Fastest speeding ticket gets free passes to Atlanta NASCAR race

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We’ve heard of some strange promotions to attract fans to NASCAR races, and this one is right up near the top of the list.

Sure, NASCAR is built upon speed, but a unique ticket giveaway is being based upon fans’ own speeding exploits.

WRDA radio in Atlanta, otherwise known as “Radio 105.7,” is offering a VIP experience for next weekend’s Oral-B USA 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

As the station put it on their web site:

“All you have to do is post a picture of your fastest speeding ticket to our Facebook, or tag us on Twitter or Instagram (@Radio1057) and we’ll give one of you speed demons a pair of Club One and Pit Passes for Race Weekend!”

The station even played up the experience:

“With theater seating, more than 63 flat screen TVs (even in the bathroom!) in addition to an exquisitely decorated interior and marble tile flooring, Club One provides a spectacular place from which to enjoy NASCAR Night Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway!”

There’s no cutoff on the slowest or fastest speeding ticket, it would appear. For example, if you got a citation for doing 40 mph in a 20 mph zone, that would qualify.

Of course, if you were caught on at Atlanta-area freeway doing something like 120 mph in a 55 mph zone, that would probably put you near the top end of the scale.

Why do I get the funny feeling that after reading this story, we’re going to hear of quite a few – uh, shall we say “inspired” – race fans who will intentionally go out and exceed the speed limit so they can get a ticket … and then the good kind of ticket?

Somehow, this just doesn’t seem like a very well thought out “promotion.”

Or, as comedian Larry the Cable Guy might say, “That ain’t right.”

So, Hotlanta leadfoots, if you want to speed your way to AMS next weekend, click here for more information. And don’t be surprised if you see a lot more cops on the road in the coming week, looking for more speeders than usual.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Cadillac, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

In a final session Thursday night, Matt Campbell was fastest (1:35.802) in the No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 but still was off the times set by Westbrook and Taylor.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Click here for Session III (by class)

Combined speeds