Justin Allgaier Takes Inaugural Loud Energy 150 at NJMP First-Ever American Crowned Champion in Formula BMW Race Millville, NJ (October 1, 2008) -- New Jersey Motorsports Park hosted another action-packed weekend, and its final major spectator...
Justin Allgaier Takes Inaugural Loud Energy 150 at NJMP
First-Ever American Crowned Champion in Formula BMW Race
Millville, NJ (October 1, 2008) -- New Jersey Motorsports Park hosted another action-packed weekend, and its final major spectator event of the 2008 season at the Loud Energy 150. Newly signed Penske Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Justin Allgaier took victory in the feature ARCA Series race, in a rain-abbreviated race. Northport, New York's Andy Lally seemed to have the measure of the field, for many of whom the New Jersey road course was their first non-oval experience. Lally looked well positioned for victory ahead of Red Bull sensation Scott Speed and Allgaier, but persistent rain forced the race to be called under yellow.
Formula BMW crowned its first-ever American champion as Alexander Rossi captured the 2008 crown with the season finale yet to run, next week at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Starting from the pole, Rossi won Sunday's race by 8.6 seconds ahead of Formula BMW Junior and Rookie Mikael Grenier (Apex-HBR Racing Team) in the17-lap race. Grenier's fourth podium finish of the season moves him back to second in Rookie points. Giancarlo Vilarinho (Eurointernational) finished third, for the young Brazilian's second podium finish of the weekend. Vilarinho set the fastest lap of the race (1:29.128 minutes) on lap 16. An elated Rossi said, "I am struggling to find the words to describe how I feel right now. Relief, joy, happiness, and thankfulness are a start. There were some tough moments this season, but a great team behind me got me here. The championship is clinched. Awesome!"
Saturday's Speed World Challenge race was a thriller, in which James Sofronas finally captured his first-career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge win, leading every lap of Saturday's SCCA SPEED GT Championship Round Nine race at New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway. Brandon Davis, of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., completed the podium. Sofronas had previously started 99 SPEED World Challenge races before taking his victory.
Robert Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich., captured his second Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup victory on a damp, but drying Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Teammates Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Ryan Schimsk, of Austin, Texas, completed the Team MER podium sweep for Round Seven of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.
Liam Kenney, of Sterling, Va., repeated his appearance on the Jetta TDI Cup podium this weekend in Sunday's race by securing a first place victory in race two of the double header weekend. Kenney, 16, placed third in Saturday's race after routinely placing in the top ten of the field and is poised to begin the last race of the season at Road Atlanta next weekend. Josh Hurley, Cooper City, Fl and Chris Holman, Burlington, Ont., Canada, joined Kenney on the podium in second and third places respectively.
"I was a little nervous going out there on slicks in the wet, but the Jetta TDI never let me down and I thought the race was great," said Kenney. "I went out there and concentrated on not making any mistakes, and not putting any wheels off, and am really excited to have my first win in the cup series and to have done it with Volkswagen. I'd also like to thank ViON and Tracks International for all of their support."
NJMP Principal and Project Development Manager Joe Savaro wrapped up the weekend, saying, "We're thrilled at the experience we had this weekend hosting the Loud Energy 150. The organizations of SCCA Pro Racing, who sanctioned and ran three of the weekend's events, and the ARCA RE/MAX Series, were fantastic to deal with, and the racing was outstanding. We dodged a bullet with the weather this weekend -- we were all nervously watching the tropical storm early in the week, but it blew past us with a minimum of disruption to our schedule. As we close out our inaugural spectator season, I want to extend a big thank to our spectators, our supporters in the community, the Green Flag Committee, our staff and of course all the racing participants. We've received a great deal of feedback about how to improve our facility, and we plan to spend the winter doing just that."