Thursday, November 15, 2012

Burns Stainless wins prestigious SEMA Global Media Award, Best Product

LAS VEGAS, NV – Burns Stainless LLC has won the SEMA Global Media Award for Best Product.  A panel of 15 journalists from around the world reviewed the new and featured products at SEMA.  The Burns Stainless Merge collector was chosen by renowned international motorsports journalist Tony Tobias of Race Car Engineering.  “We are excited to win this award in our first showing at SEMA.  We are blessed to have our work recognized in such a prestigious event”

Also, check out this great video interview by Jessica Barton of PowerTV regarding Burns Stainless LLC.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rebellion Racing On Top At Petit Le Mans

 BRASELTON, GA – The 15th Petit Le Mans ran last weekend at the beautiful Road Atlanta circuit in the peach state. The 1,000 mile endurance race is the season finale for the American Le Mans series and the European Le Mans series. The overall victory went to Rebellion Racing in the P1 Toyota powered Lola B12/60 a full three laps ahead of the nearest competitor. The Lola was piloted by Neel Jani in the final laps with co-drivers Nicholas Prost and Andrea Bellichi. "I think the start was the toughest part of the race, at least for me," Jani said. "It was a big fight with the Muscle Milk car. He was always on my tail, putting a lot of pressure on me... It looked like he took a little bit too much risk, or something went wrong there. From then on, it was just about bringing the car home and not taking too many risks."

The favored Pickett Racing Muscle Milk entry of Graf/Luhr/Dumas met an unfortunate fate in the first hour of the race. The Green Hornet GTC-class Porsche driven by Peter LeSaffre was exiting the pits when the blindingly fast P1 car driven by Luhr contacted the slower Porsche sending both cars into spins. The point leading HPD ARX-03a was sidelined for 65 minutes repairing the damage from the collision. The Muscle Milk car needed to finish 70% of the race to be declared P1 champion, so the pressure was on for the pit crew to get the car together to complete the race. "Until the race was over, I tried not to think about the championship too much," Graf said. "We won a lot of races this year and certainly deserve it at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing. This is my first championship; I came in second for the last two years, so this is very rewarding for me." For the race, Pickett Racing ended up 33rd overall and 3rd place in P1.

The other podium spots went to Level 5 Motorsports with team owner Scott Tucker driving in both cars... The two P2 entries completed 391 laps with the 95 car of Diaz/Bouchut/Tucker placing second. The 055 car of Franchitti/Franchitti/Tucker placed third. Level 5 also won the P2 championship. "We had been through this before with our first PC championship where it came down to the last race," Tucker said. "We knew it was going to be tight this year and Conquest were great competitors. We knew what we had to do. Getting to 70 percent is no easy task. We had to take it easy there... My hats off to my teammates. It's a great day for us."

In GT, the mighty Ferrari 458 Italia of Extreme Speed Motorsports and piloted by Vilander/Van Overbeek/Sharp took the class win. Second place went to the Corvette C6 ZR1 of Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen followed by The BMW entry of Summerton/Auberlein/Muller. The Corvettes spent much of the race running close, but a steering problem in the No 4 Corvette dropped them to a 12th place finish. The Corvette Racing team of Milner and Gavin finished top in points in GT.

The innovative Nissan Deltawing designed and built by Dan Gurney’s All American Racing and financed by Don Panoz and powered by a turbocharged Nissan 4-cylinder engine ran in its own class and finished 5th overall. It was an impressive accomplishment made even more astonishing by the fact that it suffered a roll-over crash (VIDEO) during practice when a GTC-class Porsche ran into the Deltawing. The car was brilliantly rebuilt and completed the race without a hitch.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Matt Kenseth Avoids Melee to Win 'dega

TALLADEGA, AL - Tony Stewart maybe tried a bit too hard to hold the lead on the final lap at Talladega.  Feeling the pressure with Matt Kenseth passing on the outside and Michael Waltrip benefiting by a push from Rick Mears on the inside, Stewart came down to block Waltrip making contact and causing a 25 car pile-up on the final lap.  The wreck took Tony Stewart on a wild ride tumbling atop his fellow competitors.  Watching from Clint Bowyers dash cam, Stewart’s car came at him on its side as Bowyer T-boned him.  Stewart then spun on its side into Kasey Kahne before landing atop the # 5 car.

