Monday, October 11, 2021

Motor Culture Bond Girls Galore On Display In "Bond In Motion" Petersen Museum Exhibit

Title exhibit of the "Bond In Motion" exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum's Mullin Grand Salon 1st Floor exhibit space. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Motor Culture Bond Girls Galore On Display In "Bond In Motion" Petersen Museum Exhibit

This month, the long delayed and anticipated 25th edition of the 007 Bond feature length movie series "No Time To Die" was released to be shown in theaters only opened on Friday, October 8th, 2021. The worldwide opening came to a very successful $330,000,000 box office weekend and marked the end of the Daniel Craig era of the 007 Bond saga.

Billboard displays at the AMC16 in Burbank opening day of the feature presentation in the Dolby Sound enhanced Theater #14 of "No Time To Die." It is recommended that one watch both Casino Royal (2006) and Spectre (2015) before taking in "No Time To Die" so that one's mind is fresh with the storylines that feed this 25th edition of Bond, James Bond. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Just one week in advance of this 25th film in the series was released, the Petersen Automotive Museum opened a new exhibit of the 007 Bond movie franchise titled "Bond In Motion" which features more than 30 cars, motorcycles, boats, submarines, helicopters and even scale filming models of aircraft from an array of both classic and contemporary Bond films. This exhibit represents some of the most memorable and indelible 3D vehicle art that, in their own way, delivered "Bond, James Bond" through motor culture creations (some custom, and some just perfect for the time of Bond) as strong as the story lines themselves.  

007 graphic from the exhibit hall floor. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Bond 007 graphic from the top of the exhibit hall staircase. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

This exhibit is impressive on many levels, from the detail of the exhibit descriptions to the general display throughout the environment itself. One of the initial exhibits upon entering the hall that will command one's attention is the Bond defining 007 gun-enhanced graphic (above) placed in a two-story three-dimensional exhibit in the middle of the signature circular staircase that is a defining structural element of the Mullin Grand Salon.

This 1964 Silver Birch Aston Martin appears as the repeat signature motor culture Bond Girl ever since it first appeared in EON Productions' 1964 film Goldfinger. This heart-warming beauty went on to appear in Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and No Time To Die (2021). In addition, the vehicle has appeared in the video-games 007 Racing (2000), Agent Under Fire (2001), From Russia with Love (2005), Blood Stone (2010), James Bond: World of Espionage (2015) and the Best of Bond DLC for Forza Horizon 4 (2018).Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021) 

As one might guess, an Aston Martin, especially a DB5, is never too far from one's gaze. The very first vehicle happens to be just that - a perfect DB5 in every way as shown in many of the 007 Bond films as a reoccurring friend - even in the last No Time To Die installment.

But enough about the easy hits ... what about the "Nellie" factor? A vehicle title that shows up twice - one is an up armored. assemble on demand, aircraft and the other is a luxury sports car that doubles as a submarine. 

LITTLE NELLIE

Bond flying Little Nellie in You Only Live Twice - Image Credit: JamesBondMemes.blogspot.com

Little Nellie (Wallis WA-116 Series 1) - Featured in You Only Live Twice (1967). A heavily armed gyrocopter that could be transported in several cases and quickly assembled in the field. Little Nellie, was designed and built by Wing Commander Ken Wallis and flown by him in the film, is one of the most celebrated vehicles in the James Bond series. In the film, James Bond uses the autogyro, supplied by Q Branch, to give reconnaissance of the Japanese landscape to find out where SPECTRE’s rockets might be launching from. A cine-camera fixed to Bond's helmet allowed him to photograph every inch. Image Credit Edmund Jenks (2012)

On the exhibit floor, Little Nellie appears as a graphic in the exhibit description that features a model of a Helicopter used in You Only Live Twice (1967) by SPECTRE to protect their missile/rocket launch site.

SPECTRE security used this Bell Helicopter to chase off James Bond flying Little Nellie. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Exhibit description on a patrol helicopter model used in filming You Only Live Twice (1967). Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

WET NELLIE

The Lotus Esprit S1 (or Series 1) is a sports car that was built by Lotus in the United Kingdom between 1976 and 1978. The car gained fame through its appearance in the 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me, where it was featured in a long chase sequence on the Italian island of Sardinia; ultimately converting into a submarine. Appearing in the film's tie-in novelization and video game, the Esprit also featured in Storm Bringer (1985), 007 Racing (2000) and the Best of Bond DLC for Forza Horizon 4 (2018).

Q's Wet Nellie as it appears on exhibit with a moving light splashed over the exterior so as to emulate the Lotus Esprit S1 as a submarine under the water. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

OTHER "NELLIES" - as nominated

Custom vehicles that could have carried the the moniker Nellie given their unusual nature are scattered throughout the Bond In Motion exhibit. These apparatus tools, given their unique function and special appearances, earn a vote to be nominated Nellies simply because of the fun they bring to their film stories as the original Nellies had delivered..

Two candidates for the tag Nellie come from the movie Diamonds Are Forever (1971) for vehicles designed and/or built by two of the most famous customizers of craft in the film industry.

MOON BUGGY NELLIE - Built by Dean Jefferies

In the exhibit that features motor culture memorabilia from Diamonds Are Forever, the featured exhibit that shows a Honda ATV-90 vehicle that James Bond commanders to escape Willard Whyte's Tectronics Laboratory patrol agents as they try to track him down while he escapes a laboratory in a Moon Buggy.

1971 HONDA ATC-90. Image Credit : Edmund Jenks (2021)

Dean Jefferies crafted Moon Buggy. Image Credit: MGM/EON Productions via The James Bond Dossier (2015)

James Bond (Sean Connery) escapes Tectronics Laboratory located in the desert outside of Las Vegas in an experimental bubble-domed Moon Buggy that was in the laboratory's warehouse. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

BATH-O-SUB NELLIE - Built by Barris Kustom Industries 

This unique marine vehicle plays a pivotal role in Diamonds Are Forever where James Bond gets the upper hand against arch-enemy and head of SPECTRE, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Nellie candidate Bath-O-Sub with SPECTRE logo on the nose. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)
 
Exhibit description of Bath-O-Sub. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Exhibit description of Bath-O-Sub scene with image. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

The last nominee for adding the name Nellie to a motor culture "Bond Girl" found inside of the Bond In Motion very special exhibit inside of the Mullin Grand Salon is originally called the Q Boat ... or as listed in the Salon as the Q Jet Boat..

PORPOISING NELLIE (Q Boat)

Featured in The World Is Not Enough (1999), PORPOISING NELLIE (Q Boat) was created by Q as a "fishing boat" for his retirement. 

