• The No.9 Audi headed the times in the 45-minute morning warm up for the Le Mans 24 Hours later today. The session was held in dry and sunny conditions and the forecast for the majority of the race is for much the same.

    Filipe Albuquerque, on his 30th birthday, set the time of 3m19.423s to sound a warning to Porsche that they can produce a mighty race pace from the defending Le Mans champions.

    Audi finished 1-2-3 with the No.8 Audi driven by Oliver Jarvis and the No.7 with Marcel Fassler setting the second and third fastest time.

    Timo Bernhard’s No.17 Porsche had headed the times before Albuquerque set his lap, and the Porsche 919 Hybrid was eventually bumped down to fifth place just behind the No.18 which had Romain Dumas in the cockpit for the majority of the session.

    Nico Hulkenberg was on schedule to possibly top the Audi time in the final minutes but elected to pit, perhaps keeping Porsches true pace hidden for tactical purposes.

    The race is thus set up to be a fascinating battle between the two German manufacturers.

    Toyota Gazoo Racing bettered its qualifying pace in the session with Sebastien Buemi maxing out on a 3m23.361s in the No.1 Toyota TS 040 HYBRID.

    Close battle in LMP2, LMGTE Pro, LMGTE Am class

    Mitch Evans claimed the top time for JOTA Sport in LMP2 with a 3m39.559. It was a Gibson 1-2 as Jon Lancaster stopped the clocks at 3m39.960 in the Greaves Motorsport example.

    Remarkably, Matt Howson equalled Lancaster’s time to the thousandth of a second in the pole sitting KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan.

    Stefan Mucke was fastest in the LMGTE Pro class in the No.97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The German set a 3m57.311s lap in the final moments of the session to deny the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari.

    LMGTE Am finally saw something other than an Aston atop the timing screens. The No.88 Proton Porsche driven by Klaus Bachler was quickest on a 3m59.456s.

    This car was earlier penalised for a track limit violation and received a stop/go penalty.

    Incidents ahead of the race

    Incredibly for a warm-up session there was plenty of incidents. The most serious of which befell the Larbre Competition Corvette which crashed heavily at the Porsche Curves, ironically at the very same spot as Jan Magnussen’s Le Mans ending shunt on Thursday.

    Gianluca Roda smote the wall, damaging the front right of the car, ensuring the team will have a race against time to ready the car for the 15.00 CET start time.

    Other less serious excursions included Jeff Segal spinning the Scuderia Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, a trip down the escape road for Alex Wurz in the No.2 Toyota TS 040 HYBRID and the Ibanez ORECA-Nissan stopping on the track with a mechanical problem.

  • It was a season of success for Dubbo’s Mark Blyton as he scored victory in the 2014/15 Aussie Forklift Repairs and Fruitwheels Refrigerated Transport NSW Wingless Sprints Club Championship.

    In a season that was full of consistency, which included two wins, The Dubbo Flyer was rarely out of the top five in the results.

    Sadly the grand final of the championship succumbed to rain and that was enough for Blyton to win the pointscore by 30 points over Nathan Dicker who, like Blyton, also had a very consistent season.

    Both Nathan Dicker and Mark Blyton were locked into a battle that lasted the majority of the season which, if weather permitted, would have been a fascinating conclusion to the season.

    Finishing in third, just 44 points off the lead was Brian Briton. Briton won the opening event of the season back in October and remained in the hunt right through to the end.

    Throughout the championship, fans were witness to some of the best racing in the history of the NSW Wingless Sprints. Many of the main events provided close wheel to wheel racing with the results sometimes not certain until the final corner.

    It certainly has been a breakout year for the NSW Wingless Sprints.

    Season 2014/15 winners:
    October 11: Brian Briton
    October 18: Dean Thomas
    November 8: Daniel Sayre
    November 29: Damian Abbott (NSW Title)
    January 3: Jason Bates
    January 31: Mark Blyton
    February 7: Blake Darcy
    March 7: Mark Blyton
    March 21: Blake Darcy

    Final Points Club Championship: (Top 10)
    Mark Blyton – 2844
    Nathan Dicker – 2814
    Brian Briton – 2800
    Jason Bates – 2787
    Mikaela Blyton – 2745
    Sean Dicker – 2715
    Marshall Blyton – 2679
    Nikki Briton – 2649
    Ashleigh Jack – 2587
    Clint McCorquodale – 2559

  • ** UPDATED **

    Kevin Swindell, who crashed violently Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway, underwent surgery Friday morning to repair injuries he suffered when his No. 71 flipped into the turn four catchfence.

    While the full extent of his injuries were unknown, Swindell tweeted from the hospital early Friday morning, thanking fans for their support and acknowledging he would have a recovery process ahead of him: “Thanks everyone for the love. Long road ahead. Enjoy every minute you got.”

    MORE: Steve King Foundation accepting donations to help Swindell

    After Swindell was removed from his car and transported by ambulance to the Knoxville airport where he was flown to Des Moines Mercy Hospital for treatment, his father Sammy remained at the track and completed the balance of the program aboard his CJB Motorsports No. 1.

    Sammy and Amy Swindell issued a statement late Thursday night.

    “Our son, Kevin, was racing tonight at Knoxville Raceway when he was involved in an accident at the start of his heat race,” the statement read. “Kevin was airlifted to Des Moines Mercy Hospital following the accident where he is currently undergoing tests and treatment.

    “We want to thank the Knoxville Raceway safety team for their quick response and care. We appreciate the support of the racing community and thank you for your continued prayers. We ask that you please respect our privacy while we focus on his recovery.”

    We will report more details on Kevin Swindell’s condition and recovery as they are available.

    Watch the accident here..... Kevin Swindell's Wreck



    On Friday, Swindell had surgery for his injuries. He is scheduled to have another surgery Monday morning.

    "Our son Kevin has emerged from surgery, and we can confirm he has suffered a significant injury," Sprint Car legend and father Sammy Swindell said via Twitter. "He has another surgery scheduled Monday AM.

    "We pray for his continued recovery. Thank you to the amazing staff at Des Moines Mercy. We will have an update Monday PM."