Benefitting from the melee, Matt Kenseth took the lead and was the first car to cross the finish-line and was declared the winner by NASCAR as he was in first place at the time of the accident.  "The track kept getting looser for me as the day went on and we never could get it tightened up," said Kenseth.  "On the last lap, that's why I chose the middle groove.  I knew I couldn't be on the bottom or I'd get spun out, so I had to run the middle or the top to try to make a move. . . .  I didn't know what was going happen and I'm still not sure what happened.  Somehow, I think Tony got turned and caused a big wreck."  Kenseth’s handling problem turned out to be a blessing.

Tony Stewart took full responsibility for the accident.  "I just screwed up," Stewart said.  "I turned down across -- I think it was Michael -- and crashed the whole field.  It was my fault, blocking to try to stay where I was at.  I take 100 percent of the blame.  I was trying to win the race, trying to stay ahead of Matt there, and Michael got a great run on the bottom, had a big head of steam.  When I turned down, I turned down across the right-front of his car.  It was just a mistake on my part, but it cost a lot of people a bad day because of it."

Another beneficiary of the pileup was Jeff Gordon.  Running in about 13th place, Gordon was able to avoid contact and take second place followed by Kyle Busch.  "I don't know how we made it to the white flag," said Gordon.  "Coming through that tri- oval, being hit from behind, hitting the guy in front of me, you're sandwiched in between, basically.  There are cars doing the same thing on that side of you, cars on that side of them doing the same thing.  I really don't know how we made it to the white flag.  It was just insane.  But you're doing all you can to try to move your lane and hope that you make it back around.  In today's case, we did."

The first three spots in the Chase remain unchanged with Kieslowski, Johnson, and Hamlin on top.  Jeff Gordon benefits the most from Talladega moving up four places to the 6th spot.  Stewart loses two spots to 7th, while Dale Jr. suffered the most dropping 4 places to 11th.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stevenson Racing Win Grand-Am GT in Pratt and Miller Camaro GT.R

LIME ROCK, CT – The final Grand-Am championship race was completed at the famous 1.53 mi Lime Rock track in Connecticut.  The SunTrust DP entry piloted by Ricky Taylor and Max Angelleli took top honors as they have done in all three Grand-Am races at the track.  Second place went to Antonio Garcia and co-driver Richard Westbrook in the Spirit of Daytona DP Corvette.  The final podium spot went to the Gainsco Corvette of Fogarty/Gurney.  Even finishing in seventh place, the championship went to the BMW/Riley driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas for Chip Ganassi Racing, “It’s great to be at Lime Rock Park and great to be champions,” offered Pruett.  “I’m happy for the whole Ganassi organization.  This was really an incredibly difficult and challenging season.  Today we changed it up, this is a difficult track, and we wanted to keep both drivers fresh.  I couldn’t be happier to get this championship won--we had to dig deep and the season really brought this team to a whole new level.  I enjoyed the challenge and it brought us together as a team.”

In GT, John Edwards and Robin Liddell put the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R on the top of the podium.  The Camaro clinched the lead when  Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 was forced to a late pit stop for fuel – dropping him to a sixth place finish.  Meanwhile, the APR Motorsport Audi R8 of Jim Norman and Dion von Moltke came in second followed by the No. 63 Ferrari 458 of Johannes van Overbeek and teammate Allessandro Balzan in third.  Ferrari also won the Manufacturer championship in their first year in Grand-Am.  “For sure I knew he was very close (on fuel) and we were expecting to have a stumble,” said Liddell, who won the 2011 LRP race with Stevenson.  “I just kept pushing as hard as I could.  We had a great scrap.  We were slightly quicker I think at the end when he was saving fuel or whether we were just better on the tires.  It was a hard race.  John (Edwards) did a great job with limited practice - he qualified the car on pole.  Stevenson Motorsports and Chevrolet with the Camaro, absolutely brilliant flawless season for these guys.  They've done such a great job.”