Q Boat as displayed on the floor of the Mullin Grand Salon. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

This unique craft came with missiles, torpedos, and a GPS tracking system. It could also submerge (porpoise) although the pilot either needed to have his own breathing apparatus or surface quickly before he drowned. However, this feature wasn't exactly finished when James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) took it for the defining opening action sequence which could account for why the pilot was exposed to the water when using that function.


There are many, many honorable mentions amongst these motor culture Bond Girls that could qualify as being dubbed a Nellie, and one may wish to explore the possibilities at the Petersen Automotive Museum soon.

Maybe, a good time might come just after taking in the latest in the 25 movie series, and Daniel Craig's final episode, No Time To Die in theaters only.


LARGEST JAMES BOND PROP AND VEHICLE EXHIBIT EVER DISPLAYED IN A U.S. MUSEUM 

NOW OPEN AT THE PETERSEN THROUGH OCTOBER 30, 2022


... notes from The EDJE


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TAGS: Aston Martin, EON Productions, James Bond, Lotus, Petersen Automotive Museum, 007, LITTLE NELLIE, WET NELLIE, Moon Buggy, Bath-O-Sub, Q Boat, Mullin Grand Salon, The EDJE

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Corvette Racing's Garcia & Taylor Look To Strategy As A Way To Maintain Team Lead At Laguna Seca

The #3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor races to a second place finish in the GTLM class Sunday, November 1, 2020 during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Garcia and Taylor lead in the drivers championship with one race to go in the season. Image Credit: Richard Prince for Chevy Racing (2020)

Corvette Racing's Garcia & Taylor Look To Strategy As A Way To Maintain Team Lead At Laguna Seca

This coming weekend Corvette Racing will make its 23rd consecutive appearance at Laguna Seca during the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, one of the most beautiful natural terrain road courses in the world. Laguna is one of 3 tracks where Corvette has competed every year since the program began racing in 1999, with the other two being Road Atlanta and Sebring. 

Corvette Racing drivers Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, teammates in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R and points leaders in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, met with members of the media during a ZOOM Call Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna.


TRANSCRIPT:

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R
YOU’VE WON THREE TIMES IN YOUR CAREER AT LAGUNA SECA. IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT THE TRACK THAT SPEAK TO YOU? IS IT LUCK OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE?
“I wouldn’t say it was luck. You never know at Laguna. There are always a lot of different strategies in play. It’s usually a two- or three-stop race. Lately it has been more of a three-stop one. With those, you always need to fight those gambling with two stops. We’ve won a few races there but we also lost a few with cars and people who we didn’t expect to get to the end and they ended up managing to make the strategy work. There is a fine line. Tire degradation is the main thing. As soon as there is a yellow, everything starts again and you better have a good tire. Otherwise you are going to be end up being very vulnerable. Let’s see what this weekend goes. Hopefully we are on the good strategy.”

WHAT HAVE BEEN THINGS LIKE FOR YOU SINCE THE LAST IMSA RACE AT ROAD AMERICA?
“It’s been very busy. Right after Road America, we had two or three days off and then we were off again to Le Mans. Being European, I was a little luckier than the American guys so I could stay here (in Spain) until the Friday morning before the Test Day. So that saved me a couple of days. Le Mans was very tiring as always. Last week I was at the simulator with Jordan, so the work is still on. You need to keep focusing. There was a ton of data to analyze and some correlation to be done after Le Mans. You better have all the information you can after a big race like that. I spent a few days there and then came back here for some family time. Time flies by when you are with your kids, for sure.”

HOW RELIABLE HAS THE CHEVROLET SIMULATOR BEEN FOR YOU ON THE CORVETTE SIDE WHEN THE CAR GETS ON THE TRACK?
“A lot. The C8.R is the answer for that. We’ve been working on the simulator with the C8.R for two to three years in advance before it was on the track for the first time. That helped a lot. It’s true that you need to trust all the data you are getting from the wind tunnel and all your simulations. Our simulator seems to be very good on correlation. We also have Michelin helping us develop a very, very good tire model which is one of the most important things we need to have. So it has worked very well for us on the C8.R. Every time we had a bad race – even though there was no time to go on track – we had time to recover and fix things that didn’t work. Most of the time, the car is really good out of the box at the track. You end up doing a few tweaks and very small setup changes. It’s been very, very good.”

Corvette Racing's No. 3 C8R as it navigates through Turn 6 before going uphill along the Rahal Straight at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Ken Manfred (2021)

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R
WHAT ABOUT WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA MAKES IT SPECIAL TO A LOT OF PEOPLE?
“To us, it’s a classic sports car track in North America. It’s known around the world for the Corkscrew but anyone who goes there – for our weekend in particular – who is a hard-core sports car fan knows it because of the history of the sport. There’s a lot of history there. A lot of famous guys raced really cool cars back in the day in sports cars. I was able to go there a couple of years for one of the Reunions and drive an old Corvette around the track. You definitely feel a lot of history when you go there. It’s a cool part of the country… lots of great restaurants in the area, you’ve got the town of Monterey. The track itself is built into the hillside there. We enjoy it. The track is challenging. It’s more slippery than you’d expect. It degrades the tire pretty quickly, so it makes the whole weekend pretty tricky to understand what the car needs to be competitive. You can have one car for qualifying that will be fast but you need a completely different animal for the race itself. There always seems to be some sort of compromise, but that’s what makes it enjoyable is to have that challenge.”

WHEN YOU EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THE SUBJECT OF ADHENSION AND GRIP AND THEN HAVING NONE AT LAGUNA, HOW DO YOU GET THAT TO RELATE TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T DRIVE?
“That’s a tricky question to explain. When you go to a place like Watkins Glen or Road Atlanta, the grip level is high so to find the threshold and limit of the car and the tire, you need to push the car a lot and trust that the grip will be there. When you go Laguna Seca, I wouldn’t say it’s like driving on ice – it’s not that slippery – but the limit comes so fast. You find the limit of the tire, the grip and the car extremely quickly. You’re driving almost like a knife-edge. You try to stay under the grip of the tire and not trying to slide it. The grip level is so low that it’s easy to go past it. I’d say a way to explain it is that you’re very on edge the whole time to stay below that limit and hurt the tire and laptime. If you can save that from the beginning of a stint, it will be pay huge dividends at the end of it.”

HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR AGGRESSION LEVEL, EITHER WHEN YOU’RE PUSHING ANOTHER DRIVER OR PUSHING AGAINST YOURSELF?
“It’s really tricky. It takes some experience and maturity not to get caught up in things, especially in GTLM. Our stint length is really long. I came from being in prototypes where our stints were getting shorter and shorter to like 35- or 40-minute stints. At that point with tire degradation, you can still push pretty hard and maybe you’ll suffer for the last 10 minutes. In GTLM, our stints can be close to an hour in length so you can suffer for 30 minutes. The amount of patience you have to have with the way you are driving, attacking and fighting people and to get through traffic… you have to be a lot more careful and mindful of what you’re doing. Every time you slip the tire a little bit, you kind of remind yourself that maybe you went a little too hard there. You have to reset and think more about the bigger picture.”

