Sunday, May 22, 2016

Meet Aaron Allison
Within the last year the Holley Performance Products family grew and became the Holley/MSD family. One of the new family members is Aaron Allison the ‎Executive Vice President of Engineering, Technology, and New Products at the MSD Group. When Aaron isn't busy with his many responsibilities at MSD Performance, you can find him with his 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier that he campaigns in the National Hot Rod association (NHRA) Super Stock B/Modified class.  
 Aaron's NHRA national event winning Firebird is on the lift in the background

Aaron’s Cavalier is a little different than one you might typically find on the street as it now sends power to the wheels in the rear. Built by Aaron’s father Terry in 1989, power comes from a 341 cubic inch SB2-based small block Chevrolet backed by a Powerglide transmission. A 1050 cfm Holley Dominator carburetor supplies the engine with the air/ fuel mix to speed the 2,800-pound car down the 1/4 mile drag strip in 8.74 seconds at 156 mph. With Aaron being an MSD employee, it should come as no surprise that the ignition system is a full complement of MSD products including an ignition box, distributor, crank trigger, and plug wires.

Aaron currently leads the NHRA Division 3 Super Stock point standings and has won and finished as the runner-up on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series this year as well. Aaron won the 2015 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in the Stock Eliminator class in his MSD-equipped B/Stock 1998 Pontiac Firebird. On top of those NHRA successes, Aaron is also a 4-time International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Division champion, 2-time IHRA National Event winner, and 16-time IHRA Pro-Am winner.
Information and photographs for this article provided by Holley Performance Products  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Robert Stout to make his USAC Debut at the "Carb Night Classic...The Race before the 500"
Robert Stout of Brownsburg, Indiana a two-time National Champion in sports car racing and the reigning King of the Wing Rookie of the Year will compete against the best of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown series competitors Friday night May 27th at Lucas Oil Raceway in the "Carb Night Classic...The Race before the 500".

Besides winning the 2015 King of the Wing sprint car series Rookie of the Year title, the 24 year old Stout’s career accomplishments include the 2010 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pirelli World Challenge touring car championship and the 2009 National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Performance Touring A championship. When not racing, Stout, the son of Lucas Oil TV announcer Ken Stout is an instructor at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance driving.

"What an awesome opportunity," said Stout. "I have to thank Mike Bowman and Brad Armstrong for taking a chance on me and without the wonderful people of Lucas Oil this would just not be possible. This is a huge event with tons of exposure in front of all the right people and I can't imagine being with a better team. In a perfect world I wish I had some seat time in one of these things since they do drive a good bit different than the winged sprint cars not to mention the races are 60 laps longer than anything we do but I wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world."


Stout will join Tanner Swanson as a teammate driving for Mike Bowman of Bowman Racing in Brad Armstrong's Beast chassis USAC Silver Crown car. Stout will make his debut with the support of his long time sponsor Lucas Oil Products as they debut the Lucas Oil Racing TV No. 21 machine.
Mike Bowman has had incredible success with his racing endeavors as a team owner over the years including multiple wins at the Little 500 with Eric Gordon behind the wheel and wins at the “Carb Night Classic” last year with Swanson.

"We are part-time racers at this point," said Bowman. "We don't run the entire Silver Crown series but when we do come out we have full intentions of winning.  We tested Stout a couple of years ago and he did a solid job right away. Lately he's been driving a winged sprint car for Davey Hamilton and has done a great job so the timing just made sense to put him in the second car and give him a shot. We know the car is good as Ryan Newman set fast time with it last year but Robert is brand new to the USAC Silver Crown game and these 100 lap events can get pretty tricky at the end.  Crew Chief Brent Elmore is extremely talented, Tanner will work with him and Eric Gordon will be his spotter so Robert will be surrounded by some very good people."

Information and graphics provided by Stuart Rowlands of  Lucas Oil / MAVTV Public Relations

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 2016 Rally Historico Transpeninsular coming soon 

From June 23 to 26  vintage and modern race cars as well as touring cars converge on Tijuana, Mexico to race 1000 miles down the Baja peninsula to Cabo San Lucas in the Rally Historico Transpeninsular.

This new tarmac speed stage rally allows competitors to race speed stages on closed Mexican highways and transit stages through scenic Baja in the tradition of the other great speed stage rallies in Mexico.

Virtually any race car that meets safety tech requirements can compete in this year's race.  The rules were left fairly open to encourage everyone who loves cars the opportunity to come participate.  

Full details related to the race are available on the website:

Enter now by clicking this link:!registro/c83y

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award winner announced  
The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) has presented the Pocono Spirit Award annually since 1992, to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.

The 2016 first quarter recipient of the Pocono Spirit Award is Chris Osborne, spotter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth and driver Daniel Suarez in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Osborne suffered a compound fracture of his right leg when he and his family were hit head-on by another driver on December 17, 2015. Osborne’s wife Melissa and son Austin also suffered significant injuries.

Although he had originally hoped to return to his spotter duties when the season got underway at Daytona International Speedway in February, Osborne was not cleared to return to work until the series traveled to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia in April for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ sixth event.

