Monday, September 10, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, September 10, 2012 – Track Chic's "Woman behind the Wheels", Pippa Mann will make her debut in the Auto GP Series, at the final round of the championship in Sonoma on September 23.
The 29 year-old from London will join Campos Racing alongside Max Snegirev and Giuseppe Cipriani, behind the wheel of the #1 car.
Boasting a wealth of open-wheel experience, Mann will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to Campos Racing’s line-up, not least of all because she will be the only driver on the grid that has previously raced at Infineon Raceway.
Mann has two previous outings on the Californian circuit - both in Firestone Indy Lights. She took fifth place there in 2010 with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, in a year where she also claimed three pole positions and one win, securing her fifth place in the overall standings. Momentum from the 2010 season helped to secure her a drive in the pinnacle of US open-wheel racing – the IZOD IndyCar Series. Mann competed in four IndyCar races in 2011, including the Indianapolis 500. Mann will also become the third female driver ever to take the wheel of an Auto GP car, after Natacha Gachnang raced in the series in 2010, and Carmen Jorda, who took part in
the 2011 Magione test.
Speaking about the announcement, Mann said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have the chance to join the Auto GP series – I literally can't put into words how excited I am to be getting back into an open wheel car! The fact that Sonoma is one of my favourite road tracks in the USA is just a huge,added bonus. After the past couple of years it will be a real treat to go road racing and to get to turn both left and right again, as it'll be my first non-oval race since 2010. The cars look like a lot of fun to drive, and the moment I get strapped into the Campos Racing Auto GP car for the first time cannot arrive fast enough.”
Team owner Adrian Campos added: “I’m really delighted to have Pippa with us. I saw her in action in Indy Lights in 2010 when she was racing against my son and I always deemed her a quick and consistent driver. That year she took a win and became the first woman to clinch pole in Indianapolis, and that speaks for her. Furthermore, it will be good to have a driver with some Sonoma experience in the team, it will make our track-learning process much quicker.”
For further information or images please contact Hannah Griffiths at Palindrome Sports
Tel: +44 (0)7815 176587 / Email: Hannah@palindromesports.co.uk
Click here to read Track Chic's Indy 500
debut interview with Pippa Mann : "From Ipswich to Indy!"
Friday, July 6, 2012
Norwalk, Ohio (July 4, 2012)— The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car team has been riding a wave of success and heads into Norwalk, OH with a great feeling of accomplishment and looking to keep the momentum going this weekend at the 6th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. In the past three races, Team Patron, led by ESPY nominated crew chief Del Worsham, has set a 2012 Rookie record, made final and semi-final round appearances, and beat 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion, John Force.
The team’s driver, Alexis “La Patrona” DeJoria visited neighboring Cleveland, Ohio last month for a media tour and has been looking forward to coming back to compete in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals ever since. “I’ve been here several times in my Alcohol [Funny] car, but never in my Nitro car. Bill Bader and his family operate a great facility and I can’t wait to hit the track for the first time in my Patron Toyota Camry,” she said, speaking of the Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
“We’ve done so well lately. Our team has come so far in such a short period of time,” said the Rookie of the Year candidate who visits Ohio with her family as they extend their ‘4th of July’ celebration, taking advantage of the nearby amusement parks. “I made a couple of mistakes this past weekend, but we still managed to get to the semis. Our car is running really good and my teammate [Jeff Arend] won the race, which is awesome, so all is well for Team Kalitta!” she said, referring to last week’s NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Illinois.
Norwalk is a big race for Kalitta Motorsports, as it is the team’s ‘home track’ so friends and family will be out at the Ohio drag strip in full effect this weekend. Team Patron hopes to put on an exciting show for all their fans and drag racing first-timers making the trip over to Norwalk.
The 8,000 horsepower black-and-green stunner has been running excellent lately, but with another hot weekend coming up, Team Patron will have to overcome the challenge of what could be tricky track conditions. “Racing is always a little complicated there because it’s the middle of the summer, and the temperatures are supposed to be in the nineties [degrees] this weekend, which will make for a really tricky race track. Just like last weekend, our main focus going into the race is to really put it all out there during that Friday night qualifying session. If you don’t run well in that session, you’ll be in trouble the rest of the weekend as far as how you’re positioned,” said VP of Kalitta Motorsports’ Jim Oberhofer, referring to how the teams are paired up in Sunday’s eliminations.
“Looking at Chicago, the team deal is really starting to payoff. The two Toyota Camry Funny Cars [the Patron and DHL cars] were doing the exact same thing on every run, and with Jeff’s win and Alexis making it to the semis, it just shows how much stronger the team is getting,” he explained of the Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car strategy of having both cars tuned exactly the same. “Hopefully this week, we’ll keep going down the track, go rounds and make another final round appearance.”