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE C8.R AT LAGUNA LAST YEAR THAT CAN BE HELPFUL THIS YEAR?
“The biggest thing when we go there is understanding how the tire works and tire compound. I think last year we split strategies between the 3 and 4 car because we have such limited track time. You don’t have much time to test and understand what you need to do in the race itself. Splitting the strategies last year should help us this year to understand where the strengths and weaknesses were between those two strategies and tire options. It’s another thing we were working on last week in the simulator to understand where we want to be and understand the different temperature ranges on the track this week. We learned a lot Last year was the first time the car was on a very low-grip surface. It’s unique in that fashion and we learned some important lessons last year.”

YOU WERE ON THE DALE JR. DOWNLOAD LAST WEEK. TALK ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE.
“It was a lot of fun. Doing the Dale Sr. helmet was special and taking that to Le Mans this year was a big deal. Dale and I have spoken a bit over the years and texted every now and then, and with him coming to cover the Rolex 24 the last couple of years we formed a small relationship to bounce things off each other. I’d tried to get on the podcast for the last couple of years but timing-wise things never lined up. Now with the Dale Sr. helmet and I was up there last week with Antonio for the simulator, schedules lined up pretty well and it was an awesome experience. I never spent a lot of time with Dale Jr., but it was really cool to talk to him even if it was just sharing stories and hear some of his stories with his dad… reminiscing of their experience at the Rolex 24 and some unique stories from that event were pretty funny. To see the personal side of him and getting to know him as a person… I think we realized we are pretty similar guys – we’re pretty shy and reserved but in certain situations and with certain people, we are pretty comfortable and can open up a lot. I definitely had a good time. It was really cool to see the fan response and the support from everyone. I think it opened a lot of eyes from the NASCAR world to the IMSA world, so I think it’s good to have that cross-over. It would be good to have those types of events.”
ENDS
[ht: Corvette Racing, Richard Prince, IMSA]

The action for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins Friday with a late practice session. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET Saturday, with a livestream on IMSA.com/TVLive. The live NBCSN telecast of the two-hour, 40-minute race begins 4 p.m. ET Sunday. 

... notes from The EDJE

  
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TAGS: #corvette #corvetteracing #teamchevy #lagunaseca #imsaracing #richardprincephotography, Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship, The EDJE

Friday, August 20, 2021

Pampered & Stylish Ford Model T 1915 Racer Is Highlight At Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Ed Archer and passenger sailing the Ford Model T 1915 Racer down the famed Corkscrew Turn 8 complex at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Albert Wong (2021)

Pampered & Stylish Ford Model T 1915 Racer Is Highlight At Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

This year's edition of summer activities at Monterey Bay represents the 70th year of a group of events that helped to create Monterey Car Week - The Pebble Beach Concourse de'Elegance/Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Two special non-race exhibitions were featured participant-groupings at the 2021 post-Wuhan Virus lockdowns and protocols Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The Ragtime Racers Group 4B and the Group 7A: 1963-1978 IndyCar Historic gathering.

Sure, there were many examples of Ragtime Racers on display and on the track during the event Group 4B award winner was Brian Blain for recreating a 1920s era garage display for the group to stage in, and driving and displaying his 1916 Romano-Sturtevant Special.

Award Winning Display #1 - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Award Winning Display #2 - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Group 4B Award winner Brian Blain - displaying (here) and driving his 1916 No. 18 Romano-Sturtevant Special. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Group 4B Award winner Brian Blain - displaying (here) and driving his 1916 Romano-Sturtevant Special. Image Credit: Albert Wong (2021)

But ... this little gem came to the track lashed on to the bed of a period piece stake truck travelling all of the way on today's public roads from the wilds of Carmel to Laguna Seca.

Ed Archer of Hayward CA, has this Liberty Garage logo'd Chevrolet truck on which he transports his 1915 Ford Model T Racer to the paddock at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion from the Quail showing in Carmel, CA. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

Liberty Garage, Warm Springs, Calif. Chevrolet transport truck with lashed Ford Model T 1915 Racer along for the ride. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2021)

This edition of The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, that concluded August 15, 2021, annually recognizes the camaraderie of the gathering, and accomplishments of the drivers and their cars above all else. It is not about winning (to most - especially in the exhibition and display Groups), but about sharing their authentic cars’ history with others and enjoying these pieces of mechanical art articulate safely at speed.

... notes from The EDJE


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TAGS: Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Ford, Trans-Am, Ragtime Racers, Group 4B, Ed Archer,Ford Model T 1915 Racer, The EDJE 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Southern California Motor Culture Leaves Impact On WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

We were able to accomplish something pretty cool last week with a great group of people who built one fast car! Czinger Vehicles 21C Hypercar as it sits facing clockwise at the Start/Finish Line at the famed road course track in the Monterey Bay area of California - Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Joel Miller via Twitter (2021)

Southern California Motor Culture Leaves Impact On WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

BRAVO ... to Hesperia, California born and raised, Mazda ladder trained, expert Seca pilot, Joel Miller.

Czinger Vehicles, the trailblazing Southern California company that uses revolutionary design and manufacturing technologies to build state-of-the-art, homologated high-performance vehicles, has set a new lap record at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

On July 21 at 7:43pm PT, the Czinger 21C Hypercar, with driver Joel Miller behind the wheel, set the record in a multi-GPS verified time of 1:25:44.  The previous track record was held by the McLaren Senna, with driver Randy Pobst setting a time of 1:27.62.

Just because this car represents the cutting edge of what the human mind can do, doesn’t mean it can’t look drop dead gorgeous! Image Credit: Czinger Vehicles via FB (2021)

Joel Miller, early in his racing career, was the subject of a movie on racing, and learning how to be a race car driver entitled "Driven To Race" where the title came from something his mother said during filming. In an answer (paraphrased) to a question on just how come her son, Joel, was showing such an intense focus on driving fast cars in a crowd, she responded ... he's just driven to race!

Yes, The EDJE is very familiar with Joel and the movie Joel participated in. So much so that a line from a review of the movie made it to the cover of the DVD made for sale to the public. 

