James McFadden (83) passes underneath Buddy Kofoid at Lincoln Speedway.
It’s time for our weekly Friday morning tour around the racing world. From hot laps to the main event, here’s what’s on our mind this week.
Hot Laps: Nothing But Respect
The fact Dale Earnhardt Jr. showed up for a press conference to announce one of his drivers has joined another team tells a lot about the person Josh Berry is — and Earnhardt as well.
Qualifying: Toyota Man
Anyone who didn’t expect Buddy Kofoid to end up in a 410 sprint car ride that was supported by Toyota Racing Development hasn’t been paying attention for the past four years. Roth Motorsports is already a winner this season with Kofoid’s new teammate James McFadden and Aaron Reutzel.
Expect more victories to come with Kofoid aboard the No. 83jr machine.
First Heat: The Meat Market
Love the names of some of the races that show up in the weekly SPEEDSPORT.tv program guide.
One that got us laughing this week was Tony’s Meat Market Night at Big Diamond Speedway in Pennsylvania. Imagine, “And they roll into turn three on the final lap, at stake for the winner is one pound of ribeye steaks, with a bologna sandwich earmarked for second-place. Oh, and that’s bone-in ribeyes by the way.”
Second Heat: Mile Man
Sometimes in our sport we hear racers lose their nerve at a certain age.
Thirty-seven-year-old American Flat Track racer Jared Mees certainly hasn’t lost his. Mees has won three straight events on one-mile race tracks. The most recent conquest came last weekend at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois, where Mees collected his 26th victory on a one-mile track.
Third Heat: Turning Right
CARS Tour champion Carson Kvapil will make his Trans-Am Series debut this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Kvapil will drive the No. 8 Camaro for Scott Lagasse Jr.’s Team SLR as a teammate to Thad Moffitt and Dylan Machavern in TA1 class competition.
Fourth Heat: Electric Avenue
It’s electric. The FIA Formula E world championship is making its only stateside appearance of the season this weekend at Portland (Ore.) Int’l Raceway. It’s the ninth trip to the United States for the series that has called Brooklyn home in recent years, but previously ran in Miami and Long Beach.
Dash: Stay Out Of The Limelight
Sometimes in motorsports as in stick-and-ball sports, officials have the tendency to insert themselves into the middle of good, old-fashioned racing and change the narrative about a given event.
Folks, it’s always best to have things decided on the race track and not in the tower or the tech trailer.
B Main: Climb That Mountain
Racers from around the world have assembled in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the 101st running of the Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb which will take place Sunday afternoon on the vaunted 12.42-mile road to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak. Competition will take place in six classes with practice and qualifying having taken place throughout the week.
The Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb is the second-oldest race in America behind only the Indianapolis 500.
Feature: More Than A Speedweek
The 33rd annual PA Sprint Speedweek features 10 nights of racing over an 11-day period beginning Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway and concluding July 3 at Port Royal Speedway. Williams Grove, Port Royal and Lincoln Speedway all host two stops on the tour. The June 30 round at Williams Grove offers the best pay day, with $20,000 to the winner.
Steve Smith won the first Speedweek title in 1991. Fred Rahmer claimed the Speedweek crown a record 13 times and Brent Marks is the defending Speedweek champion.