Rain in the forecast midweek has not slowed this week of racing. The clouds did throw a shot over the bow at Bristol as they started their racing with the Camping World Series Trucks and the UNOH 200.

The Wednesday night race had Cole Custer up front and minutes before the rain came a lapped driver spun in front of him giving him no place to go. With a damaged truck and the added frustration of the rain, Custer could do little but soak it up. After the delay and the track went green it was Ryan Blaney who came back to win with the #29 on a green-white-checkered finish.

The rain is on tap for today (Thursday 8/20) as well but for the most part should be out for Friday and the weekend. Xfinity and Sprint Cup racing should be fast under fair skies at Bristol.

Weather should not play a big role across the border and a bit to the east as the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship takes center stage in southside Virginia. Even so, the drivers set to take multiple classes of exotics and sports cars to speed at Virginia International Raceway are equipped to run with the rain. They don’t like it, but they can do it. This showcase event is eye candy for auto and speed enthusiasts and weekend weather looks more like sunscreen than umbrellas.

The following week stock cars and the NASCAR K&N Series roll through VIR. If you love watching the big guns race at Watkins Glen then this is your local fix for NASCAR sanctioned stock car racing on this scenic road course.

Don’t pack up the your race gear just yet. Still to come for Virginia race fans is Richmond International Raceway the weekend of September 12. The final shot at the CHASE is on the line as the lights come on and the green flag drops at Richmond.

October has the CHASE full on and on the historic oval at Martinsville. The folks there are busy lining up a lot of specials and fan experience activities to live up to the history.

Racing is on. Virginia has the speed and all you need is a calendar to mark your races. While your at it, you might as well check the locals at tracks like South Boston, Motor Mile and others to fill out that calendar.

Go racing!

Weekends are racing everywhere. As an example, a lot of eyes were on the wheels of NASCAR in New York at Watkins Glen. Sprint Cup stock car racing on a road course. As it was, amidst the twists and turns of The Glen, Joey Logano won the day as Kevin Harvick ran the tank dry.

Jump a bit south and another race on another road course was crossing the checkers as they were going green in New York. The differences between these races are many but the game is the same. Drive, go fast, pass who you can, get up front and try to stay there. The racing is often close, cars break and drivers push too hard and it either pays off or they go off. Racing is racing and the price tag is a matter of details.

Twenty-Four hour racing is not new but events like Daytona and Le Mans are full of big teams with big sponsors and international, seasoned professional drivers on the top of their series. The cars they race are on the razor’s edge of technology with the absolute best engineering and testing. It’s a little different when they race 24 hours at Virginia International Raceway.

At VIR the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Series take on the full course with cars and drivers from the daily grind. The same course that hosts the world class speeds of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship drops the green flag on “every man” racing with cars that were built on a shoe string. Safety is the only real consideration for modifications with seats and harnesses, roll cages and other requirements to protect the drivers. The cars themselves are limited in the way in which performance enhancements can be made. The focus is on giving an opportunity to anyone who wants to go racing without having to spend a lottery fortune on the latest tech, power and engineering. The cars can be found anywhere and it will cost a bit to add the safety spec but it is quite affordable as far as racing goes.

Virginia International Raceway hosts the Chumps and the 24 hour endurance test of drivers and their machines. To see it is to believe it. Some of these cars look pretty nice and except for the numbers and some stickers you likely wouldn’t give them a second glance on the highway. Many look a bit like something you might find 17th down in the third row at the local salvage yard. It’s possible that is where some of them came from. It’s a fair bet a big bunch of them have parts from there.

ChumpCar racing is the essence of “run what ya brung”. The pit crew is your family or friends and the car is what you could find for a few hundred dollars. The performance is essentially what the car was when it was a “car”. It’s obviously a fun thing to say you are a “race car driver” and have the thrill of racing. It’s also quite fun to watch. Check the schedule at Virginia International Raceway and the ChumpCar World Series websites. The Chumps are scheduled to return for racing in December. Grab a jacket or grab a car and come join in the fun.

Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series website

Virginia International Raceway website

Photos from Saturday at Virginia International Raceway with the Optima Batteries ChumpCar Red Line Oil 24 Hour Classic, including the big rigs of the ChampTruck series earlier in the day.

Invalid Displayed Gallery

ChumpCar and ChampTruck at VIR. August 8, 2015. Hi-Res digital images suitable for print are available by request / Donations accepted. Email  sales@missedgear.net  with subject VIR CHUMP Car #


Injuries. It is probably not the best topic on the eve of the start of NASCAR and the Daytona 500. Reality, however, may take the reigns.

As tough as it may be for some, perhaps even many, in the grandstands, the famed #3 is returning to “Cup” racing. The number may technically belong to Richard Childress but to all those who keep a fading and slanted “3” on their automobile windows it will always belong to Dale Earnhardt. The seven time Champion was killed while in the sport and in the car. It was a fatal injury that changed the way NASCAR races from that day forward.

It is not a matter of whether Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, can or even should drive the number. It is a matter of injury. The drivers, whatever the number, take a risk for their ride and for the show that the fans pay the money for. (more…)