Review Line?
"... one of the best documentaries about a competitive pursuit, any competitive pursuit, ever made!"
Edmund Jenks
Motor Press Guild

... notes from The EDJE


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TAGS: Czinger, Joel Miller, WeatherTech, Laguna Seca, Hypercar, Motor Culture, Driven To Race, The EDJE

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Corvette Racing's Taylor & Milner Share Midsummer Thoughts On IMSA Race At Road America

 

IMSA races at beautiful Road America on Sunday August 8th. The track, designed to take full advantage of the rolling hills and deep ravines of the glacial Kettle Moraine region, has hosted the best sports car teams and cars in the world every year since 1955. The Corvette C8.Rs finished first and second in the GTLM class in last year’s wet and wild race. Image Credit: Richard Prince via Facebook (2021)

Corvette Racing's Taylor & Milner Share Midsummer Thoughts On IMSA Race At Road America

Corvette Racing is back at its spiritual home this weekend as it enters the second half of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Historic and picturesque Road America is set to play host to Corvette Racing for the 20th time with the program searching for its ninth victory at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course.

Both of the team’s mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs will be in action for the two-hour, 40-minute race. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor return as defending GT Le Mans (GTLM) race-winners in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R. They are on a three-race winning streak and won last year’s GTLM Drivers Championship.

The first-year pairing of Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy reeled off consecutive runner-up finishes at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock Park, and they scored a victory in a non-points race at Detroit to start Corvette Racing’s summer swing.

Continuing that team momentum is as important as ever. Directly after Road America, Corvette Racing departs for France and its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As is tradition, the team in May used Road America – with its long straights and sections of fast, flowing corners – to test and develop the Corvette C8.R’s low-downforce setup and aerodynamic package.

Road America also was the site of the first on-track test for the C8.R in 2018, another example of how Chevrolet continues to use the track to improve the Corvette brand… a practice that dates back more than 60 years.

Listen to team drivers, Jordan Taylor (No. 3 - Yellow), and Tommy Milner (No. 4 - Grey) as they share their thoughts on the upcoming 2021 test, via a ZOOM Call video, at the famed road course at Road America.

Interview Begins @1:30 in >>>

IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP - ROAD AMERICA / IMSA SPORTSCAR WEEKEND

CORVETTE RACING JORDAN TAYLOR AND TOMMY MILNER

MEDIA AVAILABILITY TRANSCRIPT - AUGUST 2, 2021

Corvette Racing drivers Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner met with members of the media during a Zoom conference call Monday ahead of this weekend’s IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America and the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R

IT’S A BUSY MONTH COMING UP AHEAD FOR THE TEAM. WHAT’S YOUR MINDSET AHEAD OF EVERYTHING FOR CORVETTE RACING?

“It’s going to be a busy month, as you said. It’ll be hectic. I think the biggest part is logistics for the team – getting parts, cars and people back and forth between the two. They’ve been shipping stuff for the past couple of months overseas to get ready for Le Mans. Timing-wise, it’s difficult having Road America this weekend but at the same time it’s always good to go racing. It was a 1-2 last year for Corvette Racing but it was pretty wild circumstances at the end there with the rain. I think Antonio (Garcia) and Tommy were fourth and fifth on the last restart and survived at the end to get the 1-2. Hopefully it will be a little cleaner and smoother this year. It’s always been a good track for the team and the car. We did a test there earlier this year kind of prepping for this week’s race and prepping for Le Mans in the low-downforce kit. We feel confident going back there and to Le Mans.”

CORVETTE RACING’S ABSENCE FROM LE MANS LAST YEAR WAS STRANGE. HOW WAS IT FOR YOU NOT RACING AT LE MANS IN 2020 AND HAS IT FUELED YOU TO GET BACK THIS YEAR?

“When you watch it on TV – I missed the race in 2018 and 2019 as well – that’s when you remember how special it is. When you’re there, you’re in the moment and enjoying it because it’s Le Mans. But when you’re away from it and watching it on TV like when you were a kid, you definitely miss it and want to be back. It motivates you to get back there and be competitive. Watching last year on TV was difficult. This year if you knew the behind-the-scenes effort that the team has gone through with the resources and getting everything over there, it shows how much it means to the organization and Chevrolet as a whole. I’ve been getting excited. I’ve been watching old Le Mans races during the days while riding my bike in the garage to get motivated. I’m looking forward to getting back.”

TALK ABOUT THE POWER OF MOMENTUM WITH THE RUN YOU AND ANTONIO ARE ON SINCE THE START OF 2020.

“It’s kind of crazy how well it’s gone starting in the last year. After the COVID break last year, things have gone so well. Things just clicked, especially on the 3 car side. A lot of things have gone our way strategy-wise. If you look at the Road America race from last year, we were fourth and fifth until the rain came, and that’s what switched things around and got us back to the lead. There were a lot of circumstances like that where we shouldn’t have been in contention and things just flipped around. At the same time, you need to be prepared for those opportunities. The team needs to be prepared to call the strategy on tire changes in that situation. A lot of times that can fall on experience. We’ve had a lot of close battles with the 4 car where they could have very easily gone the other way and they could have won all those races. Putting ourselves in the right position in a lot of times and having the little things going our way a lot of the times. Antonio and I have been working well together and the chemistry has been good.”

CORVETTE HAS USED ROAD AMERICA TO PREPARE FOR LE MANS. HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU WILL RUN THIS WEEKEND CAN CARRY OVER TO THOSE FOLLOWING TWO WEEKS?

“The test was important. We learned a lot from the very beginning. We started on our sprint configuration and went to low-downforce. From the beginning to the end, we made a bunch of improvements. Had we not had those tests, we would have been learning those things at Le Mans but the time there is crucial to get on track. We had two days there with low-downforce, and I think Tommy has done 45 days in the simulator around Le Mans with me watching! We’ve put in a lot of time and effort into it. A lot of it is also coming from that simulator time where we saw last year how important, how crucial and how well it worked. That was reiterated and confirmed at our Road America test as well. We knew from the simulation what to expected and what kind of changes we wanted to make. It’s looking positive from that point of view for Le Mans.”

DOES TOMMY DO MOST OF THE LE MANS SIMULATION WORK? DO YOU BOTH PARTICIPATE OR IS IT BETTER TO GET A BASELINE FROM ONE GUY AND WORK OFF THAT?

“I do my fair share! Usually each test is two days and two drivers, and each of us will have our own program. Tommy has been the Le Mans guy most of the days I’ve been there, and then my project would be Lime Rock prep or Road America prep. My focus would be on one thing and his focus would be on one thing. That way every time you get back in the sim, you have something to relate to. Sometimes when you go track to track, it can take a run or two to adjust your brain to what that package is doing to give accurate feedback. Over time, the engineers have developed this process that’s shown to have the best result. Even these days when we go, there are things being adjusted to make it more accurate from a driver and feedback point of view. When I was doing Lime Rock prep, it’s like a 10-lap run and I’d be done in five minutes and Tommy would get in for his 10 laps and I’d sit there for an hour watching him!”

TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH FANS MAKE LE MANS WHAT IT IS, AND HOW PLEASED ARE YOU THAT WE WILL HAVE SOME KIND OF FAN ATTENDANCE AT THIS YEAR’S RACE?

“I’ll never forget my first time there in 2012. I flew over for the Test Day, was 20 years old and was just a little GRAND-AM driver here in America. I walked from the paddock to the pitlane and got stopped by like 10 people who knew my name and had pictures of me printed out of all my different GRAND-AM cars. In America, we have a great fanbase especially with Corvette Racing. When you go to Le Mans, it’s a very unique group of sports car fans. It’s very special. It will be missed but it it’ll be good to have at least some attendance. Missing the parade and some of those things will change a bit of the atmosphere.

“My dad used to say that in NASCAR and Formula One, the fans know the drivers. In sports car racing, all drivers know the fans. In a lot of aspects, it’s true. When you go to Sebring, you have the cows, the monks and the group at Turn 10, and you get to know them. When you go to Le Mans, there are unique people like Therése (Heurtebize), and I think Tommy got knighted in 2015 by a group of British fans there, plus the Nerdmans come from Spain. That quote is true in a lot of aspects. When we go to those events, you expect to see these people every time. So it will be a little bit sad if we don’t get to see those same people but hopefully in a few years it will be back to normal so we can see all our fans again that we recognize every time we go back.”

With just a three-day turnaround between Road America and the day the team needs to be on the ground in France, it has built up a fourth race chassis to deal with the challenging logistics involved. The postponed French endurance classic is set for Aug. 21-22, with the mandatory test day on Aug. 15. Image Credit: Corvette Racing (2021)

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R

WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS APPROACHING THE MONTH OF AUGUST WITH ROAD AMERICA AND LE MANS?

“Our thought process has been pretty heavy on Le Mans in many ways. It’s been a topic of discussion quite a bit within the team. But obviously we have had other things to focus on with Lime Rock in previous weeks and now Road America as well. It’s a very balanced approach. Jordan and I were in the sim recently working on Le Mans and Road America. There is a lot going on, for sure. The first focus is Road America but I’m sure the topic for many of our meetings will be focusing on Le Mans as well. There’s a lot going on for Corvette Racing right now and focusing on one day a time in many ways. It’s busy but exciting.”

CORVETTE RACING’S ABSENCE FROM LE MANS LAST YEAR WAS STRANGE. HOW WAS IT FOR YOU NOT RACING AT LE MANS IN 2020 AND HAS IT FUELED YOU TO GET BACK THIS YEAR?

“I don’t think any of us has taken going to Le Mans for granted. The amount of effort and attention that gets paid toward that race by this team, the engineers, the crew guys and us as drivers… we don’t take it lightly. Having missed last year and watching it on TV for the first time in many years, certainly the excitement ramps up for going back there again this year. Obviously it’s not exactly the same Le Mans experience without the public scrutineering and things like that. The world is still a little uncertain at times but we’re excited to go back. There has been a lot of time and effort spent with this Corvette C8.R to make it as good as we can for Le Mans. We don’t’ know exactly how good it will be until we get there. I think for all of us, we’re excited for what the car can be or could be. We’re excited to see how it goes.”

IS IT FRUSTRATING TO SEE YOUR TEAMMATES HAVE THE SUCCESS THEY’VE BEEN HAVING WHEN YOU AND NICK (TANDY) ARE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR?

“There are moments of frustration for sure. For us on the 4 car, last year there were times where we missed it with setup and strategy. There was a conscious effort as the year was winding down last year to make a better effort to improve in those areas. We started to make some headway there, and in the offseason we continued to go over those things with the team and our engineers… the things that we thought were working well for us and the areas where we needed to improve. This year with Nick, he brings a fresh perspective on it. All things considered, we’ve had good races. We just haven’t had a whole lot of luck in certain situations. The 3 car guys have had great cars, have made the right strategy calls and done everything right. So in that sense they deserve all the success they’ve had. For us, there have had times where we’ve had the opportunities and for some reason or another… sometimes it’s bad luck and sometimes it’s of our own doing in not getting everything 100 percent right. Frustration is part of it but it’s not like desperation. Having been on this time for a long time, I really like the direction this car is going. We are making better decisions, making the right pit calls, making good setup decisions and changes. From that side, I couldn’t be happier. If Nick and I replay the year a little bit, it’s one little thing here and one little thing there, and oftentimes those are just racing things. At Watkins Glen, we were looking pretty good and the front swaybar broke. Those little moments when they start stacking up, that’s where the frustration comes in. But we have to stay focused on what is working for us and the things that we can improve on. We are finding and exploring every other area that we think can be improved and continue on that path. If we keep doing that, then we will have success. I don’t think there needs to be any kind of wholesale change on our side. It’s a matter of continuing down the path we have been going. If we continue do to that, we’ll be in good shape.”

HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO YOU AND NICK NOW PUT ON LE MANS? HOW MUCH WOULD A LE MANS WIN TURN THINGS AROUND?

“A Le Mans win pretty much trumps everything else. Every year, the team has in general joked that if we won Le Mans and we crashed every other race, it would still be a successful year. That’s a bit of a joke obviously, but a lot of emphasis is put on this race. It’s the biggest sports car race in the world and one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Those two wins at Le Mans in my career are two highlights. Every year I feel like we have a chance to get another win, and this year we will see. We feel good obviously, but with a new car there is still a little bit of an unknown. We don’t have any track time there yet with this car, but we feel good about all the preparation we’ve done. We feel good about it and excited about the opportunity with this C8.R. For us on the 4 car side, it would be a great way to turn our year around and fix all the bad luck we’ve had.”

THE TWO CORVETTES HAVE RACED EACH OTHER HARD THIS YEAR. WHEN YOU GO TO LE MANS AND IT’S A LARGER FIELD IS THAT DETREMENT OR DO THE BATTLES YOU’VE BEEN IN FEEL LIKE THEY’RE ENOUGH TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE SHARP?

“There have only been two or three races where it’s just been the two of us battling. With Daytona, Sebring and the Watkins Glen Six Hours, and having the BMW guys there, they’ve been a huge competitor and continually challenge us. It hasn’t felt, to be honest, so far this year that the field is small. Part of that is that we haven’t had tons of races like that but also the challenge of racing our teammates has been pretty big. The race weekends don’t feel a whole lot different. Those felt like big battles. So far, the feeling and atmosphere within the team hasn’t changed. The Porsche guys are still quick. From that aspect, that hasn’t changed dramatically and some of that could be the attention put on Le Mans and understanding that we will have a big challenge there. Part of the team was over there in Spa for the Six Hours there, so the team is still in this mode of maximizing every single thing at the track. A lot of that energy and motivation comes from knowing we do have this big challenge coming up at Le Mans. The team has stayed pretty focused on that.”