    The younger Swindell was injured at the start of his heat race. The front of the field got bottled up at the start, and Ed Lynch Jr. hit the inside berm and shot across the speedway. He made contact with Swindell, sending him into a series of flips.

    Track and safety personnel cut Swindell's seat and extracted him from the car. He was later airlifted to Des Moines Mercy Hospital.

  • A new era of drag racing has begun with the unveiling of the new 400 Thunder Australian Professional Drag Racing Series in Sydney.
    Following the recent announcement of a new professional series, the exciting new 400 Thunder branding was revealed, along with it a revolutionary FOX Sports TV package, and a prize pool of almost $750,000.
    400 Thunder spokesperson Tony Wedlock said it is a milestone day for Australian drag racing, and the new branding reflects the sensory experience of the sport. 
    “We’re thrilled to unveil the 400 Thunder brand. This marks the start of a new age in Australian drag racing, and just like our competitors on the start line, we are only looking forward from here,” Wedlock said.
    “400 Thunder is the ideal branding as it not only tells the distance we race over, but describes the noise and sensation our fantastic sport creates.
    “The sound and feeling of a Top Fuel dragster, and all the internationally-recognised headline categories, really is like a crack of thunder and I know competitors and fans will throw their support behind the brand.”
    The entire 400 Thunder Australian Professional Drag Racing Series will be shown in prime time slots on FOX Sports.

    400 Thunder coverage will feature in a weekly prime-time slot, with 30-minute highlight packages for each bracket per round – accounting for a staggering 37-episode schedule.
    Long-standing sports production house Castle Media will produce the 400 Thunder show, with six-time Best Sporting Broadcast Logie winner Murray Lomax as Executive Producer.
    Castle Media has produced some of the biggest sporting events in Australia and internationally, including: Nutrigrain Ironman Series, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Melbourne Cup Carnival, Australian PGA Tour, 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Australian Open Tennis.
    Lomax’s background includes serving as the executive producer for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and 15 years as V8 Supercars’ executive producer.
    Series spokesman Tony Wedlock said the appointment of Castle Media and the FOX Sports agreement is a coup for the series.
    “Drag racing is the most exciting form of motorsport there is, and Foxtel and Castle Media will showcase our great series they way it deserves to be shown,” Wedlock said.
    “Castle Media brings years of global sports coverage, and executive producer Murray Lomax knows how to portray the excitement of the categories on the small screen.”
    FOX Sports Acquisitions and integration manager, Adam Howarth, said 400 Thunder is a great addition to the networks’ line up, will benefit the sport and be beneficial to both parties.
    “Fox Sports is very excited about assisting with the re-launch of Australian Drag Racing. We are always on the look out for exciting sports content and drag racing certainly fits that bill,” Howarth said.
    “The huge interest in drag racing could lead to more subscribers for Foxtel, and that's valuable to us. We look forward to bringing the coverage to life.”
    Competitors will vie for almost $750,000 in prize money over the 10-event calendar, which sees them travel to three states and race at world class venues.
    Wedlock said the future is bright for the professional ranks under the new 400 Thunder brand.
    “We have a huge season in store the 400 Thunder series, and I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to kick it off with the East Coast Nationals at Sydney Dragway next month,” he said.

  • Starting lineup for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with rank, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:
    1. (9) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 02:38.7579 (226.760)
    2. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 02:39.0458 (226.350)
    3. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 02:39.1900 (226.145)
    4. (10) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 02:39.6428 (225.503)
    5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 02:39.6439 (225.502)
    6. (25) Justin Wilson, Honda, 02:39.8022 (225.279)
    7. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 02:39.8626 (225.193)
    8. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 02:39.8659 (225.189)
    9. (21) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 02:39.8670 (225.187)
    10. (6) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 02:39.9297 (225.099)
    11. (26) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 02:39.9703 (225.042)
    12. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 02:40.0830 (224.883)
    13. (32) Oriol Servia, Honda, 02:40.1585 (224.777)
    14. (83) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 02:40.1828 (224.743)
    15. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 02:40.2446 (224.657)
    16. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 02:40.3041 (224.573)
    17. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 02:40.5064 (224.290)
    18. (18) Carlos Huertas, Honda, 02:40.5473 (224.233)
    19. (29) Simona de Silvestro, Honda, 02:40.8304 (223.838)
    20. (7) James Jakes, Honda, 02:40.8651 (223.790)
    21. (48) Alex Tagliani, Honda, 02:40.9140 (223.722)
    22. (8) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 02:41.0051 (223.595)
    23. (43) Conor Daly, Honda, 02:41.0865 (223.482)
    24. (24) Townsend Bell, Chevrolet, 02:41.1119 (223.447)
    25. (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 02:41.2718 (223.226)
    26. (63) Pippa Mann, Honda, 02:41.3600 (223.104)
    27. (98) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 02:41.4958 (222.916)
    28. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, 02:41.5086 (222.898)
    29. (41) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 02:40.9022 (223.738)
    30. (4) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 02:42.1617 (222.001)
    31. (88) Bryan Clauson, Chevrolet, 02:42.6328 (221.358)
    32. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 02:41.0602 (223.519) *
    33. (19) James Davison, Honda, 02:40.8960 (223.747) **

    * - Substitute driver for James Hinchcliffe, who qualified car on May 17; ** - Replacement driver for Carlos Huertas, who qualified car on May 17; *** - Replacement driver for Tristan Vautier, who qualified car on May 17. Note: Car order for Cars 5, 18 and 19 set by Verizon IndyCar Series entrant points entering event per Rules and of the Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook

  • Karting Australia advises that use of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles poses safety and privacy risks at karting events.

    The use of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at Karting Australia events is prohibited unless specifically permitted in writing by the governing body.

    Karting Australia’s insurance does not cover any loss or damage resulting from their use.


  • DEAN Amos, driving a Gould GR37 Judd V8, captured his second straight outright trophy at the 20th Historic Leyburn Sprints today.

    Amos, from Lismore, NSW, put his English-built hillclimb special around the 1.0 kilometre Leyburn street course in 42.954 seconds, taking more than a second off his 2014 record and beating arch-rival and 2012-13 winner Warwick Hutchinson, in a rotary-engined Van Dieman.