In ST competition, Pierre Kleinubing, driving the No. 31 Cybernation/i-Moto/Mazda/EMI Mazdaspeed 3, edged out the Andy Lally in Friday’s race.  “It was a tough battle out there, but if you want to earn a championship, there’s no better way than with Andy Lally and Billy Johnson behind you,” Kleinubing said.  “I think we did that today.  We got a little lucky with the rain.  Without the rain, we’d probably be a fifth or sixth-place finisher.”


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vettel Wins in Singapore

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Grand Prix was disappointing for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren.  The Brit was having a great weekend starting the race from the pole, but had to retire with a gearbox failure on lap 23 of 29.  Sebastien Vettel was positioned well to capitalize on Hamilton’s disappointment.  The Red Bull driver was in second place at the time, and decisively claimed the lead to the end.  Vettel also moves into second place in points.  "It looks better than before," Vettel said.  "We have a lot of races left, the car seems to be competitive, and we just have to use the momentum and keep pushing for these last races and see what happens."

Jensen Button claimed a strong second place and did apply pressure to Vettel, but the McLaren driver complained that his car was not “balanced” towards the end of the race.  He also verbalized some frustration with McLaren’s performance, especially Hamilton’s’ DNF.  "Seb didn't make any mistakes and we finished second," Button said.  "It's good to get some points on the board after the retirement at Monza.  It's disappointing for the team to have another DNF (did not finish).  We can't seem to do it with both cars and for sure that is something we need to work on for the remainder of the season."

Ferrari’s Alonso managed a third place finish, keeping him 27 points ahead of Vettel in the championship.  It is a good thing that Alonso knows how to make lemonade from lemons as Ferrari has been struggling recently.  The Spaniard was only able to manage a fifth place start, which he converted into a podium finish.  Regarding the forthcoming races, he said: “I think all this year we've been up and down for all the teams, and it's the same for us.  For sure, we need to improve the performance we saw here.  We struggled all weekend.  Positions five and 13 for our cars is not what we were hoping for, so we need to be in a better position in Suzuka.  Maybe Silverstone is also quite similar to Suzuka, and we were quite OK there, so hopefully we can repeat that kind of performance.”

Other interesting stories from Singapore include the 10-place penalty for the Japan GP Michael Schumacher “earned” and the strong fourth place finish by Force India’s Paul di Resta.  Schumacher was penalized by FIA stewards for a mid-race collision with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.  The German slammed into Vergne’s car on the race’s restart following the first safety-car period.  This is the second penalty Schumacher has received this year.  Di Resta drove a brilliant race leading to his highest place finish in F1.  Some believed he actually posed a threat to Alonso.  A strong finish for Force India is important as it earns its position in the high-stakes game of Formula 1.  Stay tuned for more from this burgeoning team.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Corvette Racing Clinches Titles

ALTON, VA – The ALMS series made its debut at the Virginia International Raceway this past weekend.  It turned out to be a great race venue, and the Corvette Racing team of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner clinched the GT-class championship.  GM also won the manufacturer’s title and Corvette Racing won the team title.  What makes this more spectacular is that the season finale at Road Atlanta is still weeks away.  It’s going to be difficult to say this without sounding big-headed or pleased with myself,” quipped Gavin, “but, hey, who cares: I WON THE 2012 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES GT DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP!”

