August 29, 2021
IMSA racer with Maine roots wins at Road America
Drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun teamed up to win the prestigious International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Weather Tech Sports Car Championship race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Bennett has family ties to Aroostook County which is almost like his second home.
Road America is where Bennett made his professional IMSA debut in 2010 in what was called the Prototype Lites class. Bennett qualified the CORE Autosports Crowdstrike Ligier LMP3 race car in first despite the wet conditions on Saturday. That seemed to set the tone for race day on Sunday. Pit strategy during the race made a huge difference in the outcome. I will let their post tell the story of the race.
“Excellent strategy set CORE autosport on a course for victory at Road America. A well-timed pit stop helped CORE leap the entire LMP3 field and take its second win of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.”
“Starting from fourth on the grid, Bennett had an excellent start and was able to pick up a spot on the opening lap.”
“Shortly thereafter, CORE took advantage of an early full-course caution to pit Jon for a splash of fuel. But it was the second full-course yellow that changed everything. Bennett was able to duck onto pitlane before the caution came out and the pits were closed. He was the only LMP3 car to do so.”
“Colin got into the car during the stop and came out of the pits in fifth. The rest of the LMP3 field had to wait until the full-course yellow was over to pit. When the green flag came back out, they all came in and Braun took the lead.”
“Fortunately, there were no more full-course yellows and Braun, knowing he had the fuel to make it to the finish, was able to build an insurmountable gap to second place. Braun cruised to a 22.243-second victory.”
Team owner/driver Bennett remarked, “From inside the car, it’s hard to tell where you are relative to all the other cars, but it was a good start. I got inside the 74 and we were side-by-side going into Turn One. I was a skosh ahead and then we made contact. I fell back in line. Then it settled out and I was okay with where we were and just wanted to turn good lap times and make progress so we could hand over the car to Colin in a good spot.”
“The team made a great strategy to pull me in for that second stop, Colin and I had a great exchange and Colin road into the sunset.
“One of the great things about CORE is all Colin and I have to do is drive the car. The strategy is always handled perfectly. It’s basically ‘Simon Says.’ You follow directions and we usually have a happy ending.”
Bennett’s fellow driver Colin Braun remarked, “I was really excited about getting into P1. You never know how things will shake out when you come out of the pits under yellow. It was chaos because we decided to pit and the yellow came out, but we were pitting already. Once I got in and we cycled through the yellow, (race engineer) Tyler [Neff] said we were leading the race. I was happy, but it was straight to work. I pushed hard at times to build that gap and then was pretty cautious in traffic and tried to manage the gap the rest of the time and be smart about it.”
“I never want to say ‘we got this,’ until we cross the finish line, that will set you up for disappointment. The guys had great pit stops and we knew that we had a pretty good car. Once we got through that first run and I knew that we had good pace, I figured even if we had some restarts, we’d be okay.”
“I’m proud of the guys and proud of Jon. We’re kind of back in the championship hunt I think coming into the last race. It’s going to be exciting.”
The next race for the CORE Autosports team will be the season finale will be Petit LeMans at Michelin Raceway Park Road Atlanta November 11-13, 2021.
Pastrana shatters old hillclimb record
“New record in the books!” said Pastrana after his winning run. “This car is the perfect machine to do it. Coming off a second-place finish at Goodwood (Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sussex, England), I really wanted to set a new record here to show what the car could do in the right environment. Luckily, we really had good weather this year and I knew if I could get a clean run in, I’d have a great shot at the 5:44 time. So much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next time!”
Tony Robbins not a rookie truck puller anymore
When I first met Presque Isle’s Tony Robbins, he was still in high school in 2015. He was working on his first 2WD Super Stock truck in welding class at Caribou Tech Center. Robbins was featured Episode 59, June 14, 2015 http://upnorthmotorsports.bdnblogs.com/2015/06/15/home/youth-racers-make-their-season-debuts/
I caught up with Robbins at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds on night one of truck and tractor pulls, Friday August 6, 2021. That evening, he took first place in Pulls 1 & 2 with distances of 352.09 and 312.52 feet. The next day Robbins placed 5th in Pull 3 and rallied with a 3rd in the final Pull 4.
After Friday night the team was rushing back to their shop to help a fellow competitor who broke his transmission during his pull plus get his truck ready for the Saturday pulls.
Ken Bell wins three in Big Rig class
Oxford 250 in the books and another Clark wins
Cassius Clark, no relation to 2020 winner Johnny Clark, won the Oxford 250 in his 14th attempt. The finish was one of the closest in the 48-year history of the event. Cassius beat 2017 winner Curtis Gerry by .131 seconds. Pole sitter Derek Griffith was breathing on Clark’s rear bumper.
Rounding out the top 5 were Joey Doiron in fourth and Johnny Clark in 5th.
|9||97||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.|
|16||23||Dave Farrington, Jr.|
|24||20||Rowland Robinson, Jr.|
|34||8||Calvin Rose, Jr.|
Land Speed Racing return to the County once again this week
The Loring Timing Association is hosting the Harvest Event 2021 September 1-4, 2021 at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. The pits open Tuesday August 31st with tech inspection available each day. Races start at 9 am and go until 5 pm except Saturday when races start at 8 am and conclude around 2 pm.
New this year will be the LTA Street Car Shootout with prizes for Supercars, Super Street, Real Street and Fastest Overall. More information about the races may be found at https://www.loringtiming.com/
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria (Psalm 19)