    The pair had been at the front of the time trials throughout the weekend, with Hutchinson fastest on four runs and leading after the fifth and penultimate run.

    But while the Brisbane driver failed to improve on his final sprint, Amos laid all on the line for the fastest time to win by less than 0.8 sec.

    “I actually hardly remember that run – I just pulled my finger out and went for it. My hands were shaking on the wheel as I crossed the line,” Amos said.

    Michael Van Rappard and Dean Tighe were third and fourth in Dallara open-wheelers ahead of Peter Corbett and Paul Stokell in Radical sports cars.

    David Cross won his fourth straight trophy as the fastest Historic entry in his Bowin Hay V8.

    The duel between Amos and Hutchinson was an exciting climax to one of the biggest Sprints weekends on record.

    A huge crowd – estimated on Saturday alone to be twice the twice the size of the entire 2014 event – drove to the little Darling Downs township to see more than 220 historic, classic and performance cars contest the time trials, 140 cars in a Shannons Shine n’ Shine, 25 vintage caravans, nine legends of motorsport honoured at a sold-out dinner and appearances by three famous racing cars of yesteryear, Sir Jack Brabham’s 1987 BT23C-1 Formula 2, the Mildren-Waggott ‘Yellow Submarine’ and 1965 Bathurst winner Bo Seton’s Ford Capri.

    Graeme Collins, of Warwick, won top prize in the Show n’ Shine for his restored 1950 Morris J delivery van, while Steve Wearne and Narelle King of the Gold Coast won the Best Vintage Caravan and Display for their 1968 Evernew Hillandale van.

    "The variety of cars we had this weekend, from a 1925 Austin to a Indianapolis roadster to a Group B Audi quattro, a Goggoobile, one of Sir Jack Brabham’s cars and just about anything else you could imagine, was mind-blowing,” Sprints organising committee President Ann Collins said.

    “The weather was perfect and the crowd was enormous. I think they were drawn by our 20th anniversary, the entry list and the chance to meet our Legends John French, Bob Holden, Bruce Allison, Bo Seton, Jim Bertram, David Harding, Brian Michelmore, Paul Stokell and John English.

    “With more than 1800 runs across the weekend, the fans certainly got their money’s worth. It was certainly one of our most memorable Sprints.”

    The weekend marked 20 years since the local community got together to host a commemoration for the 1949 Australian Grand Prix, which was run on a nearby ex-wartime airfield. A little-known Jack Brabham won the Queensland Road Racing Championship there in 1953 and the 20th Historic Sprints were dedicated to the memory and heritage of the three-time World Champion, who died last year.

    Proceeds from the Historic Sprints weekend are used to benefit local community groups and projects.

    The Sprints are supported through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Regional Development Program as part of a growing calendar of events across the State, plus the Southern Downs Regional Council.

    Fastest times outright:
    1.    DeanAmos (Gould GR37 Judd) 42.954 sec.
    2.    2. Warwick Hutchinson (Van Dieman RF92) 43.732
    3.    Michael Van Rappard (Dallara F392) 45.687
    4.    Dean Tighe (Dallara D395) 45.735
    5.    Peter Corbett (Radical SR3) 46.654

  • Australia’s three major drag racing venues (Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex) have united to announce they will promote a new National Championship Series headlined by the professional Group 1 categories and designed to revitalise the sport in this country.
    As a result, the group has notified the governing body that the venues will not be taking part in its proposed 2015/16 ANDRA Championship Drag Racing Series.
    Sportsman brackets will support the new series, with all events continuing to be run under ANDRA sanctioning.
    Willowbank Raceway president and group spokesman, Tony Wedlock said the decision had not been taken lightly and came after many months of discussions with the ANDRA board.
    Those talks centred around the role of ANDRA, issues with its performance and the conduct of certain office holders, and the board’s attitude towards the venues, which bear the full financial risk of promoting events.
    The health of the premier professional categories and the issue of the future direction of the sport were also major areas of discussion and contributed to today’s announcement.
    “Drag racing is the world’s fastest, most exciting and fan friendly motorsport, and our venues – Willowbank Raceway, Sydney Dragway and the Perth Motorplex – are committed to its future,” Wedlock said.
    “We intend to initially provide a better schedule of events through a revitalised National Championship, improve the health of the professional categories, and return confidence to the sport.
    “Our announcement is in the best interests of Australian drag racing and will take the sport back to the top where it belongs.”
    Wedlock said misinformation about recent meetings between the tracks and the ANDRA board had been circulated, and he stressed the tracks would continue to work with ANDRA.
    “It is important to understand that all venues want to continue to work with ANDRA as the sport’s regulatory body in Australia,” Wedlock said.
    “The tracks and racers have nearly half a century of investment in ANDRA however it has become obvious that changes are required for the sport to move forward.”
    Full details of the new series, including event dates, will be released over coming weeks.

  • The DON Smallgoods Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix returns to Australia this Saturday after an absence of 13 years. The Australian SGP will feature the world’s best speedway riders who over the course of a season compete in a series of stand-alone SGP events, which determines the FIM Speedway World Champion.

    The Motorsport Channels Own Brett Swanson

    As the Australian event is the last leg of the series, the 2015 World Champion will be crowned at the conclusion of Saturday night’s event. On race night each of the 15 riders and 1 wildcard will race against each other once, during a program of 23 heats. The top eight scorers then advance to a semi-final after heat 20 and from each semi-final, 1st and 2nd placed riders will advance to the SGP final.

    It’s the first occasion Etihad Stadium has hosted a motor sport event. More than 5000 tonnes of dirt have been sourced to build the track. Planning and negotiations in order to bring the Grand Prix to Melbourne commenced almost three years ago. While preparations for the build of the track started over a year ago, the construction has taken place quickly, commencing last Sunday at 7am.

    The Motorsport Channelwill have regular updates all weekend of this event.

    Image: Inaction Photography,  The Motorsport Channels Brett Swanson interviewing Jason Crump for Channel 7.


  • The honour of turning the first laps on the virgin track at Etihad Stadium for the 2015 Don Smallgoods Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix fell to our own triple world champion and Australian Speedway GP ambassador Jason Crump today.