Though the Corvette appeared dominant, the four-hour race was far from a slam-dunk.  Not only are the  GT-class Corvettes so evenly matched against the Porsches, Ferraris and BMWs, the windy VIR track was new for all the competitors.  Entering the race with a 28-point lead, luck appeared to be with Gavin/Milner as they narrowly escaped a first lap incident when the #20 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda spun in turn one.  “I was hoping things would go well for us, with this being my 100th start,” Gavin said.  “When I managed to get through the melee in Turn 1, I thought this could very well be our day.  Things worked out for us today, but we've worked at it.  We made our own luck.  We clambered and put ourselves in the right position.  We executed that four times this year, and that’s why we won the championship.”  The victory was especially sweet as this was Oliver Gavin’s 100th ALMS start and VIR is Milner’s home track.  Second place went to the Porsche GT3 team of Bergmeister and Long with the final podium position going to the 458 Italia of Overbeek and Sharp.

The Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a Honda of Graf/Luhr won the overall and P1-class completing 135 laps.  The P2–class win and 3rd place overall fell to the HPD ARX-03b Honda of Tucker/Bouchet.  The P1 and P2 class championships will be decided at Road Atlanta in October.  The Chevrolet-powered Oreca FLM09 of Bennett/Braun won the PC-class and GTC-class was won by the Porsche GT3 Cup car of MacNeill/Keen.

Also, last weekend at the NHRA US Nationals, Burns customer Charlie Westcott again won the Hemi Shootout with a 8.397 sec, 159.06mph pass with the 1968 “warfish” Barracuda, against the Barton-powered ’68 Dodge Dart of Jim Daniels (8.485sec/156.92mph).  Charlie took his second straight sweep at the Indianapolis Mopar Hemi Challenge (and fifth Hemi Challenge win overall), pocketing the $15,000 winner’s purse from Mopar.  Read more:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bowyer Runs Out Of Gas And Wins at Richmond

RICHMOND, VA – The rain-delayed final race kept the suspense up on who final 10 drivers to compete in The Chase were to be.  The rain forced a 2-hour delay to the start of the race as well as a 15 lap caution on lap 137 and a 51 minute red flag.  Clint Bowyer was at the lead when the checkered flag dropped followed by Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.  When Bowyer took his victory “burn-out” he ran out of gas in his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.

This was a sweet win for Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.  “Never in a million years would I ever dream that I would be racing against these guys and on this racetrack,” said Bowyer.  “I love this racetrack.  We've won here before.  It's just a fun racetrack.  I really wish we had three or four more of these across the country.  I think it's a great product of what we have on display for our fans.”  After a near disastrous first season in 2007, MWR advances 2 drivers, Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. to The Chase.  “In racing, tonight is really special because somebody famous and smarter than me made a quote that says those that have invested the most appreciate success the most,” said Waltrip.  “I remember coming here and missing the races in '07.  Six years later we're sitting in Victory Lane.  Got two cars in the Chase.  …I'm pretty damn happy right now. That's what it's all about, being happy.”

Jeff Gordon, who finished second and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and crew chief Alan Gustafson had an unbelievable weekend.  Gordon, in a competition with Kyle Busch for a wild card spot in the Chase, qualified his #24 car on the outside of the front row.  Gordon then made a strong start leading a couple laps early in the race.  However, some handling issues cropped up causing Gordon to drop down a lap.  Following a pit under yellow on lap xx, He and his Hendrick Motorsports team decided to disconnect the rear sway bar.  Normally that’s a case of desperate people do desperate things and they normally never, ever work out. But this time it truly worked out, then he pitted very early on his last stop under green, hoping he didn’t get burned on a caution, and got the advantage of those fresh tires and drove through there and finished second (  “It was amazing,” said Gordon. “I still can't believe we actually did it. I know how proud Rick (Hendrick, team owner) is to have all four teams into this Chase.  That was a big goal of ours.  Pretty amazing to know we accomplished that.”

