Monthly Archives: October 2020

Harrison Burton wins in Xfinity Series’ return to Martinsville; Championship 4 set; Brett Moffitt ends the day in 13th place

Note: Brett Moffit is a former NASCAR Gander Truck Series Champion and also drives as Xfinity Series entry for Cape Cod’s Chris Our. Our is a general contractor and calls Harwich, MA home

By Staff Report October 31, 2020

Harrison Burton - Wikipedia
Harrison Burton is a NNASCAR Xfinity Series driver of note

Harrison Burton roared to his second straight victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ return to Martinsville Speedway as the Championship 4 field was determined for next week’s season finale.

Burton pushed the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota to a .355-second win, leading a race-high 81 of the 250 laps in the Draft Top 250. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate’s fourth victory of the season was his first at the .526-mile Virginia track and the fourth of his Xfinity Series career.

Only Chase Briscoe entered Martinsville with a clinched title shot, thanks to his victory earlier in the postseason’s Round of 8. Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley added their names to the list of four finalists who will battle for the Xfinity Series crown in next Saturday’s season finale (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Phoenix Raceway.

The playoff field was cut in half, with Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson and Ryan Sieg eliminated from title contention.

Allgaier finished second with Gragson third, Jeb Burton fourth and Chastain rounding out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger led twice for 68 laps but fell from contention when his No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet slowed with a flat left-rear tire with 37 laps remaining. He finished 26th, two laps down.

The 250-lapper marked the Xfinity Series’ first race at the historic Virginia track since 2006.

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2021 route: Arabia as never seen before-Dakar Rally

While Saudi Arabia made a strong impression on the hearts and minds of the competitors of the 2020 Dakar, it was only a sneak peek of its geography. Come 2021, its vast and diverse landscapes will set the stage for a new tour of the desert in which riders, drivers and crews enter uncharted territory. Although some of the towns and cities that hosted the bivouac last January will be returning, the action will be brand-new!





(Credit: Nicole Deron photo.)

A prologue in Jeddah

On the shores of the Red sea, the vehicles will rev up their engines and open the first gaps on a spectacular course designed to keep fans on the edge of their seats. The opener will be decided by seconds.

Two loop stages

Some regions (and the quest for technical sections) are worth staying a bit longer to discover everything they have in store. It also gives support crews a well-deserved breather.

A marathon stage

The marathon stage fits the spirit of rally raids and the Dakar like a glove. Riders, drivers and co-drivers will have to marshal all their physical, mental, technical and strategic resources… while leaving something in the tank for later. A superb balancing act.


The economic heart of the country was the scene of the arrival of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia in 2020. The ships and planes transporting the vehicles, competitors, and support teams will follow the same path in 2021. However, this time round, Medina will also close the loop and host the finish of the rally.


For centuries, Ha’il was a stop on a trade route between the Red sea and Mesopotamia. The region is also famous for its numerous rock faces covered with rock art, which stand as reminders of the presence of human populations going almost 10,000 years back. However, true connoisseurs also know the region as the cradle of rally raids in Saudi Arabia. The core of Saudi riders and drivers formed around Ha’il, whose annual rally is the major event of the rally raid community.

Skill over speed

The sporting teams in charge of preparing the 2021 edition of the rally have focused on fleshing out the new navigation system introduced last January and slowing down the vehicles to make the race even safer.

Road book to be handed out just 10 minutes before the start

Mediocre competitors can memorise a road book from A to Z, but real navigators know how to read and interpret it on the fly. The cream of the crop shone in the stages of the 2020 edition in which road books were handed out right before the start. In 2021, this will become the general rule.

The road book will also experience a quantum leap in usability with the introduction of a digital version, which is more reliable than the paper one, in certain categories.

Aural warnings and slow zones

The road book already highlights danger zones, but from now on competitors will also receive aural warnings in the approach to difficulty 2 and 3 zones to keep them alert. Furthermore, certain especially tricky and hazardous sectors will be categorised as “slow zones” where the speed limit is 90 km/h.

Spare (the) tyres

In rally raids, tyre management usually plays a decisive role and determines just how hard the competitors can push their vehicles. No tyre changes will be allowed in the car category during the marathon stage —not even between competitors. Each motorbike will be granted a total of six rear tyres for the entire rally.

Airbag vests now mandatory

Airbag vests, which are already in use in several road categories and in MotoGP, can reduce the severity of injury in a serious crash. They will now be mandatory and subject to inspection by race officials during technical scrutineering.