    With track time for competing riders strictly controlled, ‘Crumpy’ was given the privilege this morning (Thursday) for two sessions of 4 laps each. He then gave the big thumbs up to the venue which at 346 metres is longer than the standard 270 – 275 metre tracks the riders are used to competing on. The track is also wider than most which Crump reckons will allow for some really great racing on Saturday night.

    Earlier on, the first official media conference was held with current World Champion Greg Hancock, and former World Champions Nikki Pedersen and Aussie Chris Holder, along with Aussie GP riders Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor and local wild card Sam Masters.

    Having yet to ride on the track which won’t occur until Friday afternoon all riders stated that the venue and track looked impressive and were looking forward to racing on it.

    Hancock also expressed the view as the last winner of the Australian FIM SGP round held in Sydney in 2002, that he lived in hope of getting the chance to ride in a SGP event before a home crowd (USA) but doesn’t expect that will happen in his racing lifetime and for that reason is jealous of the quartet of Aussies who will now get that opportunity.

    Later when young Masters was explaining that he and his girlfriend didn’t bring any clothes with them on the international flight so that Sam could bring a spare engine, Hancock quipped “Talk about jealousy. How many young Aussie riders are jealous of this guy (Masters) right now (for getting the wild card entry)?”

    Etihad stadium CEO Paul Sargent confirmed ticket sales are above expectation but there are still plenty more available and that they are reasonably priced at just $24.50 for kids and $49 for adults.

    While Australian tutored and trained Tai Woffinden has sealed this years’ world championship there is still a lot to ride for as arch rivals Hancock and Pedersen battle it out for the Silver Medal and Holder fights for the coveted 8th place championship result that would secure him an automatic place in next years’ championship field.

    The buzz around this event is really starting to build and come Saturday night they may have to open the stadium roof to save it being blown off by the crowd.

    Image: Inaction Photography,  The Motorsport Channels Brett Swanson interviewing Jason Crump for Channel 7 News

  • Live audio streaming has commenced for the final night of competition for the Australian Super Sedan Title from Rockhampton Showgrounds.

    Tonight's the action starts with a few more heats then the mains and the crowning of the new Australian Champion for 2016.

    Listen live via Speedway Sedans Australia site.

    You'll also find all the heat race results plus live timing.

    Timings are as follows:

    Sunday, 27 March 2016 - Channel 1
    Australian Super Sedan Title Heats & Finals
    4.00pm WST, 5.30pm CST, 6.00pm EST, 6.30pm CDST, 7.00pm EDST

    Speedway Sedans Australia is Powered by Streaming Australia

  • Defending Bathurst champion Chaz Mostert has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after a terrifying accident in qualifying at the Bathurst 1000.

    Mostert was on his first lap in the 40-minute session when he glanced the wall at 16, crashed into 17 and rode the wall leading into 18, the Dipper.

    Mostert was assisted from his car by paramedics and taken to the medical centre by ambulance.

    The balance of today scheduled events were cancelled and no further action on track today.

    Event Chief Medical Officer Kaaren Vinns has given more insight into today's unfortunate qualfying incident at the Bathurst 1000. 
    "Chaz Mostert has has been taken to hospital in Orange for assessment, he has a leg and arm injury and is in a stable condition," Vinns said.
    The five marshals who were invovled in the incident did not suffer from any critical injuries, with four receiving minor injuries and one treated for injuries from flying debris.
    However all are receiving the best treatment from medical crews.
    "The five marshals who were stationed at the flag point received minor injuries, with one being sent to Bathurst Hospital for further treatment and is in a stable condition." 
    CAMS will provide further updates on the condition of marshalls if any further news comes to hand.
    We ask that all members do not use unofficial social media representatives of V8 Supercars or CAMS as a source for information on this situation.
    CAMS thanks all officials, medical staff, emergency services and other volunteers for their professional response to this unfortunate incident.

    Chas was talking all through the ordeal and even cracked jokes.  “Thank God we signed that contract a couple of months ago!”

    Those were Chaz Mostert’s first words to Prodrive Racing Australia team boss Tim Edwards as he lay in the Mount Panorama medical centre this afternoon with a fractured left femur and wrist.

    While Mostert was able to joke about the violent accident that ruled him out of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, wrecked his $500,000 Pepsi-Max Ford Falcon FG X and ended his championship chances, Edwards stressed his young charger was also incredibly upset for his team about the accident. 

    “He is in good spirits, but I think there is a bit of green stick (pain killing drugs) in that,” said Edwards. 

    “He is thinking of the team and very apologetic to the boys who put in all the hard work to get him out on the track.”

    “But it was good he was able to joke and I am happy to let everyone know about it.”

     Mostert was referring to the rich deal he signed earlier this year to extend his contract with PRA until the end of the decade. 

     Mostert earned that new deal on the back of his massive performances this year, which have included 10 pole positions and five race wins.

     He has now been airlifted to Orange hospital for further treatment.


    Result: V8 Supercars Practice 5, Mount Panorama  

    1 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 2:04.9097R  
    2 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 2:05.2436r 00.3339
    3 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 2:05.5376 00.6279
    4 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 2:05.6485 00.7388
    5 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 2:05.6516 00.7419
    6 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 2:05.7831 00.8734
    7 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 2:05.9401 01.0304
    8 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 2:05.9443 01.0346
    9 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 2:05.9593 01.0496
    10 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 2:06.0887 01.1790
    11 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 2:06.1270 01.2173
    12 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 2:06.3173 01.4076
    13 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 2:06.3528 01.4431
    14 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 2:06.3539 01.4442
    15 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 2:06.3914 01.4817
    16 Holden Racing Team Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VF 2:06.4925 01.5828
    17 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 2:06.6136 01.7039
    18 Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 2:06.6311 01.7214
    19 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 2:06.7570 01.8473
    20 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 2:06.7778 01.8681
    21 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 2:06.8757 01.9660
    22 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 2:07.1626 02.2529
    23 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 2:07.1825 02.2728


  • John's release on his social media site.

    "I confirmed today I'll park Mustang Sally for this weekend's Touring Car Masters round at Winton Raceway.

