NASCAR honors Touring Series Champions — and potential Sprint Cup stars of tomorrow

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They may be champions in NASCAR’s smaller racing series, but there was nothing small-time when they were honored Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Seven drivers officially received their championship trophies and other assorted awards in a style befitting of last week’s Sprint Cup Awards in Las Vegas.

Saturday’s NASCAR Touring Series Night Of Champions ceremony took place in a location that many of those seven champions likely hope to one day be part of, namely, the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The seven champs who got the full Kevin Harvick champions’ treatment were: Abraham Calderón (NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series), Anthony Kumpen (NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), L.P. Dumoulin (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), Doug Coby (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), Andy Seuss (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Greg Pursley (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West) and Ben Rhodes (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East).

“This championship was a dream a few years ago,” the 26-year-old Calderon said in a NASCAR media release. “It was really hard. But now that it’s real, it’s way better than I could ever imagine.”

Each winning driver received their trophies as well as champions rings from NASCAR President Mike Helton.

“Tonight, the past, the present and future all converge,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional touring and weekly racing. “The past, celebrated through the storied history of many of these series.

“The present, represented by a mixture of seasoned veterans winning another NASCAR championship and young guns winning their first.

“And most importantly, the future, drivers recognized on this stage in the past few years are already having a huge impact in NASCAR’s three national series. And given the talent tonight, that trend will definitely continue.”

Coby and Pursley won their second respective championships, while the other five champions were first-time winners.

The closest championship-deciding outcome was found in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, when Kumpen held off former two-time series champ Ander Vilarino by one mere point.

“For a European race driver, a NASCAR championship seemed like an impossible goal,” Kumpen said.

All told, the seven champs combined for 14 wins, 67 top-5s and 86 top-10s in 95 races.

“Everybody knows that most championship stories have a bump along the way,” Coby said. “We just did our thing and took care of business at each race.”

Added Seuss: “One fact I’ll always point to about this championship is we completed every lap but one. That’s a testament to the team we have working on this car in the shop and at the track. This is a team sport and I couldn’t do it without all of you.”

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award went to Rhodes (K&N East), James Bickford (K&N West), Tommy Solomito (Whelen Modified Tour), Spencer Davis (Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Matthew Scannell (Canadian Tire Series), Mario Dominguez (Mexico Toyota Series) and Eddie Cheever III (Whelen Euro Series).

And the Most Popular Driver Award in each series (voted by fans) went to: Rhodes (K&N East), Brandon McReynolds (K&N West), J.R. Fitzpatrick (Canadian Tire Series), Rodrigo Marban (Mexico Toyota Series), Freddy Nordström (Whelen Euro Series), Melissa Fifield (Whelen Modified Tour) and Andy Seuss (Whelen Southern Modified Tour).

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Adam Cianciarulo sweeps to second straight Pro Motocross 450 win

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Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.

After scoring his first career victory Sept. 8 at RedBud, Cianciarulo made it two consecutive victories on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. He won the first moto by 1.7 seconds over Blake Baggett and the second moto by 2.7 seconds over Baggett.

“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.

In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).

Dylan Ferrandis swept both motos for his second win of the season in the 250 class (Align Media).

Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.

“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”

NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.


RESULTS

Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
  7. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
  8. Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
  9. Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
  6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
  7. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
  9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
  10. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
  4. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-11)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-5)
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-8)
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-9)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., KTM (8-12)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 257
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 254
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 202
  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 194
  5. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 186
  6. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  7. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 162
  8. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 140
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 123
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 114
Adam Cianciarulo won the holeshot in both motos at Spring Creek (Align Media).