Friday, January 19, 2018


The WILD
Jeep Quicksand concept
 
 

While at the 2018 Silicon Valley Auto Show in San Jose, the author spotted the wild Jeep “Quicksand” concept that debuted at the 2017 Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah which blends both off-road and gasser dragster styling cues to create an  “X-rated” 4 x 4.   



The Wrangler-based concept features a longer wheelbase, trimmed front and rear body, a flip-forward hood and a chopped hardtop.



Each corner is supported by coil-over shock absorbers. What looks like a drag racing parachute is actually a recovery rope pack complete a “Secure before Flight” tag.
 
 
The Quicksand rides on 18-inch “kidney bean” simulated mag wheels, up front wrapped in 32-inch diameter BF Goodrich® Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. To in order to achieve a ‘hot rod rake’ the rear tires are 37 inches in diameter.
 
 
What looks like a classic hot rod detail the Moon tank is actually a Warn winch.
 
 
 
The power plant is a fuel injected 392-cubic-inch ‘Hemi’  V-8 crate engine with  gasser style fender headers mated to a Getrag six-speed manual transmission connected to a two-speed, part-time transfer case that sends power to the front Dana 44 axle
 
 
The interior features a roll bar, two leather seats and matching sprayed in bedliner.
 

This shot shows the fuel cell
 

Note the tilt-out windshield glass.
 
 
The Quicksand concept is based on the new JL-generation 2018 Wrangler which uses aluminum, composites, and magnesium to save nearly 200 pounds over the previous JK-generation Wrangler. The new JL-generation also has a new "sport bar" structure and offers an optional 270-horsepower all-aluminum 2.0-liter direct fuel injected with a twin-scroll turbocharger and electronic wastegate. 

Check it out https://www.jeep.com/wrangler.html

Monday, January 15, 2018


How competitive was the Chili Bowl?
A snapshot of championship diversity

 
 
 
 
By now, most racing fans know that Christopher Bell a member of the powerful Keith Kunz Motorsports/Toyota Racing Development team successfully defended his title as the 2018 Chili Bowl Nationals champion. Bell took the victory after his teammate and fellow NASCAR star Kyle Larson suffered an engine failure midway through the 55-lap feature race.
KKM Toyota -powered Spike chassis entries won three of the four 2018 Chili Bowl preliminary night features and Bell’s win is KKM’s fourth consecutive Chili Bowl win since 2015. KKM was dominant on Saturday as in addition to claiming the feature win, all three steps of the podium went to KKM drivers – Rico Abreu was second and Spencer Bayston was third.
With such domination by one team, some may ask the question with 345 entries in 2018, how competitive and diverse is the Chili Bowl? Consider the starting field for the first of two C-Main 15 lap features which included Tanner Thorson the 2016 USAC (United States Auto Club) National Midget Champion and  2017 National Midget Driver of the Year, 2008 ARCA stock car champion Justin Allgaier who finished third in the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity series, and Steve Buckwalter, who has over 30 wins on the tough ARDC (American Racing Drivers Club) midget circuit and was their 2010 series champion.
That trio was joined by multi-time ASCS (American Sprint Car Series) Northwest division champion Roger Crockett, three-time POWRi midget series champion Zach Daum, World of Outlaws late model series champion and 2006 Chili Bowl champion Tim McCreadie, and multi-time USAC Southwest sprint car champion RJ Johnson.
As if that is not a tough enough field, it also included two-time USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon, Sprint Car Challenge Tour (SCCT) sprint car series star Colby Copeland, CJ Leary who won four USAC National sprint car features in 2017 USAC/CRA multi-time winner Jake Swanson, three-time King of West sprint car champion Kyle Hirst and USAC National Sprint car series star Thomas Meseraull who was the 2004 BCRA (Bay Cities Racing Association) Midget series champion.  
Of the twenty cars and drivers in the first C-Main race, only the top six advanced to the tail of the first B-main race – Thorson, Allgaier, local driver Ace McCarthy who races with the POWRi series, Daum, Bacon and Leary. Of those six drivers only one -Tanner Thorson-was able to advance to the night’s 55-lap feature where he finished fourth behind his three former teammates, as for 2018, Thorson drives for the Dooling-Hayward Motorsports/Richard Childress Racing team.  
 
 

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Kilby Racing continues 2018 season prep
 



In the early weeks of 2018, Kilby Racing in Bealeton Virginia continued to prepare for Bradley Kilby’s inaugural season in a limited late model race car.
 
Racers know that you can’t win unless you get to the track, so recently the Kilby team purchased a new 41-foot triple-axle race trailer and Chevrolet dually pickup which the fun-loving family team immediately nicknamed the “white freight train.”
 

 
With this rig, from Phillip Morris Trailer Town, the 2017 Dominion Speedway Bandelero track champion’s team will have plenty of room to work.
 


