Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Pro Mazda schedule shifts with Iowa race moved to Mazda Raceway

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The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires schedule has been altered slightly with late news out Tuesday that its scheduled race at Iowa Speedway has been canceled due to low car count.

A third race on the season finale weekend of Sept. 9-11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey will be added in Iowa’s place.

At what was the only oval event of the season for Pro Mazda last month at Lucas Oil Raceway outside Indianapolis, just eight cars took the green flag. Since that point, both Garett Grist (advanced into Indy Lights) and Jake Eidson (withdrew prior to Road America) are no longer on the grid and only TJ Fischer – as a replacement for Weiron Tan – has been added to the field.

It means each of the seven remaining races for Pro Mazda, which has primarily witnessed a battle between Team Pelfrey teammates Pato O’Ward and Aaron Telitz, will be held on road and street courses. O’Ward won at Lucas Oil Raceway earlier this year; the young Mexican opened his season with six wins in the first seven races before Telitz fought back with a doubleheader sweep at Road America last weekend.

The Iowa Speedway schedule would figure to be adjusted as a result. Pro Mazda had been due to share the weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, as well as ARCA.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.