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CORE autosport set for GRC Lites debut in Daytona

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CORE autosport will make its GRC Lites team debut at Daytona next weekend with Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. The team’s release previewing its debut is below:

CORE autosport is ready to make its Red Bull Global Rallycross debut at Daytona International Speedway, June 18 – 19, with drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun and with support from SONIC Tools and ORECA.

After receiving two Rallycross Lites vehicles in May, CORE has carried out testing and is ready to put both cars into competition at Daytona for Rounds Four and Five of Red Bull Global Rallycross. Filling the driver seats will be CORE’s regular Prototype Challenge drivers Bennett and Braun, who will both make their GRC debut.

“I’m really looking forward to this new evolution of CORE autosport,” Bennett said. “We’ve got the right people in place and the perfect partners in ORECA and SONIC Tools. Colin and I may not have any rallycross experience, but we’ve tested and had a blast in the GRC Lites cars. It seems fitting for us to make our debut at Daytona, where we’ve achieved a good amount of success in sports cars. We even won the 24 Hours of Daytona in our debut… maybe that’s a tradition we can continue with GRC!”

CORE’s expansion into GRC comes with support from two partners: ORECA, which supplies CORE’s GRC program with steering wheels, seats and belts, and SONIC Tools, which CORE will use exclusively for this program.

“ORECA is glad and proud to bring support to CORE autosport as part of this exciting project in GRC Lites,” ORECA North America Manager, Renaud Chevalier declared. “GRC Lites is what our products are targeted for: a discipline involving budding young talents in keenly-fought and fascinating races. It’s the ideal challenge to show our products’ quality and we want to thank CORE autosport for trusting us.”

“As we continue to expand our motorsports presence, and presence in the USA, there was no better partner to enter into the GRC arena with besides CORE,” stated Colby McConnell, Chief Marketing Officer, SONIC Tools. “We have been working with teams in multiple areas of motorsports, and CORE is the one of the best in the business, so we are excited.”

Red Bull Global Rallycross rounds Four and Five at Daytona International Speedway take place June 18 – 19. Live timing and scoring is available on http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com and the GRC Lites races will air on NBC Sports Network, Wednesday, June 22, at 4:30pm ET.

“This is a very exciting time for everybody at CORE autosport,” Program Manager Brian Colangelo said. “We’re venturing outside of our comfort zone into something new, but everybody here loves a challenge and we’ve hit the ground running. Partnering with ORECA and SONIC Tools has been tremendously helpful in getting our GRC program launched and feeling confident going into our competition debut. Recruiting Jon and Colin to drive was a no-brainer considering their racing accomplishments and we can expect excellent feedback from each of them.”

CORE autosport was founded in 2010 and has since gone on to win five Prototype Challenge Championships in American Le Mans Series and IMSA competition and has grown to include support of the factory Porsche GTLM program in North America, which produced back-to-back Manufacturer Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.