Jeg Coughlin Jr.'s Pro Stock car, one of two that fellow driver Chris McGaha filed a protest against Friday. Photos courtesy NHRA.

NHRA: Pro Stock’s McGaha files but loses protests vs. Coughlin Jr., Enders

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NHRA Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha has added incentive to win Sunday’s CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle.

Like $2,000 worth of added incentive.

McGaha needs to try and make up the $2,000 he lost Friday after filing official protests against fellow Pro Stock competitors and former champions Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders.

According to NHRA officials, McGaha filed protests against the two drivers, apparently believing that the engines in both Coughlin Jr.’s and Enders’ Chevrolet Camaros were outside of NHRA engine size regulations for cubic inches.

In other words, McGaha apparently felt his two rival drivers were piloting cars with engines that were oversized, and if so, potentially illegal.

NHRA regulations allow for drivers to file protests against other drivers, but that there’s a $1,000 filing fee for each protest. As a result, McGaha paid $2,000.

NHRA technical department officials tore down both Coughlin Jr.’s and Enders’ engines after Friday’s qualifying sessions and found both powerplants within tolerances and size, negating McGaha’s protests.

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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