Taylors hit the high-five in Detroit; Acura breaks through in GTD

Photo courtesy of IMSA

DETROIT – Not even an accident in qualifying and further Balance of Performance adjustments could stop the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor parlayed a mix of great driving and great strategy to secure their fifth straight win in as many races in Prototype and overall, an incredible effort by the drivers and the Wayne Taylor Racing team.

Meanwhile the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 team broke through for its first win yet in GT Daytona, courtesy of an excellent drive from both Andy Lally and Katherine Legge in the No. 93 car, while Performance Tech Motorsports continued its own streak in Prototype Challenge with its fourth win in as many races in that class, courtesy of James French and Pato O’Ward in the No. 38 Oreca FLM09.

Ricky Taylor had the fastest time in qualifying on Friday afternoon for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic race, but crashed out at Turn 4. IMSA set the grid in Prototype by points and although the No. 10 car was the points leader, it was sent to the back of the combined Prototype and Prototype Challenge entries for causing the red flag.

It mattered not. The older Taylor brother made it up to seventh on the grid from 12th place on the opening lap, and was up to fifth before pit stops.

Past half distance and after the first and only full course caution of the race, now with Jordan Taylor in the car, the No. 10 car was fourth behind the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, the No. 70 Mazda RT24-P of Joel Miller and Tom Long, and the polesitting No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi.

With 48 minutes to go, the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi set in motion the final round of pit stops to get to the checkered flag. Others followed, with the Nos. 5, 55, 85 and 10 cars all pitting within the next seven minutes. While the No. 2 car took another set of Continental tires, the rest took fuel only.

What was imperative to watch was whether the gap would be enough for the No. 31 car to pit with enough of a gap to get Cameron in for a final splash and sustain the lead.

Taylor gained five seconds in four laps from Lap 37 to 41 and got as close as 26.501 seconds but lost time in traffic.

Cameron, however, did not bank enough of a gap to pit and keep the lead. It was a 29.066 second gap over Taylor but that wasn’t enough, and Taylor swept through to the lead once Cameron pitted on Lap 49.

Cameron was second in the No. 31 car with Miller and Long able to finally score a podium in the No. 70 Mazda. This is the third straight street race the Mazda has been on the podium, starting with Detroit last year and Long Beach again this year.

The Prototype battle behind them for the final positions got a bit nuts within the final 15 minutes. When trying to pass Barbosa for fourth, Stephen Simpson spun at Turn 1 in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson and Tristan Nunez took crazy evasive, drifting action to avoid them in the No. 55 Mazda.

With less than 10 minutes to go, the No. 2 Nissan went behind the wall, which made for a similarly frustrating late race end as occurred at Circuit of The Americas.

The GTD lead was shifted entirely on the first and only full-course caution, caused with two separate incidents just shy of the 30-minute mark. Ben Keating, in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes AMG-GT3, impacted the Turn 8 wall on the exit and caused significant right front damage. Meanwhile, at Turn 3, an apparent brake failure shot Kenny Habul’s No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 across the road and into a hapless Renger van der Zande, the Dutchman in the No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson with absolutely nowhere to go except into the tire barriers.

Lawson Aschenbach had led from the pole from the off in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, with one of the BAR1 Motorsports PC cars acting as a buffer to the rest of the GTD field.

At the pit stop, the No. 57 Audi led the No. 93 Acura, No. 48 Lamborghini, No. 28 Porsche and No. 16 Lamborghini.

After the pit stops, the No. 93 Acura moved ahead of the No. 28 Porsche, No. 63 Ferrari, No. 57 Audi and No. 48 Lamborghini.

The No. 16 Lamborghini and No. 28 Porsche both received penalties which knocked them back, and later issues hit both the No. 57 Audi and No. 50 Mercedes-AMG.

It left the No. 93 Acura clear of the No. 63 Ferrari of Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan at the finish.

Shank’s team was poised for a double podium, but with five minutes remaining, Jeff Segal ran wide at Turn 7 and lost third place, with Madison Snow (sharing with Bryan Sellers) in the No. 48 Lamborghini and Jens Klingmann (sharing with Bret Curtis) in the No. 96 BMW slipping through. It was a bittersweet end to that race after Segal and Ozz Negri drove the rebuilt car.

PC was uneventful from the off, Performance Tech Motorsports leading flag-to-flag for its fourth win in as many races ahead of the pair of BAR1 Motorsports entries. French and O’Ward now have wins at 24-hour, 12-hour, two-hour, 40-minute and 100-minute race distances.

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)