    I've accepted Gary O'Brien's invitation to drive his new Torana SLR 5000. For me, it's a great challenge as I love to play a role in developing cars.

    It's what I've done throughout my career. It's not the first time I've raced a Holden either.

    I've driven a couple. Who remembers the 1980 'Race of Champions'? I drove a Commodore in that race and I actually won.

    Mustang Sally is still race prepped and ready to go... I've spoken to Steve Johnson about having another steer in Sally. We'd need to raise a budget though.

    I don't think I could have anyone else drive her so I'm hoping he can join us during the year.

    Gary and his Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars team have done a remarkable job building the SLR 5000.

    If you're at Winton, make sure you swing past the TCM garages and take a look for yourself. "

    Cheers JB

  • Garry Brazier has taken out last nights A Main winning Round Three of the USC at Valvoline Raceway.  He lead home Sam Walsh in second, Matt Smith third.

    Toby Bellbowen in fourth, Max Dumesny fifth, Grant Anderson sixth, Danny Reidy seventh, Warren Ferguson eighth, Darryl Campbell ninth and Luke Oldfield rounding out the top ten.

    Trailing the top ten home were James Thompson, Ben Atkinson, Jackson Delamont, Alex Orr, Kelly Linigen, Adrian Maher, Mick Saller, Matt Dumesny, Sean Dyson, Grant Tunks, Chad Ely, Kyle Caunt and Steve Caunt with Matt Craft being the only DNF.

    Marty Perovich had a night to remember.  His motor expired in hotlaps and no spare in the country. Two new bullets are about to be shipped from the States.

    Image: Jigsaw Photography

  • Disgraced AUSTRALIAN drag racing legend Brett Stevens has been sentenced to 13 years’ jail for producing and trafficking ecstasy.

    The 50-year-old was earlier this year found guilty on both charges following a six-week trial in which jurors heard the racing veteran masterminded an operation worth up to $1.2 million that produced about 100,000 pills a week.

    Stevens, who has three national drag racing titles to his name, was today sentenced to 13 years in prison in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.


    Full story can be found here

  • Aussie Ryan Briscoe didn't think twice about accepting the short-notice request from Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Sam Schmidt to drive in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

    Briscoe, 33, was named today to fill in for the injured James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hinchcliffe underwent surgery May 18 for a pelvic and upper left thigh injury suffered in a crash during practice earlier that day.

    Hinchcliffe is recovering and was transferred May 20 from the Intensive Care Unit at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Upon further evaluation, it was determined he will require no further procedures and is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries. Additional updates to Hinchcliffe's condition will be released when available.

    "First and foremost, I feel absolutely terrible for Hinch," said Briscoe, who completed 21 laps in a one-hour "familiarization session" granted by INDYCAR to become acclimated to the car and aero kits that debuted this year. "I wish him the best and a speedy recovery."

    Briscoe will join the rest of the 33-car field for the traditional one-hour practice May 22 on Coors Light Carb Day (11 a.m. ET, NBCSN) in his rush to play catch-up.

    "You (usually) sort of prepare for this race a year out," he said. "You visualize how you're going to go through practice, all the prep you're going to do, and something like this comes up and you throw that all out the window. I feel with my experience and the experience the team has, the experience that Hinch has had with (race engineer) Allen McDonald putting this car in really good condition for the race, I feel really confident that even with a few laps I'll be able to find my groove again."

    Briscoe will make his 10th Indianapolis 500 start and 130th overall in Indy car racing from the 32nd starting position (middle of Row 11). James Davison, who returned to the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda after Tristan Vautier qualified the car for him May 17, will start 33rd as determined by entrant points when a driver switch is made, per INDYCAR.

    Briscoe was the 2012 pole sitter for the 500 Mile Race and that year tied his best finish of fifth from 2007. Last year, he started 30th in the NTT Data entry for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and finished 18th.

    "We explored quite a few options and felt confident in Briscoe," team co-owner Schmidt said. "We were glad he was available and willing to drive for us with such short notice. Obviously, this was not a situation we were expecting to be in for the biggest race of the year, but we're making the best of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with James and his family right now."

  • For the second year in a row, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson will take the green in the FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Store on Saturday night, but this time it comes with a $4,000 check and his first career victory at the Knoxville Raceway in Friday’s National Speed Sport News Qualifying Night. Danny Dietrich, Brent Marks and Billy Alley also punched their tickets into Saturday night’s championship event by finishing second through fourth!

    “I told these guys after Wednesday night, I think we had the car to get it done and we honestly felt like if we were in the fourth or fifth row of the ‘B’ we would think about coming back,” commented Clauson when asked about the teams decision to compete in Friday’s last chance event.

    “I can’t say enough about my guys, they’ve been busting their butts all year. I’ve been trying to catch up and do my job, and it’s taken all summer but I can’t thank Shane Bowers enough. Him, Adam Clark, Cole Wood, just everyone on this racing team. It feels good to be locked into tomorrow night. We talked about getting a win here, and how special it would be and what better way to do it than here during the Knoxville Nationals. I don’t care what you call it, we just won at Knoxville!”

    Taking off third, Clauson moved to the runner-up spot on Lap 4 with the pass on Danny Dietrich. A small bobble on the part of the Matt Wood Racing No. 17 allowed the No. 29w to retake the spot, putting the pair in a multi lap battle with Clauson finally taking the position.

    Chasing Billy Alley for the race lead, the pair worked Lap 8 with traffic about to come into play. With a run off the cushion exiting the fourth turn, Clauson broke rank to the bottom, sliding to the cushion with the race lead in the second turn on the following circuit.

    With Dietrich in tow to second, the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania shoe closed on Clauson, with the run short lived. Building a comfortable advantage, a few close calls in traffic brought Dietrich and Alley within striking distance, but was quick enough to keep the pair at bay.

    As the leader split slower cars, the inadvertent caution waved for the No. 18 of Ian Madsen on Lap 22. The Australian spun while running fourth; doing a pair of donuts. Madsen was placed eighth in the restart order.

    Fanning out into the first turn on the restart, Clauson stuck top shelf to hold the lead, pulling to a 0.973 second advantage at the drop of the checkered flag.