The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car team currently sits in eleventh place on the points ladder, just 83 points away from the ‘Top Ten.’ They hope to continue to climb the rankings this weekend, July 6th-8th, at the 6th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Funny Car qualifying begins at 4PM on Friday afternoon.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
JOLIET, Ill. (July 1) – FINALLY!!!!!
After 20 years of racing, eight years in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class and six final-round appearances, KLR Group driver Erica Enders won the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway on Sunday.
Enders beat nemesis Greg Anderson – who knocked off Enders in Chicago’s final one year ago – to become the first women to win a Pro Stock national event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“For pioneers like Shirley Muldowney and Shelly Anderson-Payne, they were my heroes growing up, and all the women who paved the way,” Enders said. “There are a lot of little kids who look up to me. I’m blessed enough to be in the position to be a role model for them through the Disney movie. I hope that they see me win and know that no matter what, anything is possible. You’ve just got to set your mind to it and follow your dreams. With hard work, anything’s possible.”
To top the historic win off, longtime boyfriend Richie Stevens proposed Sunday night, and Enders accepted. A December wedding is in the works.
Enders began racing at the age of 8, after convincing her father, Gregg Enders, to buy her a Jr. Dragster to able to compete in the new class NHRA created for younger drivers. Enders moved up the ranks into NHRA Sportsman classes, winning a Super Gas national event in 2004. The next year, she moved to Pro Stock with Cagnazzi Racing, becoming the first woman to reach the final round in Chicago in 2005.
In 2011, after being reunited with the Victor Cagnazzi-owned team, Enders raced Anderson in the final round at Chicago in one of her three finals in 2011. But Anderson won that day, saying after the race that he didn’t want to be the first driver to lose to Enders in a Pro Stock final.
Sunday, though, the tables were turned, as Enders left first and outran the four-time champion with a run of 6.627 seconds at 207.40 mph. Anderson came up short after a pass of 6.641 at 208.36 mph.
“It’s awesome. I think if I could’ve planned it, I would’ve asked to run Greg in the finals,” Enders said. “He made it clear that he didn’t want to lose to me. He’s a very competitive guy, and I love him, but I couldn’t wait to beat him.
“I’m really glad it was here in Chicago. This is actually the place of my first final in Pro Stock in 2005, so it’s nice to circle back around and get it done here.”
Anderson was gracious in defeat.“He grabbed my shoulder and said, ‘Well deserved,’” Enders said. “That means a lot coming from an eight-hundred-billion-time champion and somebody I’ve been trying to beat for eight years since I first let the clutch out in one of these cars.
“To have him in the other lane when I got my first win is awesome. Steve Torrence had Tony Schumacher in the other lane when he got his first (Top Fuel) win. Two Texas kids who dreamed of doing this our entire lives, to be able to beat the best in the finals like that, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.”
Like every successful athlete, Enders’ career has had difficult moments. She raced part-time in 2007-2010 as she looked for sponsorship and the right situation. Finally, sponsor Gaston Kearby helped back an effort with Cagnazzi for the 2011 season, and Enders has emerged as one of the top talents in the sport.
“I’m a Christian, and I’m not shy to admit,” Enders said. “I believe there’s a plan bigger than mine. I always have faith that there’s a reason that things happen. Am I disappointed when we lose six times in a row? Absolutely. But I thank God for the blessings and the safety and focus on the things He puts on front of me. I’m a firm believer that he doesn’t give you what you can’t handle. This is 20 years of racing and eight years in Pro Stock, and it finally came together. I said my prayer before the final round: ‘If it’s your will, Lord, it’s my way. I can’t wait.’”
Enders, who moved up to fifth in the Pro Stock points standings, now has one win, two final-round and four semifinal appearances this season. She’s won at least one round in each of the last five races and has reached the semis in the last three.
“My guys back at the shop have been really working their butts off to get us power, and we’ve been trying some new R&D stuff that we’ve been trying to figure out for forever,” Enders said. “We did a last-minute test at Rockingham last week with over 100-degree weather. I guess it was good that we went there and prepared for this hot mess.
“I’m so excited. The testing is really paying off. Pro Stock’s tough. It’ll humble you in an instant. You think you’ve got it figured out, and you go to Bristol and blow all your things up. I can’t say enough for my guys. They’re amazing, and I love them. I couldn’t be more proud for them.”
The victory was a popular one for the 28-year-old from Houston who now lives in New Orleans. Enders is one of the most liked figures in the sport, among fans and competitors alike.
