hart captured his fourth win of the Pro 2 season and was awarded for setting fastest lap of the race.


Team ReadyLIFT Racing's Marty Hart Wins at Nevada's New High Speed Wild West Motorsports Park 
After a solid qualifying attempt and some field shuffling, Marty Hart, piloting his ReadyLIFT OffRoad Suspension/Maxxis Tire/ Ford, would start last weekend's Round 11 Pro 2 race at the new Wild West Motorsports Park in Spark, Nevada, on the second row with fellow lead point battlers Rob MacCachren and Brian Deegan surrounding him.

Hart ended up capturing his fourth win of the Pro 2 season and being awarded for setting fastest lap of the race.
 Rounds 13–14 will take place at Las Vegas Motors Speedway September 21–22, 2012.

5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords Technical Editor KJ Jones wins at NMCA event in Pomona
This past weekend, KJ Jones, technical editor of the Source Interlink Media publication, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords, took first place in the Granatelli Motorsports Mustang Madness class after winning six consecutive rounds of competition at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

With his victory, Jones earned a “Wally” trophy at the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) West event, one of four in the season’s circuit.

In a twist of fate, Jones drove to the win in a modified ’91 Mustang LX—featured in an upcoming issue of 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords as the “Cheaper Sleeper” in a story about the best ways to modify the Mustang while minimizing costs—when the car he originally intended to compete with became unavailable.

Jones competed earlier this season in Bakersfield, California, with an unmodified version of the Mustang LX. Prior to the Pomona event, however, he modified the suspension, which proved to be perfectly executed as he took the top title in his class. Jones is writing tech features for the magazine that track each modification he makes.

Linda Vaughn

Tickets for Linda Vaughn Roast Sold Out
The Quarter Mile Foundation has announced the Linda Vaughn Roast (August 29, 2012) at the Lucas Family Estate in Carmel, Indiana, has sold out. The event is being produced by the Quarter Mile Foundation and hosted by Lucas Oil Products Inc.

The Foundation had earlier announced a full subscription of the sale of sponsor tables for the event. The individual and corporate sponsors include: SEMA, C & R Racing, Paul Candies (Otto Candies LLC), Chip Ganassi Racing, Glazer’s of Indiana, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS), JEG'S High Performance, Lucas Oil Products Inc., Monarch Beverage Co., National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Quick Fuel Technology, Jennifer Revson, the Vaughn Family, the Warren/Schafer Family and Jack (“Doc”) Watson. Proceeds from the Roast will benefit Linda Vaughn and the Quarter Mile Foundation’s production of PROJECT 1320—a documentary film series about the growth of the sport of drag racing and the performance automotive aftermarket.

Michael Cooper Drives MAZDASPEED3 to 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championship
Michael Cooper may have set a modern-day record in winning the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Drivers Championship in his MAZDASPEED3.  Cooper’s entire racing career has been less than 50 races, all of them in a Mazda, and all of them since 2009 when he attended the Skip Barber Racing School at Lime Rock Park.

Cooper drove his Atlanta Motorsports Group-prepared MAZDASPEED3 to six wins in the season’s 14 races. During the weekend-closing triple-header at Sonoma Raceway, Cooper finished third, second and ended the season with a flag-to-flag victory, including the fastest race lap, in the final race of the season. As the only Mazda competing against a dozen Hondas and VWs, Cooper came close to giving Mazda a manufacturers’ championship as well.  At the series awards dinner, Cooper also was recognized as the Touring Car Rookie-Of-The-Year and Atlanta Motorsports Group was named Touring Car Team-Of-The-Year.

In addition to his six wins, Cooper started from the pole in seven races, led 11 races and led the most laps in six. He finished in the top-five in 13 of 14 races. His only glitch was crash damage received in the second Mid-Ohio race, which resulted in his only DNF of the year. Cooper’s year-long rival for the championship was Todd Lamb, who won the 2009 MX-5 Cup Championship and the 2008 NASA Spec Miata Championship.

Vollmer Faces Off Against Idaho Rob in Two NHRDA Finals
The Bully Dog race crew set their sights on Billings this past weekend at the NHRDA Big Sky Truck Fest at the Yellowstone Dragstrip.

The Bully Dog Cummins has been completely refreshed with a rebuilt engine and brand-new injectors. So, driver Jarid Vollmer decided to throw his hat into the Pro Stock class in addition to his normal Pro Street category.

Vollmer ran low 10-second and high nine-second quarter-miles all day long. He worked his way through the pack, winning elimination after elimination, until he found himself staging against “Idaho” Rob Coddins in the finals. Vollmer found himself doing this twice, in both the Pro Street finals and the Pro Stock finals.

In both classes, the outcome was the same: Vollmer ran a close second to Coddins’ Duramax. In Pro Street, he ran a 9.90-second quarter-mile to Coddins’ 9.72, and in Pro Stock he ran a 9.83-second quarter to Coddins’ 9.90, but a red light foul cost him the win on that round.

The team continues to dial in the Cummins racer in preparation for the World Finals in Ennis, Texas, October 13.

   road tour
The Rodfather/Goodguys Road Tour will feature 100-plus pre-’49 hot rods traveling from the Bonneville Salt Flats to Indianapolis over seven days.