    Danny Dietrich raced to the runner-up spot, earning 18th and his first feature start on Saturday night, “That was the goal coming into tonight. You know we wanted to win obviously, but Bryan was really fast and we were happy to run second. That caution came out, and I really wasn’t worried about contending and costing ourselves a spot in tomorrow night’s main event.”

    Racing for the lead early on, Brent Marks made a late race move around Alley to cross third for the 19th starting spot on Saturday night; his first start in the $150,000 to win event, “That was a really fun race, and I’m just so excited to be in the A-Main here at Knoxville. This is awesome. It’s a dream come true and I didn’t really care about that win tonight, I just wanted to get into the A-Main.”

    For the first time since 2008, a fourth place by Nebraska’s Billy Alley will see the Ironwood Builders No. 3 starting 20th on Saturday night.

    “That’s something a kid dreams about. I lay in bed and I think about moments like that; racing with these guys,” said an elated Billy Alley. “Joe Steinbach, he gave me an awesome opportunity and the truth is, we didn’t have a motor a week ago, and ours wasn’t going to be done so Greg Nichols and Jack Woods at Speedway Motors bought us a motor and said, go run it.”

    Mark Dobmeier from 13th came up to complete the top-five. Chad Kemenah from 12th was sixth with Ian Madsen settling for seventh. Lynton Jeffrey crossed eighth with Jamie Veal and Craig Dollansky making up the top-ten.

    Single lap, split qualifying for Friday’s program saw Brent Marks fastest in Group A at 15.586 seconds. One of the few drivers to utilize the low line in his qualifying run, Billy Alley topped Group B with a 15.987 second lap.

    Six Heats, split evenly by the group qualifying went to Lynton Jeffrey, Bryan Clauson, Christopher Bell, Jamie Veal, Jac Haudenschild, and Jacob Allen. Going 10 laps in the C-Feature, Bud Kaeding topped the event with twin, 12 lap B-Features, based on Group A and B qualifying went to Steve Kinser and Aaron Reutzel.

    Join us Saturday night, August 15 for the championship proceedings at the 55th FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores! For more information on Knoxville Raceway, visit!

    410 Results

    Time Trials Group A (Qualifying Order), 1 lap: 1. 19M, Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA (1), 15.586; 2. 17W, Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN (19), 15.870; 3. 18, Ian Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (31), 15.887; 4. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (28), 16.019; 5. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (10), 16.022; 6. 70, Dean Jacobs, Wooster, OH (4), 16.030; 7. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (8), 16.039; 8. 9P, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (17), 16.040; 9. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (14), 16.054; 10. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (6), 16.056; 11. 55W, Logan Wagner, Harrisonville, PA (2), 16.073; 12. O1, Christopher Bell, Norman, OK (7), 16.153; 13. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (26), 16.171; 14. 1S, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (9), 16.195; 15. 82, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (11), 16.197; 16. 7S, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (24), 16.214; 17. 9K, Kevin Thomas Jr., Cullman, AL (12), 16.273; 18. 17B, Bill Balog, Brookfield, WI (18), 16.357; 19. 22, Tony Shilling, Knoxville, IA (3), 16.366; 20. 1X, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (30), 16.377; 21. 17, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (22), 16.385; 22. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (37), 16.395; 23. 28, Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, MO (39), 16.433; 24. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aus (36), 16.473; 25. 11N, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (34), 16.526; 26. 81X, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (21), 16.544; 27. 2LX, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (35), 16.554; 28. 5V, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (32), 16.581; 29. 23M, Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (20), 16.689; 30. 20N, Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO (16), 16.737; 31. O, Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA (38), 16.741; 32. 23, Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA (27), 16.788; 33. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (33), 16.919; 34. 15M, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (23), 16.966; 35. 56B, Ryan Bernal, Hollister, CA (15), 16.968; 36. 69, Mike Moore, Des Moines, IA (40), 17.012; 37. 31B, Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA (5), 17.047; 38. 93, Glenndon Forsythe, York, PA (25), 17.246; 39. 1P, Curtis Evans, Norborne, MO (29), 17.374; 40. 17M, Todd Mickelson, Minot, ND (13), 19.344.

    Time Trials Group B (Qualifying Order), 1 lap: 1. 3A, Billy Alley, Bennet, NE (6), 15.987; 2. 83, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (20), 16.133; 3. 29W, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (27), 16.201; 4. 7D, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (38), 16.205; 5. 45, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (4), 16.223; 6. 31C, Justyn Cox, Clarksburg, CA (18), 16.229; 7. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (28), 16.24; 8. 10H, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (32), 16.243; 9. 2KS, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (29), 16.263; 10. 44W, Austen Wheatley, Lake Stevens, WA (37), 16.283; 11. 13X, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (39), 16.289; 12. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (36), 16.306; 13. 67H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (16), 16.325; 14. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (3), 16.370; 15. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (8), 16.378; 16. 4R, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (17), 16.398; 17. 88N, DJ Netto, Hanford, CA (1), 16.428; 18. 71X, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (10), 16.491; 19. 3, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (7), 16.514; 20. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (19), 16.517; 21. 47, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (5), 16.519; 22. 2L, Logan Forler, Boise, ID (26), 16.532; 23. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (15), 16.533; 24. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (14), 16.567; 25. 25, Dylan Peterson, Hartford, SD (30), 16.569; 26. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (11), 16.598; 27. 4, Dakota Hendrickson, Omaha, NE (34), 16.607; 28. 7R, Roger Crockett, Medford, OR (2), 16.619; 29. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (22), 16.626; 30. 17J, Joey Moughan, Springfield, IL (35), 16.671; 31. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust (25), 16.715; 32. 29C, Willie Croft, Roseville, CA (24), 16.719; 33. 7X, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (40), 16.751; 34. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (23), 16.856; 35. 55XM, Brandon Wimmer, Fairmount, IN (12), 16.889; 36. 4S, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (21), 17.012; 37. 35, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (9), 17.053; 38. 81, Austin Johnson, Pleasant Hill, IA (31), 17.384; 39. 96AU, Bruce White, Merrylands West, NSW, Aust. (33), 18.279; 40. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (13), NT.