TEMPERATURES THIS WEEKEND LOOK LIKE THEY COULD BE RELATIVELY COOL. IS TIRE DEGRADATION STILL A BIG ISSUE AT ROAD AMERICA WITH 70 DEGREE TEMPERATURES?

“Probably. The last couple of years it has been quite warm. It seems like more these days with the tire compound options from Michelin that it’s more about making sure you are on the right compound. That kind of takes care of the degradation issue in that sense. Sometimes we are in between compounds and trying to figure out what the right combination is or the right compound to be on can be tricky. It seems like Road America is a little bit of an outlier in some sense for what we maybe normally run for most of the season. It’s a place where we’re always second-guessing our compound choice because of the track surface and the high-speed nature of the track. We’ll treat it as a nice challenge in that sense of making sure we are doing everything we can to get on the right tire as soon as we can in the practice sessions and be able to work from there. The plan is for us to run as we would normally run there for an IMSA weekend, which is the higher downforce spec. I don’t think the team is planning to run a low downforce spec in preparation for Le Mans. The plan is to run our normal sprint package. In that case, it’s kind of business as usual for the team. Because of the testing we’ve done and the work we’ve done in the sim, we have a good baseline for Le Mans. The focus will be maximizing the race weekend at Elkhart Lake and doing the best we can there with the best package for that racetrack.”

TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH FANS MAKE LE MANS WHAT IT IS, AND HOW PLEASED ARE YOU THAT WE WILL HAVE SOME KIND OF FAN ATTENDANCE AT THIS YEAR’S RACE?

“Le Mans is not just the race itself. It is the atmosphere of the racetrack, the energy the fans bring, the energy that the race itself brings and the history of it. Having fans there will make it feel a bit more normal. Missing some of the other aspects of the event like scrutineering in town and the drivers’ parade and things that are just big moments of the weekend… they all add to the whole show that is Le Mans. From that aspect, those will be missed but having fans there in whatever capacity they are is great. As the years have gone and us as drivers being involved in the race, the few opportunities that I’ve had to watch the racecars go around at speed in-person close to the track, it reminds you of how special it is to see these cars in-person and at full speed. For a lot of European fans, it will be the first time to see the Corvette C8.R. Hopefully it all goes smoothly and the fans have a good time.”
ENDS

Corvette Racing will contest IMSA SportsCar Weekend from August 6-8 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Same day coverage on NBCSN begins at 8 p.m. ET with live streaming coverage on TrackPass and NBC Sports Gold at 2:35 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio will be available on IMSA.com.
[ht: Corvette Racing]

... notes from The EDJE


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Friday, July 16, 2021

Tap Into Your One-Of Chance To Experience Tony Stewart's SRX Series - A Great Promotion For All

SRX Series equally prepared 700-horsepower 396ci V8 with 530 ft-lb of torque Ilmor-powered cars dive into Turn 1 on the dirt short track at Eldora in from of grateful fans. They are grateful to be able to see accomplished drivers from many disciplines race for bragging rights - doesn't get much better than this. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)

Tap Into Your One-Of Chance To Experience Tony Stewart's SRX Series - A Great Promotion For All (ZOOM Call Video Asset)

If one has never had the chance to experience the extra curricular Motor Culture short track series designed to have established winning career drivers from many disciplines compete against each other for fans, also from many disciplines, to enjoy interesting action and outcomes - Saturday night will be your chance, LIVE on CBS over-the-air broadcast television, from the Nashville Fairgrounds.

This weekend will be the final time - a one-of/one-off experience - that this inaugural season of the Camping World SRX Series will be run, live on broadcast television for literally everyone to see.

So many background stories and so little time to explain ... so the Camping World SRX Series put out a press release that lays out a foundation that can trigger additional research and information talking points to share with friends. Almost everything one would want to know about the participants in the SRX Series but were afraid to ask. ALL, right here.

Famed IndyCar career driver Marco Andretti has rarely been captured so happy at a race track as he was captured here after winning against the star-studded driver field at Slinger, Wisconsin. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)

Last week, it was announced that Chase Elliott -- NASCAR's Most Popular Driver and the 2020 Cup champion -- would be entering the SRX finale at Nashville Fairgrounds, pitting him against his father Bill Elliott as well as the rest of the SRX series regulars. Saturday will mark the first time the Elliott father and son duo have raced against each other since 2013.

"You don't have an opportunity to race with your dad, much less on a platform like this and in a series like this," Chase Elliott said in a report by Kayla Anderson of WKRN. "There hasn't been a lot of trash talk yet, but this might bring a side out of us that we haven't seen before."

Further, here is a ZOOM Call presentation between the CBS Sports/SRX Series with Tony Stewart and the father/son match-up - Bill & Chase Elliott - that will be featured in July 17, 2021 finale at Nashville broadcast on CBS.


Camping World SRX Series Season Finale

Round 6 of 6 – Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway – July 17 LIVE on CBS


WHAT:  Camping World SRX Series (Round 6 of 6)

WHERE:  Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee

WHEN:  8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 17

DISTANCE:  Feature consists of 77 laps (preceded by two 12-minute heat races, which sets starting lineup)

CARS:  Purpose-built SRX racecars

 

TV: LIVE on the CBS Television Network with streaming on Paramount+ Premium at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 17

●  Host: Lindsay Czarniak

●  Booth: Allen Bestwick (play-by-play) and James Hinchcliffe (driver analyst)

●  Pit Reporter: Matt Yocum

●  Roaming Analyst: Brad Daugherty

●  Producer: Pam Miller

●  Director: Jim Cornell

 

THE TRACK: Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (.596-mile, paved oval)

●  Banking: 18 degrees in the turns; 3 degrees on the straightaways

●  Width: 60 feet on frontstretch, 50 feet on backstretch and in corners

●  Frontstretch Length: 720 feet

●  Backstretch Length: 680 feet

 

SPOTTER GUIDE: Car color, car number, driver and series they represent

●  Black: No. 98 of Marco Andretti (INDYCAR)

●  Teal: No. 18 of Bobby Labonte (NASCAR)

●  Yellow: No. 2 of Ernie Francis Jr.(TRANS AM)

●  Red: No. 3 of Helio Castroneves (INDYCAR and IMSA)

●  Lime Green: No. 13 of Paul Tracy (INDYCAR)

●  Purple: No. 9 of Bill Elliott (NASCAR)

●  Magenta: No. 48 of Tony Kanaan (INDYCAR)

●  White: No. 94 of Chase Elliott (NASCAR)

●  Indigo: No. 17 of Willy T. Ribbs (TRANS AM, IMSA and INDYCAR)

●  Patriotic: No. 1 of Hailie Deegan (NASCAR)

