People, Places & Racing News

Racing News: Comella Drives '68 Cuda to Victory at 20th Anniversary Dodge Hemi Challenge

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Comella
Steve Comella drove his ’68 Plymouth Barracuda from a
runner-up finish in last year’s event to earn his first
victory at the longest running, continuous, specialty race
in NHRA history.

Comella Drives ’68 Cuda to Victory at 20th Anniversary Dodge Hemi Challenge

The 20th anniversary edition of the Dodge Hemi Challenge saw a new winner crowned at Lucas Oil Raceway as Steve Comella drove his ’68 Plymouth Barracuda from a runner-up finish in last year’s event to earn his first victory at the longest running, continuous, specialty race in NHRA history.

Comella earned the victory from the No. 1 qualifier position with a dominant performance through eliminations to advance to the final, where he defeated Jim Daniels Jr., four-time (2016–2019) Dodge Hemi Challenge winner. He drove his Super Stock ’68 Cuda to an elapsed timed run of 8.364 seconds at 161.17 mph to beat his opponent’s 8.423-second/158.02-mph pass under the lights at Lucas Oil Raceway in a late-night showdown during the 67th annual Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals last Friday.

NHRA
Fans will be treated to two NHRA Allstar Shootout
events in 2022, at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA
Gatornationals, March 10–13, and the Dodge//SRT
NHRA U.S. Nationals, August 31–September 5. Photo
courtesy: NHRA

NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Car Allstar Shootouts to Debut in 2022

For the first time in four seasons, the NHRA will host a specialty race among the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series nitro categories. Fans will be treated to two NHRA Allstar Shootout events in 2022, at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 10–13, and the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals, August 31–September 5. The NHRA Allstar Shootout events will feature competition among the top eight NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers in the world. The shootout will utilize a call-out format with the No. 1 seed getting their first choice of opponent.

The first shootout of the season will be the Top Fuel NHRA Allstar Shootout at the 53rd annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, in Gainesville, Saturday, March 12. The eight-car field will be set based on a combination of season end and qualifying points at the 2022 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Arizona Nationals. The Funny Car class will have their Funny Car NHRA Allstar Shootout at the 68th Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Sunday, September 4. Drivers will gain points toward the shootout from the 2021 Dodge//SRT NHRA US Nationals until the event before the 2022 Indianapolis event. For more information, visit nhra.com.

Kincaid
Keegan Kincaid took the victory and claimed the season
championship at the Crandon World Cup.

Keegan Kincaid Wins Crandon World Cup and Pro 2 Title

Despite entering Saturday’s Championship Off-Road finale more than 20 points out of the lead, Keegan Kincaid took the victory and claimed the season championship by the slimmest of margins. To back it up, he claimed his second career Crandon World Cup win by putting on a clinic in his Pro 2 truck, earning the biggest single-race payday of the season.

For Kincaid to reclaim the points lead in Saturday’s final points race of the season, a lot of things would have to go right. But the Crandon native focused on putting the #4 Lucas Oil/Cooper Tire/Vision Wheel truck where it needed to be, launching to the lead with a terrific holeshot, nabbing bonus points for leading at the halfway caution, and taking his fifth checkered flag of the season. The final tally saw Kincaid score 459 points—good enough to claim the championship by one point.

Sunday’s World Championship races saw Kincaid on the podium once again, as he kicked off the day with a third place finish in the morning’s Pro 2-only race. With a tough decision to make between sticking with the Pro 2 and switching to Pro 4 for the World Cup race at the end of the day, Kincaid chose track position with the Pro 2 rather than trying to chase the field down on a track that had shown plenty of wear throughout the day.

Kincaid now boasts three victories on World Championship Sunday at Crandon. Prior to this year’s World Cup, he won the 2015 Pro 2 World Championship race and 2016 World Cup, also in a Pro 2. His focus now turns to 2022, where he’ll return to the Pro 4 division full-time for the first time in multiple seasons.

SRO
The SRO America Series has finalized its 2022 schedule,
which visits some of the most iconic road courses in North
America.

SRO America Series Set to Visit Eight Venues in 2022

The SRO America Series has finalized its 2022 schedule, which visits some of the most iconic road courses in North America. In 2022, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS will contest its fourth full season as part of SRO Motorsports Group. Sonoma Raceway retains its position as season opener, with the opening event set to run on April 15–17. The second round of the campaign is planned for May 20–22, with the location to be confirmed at a later date. Next up, Virginia International Raceway will stage its annual contest on June 10–12. Watkins Glen will host its race weekend on July 22–24, moving earlier in the season from its traditional Fall date. The only divergence between the series comes on August 5–7, when GT America powered by AWS breaks rank to join IndyCar on the streets of Nashville, forming part of the Music City Grand Prix.

All four categories will reunite at Road America on August 19–21, while Sebring International Raceway will host the series in Florida, September 23–25. The season will conclude when Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays host on October 7–9, as a part of the Indianapolis 8 Hour. For more information, visit sro-america.com.

K1
K1 Speed has broken ground on the nation’s first professional
outdoor electric kart racing course in Winchester, California.

K1 Circuit Breaks Ground on First Outdoor Electric Kart Track

Indoor kart racing operator K1 Speed has broken ground on the nation’s first professional outdoor electric kart racing course. K1 Circuit will be based in Winchester, California, approximately 80 miles from downtown Los Angeles and San Diego, 70 miles from Orange County and 30 miles from Riverside. Set to open in 2022, the track will host its own pro-level electric kart racing series, said to be the first of its kind. The competition karts will be developed by Italian manufacturer OTL Electro Kart and will utilize lithium batteries.

In addition, K1 Circuit will also welcome classes of gas-powered karts from major professional kart series such as SuperKarts USA (SKUSA), United States Pro Kart Series (USPKS), ROK Cup USA, Rotax Kart and more. Recreational kart enthusiasts will also be able to rent a ride as part of a new Arrive & Drive program, with details set to be announced at a later date. The 1.1-mile configurable circuit is designed by pro racer Rocky Moran Jr. The course will feature a straightaway approximately 900 feet in length, a universal track width of 28 feet, CIK/FIA curbing and up to 6% of elevation change. For more information, visit k1speed.com.

For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.