    Group A Heat One (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 2. Mark Dobmeier (1); 3. Brent Marks (4) / 4. Jason Sides (6) 5. Steve Kinser (5); 6. Tony Shilling (7); 7. Randy Hannagan (9); 8. Matt Covington (8); 9. Bobby Mincer (12); 10. Bud Kaeding (11); 11. Colby Copeland (10); 12. AJ Moeller (2)

    Group A Heat Two (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Bryan Clauson (4); 2. Parker Price-Miller (2); 3. Kraig Kinser (3) / 4. Logan Wagner (1); 5. Logan Schuchart (5); 6. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6); 7. Jonathan Cornell (8); 8. Lee Jacobs (9); 9. Don Droud Jr. (7); 10. Jimmy Light (11); 11. Lance Moss (10); 12. Ryan Bernal (12)

    Group A Heat Three (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Christopher Bell (1); 2. Ian Madsen (4); 3. Dusty Zomer (5) / 4. Dean Jacobs (3); 5. Bill Balog (6); 6. Josh Baughman (7); 7. Brooke Tatnell (8); 8. Ed Lynch Jr. (9); 9. Mike Moore (12); 10. Hunter Schuerenberg (10); 11. Scott Bogucki (11); 12. Paige Polyak (2)

    Group B Heat One (started), 8 Laps, 2:12.6: 1. Jamie Veal (2); 2. Billy Alley (4); 3. Dustin Selvage (3) / 4. Tim Kaeding (7); 5. Logan Forler (8); 6. Austen Wheatley (1); 7. Jon Agan (6); 8. Dylan Peterson (9); 9. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (5); 10. Bob Weuve (10); 11. Glen Saville (11); DNS - Roger Crockett

    Group B Heat Two (started), 8 Laps, 2:10.6: 1. Jac Haudenschild (1); 2. Chad Kemenah (2); 3. Tim Shaffer (3) / 4. Aaron Reutzel (4); 5. DJ Netto (6); 6. Bronson Maeschen (8); 7. Davey Heskin (5); 8. Brady Bacon (7); 9. Willie Croft (11); 10. Jordyn Brazier (9); 11. Chris Martin (10); 12. Brandon Wimmer (12);

    Group B Heat Three (started), 8 Laps, 2:13.9: 1. Jacob Allen (1); 2. Craig Dollansky (2); 3. Danny Dietrich (4) / 4. Tyler Courtney (6); 5. Jeff Swindell (7); 6. Austin McCarl (5); 7. Dakota Hendrickson (9); 8. Justyn Cox (3); 9. Kaley Gharst (11); 10. Danny Smith (12); 11. RJ Johnson (8); 12. Joey Moughan (10)

    C main (started), 10 Laps, 2:58.6: 1. Bud Kaeding (1); 2. Jimmy Light (3); 3. Bob Weuve (8); 4. Willie Croft (4) / 5. Kaley Gharst (6); 6. Shane Golobic (11); 7. Mike Moore (9); 8. Bobby Mincer (7); 9. Austin Johnson (16); 10. Glen Saville (2); 11. Danny Smith (12); 12. Skylar Prochaska (14); 13. Glenndon Forsythe (13); 14. Curtis Evans (15); 15. Todd Mickelson (17); 16. Brandon Wimmer (10); 17. Bruce White (18); 18. Scott Bogucki (5) DNS – Ryan Bernal, Josh Schneiderman, AJ Moeller, Roger Crockett

    Group A - B main (started), 12 Laps, 3:32.0: 1. Steve Kinser (2); 2. Logan Wagner (3); 3. Dean Jacobs (1); 4. Bill Balog (6) / 5. Jason Sides (4); 6. Logan Schuchart (5); 7. Don Droud Jr. (8); 8. Brooke Tatnell (12); 9. Matt Covington (10); 10. Josh Baughman (11); 11. Bud Kaeding (21); 12. Tony Shilling (9); 13. Jonathan Cornell (13); 14. Randy Hannagan (15); 15. Shane Golobic (22); 16. Lee Jacobs (14); 17. Kevin Thomas Jr. (7); 18. Colby Copeland (16); 19. Ed Lynch Jr. (17); 20. Hunter Schuerenberg (18); 21. Bob Weuve (20); 22. Lance Moss (19) DNS – Paige Polyak

    Group B - B main (started), 12 Laps, 3:38.1: 1. Aaron Reutzel (1); 2. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 3. Davey Heskin (5) / 4. Austen Wheatley (3); 5. Tim Kaeding (8); 6. DJ Netto (6); 7. Bronson Maeschen (12); 8. Austin McCarl (4); 9. Brady Bacon (11); 10. Jon Agan (7); 11. Tyler Courtney (9); 12. Chris Martin (19); 13. Jeff Swindell (10); 14. Jordyn Brazier (17); 15. RJ Johnson (15); 16. Kaley Gharst (22); 17. Logan Forler (13); 18. Dakota Hendrickson (16); 19. Jimmy Light (21); 20. Willie Croft (20); 21. Dylan Peterson (14); 22. Joey Moughan (18) DNS – Justyn Cox

    A Main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Bryan Clauson (3); 2. Danny Dietrich (4); 3. Brent Marks (1); 4. Billy Alley (2); 5. Mark Dobmeier (13); 6. Chad Kemenah (12); 7. Ian Madsen (5); 8. Lynton Jeffrey (7); 9. Jamie Veal (10); 10. Craig Dollansky (14); 11. Christopher Bell (15); 12. Tim Shaffer (8); 13. Dusty Zomer (17); 14. Dustin Selvage (6); 15. Logan Wagner (21); 16. Kraig Kinser (9); 17. Davey Heskin (24); 18. Aaron Reutzel (20); 19. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (22); 20. Bill Balog (23); 21. Steve Kinser (19); 22. Jacob Allen (18); 23. Parker Price-Miller (11); 24. Jac Haudenschild (16) DNS – Dean Jacobs. Lap Leaders: Alley 1-8, Clauson 9-25. Hard-charger: Dobmeier

    Speed Sport World Challenge (started), 20 Laps, NT: 1. Lynton Jeffrey (2); 2. Randy Hannagan (1); 3. Daryn Pittman (9); 4. Brooke Tatnell (6); 5. Brad Sweet (13); 6. Kraig Kinser (3); 7. Ian Madsen (7); 8. Christopher Bell (18); 9. Tim Kaeding (17); 10. Kerry Madsen (14); 11. Terry McCarl (12); 12. Jamie Veal (5); 13. Jordyn Brazier (16); 14. Lucas Wolfe (10); 15. Jason Sides (4); 16. James McFadden (8); 17. Scott Bogucki (15); 18. Sheldon Haudenschild (11); 19. Glen Saville (20); 20. Bruce White (21); 21. Jac Haudenschild (19). Lap Leaders: Hannagan 1, Jeffrey 2-16, McFadden 17-18, Jeffrey 19-20. Hard-charger: Bell.