Osborne told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that it had been “a lot of tough days and nights and healing," prior to his Martinsville arrival. "The mindset was to get back at Daytona, but the physical part of it and the reality was, there just wasn't enough healing time,” he said.

 “Definitely good to have him back, not just from a selfish standpoint but from a performance standpoint as well … to see him get back and be able to do that was good,” Kenseth said following Osborne’s Martinsville return.

 Osborne received approximately 80 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA membership. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson also received votes for the first-quarter award.

The National Motorsports Press Association consists of qualified members of the media who report on the sport of auto racing through affiliations with print, radio, television and/or Internet news gathering organizations. Members of the NMPA are dedicated to maintaining high journalistic standards, providing information fairly, accurately and without prejudice.
Information for this article provided by the NMPA

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Garage Italia Customs unveils
the BMW i8 Futurism Edition
Garage Italia Customs has unveiled its latest creation, the BMW i8 Futurism Edition inspired by the oil painting “Street Light” to celebrate 50 years of BMW history in Italy. Giacomo Balla’s master work, created in 1909, was the starting point for the creation of a tailor-made film which was applied on all of the BMW i8’s light carbon structure and aerodynamic design bodywork using wrapping techniques.  

"There was immediate synergy with BMW Italia the very first time we met for the i8 Futurism Edition project,” said Lapo Elkann, President and Founder of Garage Italia Customs “Garage Italia Customs and BMW both share the values connected to technology, evolution, and the continuous search for innovation. The BMW i8 Futurism Edition is a practice of style, and gave Garage Italia Customs a chance to celebrate a car which is projected towards the future of mobility. At the same time, it honors Italian art with Giacomo Balla, who is a prominent figure of the Futurism movement."
The BMW i8 the sports car of the future on the road today with both performance and efficiency features in the innovative premium character of a plug-in hybrid sports car. In order to convey the essence of the BMW i8, the Garage Italia Customs Style Centre chose Ballo’s Futurism art which conveys light, movement and speed as its inspiration.

Photographs and information for this article were provided by Burner Communications.

Monday, May 16, 2016

“It’s a new track record!”
A commentary with historical perspective

By now, you have probably heard or read that all the grandstand tickets for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500-mile race on May 29 are sold out. After a week of practice, the entrants will qualify for the starting field this weekend.
It will be interesting to see if attendance at the two days of time trials exceeds the weak turn-out for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis which was run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 14.
The author recalls that during the nineteen seventies and eighties, the crowd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first day of time trials rivaled the crowd for the ‘500’ itself. The likelihood of that happening in 2016 is between slim and none - for one reason: lack of speed due to the stifling of innovation by the current INDYCAR rules package.  
Instead of innovation, INDYCAR established a set of rules to create a level of perceived excitement for time trials by forcing racers to run twice to qualify for the '500.' 

The qualifying procedure for the 2016 Indianapolis ‘500’ courtesy of the IndyCar website:

Saturday Qualifying – Will determine all 33 positions in the field based on the fastest four-lap averages. All entries are guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify. The fastest nine entries advance to the “Fast Nine Shootout.”

Sunday Qualifying – Held Sunday early afternoon to determine positions 10-33 in the field based on fastest four-lap average. All times from Saturday are erased and cars will run in reverse order based on Saturday qualification speeds. All cars must complete another four-lap attempt to determine their starting position.

“Fast Nine Shootout” – Held Sunday afternoon after Positions 10-33 have been determined. The top nine cars will run in reverse order based on Saturday’s qualification times. All cars are required to make at least one attempt. At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-9 based on their four-lap average during the segment.


The current 4-lap track record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway of 235.986 miles per hour was set by Arie Luyendyk on May 12, 1996. You read that right- the current track record was set over twenty years ago!  There is little probability that the current crop of be-winged DW12 chassis will approach Luyendyk’s record, and that's a problem in the author's view.

The longest previous period between new track records was twelve years during the Speedway’s dark ages of Eddie Rickenbacker’s  “Junk Formula” rules package from 1928 to 1939. There have been four times when four years passed between records being broken- in the immediately postwar period of 1946 to 1950, after the tragic events of 1973, the cars were slowed until 1977, then for another four-year period after Tom Sneva broke the magic 200 MPH barrier in 1978, and four years after Roberto Guerrero set the standard of 232 MPH in 1992.   

Looking back to events of 1996, which was the first year of the Championship Auto Racing Teams CART-Indy Racing League (IRL) split - the CART teams boycotted the ‘500,’ and the new stock-block powered IRL cars were not ready, so teams competed with a mix of older Lola and Reynard chassis.
On the first day of qualifying, first Davy Jones, then rookie driver Tony Stewart broke Guerrero’s four year old track record. Arie Luyendyk then set a new four-lap standard of 233.350 MPH, but his run was disqualified after the track closed when his Reynard 95I was found to be seven pounds underweight.   

Luyendyk returned the next day, May 12, and re-qualified and set a new one-lap record on each of the successive laps with his best lap of 237.498 MPH and a four-lap average of 236.986 MPH in a run that took just over 2-1/2 minutes to complete. Because his run came on the second day, Luyendyk started twentieth, and he finished the ‘500’ in sixteenth place after being involved in an accident.

