Derrick Walker, Lisa Noble both resign from SCCA


Two key individuals within the SCCA have resigned separately in the last two weeks: overall SCCA President/CEO Lisa Noble, and SCCA Pro Racing President Derrick Walker.

Here’s the respective statements.

Noble tendered her resignation with the SCCA Board of Directors announcing the move on August 10. Walker announced his resignation today.

TOPEKA, Kan. (August 10, 2016) – Lisa Noble has resigned as President and CEO of the Sports Car Club of America to pursue other challenges, the SCCA Board of Directors announced today.

Noble had previously served on the Board of Directors, including as Chairman of the Board, for six years before transitioning to the President’s role in October of 2013. An SCCA member since a teenager, Noble will continue to compete in the Club’s road racing and U.S. Majors Tour program in her Formula Vee.

Hired as an agent of change, under Noble’s watch, the SCCA saw a resurgence in membership and launched a series of experiential initiatives to introduce new participants to motorsports, including the Tire Rack Starting Line autocross school and Track Night in America driven by Tire Rack. A rebranding of National road racing, the U.S. Majors Tour, also evolved under her leadership.

“While the Board and I had philosophical differences, I know the Club is now positioned for growth and have confidence that the staff and Board will keep our programs alive and well,” Noble said. “SCCA will forever be a part of my life and I will contribute in every way I can to the success of our Club.”

“We want to sincerely thank Lisa for the time and energy she has put into the SCCA, first as a member, and then with the Board of Directors, and finally piloting the staff as President,” John Walsh, Chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, said. “We look forward to seeing her at the race track again as a friend, Club member and competitor.”

A nation-wide search for the next SCCA President and CEO will begin immediately. There is no hard deadline set for the hire.

TOPEKA, Kan. (August 17, 2016) – A search is on for a new president at SCCA Pro Racing after Derrick Walker announced his resignation from the Sports Car Club of America’s for-profit subsidiary today. Walker will remain at the helm while a replacement is found.

Walker came on board to pilot the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda through its launch and opening season, in addition to overseeing the sanctioning of Pirelli World Challenge, Trans-Am Series, the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, as well as the Atlantic, F2000 and F1600 Championship Series.

“I have enjoyed my time with the SCCA Pro Racing, and in particular the launch of the F4 Championship here in the United States,” Walker said. “After two successful race event weekends, it’s clear that the series has a great deal of potential. As for my future, I fully intend to continue on in racing.”

SCCA Pro Racing is moving rapidly to fill the open president’s position.

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.