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Racing News: NASCAR Racing Returns to Irwindale

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NASCAR Racing Returns to Irwindale
On January 4, 2013, after a year when there was no NASCAR Home Track racing at Irwindale Speedway, the new on-site management team announced that short-track stock-car racing would return to Southern California, and to the track that has the reputation for producing some of the most competitive, three-wide plus oval track racing on the planet.

Opening night 2013—the first of 14 nights of renewed NASCAR Whelen All-American action—is set for April 6, with a full card of racing divisions. First-night fans will find a great line-up of NASCAR divisions: Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks and Mini Stocks will all go on the oval tracks, and a Demolition Derby will close out the night.

On April 6, fan gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and the On-Track Autograph Session will start at 5:45 p.m. Veteran drivers and rookies alike will all be on hand at Irwindale Speedway. Tickets are now available for opening night and the 2013 season on the track's website.

Falken Tire has expanded its Falken Tire Cup contingency program for 2013 Formula Drift privateer competitors.


Falken Tire Cup Expands Contingency Program for 2013 Formula Drift Entrants
Falken Tire has expanded its Falken Tire Cup contingency program for 2013 Formula Drift privateer competitors.
Now in its second year, the Falken Tire Cup was established to give Formula D private entrants the opportunity to earn significant contingency funds by awarding $5,000 to the highest finishing driver participating in the program. Last year, Privateer Kenneth Moen took home the Cup and $5,000 prize among 25 drivers who took part. Participants in the Falken Tire Cup will also be able to take advantage of a special Falken Tire discount purchase program. Additional requirements for involvement in the Falken Tire Cup include:

  • Drivers will be required to run Falken Tires on all four positions of their vehicle at all Formula D events. The minimum signage requirements include one 20-in. Falken Tire decal on the front bumper or hood position as well as at least one 24-in. decal on both sides of the vehicle. Falken Tire Cup drivers must also wear a Falken Tire patch (or embroidery) on their driver suit as well as a Falken Tire banner in their team’s pit space.
  • Teams must participate in at least four rounds of the 2013 Formula D championship series.

Round 1 of the 2013 Formula Drift Championship is in Southern California as teams will again compete on the Long Beach Grand Prix street course, April 12–13. View this year's event schedule.

Carroll Shelby has been inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame.

Automotive Legend and American Icon Carroll Shelby Inducted into SCCA Hall of Fame
Carroll Shelby has been inducted into the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at the SCCA’s Annual Meeting on March 2, 2013, at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas. The award will reside with the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust and eventually the Carroll Shelby Foundation, established by the automotive legend in 1991 after his successful heart transplant.

Carroll Shelby was involved with the SCCA for more than 50 years and his impact on the club continues today. As a driver, he took home the SCCA National Championship in 1956. When Shelby turned professional, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959 and competed in eight Formula One races before his career was cut short with a heart ailment.

Shelby’s involvement with the SCCA continued in the ’60s through his Cobra sports car and then his efforts turned the Ford GT40 into a winner that defeated Ferrari.

FOX athletes took 16 podium positions in the first two rounds of racing at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) season opener in Phoenix.

FOX Athletes Take 16 Podiums at LOORRS Season Opener
FOX athletes took 16 podium positions in the first two rounds of racing at the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) season opener in Phoenix.

Marty Hart got the ball rolling with a Pro 2 win in round one. Hart backed up his win with a second-place finish last Sunday, leaving Firebird International Raceway as the Pro 2 points leader.

Rob MacCachren had a solid weekend with a third-place finish in both Pro 2 and his brand-new Pro 4. Eric Barron and Jeff Geiser also finished on the podium in Pro 4 and Pro 2.

The Pro Lite class exploded with 27 trucks competing for the top spots. A race filled with crashes and caution flags did not deter FOX athlete Brian Deegan from taking the win. Deegan was back on the podium with a third place in round two finishing just behind Sheldon Creed, who earned his first podium of the season in second.

Pro Buggy is more about finesse than power. In round one, Bradley Morris took the victory in the ex-Cameron Steele car, Geoffrey Cooley took second and Dave Mason Jr., was third. In round two, it was Cooley who battled his way past Morris, Mason and defending champion Steve Greinke for the victory. Greinke was second and Mason took another third.

Behind the wheel of the BKR #19 Ford will be a rotating team of drivers, including Brad Keselowski, Joey Lagano and Ross Chastain.