The current Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record is so old, that all of the drivers in the race, except the 1995 ‘500’ winner Buddy Lazier and pole-sitter Tony Stewart are retired and Stewart hasn't appeared at the Speedway in an INDYCAR since 2001.  
It is past time for INDYCAR to prove how technologically advanced the series can be by opening up the rulebook to innovation, which will bring new track records and big crowds for time trials.    




Thursday, May 12, 2016

Remembering Jack Martin

Jack Martin on the right receives the Angelo Angelopolous Award from Dick Mittman, left.
Photo courtesy of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association 

Jack Martin the long-time executive secretary of the Indianapolis 500 Old-Timers Club passed away yesterday in Indianapolis. During his career in racing Jack worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, was the racing director for the D-A Lubricants Company, and was the curator of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum during the nineteen eighties.   
Jack along with his wife Nan, Duke Nalon, Emil Andres and Junior Dreyer presented the Indy Bench Racing Weekend event for many years. In 2012, Jack was the recipient of the Angelo Angelopolous Award. The Award’s inscription reads "Sports was his life, and sportsmanship his love. Presented to the 500 Race Participant who best exemplifies the Creed of Good Sportsmanship!"  RIP Jack.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MAS Industries debuts Online Parts Catalog

MAS Industries, a leading edge North America based manufacturer of premium chassis parts and control arms with ten years in the United States market has launched their new Online Parts Catalog, which allows access to over 8,000 part numbers covering passenger vehicles, light trucks and commercial vehicles as well as the new ‘Premium XL’ and ‘Premium RD’ product range, the new MAS Online Catalog is sure to be the reference for aftermarket chassis part search.

Accessible through the MAS Industries website at  the new system is the fastest and easiest to use catalog in the aftermarket chassis industry today. Users can search by vehicle or by part number, and with its responsive design, the catalog is also compatible with all mobile devices ensuring clear accurate information is available to customers and professional technicians at all times.

“MAS Industries has built a reputation for having the most accurate and complete catalog in the industry.  Our new online catalog makes our expertise quickly and easily available to customers and technicians ensuring the correct part is ordered every time” says  Mark Stermer, Founder and  President of MAS Industries.
Information and graphics for this article provided by MAS Industries Inc.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The "Uncharted" Jeep Renegade
unveiled by Garage Italia Customs
Garage Italia Customs and Jeep® Switzerland in collaboration with Sony PlayStation® Switzerland, pay tribute to the famous “Uncharted” video game saga in advance of the release of   “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” which will be released worldwide on May 10, 2016. The tribute comes in the form of an extraordinary Jeep® Renegade show car which combines the wrap-paint technique to the application of special thermochromic paint.  

The main theme in every chapter of “Uncharted” is adventure through the search for hidden treasures not to be found on common maps.  The antique map of the African continent in the official trailer of the game inspired the Garage Italia Customs Style Centre in the making of the Jeep ®Renegade Uncharted Edition show car. After getting the original picture from the developers of the game, Naughty Dog studios, the Garage Italia Customs team created a tailor-made film which was used to cover the Jeep Renegade bodywork entirely. The wrapping reproduced all the graphic elements of an antique parchment in detail, showing the main character Nathan Drake the way to the pirate colony of Libertalia.
The Jeep's paint is dark in the cool shade
Using the wrap-paint technique, the artisans of Lapo Elkann’s Garage Italia Customs applied an innovative black thermochromic paint that temporarily changes color with exposure to heat to darken the appearance of the entire surface of the map. The resulting livery conveys the same mystery and exploration feel evoked by the “Uncharted” video game experience. At first glance, the Jeep ® Renegade appears to be simply opaque black, but it hides a secret!
In the warm sunshine, the Jeep's paint
lightens to reveal its secret.
 As the temperature rises, the bodywork magically shows the treasure map. As the temperature rises, the paint gradually becomes more transparent until the film totally disappears when it reaches 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) Likewise, when the temperature drops the Jeep® Renegade's exterior returns back to black.

The references to the “Uncharted” video game saga continue inside the Jeep® Renegade. Through the use a special technique, the same map was printed on the Nubuck Foglizzo leather that covers the dashboard, and the motto of the Libertalia pirates, “For God and Liberty”, is embroidered on the Cordura® technical textile covering the handle in front of the passenger seat. The interior overall evokes the same charm of time-worn objects with dark-brown Cordura® technical fabric to match the beige distressed Foglizzo leather for the upholstery of the trim.


Information and photos for this article were provided by Burner Communications

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Racing mystery novelist upcoming appearance at the Irvington branch
of the Indianapolis Public Library
Tammy Kaehler racing mystery novelist and author of the new mystery Red Flags will make an appearance at the Irvington Library on May 25 at 630 PM. The library is located at 5625 East Washington Street in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Red Flags  set at the Long Beach Grand Prix is Tammy's fourth racing mystery book all featuring her protagonist race car driver Kate Reilly. Her previous three books, Braking Points, Avoidable Contact, and Dead Man's Switch  are all set in the world of sports car racing.