Hendricks has made the best showing in The Chase qualifying all 4 drivers for the Chase.  Roush-Fenway and Michael Waltrip Racing each placed two drivers.  Gibbs, Penske, Stewart Haas and Childress each placed one driver.  The field includes 6 Chevrolets, 3 Toyotas, 2 Fords and only one Dodge.  The twelve drivers are:

Greg Biffle – Roush-Fenway Racing, Ford
Dale Earnhardt Jr – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Matt Kenseth – Roush-Fenway Racing, Ford
Jimmie Johnson – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski – Penske Racing, Dodge
Martin Truex Jr. – Michael Waltrip Racing, Ford
Clint Bowyer – Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota
Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs, Toyota
Kevin Harvick – Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet
Tony Stewart – Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon – Hendricks Motorsports, Chevrolet

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Button Avoids Mellee And Wins at Spa

FRANCOCHAMPS, BELGIUM – Starting from the pole, Jensen Button was able to avoid the race start melle (VIDEO) resulting from contact by Romain Grosjean with McLaren’s Lewis Hamiliton.  The incident resulted in a 5-car accident requiring 3 laps under yellow to clear.  Following the accident, Button was unchallenged for the rest of the race finishing 13.6 sec ahead of Sebastien Vettel.  Kimi Raikkonen placed his Lotus-Renault in 3rd.

Besides Hamilton, Grosjean’s aggressive maneuver also affected points leader Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.  Kobayashi was the only car involved able to continue the race, managing a 13th place finish, 1 lap down from the leaders.  The race stewards handed down a one-race suspension to Grosjean.  "I honestly thought I was ahead of him and there was enough room for both cars;” commented Grosjean, “I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that.  This first corner situation obviously isn’t what anyone would want to happen and thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident.  I wish to apologise to the drivers who were involved and to their fans.  I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver."  Jerome D'Ambrosio will fill Grosjean’s seat at Monza.

Sebastien Vettel ran a superb race for Red Bull.  Following a disappointing qualifying round on Saturday, Vettel was able to pull off a great run on race day charging from 10th the 2nd.  “On Saturday I simply didn’t have the grip to go for the full speed.”  Vettel continued, “when I looked at the data on Saturday to see where I lost the most time and compare myself to Mark’s (Webber) lap it was clear that I didn’t have any chance but then in the race it suddenly clicked again. I have to say that I went into the race quite confident as the car worked pretty well on Saturday morning, so the hope was that there was a small glitch in qualifying but that that glitch would be eliminated during the course of the race. When I look at the start I have to confess that it was pretty bad. The clutch didn’t react at all so I lost a number of places - but I was able to regain them again into the first corner and into the first chicane. I would say that what made my race was the strategy.  The team has done a terrific job! This really got me back into the race again and finally onto the podium. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

GT40 Fetches $11 Million At Monterey Auction

MONTEREY, CA - Monterey weekend has come and gone, and with it, a few record breaking auctions.  At RM Auctions, a 1968 Ford GT40 sold for a whopping $11,000,000 dollars – yes, that’ six-zeroes!  Chassis P/1074 was a Gulf Livery car that had a strong racing history and was actually a camera car in Steve McQueen’s epic movie, Le Mans.  The GT40 broke the record for the highest price paid for an American car.  The highest priced car to sell at Monterey was at the auction house of Gooding & Co, where $11.1 million dollars bought a magnificent Mercedes 540K Special Roadster.  Gooding’s also sold a Ferrari California Spyder for $6 million dollars.  The total take at Gooding was $133 million and $94.5 million at RM.  Mecum also sold $33 million dollars worth of cars.  The number of cars sold was down, but the dollars were easily an all-time record.

Also at Monterey was a tribute to Carroll Shelby, Ford assembled a collection of Cobras at Laguna Seca.  There were 12 historically significant cars on display in a special tent at Laguna Seca.  Included in the collection was CSX2000, the very first Cobra built powered by a 289 small block.  CSX2196, the first big-block, 427-powered Cobra was also on display with its innovative “flip-top” body. 

