KVSH cars, equipment undamaged after transporter fire

Photo: IndyCar
2 Comments

The KVSH Racing transporter, carrying the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet for Sebastien Bourdais, caught fire en route to the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, approximately 25 miles northeast of Phoenix International Raceway.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the cars or equipment inside, the team confirmed later on Wednesday. Initially, a team spokesperson confirmed the fire to NBC Sports, and that the team would assess the situation.

Driver Sebastien Bourdais just tweeted that the car should be good to go for the rest of the weekend.

Here is the updated statement from the team following the incident:

KVSH Racing will literally “rise from the ashes” for this weekend’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, April 1-2, at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ.

The team has confirmed that the transporter carrying the No. 11 Team HYROXYCUT – KVSH Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car driven by Sebastien Bourdais was damaged by a fire in Peoria, AZ approximately 25 miles from the end of a 1450-mile trip from the KVSH Racing shop in Indianapolis, IN to PIR.

The fire occurred and was confined to the rear axle area of the transporter. The vehicle sustained substantial damage, however, due to the quick actions of the two team members driving the transporter, the help of other racing team transport drivers and local Fire and Police officials, the contents of the transporter were undamaged.

“First and foremost, the good news is that both of our team members, John Phil Davis and Eric “Stu” Stewart were uninjured. Secondarily, the cars and equipment are undamaged,” said KVSH General Manager Steve Moore. “We are very fortunate to have to highly skilled and experienced transportation professionals who took quick and decisive action. Without them this situation could have been a lot worse. KVSH Racing would also like to thank the members of other teams and local Fire and Police responders for their assistance.”

The team is currently working on alternative logistics to support this weekend’s effort as they literally attempt to rise from the ashes and capture this weekend’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, Round No. 2 of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The race will be held April 2 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ. It will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. ET, Radio Broadcast: XM 209 and IMS IndyCar Radio and Online: IndyCar.com and Verizon IndyCar 15 app.

Here is a screen capture of the fire by the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, KPNX, 12 News:

Additionally, here is a shot from ace NHRA photographer Mark J. Rebilas, who lives in Phoenix:

 

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
0 Comments

On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)