●  Orange: No. 14 of Tony Stewart (NASCAR, INDYCAR and USAC)

●  Blue: No. 15 of Michael Waltrip (NASCAR)

 

ROUND 1: June 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut (half-mile, paved oval)

●  Feature Winner: Doug Coby (Local All-Star)

●  Heat Race No. 1 Winner: Greg Biffle (Ringer)

●  Heat Race No. 2 Winner: Doug Coby

 

ROUND 2: June 19 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (half-mile, dirt oval)

●  Feature Winner: Tony Stewart

●  Heat Race No. 1 Winner: Tony Stewart

●  Heat Race No. 2 Winner: Scott Bloomquist (Ringer)

 

ROUND 3: June 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (half-mile, high-banked, clay oval)

●  Feature Winner: Tony Stewart

●  Heat Race No. 1 Winner: Tony Stewart

●  Heat Race No. 2 Winner: Marco Andretti

 

ROUND 4: July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana (.686-mile, paved oval)

●  Feature Winner: Ernie Francis Jr.

●  Heat Race No. 1 Winner: Scott Speed (Ringer)

●  Heat Race No. 2 Winner: Helio Castroneves

 

ROUND 5: July 10 at Slinger Speedway in Slinger, Wisconsin (quarter-mile, high-banked asphalt oval)

●  Feature Winner: Marco Andretti

●  Heat Race No. 1 Winner: Marco Andretti

●  Heat Race No. 2 Winner: Greg Biffle (Ringer)

 

DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: After Round 5 of 6

1.    Tony Stewart (199 points)

2.    Ernie Francis Jr. (161 points, -38)

3.    Marco Andretti (155 points, -44)

4.    Bobby Labonte (145 points, -54)

5.    Helio Castroneves (140 points, -59)

6.    Tony Kanaan (139 points, -60)

7.    Michael Waltrip (93 points, -106)

8.    Paul Tracy (90 points, -109)

9.    Bill Elliott (66 points, -133)

10.  Willy T. Ribbs (63 points, -136)

Note: Points are awarded in both heats and the feature. In each heat, the winner receives a maximum of 12 points. Second place earns 11 points with every position in descending order receiving one fewer point, with the 12th-place finisher earning one point. Points increase in the feature, with the winner receiving 25 points, second place 22 points, third place 20 points, fourth place 18 points, fifth place 16 points, sixth place 14 points, seventh place 12 points, eighth place 10 points, ninth place eight points, 10th place six points, 11th place four points and 12th place two points.

 

CREW CHIEF CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: After Round 5 of 6

1.    Todd Parrott (399 points)

2.    Local Legends (391 points, -8)

3.    Jeff Hammond (319 points, -80)

4.    Mike Beam (297 points, -102)

5.    Tony Eury Jr. (171 points, -228)

Note: Ricky Turner is the local legend crew chief at Nashville. The Dawsonville, Georgia-native is a former driver who went from winning races in Late Model stock cars to serving as the winning crew chief for Late Model drivers, most notably with Chase Elliott. Turner was a part of Elliott’s grand slam in 2013 when he became the first driver to win all four majors on the Super Late Model circuit – the All-American 400 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, the Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia, and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

 

NASHVILLE GUEST STAR: CHASE ELLIOTT

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia, United States

Social: IG: @chaseelliott9 / Twitter: @chaseelliott / Facebook: @ChaseElliott

●  Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

●  Winner of 13 NASCAR Cup Series races, seven on road courses, and also a five-time winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and a three-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

●  Qualified on the pole nine times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the 2016 and 2017 Daytona 500.

●  Earned NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2016.

●  Won 2014 Xfinity Series championship, the first rookie to win a NASCAR national series title and the youngest driver (at 18 years of age) to win that series title.

●  Voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver by fans in 2018, 2019 and 2020, a distinction his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, won a record 16 times.

●  Bill Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion, and Chase, the 2020 champion, are the third father-son duo to win NASCAR championships, joining Lee and Richard Petty, and Ned and Dale Jarrett.

●  Before his NASCAR career, became the first driver to win the largest short-track races in the United States – the All-American 400, the Winchester 400, the Snowball Derby and the World Crown 300.

 

NASHVILLE GUEST STAR: HAILIE DEEGAN

Hometown: Temecula, California, United States

Social: IG: @HailieDeegan / Twitter: @HailieDeegan / Facebook: @ HailieDeegan4 / TikTok: @HailieDeegan

●  Substituted for Tony Kannan June 19 at Knoxville and July 10 at Slinger. In SRX debut at Knoxville, finished third in the first heat, fifth in the second heat, and second in the feature to winner Tony Stewart. At Slinger, Deegan finished eighth in the first heat, second in the second heat and fourth in the feature.

●  Three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and was the first female to win a race in the series.

●  Currently competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

●  At just 19 years old, leads all NASCAR drivers – male and female – in fan engagement on social media.

●  Daughter of Brian Deegan, a championship-winning motocross rider, off-road racer and Gold medal-winning X-Games athlete.

 

THE REGULARS:

 

MARCO ANDRETTI

Hometown: Nazareth, Pennsylvania, United States

Social: IG: @marcoandretti / Twitter: @marcoandretti

●  Won the fifth round of the Camping World SRX Series race July 10 at Slinger. It was Andretti’s first victory in a racecar featuring a roof and fenders.

●  Third-generation racer, son of INDYCAR champion Michael Andretti and grandson of the legendary Mario Andretti.

●  Racing select NTT INDYCAR Series races in 2021 (which included the Indianapolis 500).

●  Winner of the 2006 INDYCAR Series Rookie of the Year.

●  Tested for Honda Racing’s Formula One program in 2006 and 2007.

●  Purchased childhood home in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and runs a successful real-estate business.

●  Prepared to run the 2020 New York Marathon before the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the event.

 

IndyCar and 4-Time INDY500 Champion Helio Castorneves in pre-race game face. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)


HELIO CASTRONEVES

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Social: IG: @heliocastroneves / Twitter: @h3lio / Facebook: @h3lio

●  Four-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner (2001, 2002, 2009 and 2021).

●  Winner of the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona with co-drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi.

●  Credited with beginning the tradition of climbing the fence after a race win, which he did after scoring his first career INDYCAR victory at the 2000 Detroit Grand Prix.

●  Mirror Ball Trophy winner on Season 5 of Dancing With The Stars in 2007, alongside partner Julianne Hough.

 

BILL ELLIOTT

Hometown: Dawsonville, Georgia, United States

Social: Twitter: @billelliott9 / Facebook: @billelliott

●  Affectionately known as “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”.

●  Won the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series championship and is a two-time Daytona 500 winner (1985 and 1987).