“When I hit my chutes – I hit them before we crossed the finish line – I went straight from focusing on the end of the track to the wall where the win light is,” Enders said. “When I saw that thing come on, I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ My guys are screaming in my helmet. I’m like, ‘Thank you guys so much.’ They’re the reason why I’m able to do what I do.
“When I came around the track, the guys who are turning us off are all pumping their fists – all the Safety Safari guys were lined up around the corner, and the NHRA employees.
“It was just like everything came together. I dreamed of this day my entire life. When I can’t sleep at night, I think about winning and planning my speeches. It’s so awesome that it finally came true.”
Asked where the Wally trophy will go, Enders said she’ll give it to Gregg Enders.
“That one goes to my dad, who’s been my rock and my best friend,” Enders said. “He’s the reason I am who I am and why I’m in this position.”
WELL DONE, ERICA! CONGRATULATIONS!
More info: http://www.cagnazziracing.com/
Saturday, April 28, 2012
HOUSTON (April 24) – GK Motorsports driver Erica Enders carries some confidence and momentum into this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway.Enders is coming off a runner-up finish in the 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway, a result that prompted a phone call from Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden, a 10-time world champion.
“Bob Glidden actually called me on Monday after the race,” Enders said. “We talked a couple weeks ago, too, when I called him after Grumpy (Bill Jenkins) died. He called me on Monday, and the conversation starts out as, ‘Gosh darn it, I thought you were going to win.’”
Enders worked with Glidden on another team a few years ago, and Glidden continues to be a mentor to the 28-year-old driver.
“He told me that he was proud of me and that I’m doing a really good job,” Enders said. “He said he’s been doing this a long time and that the luck will turn. I believe him. Who better to believe than Bob Glidden?”
Glidden won 85 races in his Hall of Fame career, while Enders continues to gun for her elusive first victory in Pro Stock. She’s raced to four final rounds in the last 19 races dating back to last year and has been driving like a champion recently.
Reaction time is crucial to success in Pro Stock, and no one has been better than Enders. She’s had an average launch time of .029 seconds over the last two races, including lights of .017 and .016 in the semifinals and finals, respectively, in Charlotte.
Enders advanced to the semifinals in Las Vegas, and then qualified fourth and reached the finals in Charlotte.
“I am a believer in momentum,” Enders said. “We’ve just got to keep plugging away at it. I’m blessed to have guys who want it as bad as I do. They work their butts off at the shop all week long and they give me a great race car. We know what happened in the finals in Charlotte, and we stayed after and tested to figure some more things out. If I can keep driving the way I’m driving and we keep having a good car, we will keep momentum going.”
Enders will feel at home in Houston as she’s raced at Seth Angel’s facility for more than 20 years. Plus, as a Houston native, Enders will be surrounded by family and friends all weekend.
“I’ve been going there for a really long time, so it’s always fun and exciting to come home and reconnect with family and friends,” Enders said. “I get to see people I haven’t seen forever, and that’s always nice. We’re gone most of the year, so it’s good to have some familiarity.”
Enders scored her first NHRA national event title there in 2004, winning in Super Gas.
“That was really cool because I grew up at that race track,” Enders said. “I won my first Junior Dragster race there when I was 8. That track’s got a lot of memories, and I’m really close to Seth.”
Enders beat her college roommate, Jonathan Johnson, in the finals that day. “He and I had grown up racing Jr. Dragsters, so it was one of those Cinderella stories,” Enders said. “It’s something I’ll never forget."
“I’ve had all my first wins there, from Jr. Dragsters to Super Comp to Super Gas to Top Dragster. It’d be cool to have my first Pro Stock win there, too, but we have to go out and earn it.”
Monday, April 2, 2012
DeWitt, Michigan (Thursday, March 15th, 2012): When Amherstburg, Ontario / Canada driver, Dominique Van Wieringen began her racing career in full-sized stock cars in 2011, expectations were for her to gain valuable experience and valuable seat time and anything else would be a bonus. What ended up happening was a rookie season that would be a successful year for an accomplished and experienced driver let alone a rookie!
During her first season behind the wheel of a full-sized stock car, the 16-year-old Canadian teenager finished fifth overall in the season long points chase in the premier division at the ¼ (0.250) mile semi-banked paved oval of Spartan Speedway in Mason, Michigan, the Outlaw Super Late Models. She shared the 2011 Rookie of the Year title with fellow freshman, Scott Sigman and also walked away with the 2011 Most Improved Driver Award.
