Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WC St. Pete: Dan Gardner Does It Again

Image Credit: DG-Spec Scion

WC St. Pete: Dan Gardner Does It Again:

DG-Spec Scions Take St. Pete by Storm, Racking up Awards at World Challenge Season Opener
Drivers Gardner and Stout Put Scions on Podium and Secure Five Awards along the Way

This past weekend, at the World Challenge season opener in front of an estimated 150,000 fans, the DG-Spec Scion road racing team proved again that Scion is the real deal, even at the top of the pro ladder. Three podiums and five awards of distinction were racked up by drivers Robert Stout and Dan Gardner , driving the number 18 and 36 DG-Spec Scion tC Touring Cars, respectively.

The event was a double-header, with a race on Saturday and another on Sunday, both for season championship points. Stout qualified well, putting the number 18 car third on grid, with Gardner a couple rows back. The Qualifying session would determine starting order for both races.

Saturday’s race saw Stout battle with the pole sitter, big-motor Honda Civic, eventually getting the best of the Civic and finishing second place, along the way collecting the MTM Special Ops Best Move of the Race award for avoiding the spinning Civic. Gardner blasted through the field, gaining 9 positions overall, which netted him the third spot on the podium along with the Sunoco Hard Charger award.

Sunday began with a bang, as Gardner laid the rubber down on the start, zipping through the field, earning the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start of the Race award. He also repeated; again collecting the Sunoco Hard Charger award, en route to a fourth place finish. Stout’s 18 car partially collected a spinning GT Porsche three turns after the start. Even with the damage to the body and suspension, Stout pushed his way back up, battling the Honda Civic, and eventually getting the best of him. The pass on lap 24 earned him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award, en route to another second place finish.

“Aweome, awesome, awesome,” said team owner and driver, Gardner. “First place would have been nice, but it’s hard to have expected more at the season opener. This is great for the team, the drivers, our sponsors, and especially Scion, who just showed the world that even at this level, we’re still the real deal.”

Stout, at just 18 years old, is the youngest driver in the series. That made no matter, as he piloted the number 18 DG-Spec Scion to the second step on the podium both days, proving that he knows how to get the job done. Both drivers are rookies in the series, but showed their mettle all weekend long.

“What a great run,” Stout Said. “My hat’s off to Dan and the entire team. I had a great car the whole weekend. It’s hard to be more pleased with my first pro race starts. A podium both races…it doesn’t get much better than that!”

Credit the crew of Sean Morris, Brad Allen, John McNulty, David Fredrickson, and Jayson Altmiller with keeping the cars 100-percent bulletproof, as the cars didn’t blink all weekend. Tom and Robyn Lepper supported everyone all along the way.

Stout ends the event second in the championship points race, with Gardner in fourth. The two also netted Scion 14 manufacturer points, instantly launching the brand to second in the manufacturers’ championship standings. Scion trails VW by just 4 points.

Standings and results can be viewed at The race will be broadcast on the Versus Network on Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The team now readies for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the only race of the season in the team’s backyard. The event will take place through the historic streets on April 16-18. The World Challenge race starts that Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

The team’s progress throughout the season can be followed at and

The DG-Spec team uses and is supported by:

· Scion-supplied OE parts

· TRD-supplied supercharger and intercooler, front big brake kit

· Jackson-Dawson Communications

· Pilot Automotive HID driving lamps

· Nitto NT-01 tires for testing

· Enkei PF01 17x8 wheels

· OS Giken Super Lock Limited Slip Differential (LSD)

· Dezod-supplied AEM standalone engine management, plug-and-play harness, fuel rail, injectors, end links, and stainless clutch line

· Church Automotive Testing dyno tuning

· Moton Suspension remote reservoir coil over shocks

· Vogtland springs

· DG-Spec Progress Technology rear sway bar and camber kits

· Motul brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and super coolant

· Racepak IQ3 logger dash and VNET sensors

· AEM sensors, EMS , and dry flow air filter

· Kaminari carbon-fiber roof and composite headlights

· Reflections body work

· America’s Tire Co. tire mounting and balancing

· Racetech Viper head-restraint race seat and 6-point harnesses

· Centerforce clutch and low-inertia steel flywheel

· AIT carbon-fiber hood and hatch

· DG-Spec Wild Pony Motorsports-supplied camber/caster plates

· Goodridge fittings and lines

· Carbotech XP10 and XP8 brake pads

· G-Force racing suit, gloves, helmet, window nets, and other safety and crew gear

· DC Sports header

· Energy Suspension bushings and motor mounts

· HoseTechniques silicone hoses

· Tri-Mountain Racewear team gear

· NST supercharger pulley, Braille batteries, and shifter bushings

· SquareSkull designs

· Sampson Racing Communications (SRC) radio systems

The World Challenge is North America 's top production car-based racing championship. Divided into three separate classes (World Challenge Touring Car, World Challenge GTS, and World Challenge GT) races follow a sprint format and are 50 minutes start to finish.

Each race features thrilling standing starts, adrenaline filled door-to-door action, and top-notch drivers. Drivers pilot cars from the world's most popular manufacturers. Race prepped versions of the cars we drive on the streets! The World Challenge is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and races at North America 's premier road and temporary street courses.