Bradley will begin testing his limited late model racer during March in preparation for his first 2018 race on April 7 at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg Virginia. C

Check out the full 2018 Dominion schedule at http://ovaltrack.dominionraceway.com/2108-oval-track-schedule/ and follow Bradley’s accomplishments on this site and be sure to “like” Kilby Racing on Facebook.   

Photos courtesy of Kilby Racing






Justin Grant wins Chili Bowl night four
 
Friday night was Vacuworx night at the 32nd annual Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa Oklahoma. Coming into the night the Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) team was undefeated with three straight preliminary night wins for Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell.
The KKM team fell one spot short on  Friday night as Justin Grant driving for the Clauson-Marshall team won the 25-lap with Spencer Bayston the reigning USAC midget driving champion finishing second ahead of POWRi regular Andrew Felker who started the race from eleventh place. NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series star Kasey Kahne finished fifth.
 
Felker has quite a comeback story at the 2018 Chili Bowl as he crashed his car in practice on Monday after less then a lap of practice and it required complete disassembly before the frame was straightened, then the car was rebuilt. 

Grant who reigned as the 2007 Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) season champion continued another trend for the week as he earlier won his heat race and qualifying race, along with other strong contenders Chad Boat, Alex Schutte, Dave Darland and Damion Gardner, who finished fourth in the night’s A feature. Boat led the first four laps of the feature yielding to Gardner who led until lap turn two of lap seventeen when Grant took the lead with an outside pass in turn two.
The Chili Bowl Nationals winds up tonight with the 55-lap feature race.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Keith Kunz Racing three for three!
 
 



With Christopher Bell's sweep of the Thursday night Chili Bowl Nationals preliminary night as he won his heat race, qualifying race and the 25-lap feature, Keith Kunz Racing (KKR) is for three for three with preliminary night feature wins so far this week at Tulsa Expo Raceway.
 
Bell built a lead of nearly five seconds at time during the John Christner Trucking feature race, but second place Shane Golobic closed to as close as one second in the closing laps, but got no closer. Third place was captured by Chase Johnson driving for Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) President Del Morris with veteran Tracy Hines fourth and Indiana's Caleb Armstrong fifth.
 
Ryan Bernal driving for Clauson-Marshall Racing started the featured 17th and finished sixth. Two other drivers started the A-Main after starting from the D-Main - both Tanner Thorsen and Michael Pickens both had trouble in their heat races and raced hard to make up for their earlier troubles.  
 
 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rico Abreu wins the second night
of the 2108 Chili Bowl Nationals
 
 

Two-time Chili Bowl Nationals champion Rico Abreu made a triumphant return to racing last night as won the Hard Rock Casino qualifying night A-feature in thrilling fashion. Abreu who had been of a race car since a hard crash at the USAC Four Crown Nationals at Eldora battled Tyler Thomas as the two drivers battled slide jobs throughout the 25 lap feature.
 
Kevin Thomas Jr. finished third with Sammy Swindell fourth edging Chris Windom with whom Swindell battled most of the last half of the race. Abreu won his beat race and his qualifying race and started the feature from the front row.
 
The night's most serious accident occurred on the final lap of the second 10-lap qualifying race when leader Brady Bacon flipped and his car became stuck in the catch fence. The dedicated Chili Bowl track crew worked diligently to extract the car from its precarious position with minimal damage. Bacon was unhurt and returned for his B-feature and advanced into the night's A feature where he finished 13th.

Monday, January 8, 2018


 
Earnhardt Jr. won his 
15th consecutive
NASCAR  
Most Popular Driver Award
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who retired from full-time competition in the NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Racing) Monster Energy Cup Series at the conclusion of the 2017 season, was named the National Motorsports Press Association's (NMPA) Most Popular Driver for the 15th consecutive year.

Earnhardt, 43, the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was named on nearly 68 percent of the votes cast by fans - the Most Popular Driver Award is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953 - the recipients were originally determined by a poll of the competitors but it became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the auspices of the NMPA.

Earnhardt is one of eight drivers to receive the award on multiple occasions. Other multiple-time Most Popular Driver award winners include Lee and Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Fred Lorenzen, and Darrell Waltrip.  

Only one driver, Bill Elliott, has won the award more times than Earnhardt Jr.  Elliott was named the series’ most popular driver 16 times between 1984 and 2002. Dale Earnhardt Sr. broke Elliott’s stranglehold from 1991 to 2001, when he won the Most Popular Driver award for the only time in 2001.

In addition to hosting the voting platform for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver award, fans voted to determine the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series also hosted on NASCAR.com.

 Elliott Sadler, who finished second in the XFINITY Series championship battle won the NASCAR XFINITY Series Most Popular Driver award and Sunoco Rookie of the Year Chase Briscoe was voted the Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver by fans.
 
Information for this article was provided by NMPA, of which the author is a member.