Penalties for piston changes and ban on work at refuelling stations for motorbikes

Penalties for engine changes were introduced a few years ago to encourage bikers to ride carefully. From next year, time penalties will be applied starting from the second piston change even if the rest of the engine remains the same. Finally, bikers will no longer be allowed to work on their motorbikes at refuelling stations.

Triumph and Near-Tragedy on the Bonneville Salt Flats

Courtesy of Auto Week

One big record was set on the salt, and one big crash sent a rider to the hospital

BY MARK VAUGHN speed demon goes 481 at bonnevilleSPEED DEMON

There was good news and bad news at the 72ndannual SCTA Bonneville Speed Week this year.

The good news: veteran Bonneville racer George Poteet set a new record for fastest piston-powered, wheel-driven land speed racing in his single-engine BFS (blown fuel streamliner) Speed Demon with a two-way average speed up and down the salt of 470 mph. Those runs broke the record set in 2018 by Danny Thompson in Challenger II, who had himself broken Poteet’s earlier records.

Poteet has been racing at Bonneville since 2006, when he was enlisted by long-time B-ville veteran Ron Main to race Main’s flathead Ford-powered Flat Fire, as the car was originally named. Flat Fire was tuned to the nines to make over 700 hp, according to hot rod sage Tony Thacker, writing on Main then swapped in a Chevy Eco Tec four and renamed the rig EcoFire. It was that version of the car which Poteet drove and liked so much that he decided to build something similar and really go racing.

Speed Demon was the result. It was built to compete in SCTA’s AA/BFS class. AA means the displacement of the V8 is over 501 cubic inches and BFS means Blown Fuel Streamliner. The car’s Ken Duttweiler single V8 runs on methanol and is fed by two turbos capable of adding 35 pounds of boost. It makes 3,155 hp and 2,017 lb ft of torque, Thacker wrote. The record runs were made with only 20 psi.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Poteet had recorded 400-mph runs on the salt over many years but it was this year that the team dialed it all together and set the 470-mph average, with an exit speed out the top end of the five-mile timed section of the course of 481 mph. Yow! Even better, the tach stopped working on the final run and Poteet had to shift by sound. The 71-year-old Poteet apparently has quite the good ear.

But the crew at Bonneville was also reminded this year just how dangerous racing can be. During a run by veteran motorcycle racer Ralph Hudson, the rider was reportedly jostled by a gust of wind and lost control of his bike at 252 mph, according to the SCTA, the Southern California Timing Association, which sanctions the event. The subsequent steering wobble – known as a tank-slapper – sent the 69-year-old Hudson onto the salt at well-over triple-digit speeds. He was taken by ambulance to a life flight helicopter and from there to Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City. The Bureau of Land Management, which has jurisdiction over Bonneville, said Hudson was in critical condition. SCTA, citing family privacy requests, said in a comment on its Facebook page only that Hudson was “still alive.” Hudson is, by all accounts, a well-loved figure in the landspeed racing community.

That was the bad news. There was much more good than bad at Bonneville this year, though evidence of both prevailed.

Among the usual wide-range of race cars was the “Tesla-powered” Electraliner, which set an electric record of 229.363 mph but was soon engulfed in controversy after a subsequent run; racer Andy Pickett who, in what should be called Pickett’s Charge, took an ancient 50-cc Honda motorcycle to a record 47.316 mph; Got Salt Racing which set a record of 353.514 mph in BFL class, Blown Fuel Lakester; and 81-year-old Jerry Kugel, of Kugel Komponents, whom you’ve seen at the Roadster Show in Pomona, and who wanted to break his own record set 40 years ago of 245.804 in a Model A Roadster but was hampered by licensing requirements and hit only 203. They were all there, and about 200 more, as they are every year.

Look through the rule book at and pick a class you think you could win and start building. And keep Hudson in your thoughts. See you on the salt!

SSC to re-run Tuatara land-speed record attempt, not submitting current run to Guinness

The SSC Tuatara is a beast, and here's proof - SlashGear

Tuatara Automobile

Joel Feder


The SSC Tuatara is not the fastest production vehicle on the planet, at least not yet, officially.

After much controversy, the world will get to find out what the Washington-based automaker’s Tuatara supercar can do, again. On Friday night, SSC CEO Jerod Shelby released a video on the company’s YouTube channel stating the Tuatara will make another run for the record in “the very near future.” The move effectively abandons SSC’s claimed record of 316.11 mph set on Oct. 10 near Pahrump, Nevada.

