Red Bull GRC releases shaken up 2017 schedule

Speed leads. Photo: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
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Red Bull Global Rallycross has released its 2017 schedule, which features a number of changes compared to the 2016 schedule.

Nearly half the schedule is shaken up for the championship, and only three races return from 2016 into 2017: Atlantic City, Seattle and Los Angeles. Their dates are within the same months of August, September and October as they were in 2016, but not necessarily on the same weekend.

Those three weekends comprise Rounds 8 to 12, with Atlantic City and Seattle featuring doubleheaders and Los Angeles with a single-round finale.

It’s Rounds 1 through 7 where things get switched up compared to 2016, although the series resumes in markets it’s been in before (Tennessee, New England).

Phoenix, Dallas, Daytona and MCAS New River are all gone for 2017. In their place come races in Memphis, Louisville, Thompson, Conn. a TBD-site in Canada and Indianapolis, from April through July. Thompson and Canada will be doubleheader weekends with the others all single-round weekends.

“This should be a banner year for Red Bull GRC as we continue our ascent in the world of motorsport,” Red Bull GRC CEO, Colin Dyne said in a release. “We listened to the feedback from our fans, and the 2017 schedule reflects the demand to bring our unique brand of racing to new locations, as well as to return to a number of fan-favorite venues from previous seasons.”

For those teams that have both IndyCar and Red Bull GRC programs, there are four weekends where they overlap. IndyCar is at Phoenix when Red Bull GRC is at Memphis, and subsequent overlaps occur at Indianapolis qualifying/Louisville, Detroit/Thompson, and Iowa/Indianapolis.

The Phoenix and Iowa IndyCar weekends will also see both IndyCar and Red Bull GRC on the NBC Sports Group networks on the same weekend.

Full TV details should come shortly for Supercars and GRC Lites shows.

The 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross event schedule is as follows:

  • Round 1: Memphis, TN (April 29)
  • Round 2: Louisville, KY (May 21)
  • Round 3: Thompson, CT (June 3)*
  • Round 4: Thompson, CT (June 4)*
  • Round 5: Canada (June 17)*
  • Round 6: Canada (June 18)*
  • Round 7: Indianapolis, IN (July 9)
  • Round 8: Atlantic City, NJ (August 12)*
  • Round 9: Atlantic City, NJ (August 13)*
  • Round 10: Seattle, WA (September 9)*
  • Round 11: Seattle, WA (September 10)*
  • Round 12: Los Angeles, CA (October 14)

*Indicates doubleheader

Specific event details, including venues, ticket sale information and broadcast times, will be released in the coming weeks.

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

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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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)