Daily Web Coverage of Rodfather/Goodguys Road Tour to be provided by Route 2 Media and Chad Reynolds
Indiana-based Route 2 Media will provide daily video, photo and blog updates hosted/voiced by Chad Reynolds during the upcoming Rodfather/Goodguys Road Tour set to blast off Friday, September 14. This event will feature 100-plus pre-’49 hot rods traveling more than 3,600 miles, from the Bonneville Salt Flats to Indianapolis over seven days.

Led by Andy “The Rodfather” Brizio and Goodguys founder Gary Meadors, the tour leaves Bonneville, Friday, September 14, and continues east through Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and on to Indianapolis for the Goodguys 2nd WIX Filters Speedway Nationals at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, September 21–23.

Lunati Now Master Warehouse Distributor for Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Products
Lunati has announced that it is now a master warehouse distributor for Joe Gibbs Driven racing oil products.

Dave Mason Jr. gained his first podium finish in the pro-buggy class.  

Dave Mason Jr. Beats out Veteran Racers to First Podium Finish
Rookie Dave Mason Jr., piloting the #65 Competitive Metals/JAMAR Alumi Craft Pro Buggy, started last Friday's Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) event by beating out the field and posting the fast qualifying time. After the inversion, he started sixth for last Saturday's round 11 at the newly built Wild West Motorsports Park in Reno, Nevada. Mason finished in fourth place. Starting fifth for last Sunday's round 12, Mason gained his first podium finish in the pro-buggy class.

Teammate Geoffrey Cooley qualified just behind Mason, posting the second-fastest time. But shortly after the race start, Cooley would get hit from behind and his car went airborne flipping upside down. Cooley continued the race and finished in 13th place.  With a repaired car, Cooley came out fast for last Sunday's qualifying, again posting the second-fastest lap time. But Cooley was again caught up in an incident that dropped him way back in the field in the early laps of Sunday's race. Cooley drove back up through the field to finish with a top five. 

Justin Smith had a rough weekend in the #19 Competitive Metals/Alumi Craft Pro Lite. In last Saturday's race, Smith had a power-steering issue that dropped him back to a 16th-place finish. His crew worked hard to prepare the truck for Sunday's race and those efforts paid off as Smith was up to sixth place. But after contact left his truck with a bent lower trailing arm, Smith dropped back to salvage a top-10 finish. 

Larry Bani won his first Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) race ever at Thunderhill earlier this month.

Larry Bani Wins Tight Race at Thunderhill and Becomes Fourth Different Winner in the BMW M3
Larry Bani won his first Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) race ever at Thunderhill earlier this month driving the Technical Institute BMW M3. Bani, who was last year’s iGrille Top Rookie, became the fourth different race winner in as many races this season. Finishing only one second behind Bani was the Roger Kraus Racing Honda Prelude of Chris Lock, who was also the iGrille Top Rookie of the race. Lock was followed by theTNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 of Felipe Cabezas.

In the GT class, Ken Kurtz was victorious in his Yokohama/TPIS Pontiac Firebird just ahead of the European Motor Works BMW M3 of John Handal.  

The teams now start their preparations for the big race of the season at Sonoma Raceway with the FIA World Touring Car Championship, September 21–23, 2012. 

Roush-Yates Drivers Race to Success Last Weekend
ARCA Series points leader Chris Buescher rose to victory at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin. The 19-year-old raced side by side with Frank Kimmel for several laps in the Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200 before he was able to regain the lead. He then withstood three restarts and won a one-lap sprint to claim his fourth victory of the season.

Buescher extended his points lead to 60 over Kimmel with three races left in the series.

Jason Johnson and Roush Yates Engines won both last Friday and Saturday nights in the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series.

Last Friday, the series raced at Salina Highbanks Speedway in Salina, Oklahoma, where Johnson's #41 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.-owned sprint car started in the fourth position. Johnson powered through the field past race leader Logan Forler to win by a straightaway.

I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas, was the next stop for the #41 crew. Johnson started back in the eight position and used his Ford powerplant to pass for lead on lap 18. This marks Johnson's 64th overall ASCS National Tour win in his career.

Metaled Olympian and Roush Yates Engines driver Brian Deegan ventured to the Wild West Motorsports Park in Reno, Nevada, where he picked up a win in last Sunday's Lucas Oil Off Road Truck Series Pro 2 Unlimited race. After numerous cautions, the race concluded with a two-lap sprint to the finish. Deegan held off Carl Renezeder to claim the first spot on the podium.

Turkey Night Grand Prix Tickets on Sale Now
Tickets for the 72nd running of Midget racing's longest running race, the Turkey Night Grand Prix for the Mopar USAC National and Western Midgets, went on sale earlier this week. After 13 seasons of racing on pavement, the race will return to the dirt at Perris Auto Speedway on Thanksgiving night, November 22.

New Castle, Indiana's Caleb Armstrong, who turned 20 earlier this month and is currently fourth in Mopar USAC National Midget points, is the defending race champion after winning last year's event at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.  

Fans can purchase tickets in advance online at Tix or by calling 800-595-4849.