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying can be fraught with twists, turns and unexpected bumps in the road.         
    Friday's qualifying session at Pocono Raceway, which saw Kurt Busch capture the Coors Light Pole for Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 had them all.
    Throughout the day, Turn 2 -- the Tunnel Turn -- had been a major topic of concern.

    "There are grocery store parking lots around the country that are jealous of those three bumps that have developed there," said Busch, speculating that an offseason beautification project with water feature, enhancing the exterior tunnel entry, somehow created the lumpy racing surface.
    "To me, if they could just go ahead and take some bumps like that and put them over in the other corners too, it would be even better," said Carl Edwards. "It adds something. As long as it's not breaking parts, I believe it gives us an opportunity to setup passes."
    Ultimately, the issue with the bumpy track took a back seat when Denny Hamlin spun in Turn 1 in the final minute of qualifying, halting the session with 39 seconds remaining and preventing himself and four other drivers from posting a time in the final round.
    "It really is a bizarre set of circumstances," said Jimmie Johnson, a winner of four races this season but one of the drivers left in the qualifying cold. "It's just unfortunate (for) the guys that were on the track. But as long as NASCAR is consistent (with the rule) through all three series, then we will take our medicine and just deal with it. We (start) ninth. That is the best we've been in a while.
    Joey Logano, the last driver not from Hendrick Motorsports to win at Pocono, was not so forgiving. Logano said he already had a ‘headache' thanks to the bumps -- and that was before his lap in progress was negated by Hamlin's spin.
    "A car spins out and they throw a red flag for it and then you don't get an opportunity to go out and make a lap," Logano said. "I don't understand it. It makes me mad. I don't get it. We didn't even have a chance to try to put our car up front."
    Busch suggested that Pocono Raceway attempt to grind the bumps prior to Sunday's race. Earnhardt was encouraged that Pocono Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky was not only aware of the situation, but planning to take action before the Sprint Cup Series returns in late July.
    "I feel like they understand that while we can probably get through this weekend with what's back there right now, it's probably not in their best interest to leave it as-is," Earnhardt said. "It will continue to get worse and I don't think that we can get our race cars through there if it gets much worse than it is."
    Carl Edwards finished second in qualifying. "My plan with Denny (Joe Gibbs Racing teammate) almost worked out," Edwards joked. "But he didn't spin early enough to keep Kurt from catching me."
    Martin Truex Jr. qualified third in the Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, unaware that the session had been cut short but well aware of the challenges in Turn 2.
    "It's wild," he said. "The first time through there, I thought either our car was way off or there's something wrong with the race track. The bumps are 10 times bigger than they were last year, which is crazy. You're going across bumps that are 8-10 inches tall and, literally, the tires are coming off the ground."
    Jeff Gordon qualified fourth and series leader Kevin Harvick, who posted the fastest lap in each of the first two qualifying sessions, was fifth. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne were the other drivers who were burned by Hamlin's spin, having waited too long to attempt a lap in the five-minute session.
    Kurt Busch noted during practice that he was losing speed in Turns 1 and 3 and elected to focus on the vast majority of the course, not the troubles in Turn 2. His team also overcame a "wrong gear ratio in the transmission in third gear."
    "There was so much disconnect when we first got here," said Busch, whose third pole of the season was the 19th of his career. "We had to drop back, reboot with (crew chief) Tony Gibson, (engineer) Johnny Klausmeier, the whole gang. Today was a big group-bonding day and a strength-building day on what this No. 41 team can do together."
    With 43 race entries, all drivers qualified for Sunday's race.
    Tony Stewart, mired in 28th in the point standings, was forced to a backup car after a crash coming out of the Tunnel Turn in the 36th minute of Friday's practice session.  Stewart was 28th in the first round of qualifying and failed to advance. "Driver error," said Stewart, who has managed just one top-10 finish this season. "I was already past the bump. I got loose on the exit (of the turn) and couldn't catch it."

  • Jenson Button has praised Honda’s efforts in solving the recovered energy deployment problems that blighted McLaren throughout 2015, saying the progress made in that area ahead of the new season has been 'massive'.

    Button and team mate Fernando Alonso often suffered a competitive disadvantage last year because they were unable to deploy recovered energy at a rate similar to their rivals, but changes to the turbine and compressor of their Honda power units over the winter have, according to Button, solved the issue.

    “The progress is massive in that area,” the 2009 world champion said. “That’s something we knew we had to work on. Deployment is not something we could work on massively last year with the compressor, but over the winter we’ve been able to [look at it] and Honda have done a great job in terms of bringing that to testing.

    “We’ve had no reliability issues with it at all and it’s a big difference. At some circuits last year, in the race we were losing six tenths every lap because we didn’t have deployment. Now the system’s working well and from here on it’s marginal gains compared to our competitors. So it’s a good step forward and a necessary step forward.

    “In qualifying we lost probably one or two tenths because we couldn’t deploy through a whole quali lap and now we can easily.”

    Despite the improvements brought about by the latest specification of power unit, Button, who completed a further 121 laps in the MP4-31 on Wednesday, said there is still plenty of work for McLaren to do ahead of the season opener in Melbourne.

    "I don't feel we've done any proper work yet with the set-up,” he said, “it's been mostly aero work and understanding if we're in the right place or not - not specific driver set-up work.

    “The next two days are very important - we need two clean days, lots of laps, and lots of time on new tyres to really get a good feel for the car because we’re not there yet.”