“We’ll run it again, with every backstop in place, so the speeds clocked on the next run are irrefutable,” Shelby said to Motor Authority.

To ensure the accuracy of the data from the next record attempt, the Tuatara will be equipped with “multiple GPS companies’ equipment in the car” and “their staff on site looking over our shoulder analyzing every run, every detail,” Shelby said in the video.

The record run’s data from Oct, 10 will not be submitted to Guinness World Records. “I don’t believe Guinness would even review the submission due to all the controversy,” Shelby told MA. The initial run’s GPS satellite data has yet to be verified by an independent third party.

Per Guinness World Record’s rules, two independent third-party witnesses were on site at the record attempt to verify the data and certify they saw it. The independent witnesses were Brian Shoemake of Pahrump Life magazine and Nevada legislator Gregory Hafen II.

SSC has not said whether there was a discrepancy with the calibration of the Dewetron satellite GPS tracking system during the first run, which would have caused the data gathered by the system to be inaccurate.

Shelby told MA Guinness will not be on site for the next record attempt as the organization doesn’t send its own people and relies on having two witnesses on site to certify the record. He also said it is yet to be determined who the driver will be and when the next run will take place.

SSC claimed the attempt on Oct. 10 in Nevada consisted of passes of 301.07 mph in one direction and 331.15 mph in the opposite for a two-way average of 316.11. Now, that figure will not be recognized as a new production-car land-speed record. However, SSC will make another attempt to set the record.

Grant Enfinger Wins Wild Martinsville as NASCAR Trucks Final Four is Decided

Courtesy of Auto Week

Enfinger joins Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith in the Championship Race.

Note: Brett Moffitt, a former Gander Truck Series Champion also drives an Xfinity Series entry for Cape Cod’s Chris Our a building contractor from Harwich, MA.

BY MATT WEAVER OCT 31, 2020nascar gander rv  outdoors truck series nascar hall of fame 200BRIAN LAWDERMILKGETTY IMAGES

  • Grant Enfinger won Martinsville to advance to the Trucks Final Four.
  • Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith will also race for the title.
  • Enfinger and Ben Rhodes were on the front row at the end and needed to win.

Equally desperate, Grant Enfinger held off a last-ditch effort from ThorSport Racing teammate Ben Rhodes and won his way into the NASCAR Truck Series championship race with a green-white-checkered triumph on Friday at Martinsville Speedway.

Enfinger led 49 of 200 laps, but nothing about it came easy, with so many drivers desperately needing a win to make the Final Four.

His first win at the historic half-mile was his sixth in Truck Series competition, but arguably his most important, as it permit him entry into the championship.

Enfinger entered this race facing a 42-point deficit, meaning that nothing short of a win would be enough, and that’s exactly what happened. The potential problem for Enfinger is that Rhodes was facing identical odds, 45 points, and gave his teammate a shove on that final restart.

Enfinger held on and will join Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt and Zane Smith as the championship eligible drivers next Friday night at Phoenix Raceway. The highest finishing driver amongst the four at Phoenix will win the championship.

“We kind of came in here with nothing to lose, and honestly, that’s how we’ll attack Phoenix,” Enfinger said.

Enfinger is the 2015 ARCA Racing Series champion.

Rhodes, Tyler Ankrum, defending champion Matt Crafton and regular season champion Austin Hill were eliminated from championship contention.

“We had a shot, but first off, congrats to Grant they worked their butts off all year,” Rhodes said. “They have three wins, this is their fourth, they deserve it. We were racing as hard as we can. Didn’t have the speed we needed but we hung around and my team had good strategy all day long. It’s just unfortunate.”This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Hill’s elimination was the most dramatic, entering with a solid 27-point advantage over the cutline, but failing to advance to the final four due to an engine failure that became insurmountable after 117 laps. It began to show itself shortly after the conclusion of the first stage.

“We aren’t 100 percent sure what happened, but it was definitely blowing up on us,” Hill said. “The first stage, I thought we had a tire going down maybe. We lost some track position and then got back to the lucky dog and then as soon as I got to the lucky dog, we started blowing up.

It started cutting in and out, so I guess it’s those really great built Ilmor engines. They like to breathe fire. It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that. … We should definitely be in this final four. It’s frustrating. I can’t even put it in to words what I’m feeling right now.”
This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.


The most remarkable thing to come out of Martinsville is what didn’t happen.