One of our favorite cars of all-time, the Cobra Daytona Coupe was on display as well.  The car was the first Coupe ever-built, owned by the Simeone Automotive Museum, and the only one still in the US.  The elegant lines of the Coupe were penned by Peter Brock for the sole purpose of beating Ferrari.  “We went to Daytona in 1964 and just smoked the Ferraris,” said Brock.  “Unfortunately we had a fire in the pits and didn't finish the race.  The next race was the 12 Hours of Sebring, and we annihilated everybody there and won the race.  We then took the car to Le Mans and set the lap record there and then the same thing at Spa, but the car still had some teething problems, because it was so new, but it was fast right out of the box.” Shelby won the World Manufacturer’s Championship as well as consecutive wins at Sebring and Spa.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ambrose Skates To Win At The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY – Put 3,500 pound cars, with drivers used to turning only left, on a road course and things are bound to get exciting.  The final lap of the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen was about as exciting as it gets ( Video )!  As the white flag was dropped, Kyle Busch was running in first place with Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose in close pursuit.  Busch looked to be having some sort of problem and was taking a defensive line into turn 1 then lost control of the 18 car and went wide.  Trying to maintain his lead over Keselowski, Busch cut in front and was tapped by Keselowski causing Busch to spin into the infield at the esses.  The 2 car suffered some damage on the left front and the sheet metal looked to be rubbing the front tire. 

With two turns left, Ambrose saw his opportunity and reeled Keselowski in and went wide for the pass, barely clearing the 2 car’s front bumper.  Keselowski was not going down without a fight and tapped the 9-car a couple of times causing him to go wide in the second to the last corner.  Ambrose saved the car and maintained a slight lead.  The #2 and #9 entered the final corner side-by-side.  Ambrose exited first and Keselowski barely kept his car off the guardrail as he skated-around the oily track in a four-wheel drift on Marcos’ bumper.  Ambrose pulled ahead on the final straight away to take the checkered flag.  “It was absolute chaos at the end,” Ambrose said.  “All of a sudden, I’m starting to slide around on oil.  It was absolutely crazy at the end.”  But in the final estimation, “It feels so good to be back in victory lane,”

Not only was the race exciting, it has made the points race exciting, upsetting The Chase apple kart.  The biggest upset was with Kyle Busch who had a near lock on a Chase position, but now is a contender for a wild card spot.  The point spread in the top three spots is only three points with Jimmie Johnson, moving up three spots, leading Roush-Fenway teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.  Dale Jr dropped 3 places to 4th and Keselowski’s exciting finish moved him up two places to 5th.  Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are currently the wild cards. 

So did NASCAR make the right call?  Though the NASCAR corner workers did not see any evidence of oil, allegedly from Bobby Labonte’s blown engine, on the track, the drivers were surprised that the race stayed green.  “The oil was getting worse and worse,” commented Ambrose, “Oil was moving around the track.  You take your chances.  You have to commit at that point.  That’s the way racing should be, and we got the No. 9 to victory lane.”  Brad Keselowski said it was “one of them days where the world throws everything it can at you and you hope to make it through all of them.”  Jeff Gordon, who crashed in oil on the final turn and fell from seventh to 21st, said, “It’s just unfortunate that that gets taken away from you because NASCAR doesn’t want to end the race under yellow.”  Kyle Busch probably suffered the most as the seventh place finish drops him out of The Chase.  He left the track without comment.  Todd Parrott, Ambrose’s crew chief and a long-time traveler of NASCAR pit roads, said Sunday’s finish “probably ranks in the top two or three as far as excitement level.”

Should NASCAR have waved the yellow flag?  Well, in this case, I am certainly glad they didn’t because that was one heck of a great final lap!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Burns Stainless Contingency Winners

NMCA-West Street Car Nationals

Dan Bott II – N/A 10.5 Class

Stephen Porcho – Mustang Madness

Congratulations to Dan Bott II and Stephen Porcho for their wins at the Inaugural NMCA-West Street Car Nationals held at The Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield California.  Dan won the N/A 10.5 Pro-class event, formerly known as Hot-Street.  Stephen won in the in the Mustang Madness class. 
Dan and Steve run Burns products and are Burns Stainless Contingency winners.  The next NMCA West event will be at the Auto Club Raceway of Pomona August 17-19.  It will be an exciting race, and the winners will receive NHRA Wallys to memorialize their wins.