Now with a full season behind her, all of the focus shifts to her sophomore campaign as her 2012 plans call for her to return to the Chad Finley Racing Driver Development stables with a focus on chasing after the 2012 Track Championship at Spartan as well as at the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked paved oval of Springport Motor Speedway, located northwest of Jackson in Springport, Michigan on Saturday nights.
"We hope to continue to improve and gain valuable experience for the future. We’ll definitely gain more experience by adding Springport to our schedule in addition to Spartan.” Stated Van Wieringen as her and the CFR Racing Team continue preparations for the upcoming season which sits at 23 events with the possibility of more being added later in the season at other facilities in addition to Spartan and Springport.
In addition, she’ll also run for the 2012 Sunday Slugfest Title, an Outlaw Super Late Models mini-series exclusively held at Spartan on special Sunday afternoons. The mini-series includes an appearance by the ARCA Gold Cup Outlaw Super Late Model Series on Sunday, May 27th as that event, a 100-lap main, not only serves as the Slugfest Series opener, but will also be the ARCA Gold Cup’s second race of the season.
“We don’t expect to come right out and win races, but we do expect to get better every week out. Last year was really great, I learned a lot during the season and I think I improved a lot faster than everyone thought I would.” She continued. “We’re all hoping to contend for both track championships and the competition at both places will definitely be tough. I really look forward to the challenge.” Added Van Wieringen.
The highlight of her rookie season was in only her sixth career start behind the wheel of a full bodied racecar and on that memorable Friday night, July 15th, 2011 as she would fight off two-time track champion, Jimmy Gallagher to score her first career feature win.
“That was totally unexpected for me, it surprised me when the two cars spun in front of me with just a few laps to go and I looked up at the scoreboard and I was leading,” She explained. “It was fun and nerve wracking too knowing that Jimmy was back there. I just tried to stay focused on racing the track and not worrying about trying to hold him off. He raced me clean though and I really appreciate it. He could’ve definitely bumped me out of the way more than once, but I’m happy that he didn’t.” She ended.
By winning the Feature that night, Van Wieringen became just the second female in the tracks long and storied history to win a Feature in the tracks premiere division since Barb Beurmann accomplished the feat back in 1982, 29 years previous! In 10 starts during her freshman season, she scored her one Feature Win as well as three top five finishes and six top 10s.
Future plans have the Canadian teenager, who will turn 17 on June 22nd, tentatively making select appearances within the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts towards the end of the 2012 season with her sights set on going after the Howie Lettow Memorial Rookie of the Year Presented by Howe Racing Enterprises, which is awarded to the top freshman in the JEGS/CRA/GM series for the 2013 campaign.
For the 2012 racing season, Van Wieringen’s #95 Outlaw Super Late Model will be sporting a black paint scheme and will have sponsorship decals on the side of the cars from DuroByte Inc., as well as NorthsideTowing.net, Howe Racing Enterprises, M.P.H. Promotions, and Chad Finley Racing. To learn more about Dominique Van Wieringen and to inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming season, go to her webpage at: www.dominiqueracing.com
Contact: Jeff Finley
Thursday, March 22, 2012
DAYTONA BEACH — Elena Myers made racing history Saturday when she became the first professional woman racer to win a major event at Daytona International Speedway.
Myers won the closely contested AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport race, which was staged prior to the 71st Daytona 200, won by Joey Pascarella
“I was crying the whole cool-down lap,” she said. “I was crying and that was ridiculous. I’m such a girl. I can get away with it.”
The 18-year-old Myers stayed in the lead group, forging to the top of the chart on Lap 6 of the 10-lap sprint over Daytona’s 3.51-mile Long Course.
James Rispoli tugged the lead back on Lap 7.
On the final, white-flag lap, Myers found herself with the lead as she exited the chicane — a quick left turn that separates the 3,200-foot back straightaway from the Turn 3 banking.
She waited a few seconds for another rider to blow by her for the lead, but there were no takers. She charged through the gear box to reach maximum speed in the East Banking and charged to the finish line.
“Nobody got around me so I went to my next two gears and ended up pulling it off,” Myers said. “It was crazy that nobody got around me. I wasn’t expecting to win after leading down the front stretch.”
Myers’ mentor and bike owner John Ulrich said Rispoli had a problem with his bike, leaving Corey Alexander and Hayden Gillim fighting side-by-side for second place.
Alexander finished second, just a scant .240 seconds behind Myers.
Ulrich said a rider leading out of the chicane is generally a sitting duck for others to draft around for the victory.
“She led them out of the chicane, which is normally a recipe for disaster,” Ulrich said. “When nobody challenged her, she put her head down and made a run for it.
“She did a really good job. She did a great job of staying with the lead group and holding her ground.”