It seemed inevitable that Christian Eckes would retaliate against Ben Rhodes for the incident that transpired between them last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Advertisement – Continue Reading BelowThis content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Eckes had several opportunities if he wanted to, but they raced side-by-side and nose-to-tail throughout the race, and never enacted revenge.

Rhodes said he texted Eckes earlier in the week to explain what happened from his standpoint, but that went unanswered.

“I wasn’t really worried about it,” Rhodes said. “The biggest thing that upset me was the insults that I got walking up and down pit road today and going to my truck.”
Read NextWe Now Have All the Details Concerning 23XI Racing


82 of 200 laps were run under caution.

“I don’t know if this was Martinsville or Bowman Gray,” Smith said.

There were 11 cautions, and the average green flag run was 9.8 laps, but the length of the cautions curtailing the opportunities to race, drew the ire of several competitors like Crafton.

“That there at the end of the race was absolutely pathetic,” Crafton said. “Soneone spins out and it takes us at least 10 laps to get going.”

The intensity of making Martinsville the cutoff race before the championship race was extremely evident.


1. Grant Enfinger
2. Ben Rhodes
3. Zane Smith
4. Christian Eckes
5. Matt Crafton
6. Stewart Friesen
7. Danny Bohn
8. Sheldon Creed
9. Austin Wayne Self
10. Derek Kraus
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Tyler Ankrum
13. Carson Hocevar
14. Timmy Hill
15. Spencer Boyd
16. Dawson Cram
17. Brandon Jones
18. Sam Mayer
19. Jordan Anderson
20. Raphael Lessard
21. Clay Greenfield
22. BJ McLeod
23. Johnny Sauter
24. Parker Kligerman
25. Ray Ciccarelli
26. Norm Benning
27. Natalie Decker
28. Brett Moffitt
29. Jennifer Jo Cobb
30. Ryan Truex
31. Tanner Gray
32. Todd Gilliland
33. Spencer Davis
34. Codie Rohrbaugh
35. Austin Hill
36. Tate Fogleman
37. Josh Reaume

Grant Enfinger races into Championship 4 with Gander Trucks win at Martinsville; Brett Moffit ends up ends up 28th after being in the top five and the lead in a wreck late in the race while Ridgefield, CT’s Parker Kligerman finishes 25th

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nascar.png

Note: In addition to being a top driver in the Gander Truck Series, Moffit drives a Xfinity Series entry for Cape Cod’s Chris Our who hails from Harwich, MA

By Holly Cain NASCAR Wire Service October 30, 2020  at 10:15 PM

There was no mistaking the raised intensity level in Friday night’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 – the final race to set the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series’ Championship 4. And ultimately, veteran Grant Enfinger rallied when he needed to, holding off his ThorSport Racing teammate Ben Rhodes for the victory necessary to punch his ticket into next week’s championship finale.

Enfinger, 35, of Fairhope, Alabama, earned this win managing two restarts in a frantic final 10 laps of racing on the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway notorious for its rough-and-tumble high-action brand of competition. He held off Rhodes by a mere .803 seconds to earn his career-best fourth win of the year and join Brett Moffitt, Sheldon Creed and rookie Zane Smith as the four drivers who earned a shot to challenge for the 2020 season title next week in Phoenix.

“Thank you guys, thank you guys, this is unbelievable,” Enfinger told his team as the No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford took the checkered flag.

“It was tough, we knew we were going to have to take our gloves off and fight for this one,” Enfinger said after celebrating. “It’s been an up-and-down season for us, but we tended to peak when we needed to. And now I feel really good about our chances at Phoenix.”

Smith finished third followed by Christian Eckes and reigning series champion Matt Crafton.

Both runner-up Rhodes and Crafton failed to advance to the Championship 4 round. While Rhodes’ hopes were lost in a blink of an eye behind Enfinger, Crafton finished fifth and came within three painstaking points of Smith for that fourth and last championship-eligible position.

“We had a shot, but first off, congrats to Grant, they worked their butts off all year,” Rhodes said of his teammate. “They have three wins, this is their fourth, they deserve it.

“We were racing as hard as we can. Didn’t have the speed we needed, but we hung around and my team had good strategy all day long. It’s just unfortunate.”

With eight laps remaining, three of the front-running trucks spun in a big chain-reaction crash that involved Rhodes, Raphael Lessard and sidelined Moffitt. Rhodes was able to continue and rejoined the field in second place right behind his teammate Enfinger.

