Chris Griffis Memorial Test returns to IMS in October 2016

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

After a year away owing to track construction ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500, the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test for the full complement of Mazda Road to Indy series will be back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Oct. 8-9, instead of at Circuit of The Americas as it was last November.

The test is always a good “first look” at who will be in next year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series, and the USF2000 component this test will be extra intriguing as the new Tatuus USF-17 car will be run by several teams in earnest.

The series release with more information is below:

All three levels of the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – will converge on Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 8/9 for the sixth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test. The test is named in honor of Chris Griffis, a longtime member of the motorsports community who led the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian Indy Lights organization before passing unexpectedly in September of 2011.

In addition to providing opportunities to “audition” new talent, gain a headstart on 2017 campaigns and earn valuable testing time on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the iconic Brickyard, the outing will be of special significance as teams will turn their first laps with the new Mazda-powered Tatuus USF-17.

A highly successful prototype testing program concluded July 1 with rave reviews by development drivers Joel Miller (Mazda sports car talent and USF2000 driver coach) and Matthew Brabham (a graduate of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy and USF2000/Pro Mazda champion who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in May). With a rolling chassis priced at $51,800, the Tatuus USF-17 will serve as the base car for the PM-18 to help control operational costs.

To date, 28 of the initial 30 chassis ordered have been purchased with additional orders pending. The first shipment of 15 cars will be delivered to teams in September. A list of current USF-17 teams can be found at

In addition to the USF-17, the test will be open to current USF2000 Championship and National Class entries.

“We are thrilled to be able to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for our sixth Chris Griffis test,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “This is a key round in our regular season schedules and the perfect venue to see our USF-17 make its debut in the hands of our teams. The test is one of my favorite events as we watch our graduates take the next step on the ladder and welcome new talent to experience the Mazda Road to Indy.”

The Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test will also serve as a “rewards” program in USF2000 for two finalists in the Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program. Entering its third year, the partnership provides the opportunity for karters to sample the next step in their career. In addition, an alliance with the Australian Formula Ford Series established in 2014 will see its champion participate in the two-day test.

Registration information for the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test will be available on the respective series’ websites in the coming weeks as well as a detailed schedule. Live Timing and Scoring will be available throughout the test.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”