It was Myers’ second career SuperSport Series victory and had officials from the AMA and Speedway scrambling through the record books.
They determined Myers had just become the first female competitor to win a major professional racing event of any kind at Daytona, which opened in 1959.
Myers cried in her helmet because she had just won a major race. She didn’t think about the gender aspect of the victory until she was interviewed by the media.
“I didn’t think about the female part of it until I got to the media center and somebody asked me about it,” she said. “I was more excited to get another win, not just Daytona, but to get a win. If you can win at Daytona, that’s great.”
And, maybe most important, she earned a bit more respect from her male counterparts, who are known to throw elbows during these close-quarter events.
“I am just as capable of running up front and I hope they know that,” she said. “I’m sure they do but I don’t think they are ready to admit that yet.
“They throw elbows at me, but I was throwing elbows at them. I’m not scared to be aggressive. If they do it to me, I have the right to do it back.”
Myers hopes to make a championship run then return to compete in the 2013 Daytona 200. Ulrich says Myers only needs to build endurance to compete in the grueling, 57-lap race.
“I knew she was going to win again,” Ulrich said. “I didn’t know it was going to be at Daytona.”
Myers realizes she created history Saturday, but for her, it was a rider winning a race, that just happened to be at the “World Center of Racing.”
“Right now I see myself as another rider,” she said. “I guess I did something no other girl has done, so it’s a little different to people. Not in my eyes.”
Special thanks to GODWIN KELLY, MOTORSPORTS EDITOR for this story!
Follow Elena Myers racing career: http://elenamyers.com/
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 16, 2012) – Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (JJCR) announced today plans to race the full 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) schedule. In addition, the team will enter select NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season. For owner and driver Jennifer Jo Cobb, this marks a fresh canvas and she and her No. 10 team are more ready than ever to make a lasting impression.
The team will enter a combination of Ford and Dodge-manufactured trucks in the NCWTS and Dodge Challengers in the NNS. Cobb’s “Driven2Honor” program will adorn her vehicles until primary sponsorship is secured.
Cobb ran her first full season of NCWTS competition in 2010. She finished 17th in the championship standings that year, setting a new precedent of the modern era as the highest-finishing female in one of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series. Initial 2011 attempts to run full-time in the NNS were thwarted when the team she partnered with at the beginning of the year was unable to fulfill its obligations. Cobb’s team quickly went into action to salvage the season’s efforts, going on to make 18 of the 34 events. She also ran 12 NCWTS races, finishing a career-best sixth place at Daytona International Speedway in February. Cobb sees last year as a learning experience and plans to build on her achievements from the past two seasons.
“We sat down in the off-season and evaluated our strengths and weaknesses. We figured out what we needed to leave the same and what needed to change,” Cobb said. “We realized that we’ll be better off focusing our efforts primarily on one series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and running a few select NASCAR Nationwide Series events. We felt like we were scrambling last season between the two series and couldn’t give our best effort in each event. For our small team, we were just spread too thin. Now we can concentrate primarily on one series and make sure that our trucks get better and better each week.”
Other changes that Cobb made in the off-season include a new race shop and three additional crew members. Steve Kuykendall is returning as Cobb’s crew chief, however, he will only lead Cobb’s NCWTS efforts allowing the team to focus on the full schedule.
“I’m so excited about how all of our changes are shaping up,” Cobb said. “We are already seeing dividends. The new shop has more equipment and resources. Our new crew members have brought lots of fresh ideas and perspectives to our organization. Our crew chief, Steve Kuykendall, is able to dial in his efforts on one program and focus on our truck team. We’re definitely more prepared and more organized heading into this season. Things are off to a great start.”
Cobb will continue with her Driven2Honor program in 2012. The program rewards female members of the military for their service by hosting them at the race track. Cobb entertained numerous women and their guests last season and aims host a female soldier/veteran at every NCWTS race this season.
“I’m very proud of our Driven2Honor program and so glad that we can continue it in 2012,” Cobb said. “We aim to honor the women of armed services with our race team. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ for all that they’ve sacrificed and contributed to our country. We hope to host someone at every venue this year. The program is very important to me and will always be part of our team, even if a primary sponsor takes over its space on the truck.”
About Jennifer Jo Cobb:Jennifer Jo Cobb is a NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series driver, as well as a national spokesperson, public speaker and television personality.
In 2010, Cobb made racing history. Her 17th place finish in the Camping World Truck Series standings was the highest among females in one of NASCAR’s national touring series since 1949.
Jennifer is working to secure sponsorship for 2012. Between race events, Jennifer does appearances for her sponsors, is a public speaker and runs her businesses.