●  Still holds the track qualifying records at Daytona International Speedway (210.364 mph) and Talladega Superspeedway (212.809 mph), both set in 1987.

●  Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.

●  Voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver by fans a record 16 times.

●  Father of reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. They are the third father-son duo to win NASCAR championships, joining Lee and Richard Petty, and Ned and Dale Jarrett.

 

ERNIE FRANCIS JR.

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Social: IG: @erniefrancisjr / Twitter: @erniefrancisjr

●  Won the fourth round of the Camping World SRX Series race July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway. It was Francis’ first career win on an oval.

●  Winningest driver in the 55-year history of the SCCA Trans Am Series, all while being just 23 years old.

●  At 16, became the youngest champion in Trans Am history and is the youngest professional driver to win seven consecutive championships.

●  One of his most impressive performances came in the 2018 Trans Am race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He had to miss qualifying because of a NASCAR commitment, but still won the race from the back of the grid.

●  Has made select starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR K&N Series.

●  Grandfather immigrated to New York City from Haiti five decades ago.

●  Counts Willy T. Ribbs as a mentor and, like Ribbs, making a name for himself in Trans Am.

 

IndyCar Champion Tony Kanaan with Tony Stewart. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)

TONY KANAAN

Hometown: Salvador, Brazil

Social: IG: @tkanaan / Twitter: @tonykanaan / Facebook: @tonykanaan

●  Won the 2004 INDYCAR championship.

●  Winner of the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

●  Splitting 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series season with seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 48 entry, competing in all of the series’ oval races.

●  Lebanese ancestry but grew up in Brazil; member of racing “Brat Pack” with Dario Franchitti, Max Papis and the late Greg Moore.

●  Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English.

●  Avid triathlete and has completed Ironman event in Hawaii.

 

BOBBY LABONTE

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Social: IG: @bobby_labonte44 / Twitter: @bobby_labonte

●  Won the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series championship and 1991 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

●  Won 2001 International Race of Champions (IROC) title, which was the precursor to SRX.

●  Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020.

●  Is a television analyst for FOX, specifically FS1’s RaceDay.

●  Competes in the Southern Modified Auto Racing Tour (SMART).

●  Founded Longhorn Chassis in 2010 with his brother, Terry, building dirt late model racecars. (Terry is a two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, earning titles in 1984 and 1996.)

●  Owns a Red Mango yogurt shop on the campus of Duke University.

 

Willy T. Ribbs takes selfie with Helio Castroneves. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)

WILLY T. RIBBS

Hometown: San Jose, California, United States

Social: Twitter: @willyribbs

●  First African-American to compete in the Indianapolis 500 (1991 and 1993) and the first African-American to test a Formula One car (1986 with Brabham in Estoril, Portugal).

●  Winner of the 1977 Dunlop/Autosport Star of Tomorrow Formula Ford 1600 championship.

●  A 17-race winner in the SCCA Trans Am Series. Was the 1983 Trans Am Rookie of the Year on the strength of five wins and finished second in the series championship to teammate David Hobbs.

●  Won 10 IMSA GTO races driving for the legendary Dan Gurney.

●  Showed versatility by competing in Trans Am, IMSA, INDYCAR and various NASCAR divisions, including the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series.

●  Made 46 INDYCAR starts between 1990-1994.

●  After retiring from racing, became a professional shooter in the National Sporting Clays Association. Ribbs’ son, Theodore, is also a professional shooter.

●  In the Disney Channel cartoon The Proud Family, character Penny proud and her friends attend Willy T. Ribbs Middle School, where the mascot is “Racer.”

●  Ribbs was the subject of the 2020 Netflix documentary, Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story.

 

TONY STEWART

Hometown: Columbus, Indiana, United States

Social: IG: @tsrsmoke / Twitter: @tonystewart / Facebook: @tonystewart / YouTube: @tonystewart14

●  Swept the two Camping World SRX Series dirt-track races June 19 at Knoxville and June 26 at Eldora.

●  Three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (2002, 2005 and 2011), 1997 INDYCAR Series champion and four-time USAC champion.

●  Stewart is the first and only driver to win championships in stock cars, Indy cars and open-wheel Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown cars.

●  Co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, winner of two NASCAR Cup Series championships (2011 and 2014).

●  Owner of Tony Stewart Racing, winner of 26 championships – 14 in USAC, nine in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and three in the All Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets.

●  Inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame (2020), the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame (2020), the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (2019), the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame (2019), the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame (2019), the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame (2018), the USAC Hall of Fame (2016) and the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame (2001).

●  Formed the Tony Stewart Foundation in 2003.The 501(c)(3) organization’s goal is to raise funds primarily distributed to serving three specific groups – chronically ill and physically disabled children, animals that are endangered or at-risk, and drivers injured in the sport of motor racing. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly $7 million to assist charitable initiatives for more than 150 well-qualified organizations throughout the United States.


Former Penske Championship IndyCar driver Paul Tracy. Image Credit: Mike Arning - True Speed PR via SRX (2021)

PAUL TRACY

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

Social: IG: @paultracyofficial

●  Current NBC TV commentator for its INDYCAR broadcasts.

●  Won the 2003 INDYCAR championship.

●  Finished second to Helio Castroneves in the 2002 Indianapolis 500.

●  Has competed in NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, and dabbled in professional downhill mountain bike racing.

 

MICHAEL WALTRIP

Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

Social: IG: @mwr55 / Twitter: @mw55 / Facebook: @michaelcwaltrip

●  Two-time Daytona 500 winner (2001 and 2003).

●  Younger brother of three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip.

●  Color commentator for FOX’s broadcasts of NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, as well as pre-race commentator for FOX’s broadcast of NASCAR Cup Series races.

●  Author of a New York Times best-seller in 2011, In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything. A documentary film adaptation was released in 2019.

●  An avid runner, competed in the 2000 Boston Marathon.

●  Participated in season 19 of Dancing With The Stars in 2014.

[ht: CBS & Camping World SRX Series]


After five weeks of some of racing's greatest drivers competing on some of America's greatest short tracks, the inaugural season of the Camping World SRX Series is set to reach its conclusion this Saturday night at the famed Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. And with the latest addition to the field, SRX is set to go out with a bang as its series regulars go head-to-head with the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Here is the How to Watch information for the Superstar Racing Experience season finale this coming Saturday.

How to Watch SRX at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Date: July 17, 2021
Time: 8 PM ET - 5 PM PT
Broadcast Over-The-Air TV: CBS
Cable/Computer Streaming:Paramount+

... notes from The EDJE





TAGS: SRX Series, Tony Stewart, Ray Evernham, Ilmor, #NASHVILLE, Bill Elliott, Chase Elliott, #ZOOM, CBS Sports, The EDJE