DG Spec is a line of parts designed and endorsed by National Champion Scion road racer Dan Gardner . Gardner draws up the specifications for the parts himself. The parts are then tested and proven on the track. The goal of DG Spec is to provide enthusiasts with parts that have been developed on the track and that have significant performance advantages at an honest price. Parts are offered either in hardcore track trim, identical to what Gardner and his team race with, or in Gardner-specified standards more appropriate for enthusiast use on the street.
(HT: Story and Photos courtesy DG-Spec)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

REVIEW: Driven to Race

Driven To Race documentary movie poster outside of premiere screening which kicked off the 2010 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Star Mazda Race Series season. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

REVIEW: Driven to Race

Driven To Race” or The best Documentary that every wannabe Race Driver should see.

This past Wednesday night March 10th, 2010 we got the chance to preview and see what could have been the basis of the best racing movie since LeMans. “Driven To Race”, is by far one of the best documentaries ever made about open wheel racing, and where the world finds these new up and coming drivers. While this is not news to those of us who have spent any time at all around Motorsports, it is eye opening for people new to our industry.

This documentary follows the 2008 Star Mazda Race Series. Interviews with Team Members, Sponsors, Drivers, Crews, Officials, and the behind the scenes look at what goes on in one of the best run race series in the US today. While not being the biggest fan of open wheel racing after Karting, I did spend many years working in almost this exact division of Motorsports. (I worked around Formula Ford, Sports 2000, and Formula Atlantic series, and shifted focus to production based series using cars with fenders, doors, and roofs).

But I watched this film with great understanding and also wishing above all else that this small production studio (three people) will have a far reaching effect on all those who see this film. Many movies, some with major stars and multi-million dollars budgets, have failed to covey to the viewer what this great independent film has accomplished, on a budget that most productions would have spent on “Craft Services” (snacks) .

“Driven To Race” if distribution can find a way to get this out to more than just the Teams and Officials that were filmed during the production could be the next Oscar nominee for a documentary.

Cargo Productions followed the series throughout North America for the 2008 Star Mazda Series. The men at Cargo Productions started with a plan to go to one race and see what would happen. They wanted to see if they found a spark, and if they had discovered a series, sport, or industry that would tolerate these outsiders following them around for an entire season. Had they met with resistance, or friction among the teams or officials, they would have called off the plan. Or if the subject matter have proven too dull, or hard to follow, again they would have walked away.

What this small but energetic group had found was the wonderful, real world drama that comes with a quest for victory sometimes against all odds. The people at Cargo Productions took hundreds of hours of film, countless interviews, and must have worn out many pairs of sneakers to follow the teams, officials and drivers around as they followed the exploits of the 2008 Star Mazda Series. While I'm sure there was enough footage shot to have made a complete multi week series for the “Speed” Channel, (and maybe that can still happen) the group at Cargo edited down all those hours first into a three and a half hour movie. Then with more thought about how long anyone can sit still and watch a documentary, they went back to the editing room and whittled it down to the final two hour version we got to see before almost anyone else in the world.

There is no romantic sub plot, evil team owner, or prima donna race driver with an ego bigger Stallone or Cruise as in movies past. What you do get from this film is an real understanding of what really goes on, and some of the hard work that goes on to compete in a race series.

It's not my place to tell you how they do it, or who wins what. But to tell you if you enjoy, understand, or have a friend who is new to Motorsports, than this is your film. I just wish they had made this film when drivers such as Pruett, Dismore, Lazzaro, Ave, Nadeau, Till, Fish, and others were coming up through the ranks on their way to Pro Driving Careers.

I hope the Discovery Channel, or Speed pick this film up and give it a good showing. This film is a must see if you want to make a career in Auto Racing, weather it be Open wheel, road racing, or any other form of Motorsports. The people at Cargo Productions hit the nail on the head. You only hope it will be this good, but above all else, this is the real story of what it takes. Luck, Money, Talent, Desire and Dedication.

Cargo Productions is an independent production company generating content for television, films and the internet. Founded in 2008 by Jeff Krueger and Brian Spillane, the company is currently in production on a documentary feature and reality television program focusing on the world of auto racing.

Jeffrey Krueger

Jeffrey Krueger (Producer) was Executive Producer for the award winning short film “The Salesman”, written by and starring Cargo Productions co-founder, Brian Spillane. His latest short film, “Intruder” (written by and starring Jeff), has been featured in the Long Island Film Festival and the Lake Havasu Film Festival, among others.

Jeff has been writing and acting in plays and films for over 10 years. He most recently wrote and starred in his original work, The Legalities of Love, which premiered at the Huntington Beach Playhouse in Huntington Beach, California.

Brian Spillane

Brian Spillane (Director) has been writing, acting and directing on stage, film and television for over 15 years. In 2001, his first independent film, “The Salesman” won Best Mockumentary Short at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. Videos Brian has written and/or directed have been featured on The Discovery Channel and the CW Network, and in 2008, he received his first Telly Award™ .

Special thanks to Dean Case and the entire cast and crew at MAZDASPEED Motorsports.

This story compiled from Cargo Production web site, viewing movie, and personal experiences.

By: Dicken Wear, Editor-in-Chief

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vegas Baby, Vegas. NASCAR in Sin City !

The Winners
Victory Circle
Jimmie wins another one. (Will he win the 5th Sprint Cup?)

LVMS records ninth consecutive sellout for Shelby American
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Image Credits, LVMS, Dicken Wear, David Allio & others.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway recorded its ninth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellout with Sunday's running of the Shelby American.
Speedway officials sold the final grandstand seats Sunday morning prior to the green flag for the 13th annual event. The capacity crowd marked the largest crowd of the season.
"In what are still challenging economic times, today's turnout is a testament to the popularity of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this great city and NASCAR's premier racing series," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "We really appreciate the thousands of race fans who chose to spend the day with us."