The Harlem Shake phenomenon may have tailed off a bit, but that hasn’t stopped a few race car drivers and teams from joining in on the fun.
Shortly after the YouTube craze had begun, IndyCar rising star Josef Newgarden and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway decided to put a Brickyard spin on it. Up to now, it had been the undisputed champion of racing-related Shakes:
Newgarden’s always shown a willingness to ham it up for the cameras, so he’s a natural choice for something like this. Also, you can’t help but laugh at the IMS “yellow shirt” official dozing away in a chair while the madness ensues on the frontstretch.
But now, we have challengers to Newgarden’s throne — and they’re none other than the winners of last Sunday’s Daytona 500:
Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team are a bit late to the Shake party; it appears they weren’t the first in the HMS shop to do one. But this is still a hoot. You gotta love Johnson carrying the Harley J. Earl Trophy around like a master blaster. And that guy on the dirtbike? None other than Johnson’s crew chief extraordinaire, Chad Knaus.
Of course no sooner had these two vied for the throne atop this meme than a Formula 1 team decided to get in on the act. Late Friday, Sauber, a Swiss (Swiss!) team, brought one out for a pit stop during testing.
We’ll leave it up to you. Who do you think did it better: Newgarden at IMS, Johnson with his posse, or Sauber in the pits?
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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