The field was then set for the final two-lap sprint to the finish. Rhodes had to line up directly in front of Christian Eckes with his championship hopes on the line – one week after the two had an incident at Texas Motor Speedway followed by post-race confrontation in the garage. Rhodes and Eckes had contact, but Rhodes was just not able to catch and pass Enfinger, who led 49 laps overall.

Perhaps the most unexpected competitive moment of the race came when regular-season champion Austin Hill brought his hobbled truck onto pit road and called it a night only 117 laps into the 200-lap race.

For a two-race winner, who has led the championship points standings since the second week of the season, it was an unexpected and gut-wrenching turn of events. He came into the race the highest ranked driver without a victory in this playoff round – holding a healthy 27-point advantage on the cutline.

Unfortunately, Hill started sensing a problem in his No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota by the start of the second stage. The team tried to diagnose and correct the problem on multiple pit stops, but the truck had to retire and a disappointed Hill could only hope something major would happen in the final laps that may put him back in position to race for the title. It did not.

“We’re not a 100 percent sure what happened but it was definitely blowing up on us,” Hill said. “It’s just frustrating to potentially end your season on an engine failure like that. … We should definitely be in this final four. … I can’t even put into words what I’m feeling right now.”

Creed won the first stage and led a race-best 65 laps. He finished eighth.

The Lucas Oil 150 championship finale at the 1-mile Phoenix Raceway is set for next Friday at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

NOTE: There were no issues or lug-nut violations in NASCAR’s post-race inspection.

Road courses, new venues highlight 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule

Com 2021 Nxs Schedule Hero

By Official NASCAR Release October 30, 2020  at 2:58 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2020) – NASCAR today announced the 2021 schedule for the NASCAR Xfinity Series™, which will mirror many of the historic changes in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule that was announced in September.

The Xfinity Series will join the Cup Series for 32 of its 33 weekends, including running for the first time at Circuit of the Americas (May 22) and for the first time since 2011 at Nashville Superspeedway (June 19). The series will return to Mid-Ohio on June 5 for the only event at a venue apart from the Cup Series.

“As was the case with the Cup Series, we’re thrilled to have worked with the industry and our broadcast partners to deliver an exciting Xfinity Series schedule for our fans,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR vice president of racing development. “We saw phenomenal Xfinity Series racing in 2020, and this schedule allows us to build on that momentum by adding compelling new venues to an already fantastic mix of traditional race tracks.”

The Xfinity Series will make its lone Sunday appearance in Pocono on June 27 as part of an action-packed NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader weekend in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

After a pair of off weekends in late July, the series returns to action for back-to-back road course racing in Watkins Glen (Aug. 7) and on the Indianapolis Road Course (Aug. 14). Those events will kick off 14 consecutive weekends of racing, including seven straight Playoff races culminating with the crowning of an Xfinity Series champion in Phoenix (Nov. 6).

Bristol Motor Speedway will again host the regular-season finale (Sept. 17), while Las Vegas Motor Speedway will open the Playoffs (Sept. 25). The Charlotte ROVAL (Oct. 9) and Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 30) will once again serve as the cutoff races, trimming the Playoffs field to eight and four, respectively.

Broadcast times and networks will be announced at a later date, as will the 2021 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Below is the full 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule (Playoff races in bold font):


DateRace / Track
Saturday, February 13Daytona
Saturday, February 20Homestead-Miami
Saturday, February 27Auto Club
Saturday, March 6Las Vegas
Saturday, March 13Phoenix
Saturday, March 20Atlanta
Friday, April 9Martinsville
Saturday, April 24Talladega
Saturday, May 8Darlington
Saturday, May 15Dover
Saturday, May 22COTA
Saturday, May 29Charlotte
Saturday, June 5Mid-Ohio
Saturday, June 12Texas
Saturday, June 19Nashville Superspeedway
Sunday, June 27Pocono
Saturday, July 3Road America
Saturday, July 10Atlanta
Saturday, July 17New Hampshire
Saturday, August 7Watkins Glen
Saturday, August 14Indianapolis Road Course
Saturday, August 21Michigan
Friday, August 27Daytona
Saturday, September 4Darlington
Saturday, September 11Richmond
Friday, September 17Bristol
Saturday, September 25Las Vegas
Saturday, October 2Talladega
Saturday, October 9Charlotte Roval
Saturday, October 16Texas
Saturday, October 23Kansas
Saturday, October 30Martinsville
Saturday, November 6Phoenix