Cequent Continues Partnership with Brad Keselowski Racing for 2013
Cequent Performance Products will continue its partnership with Brad Keselowski Racing for the 2013 season. Draw-Tite will sponsor seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races beginning in Charlotte, May 17. Bulldog will make its debut at the Texas Motor Speedway, June 7, in its first race ever. Behind the wheel of the BKR #19 Ford will be a rotating team of drivers, including Keselowski, Joey Lagano and Ross Chastain.

Sellout Crowd Honors 11 Drag-Racing Legends
The drag-racing world honored 11 of its heroes and contributors to the sport at the recent International Drag Racing Hall of Fame Induction Dinner presented by the NHRA, Summit Racing Equipment and Lucas Oil Products Inc., March 14, in the ballroom of the Paramount Plaza Hotel & Suites in Gainesville, Florida. The room was filled with more than 500 current and former racers, sanctioning body officials, sponsors and fans, paying tribute to the inductees whose accomplishments, both on and off the track, helped build the sport.

The Class of 2013 included Dave Boertman, Wally Booth, Bernie Fedderly, Harry Hibler, the Top Fuel race team of Kenny Hirata, Phil Hobbs and Bobby Vodnik, the late K.S. “Tiger” Pittman, the late Dick Rosberg and Louis Senter. Also honored with the Founders Award was Dr. Robert Post, PhD., whose book, High Performance – The Culture and Technology of Drag Racing, 1950-2000 is recognized worldwide as a definitive reference work about the people and machines that developed the sport of drag racing.

For the first time, World Champions were a major part of the evening’s program—from current NHRA/Mello Yello Drag Racing Series World Champions Allen Johnson (Pro Stock – presenting Boertman), Antron Brown (Top Fuel – presenting Senter) and Jack Beckman (Funny Car – presenting the Hirata, Hobbs & Vodnik team) to former Funny Car World Champion John Force and Top Fuel pilot Terry Capps presenting their colleague and former crew chief Fedderly.

Other presenters included drag-racing historian/artist and Senior Editor of National Dragster John Jodauga presenting Booth, Greg Sharp, curator of the Wally Parks/NHRA Museum, introducing the family of Pitman, Rockingham Dragway President Steve Earwood introducing the family of Rosberg and 2012 Hall of Fame inductee and veteran engine builder Ed Pink presenting his best friend Hibler. Dr. Post, who could not attend the dinner, was represented by noted drag-racing historian and editor of Hot Rod DeLuxe magazine, Dave Wallace, who accepted the award from Hall of Fame member and Funny Car driver Bruce Larson—a friend of Dr. Post.

  great race
This year, the Great Race starts in St. Paul, Minnesota, and finishes in Mobile, Alabama.

Champion “Classic & Muscle Motor Oil” to Participate in 2013 Great Race
Champion Oil is participating with three teams of drivers in a vintage and collector car competitive rally that follows North to South along the Mississippi River. The winner of the Great Race receives $50,000 and total prize money for the event is $150,000. This year, the Great Race starts in St. Paul, Minnesota. From there, it will run South with overnights in Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi toward its finish line in Mobile, Alabama. In all, the race will cover 2,100 miles, cross into 10 states in nine days, and afford numerous sights and crossings over the Mississippi River.

The Great Race, presented by Hemmings Motor News and Coker Tire, is an automotive competition based on precision driving and navigational skills in classic, antique and vintage automobiles. The competition, which was founded in 1983, contains numerous timed endurance rally stages. Vehicle entries must have been manufactured in ’69 or earlier with a competition crew of a driver and navigator in each competing vehicle.

Team Falken Tire's third-place finish in the final American Le Mans Series 12 Hours of Sebring puts the team in third place in the championship heading into Round Two.

Team Falken Tire Earns Podium Finish at Sebring 12 Hour
Team Falken Tire raced from a 12th-place starting position to be a top contender for a majority of the 61st Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida before earning the final step on the victory podium. All race long, the 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR pushed forward, fighting through one of the most competitive GT classes the American Le Mans Series has seen.
Wolf Henzler started the endurance event in 12th and in the first lap, the Falken Tire Porsche had gained six positions. Henzler and co-drivers Bryan Sellers and Nick Tandy each completed single stints for the first driver rotation, fighting their way up the GT class and holding on to their positions. Team Falken Tire was able to make consistent lap times, race clean and stay in the top five for a majority of the 12-hour race. Finishing in third place in the final American Le Mans Series 12 Hours of Sebring puts the team in third place in the championship heading into Round Two.