Sprint car

Christopher Bell wins sprint feature in New Zealand; Kyle Larson second in midget race

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Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson started a tour of dirt racing in New Zealand Wednesday with midget and sprint car races at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland for the Boxing Day Bash.

Bell competed in both forms of racing and left the track with a win in the 15-lap sprint feature as a late Christmas gift to himself.

Bell won from the poll and defeated Michael Pickens and Matthew Leversedge for the win.

Results

MORE: Christopher Bell gets engaged

This is the second consecutive year Larson has visited New Zealand in the offseason to compete in midget races.

Larson finished second in the midget feature after starting on the pole.

Pickens won the 30-lap feature after starting second and leading every lap.

Bell finished fourth in the midget feature.

Results

You can watch the midget feature in the video below,

 

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Tony Stewart wins Arctic Cat All Star sprint car race

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Tony Stewart was victorious Sunday night in an Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions race at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania.

Stewart claimed his first win of the season in the sprint car series he’s owned since 2015 and his third series win overall.

He took the lead on Lap 18 of the 30-lap feature.

The three-time Cup champion won over Cale Conley, Lance Dewease and Paul McMahan.

Kyle Larson also competed in the race and led the first two laps before a mechanical failure ended his night. He finished 23rd.

Tony Stewart scores dirt racing victory in Florida before heading to Martinsville

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Tony Stewart returned to the winner’s circle Saturday night, capturing the United Sprint Car Series Spring Speed Xplosion finale at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida.

Stewart retired from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2016 season with a goal of returning to running several dozen sprint car races this season, but the three-time Cup champion had struggled in his return to grassroots racing.

“This is our eighth night this year we’ve run, and the first seven we haven’t been very stellar,” Stewart said. “But it’s just been a while since I’ve been in a car. we’ve been fighting trying to figure out what these tires want. The setup we ran here the last time doesn’t work anymore.

“We’ve run seven races and haven’t gotten close to where it feels right. Tonight we hit on something in the heat race and started 10th in the main, about 10 laps into it, started finding some stuff that was working.”

It was Stewart’s first career win on the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour. He took the lead from Danny Martin Jr. on the 19th lap and held on to the checkered flag, beating a field of 27 drivers. The race distance was 33 laps in honor of veteran sprint car driver Dave Steele, who died in a crash last week.

Stewart headed to Martinsville Speedway late last night to attend Sunday’s Cup race in support of his four Stewart-Haas Racing Fords.

“I get the best of both worlds now,” he said. “I still am a car owner on the Cup side, but this weekend, we were here Friday and Saturday night, and as soon as I get done with this interview, I’m changing clothes and flying to Martinsville late tonight.

“My schedule is actually busier now than what it was when I was running the Cup side, but I get the best of both worlds. I get to do the NASCAR side and still get to do what I love to do running the dirt cars again.”

 

 

 

Robin Miller’s tribute to Bryan Clauson — ‘Remember him for what he was: A bad-ass race driver’

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NBCSN IndyCar analyst Robin Miller recalls the legacy of and pays a personal tribute to the late Bryan Clauson (Miller’s RACER.com column is also linked here).

The 27-year-old Clauson passed away less than 24 hours after he was involved in a crash during a Midget car race last Saturday in Kansas.

Miller recalls how he first met Clauson over a decade ago at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not only did Clauson impress Miller right away, he’d continue to impress over the years, including 112 race wins and four USAC championships in Sprint or Midget car racing.

But it was Clauson’s spirit that Miller remembers the most.

“He was so approachable, so humble and so thankful,” Miller said. “He was so good with the fans. He had an ‘Aw, shucks’ grin and was just so easy to like, so easy to cheer for. But I tell you what, when the (helmet) shield went down, he was a bad ass and a fierce competitor.”

If it had four wheels, Clauson could drive it — and do it well. Miller recalls Clauson’s three starts in the Indianapolis 500 and how the California native wanted to prove himself and win the so-called Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

“Graham Rahal said something interesting yesterday,” Miller said. “He said, ‘I think if Clauson had got with the right team and right engineer and had some time and testing, he’d have been a hell of an Indy 500 driver, and I don’t think there’s any doubt about it.’ ”

Like Clauson’s family, friends, fans and competitors, Miller will miss his young friend.

“Bryan Clauson packed a lot of life into 27 years,” Miller said. “He had fun just about every day of his life. He lived on the edge, lived on the loud pedal, nobody held a gun to his head to be a race driver. That’s all he ever wanted to do and did it really damn well for a long time. We’re going to miss him, going to miss that spirit.”

Miller ends his video by recalling Clauson in perhaps the best way any race car driver would like to be remembered as:

“Just remember him for what he was: a bad-ass race driver.”

 

Kahne, Larson, Abreu, Bell to race in Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown

(Photo courtesy Cocopah Speedway)
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Several current or aspiring NASCAR drivers can’t wait to get the 2016 racing season started.

That’s why guys like Sprint Cup stars Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, and upcoming drivers Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell will ring in the New Year behind the wheel.

They’ll all compete in the second annual Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona.

Showdown dates are Jan. 1, 2, 5 , 8 and 9.

“It means a lot to have Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson return to their roots at the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown,” speedway general manager Greg Burgess said in a media release. “Both have a World of Outlaws driver competing as well, so we really appreciate their support.

“It’s also been neat watching Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell rise throughout the ranks in racing and we’re excited to see them join a storied roster of top-notch drivers competing at the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown.”

Additional drivers may still enter the event. You can check out the up-to-ate roster of participants by clicking here.

Drivers will pilot 410 cubic inch winged sprint cars and are looking to earn prizes ranging from $5,000 to $12,000, as well as additional money from a $10,000 points fund.

Kahne will drive his own sprint car while Larson will drive one owned by Abreu’s crew chief, Paul Silva. Larson won one of the feature races in last year’s Showdown.

Meanwhile, back in October 2014, Abreu and Bell finished 1-2 on two successive nights at the semi-banked, 3/8-mile dirt oval.

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