2017 Empire State 450 (Pre-Race)

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2017 Empire State 450 (Pre-Race)

Post by BJA95 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:28 am

Entry List
Previous Winners List

Provisional Entry List and Qualifying Procedure Released

It may be a few weeks until the big event to kick off the STARS Lowes' International Series season, but the Empire State 450 hype is on the horizon as STARS have released both the first draft of the entry list and the official procedure to earn qualification for the main event.

The entry list for the first race of the season currently sits at 43 cars. With a field cap of 40 cars for all STARS LIS races, this means that 3 cars will be going home from the event. However, with potential full time entrant Ike Durbin looking likely to make a return for the season, and with other entries rumoured for the event, the car count could go up, matching numbers that we have seen in years past.

The qualifying procedure will be largely unchanged from last year. There will be single car runs to decide the polesitter and outside polesitter for the event before the duel races, which will dictate the other 38 spots on the grid, as well as who goes home. However, two changes come into affect for 2017.

In years past, the top 30 in owners points were guaranteed a spot in the main race, however that has been wiped away for 2017, with no-one being locked into the main event from the duels; with the exception of the top two in single car runs. However, if the top two in single car runs manage to lock themselves into the race by position, their provisional starting spots will be handed down to the next quickest that fail to qualify. It does not matter where the polesitter or outside polesitter start, though. They will start on the front row regardless.

This leads into the second change made for the race. In the prior runnings, if the front row occupants crash out or fail to finish their duel race and require a back up car, they would lose their front row berth. That is not the case now. Even if the cars on the front row need to go to a backup, they will keep their starting position.

Ben Atkins Looking to Break Empire State 450 Record - Faces Tough Competition

Ben Atkins is hungry to earn his fourth Empire State 450 and it's not hard to see why; it would be a record-breaking win.

Atkins, who won the 2010, 2012 and 2016 runnings of the prestigious race currently ties the record for most Empire State 450 wins entering the 28th running, but is looking to become the outright winningest driver of the race; but has other drivers looking for success in his way; including Gareth Carter, who at the age of 61 is also looking for his fourth as well.

Carter is the only driver alongside Marc McAllister to have entered every Empire State 450 since its inception in 1990, but he is the only other driver to have secure three wins, and he will be looking to win his first since 2002; 15 years ago.

"Obviously Gareth's legacy is fantastic in the series." said Atkins, "He's very well accomplished. A three time champion in the series and at New York, but I really want to be able to say that I'm the winningest driver outright."

"It's nice to have competition for the record." said Carter, "I like the attitude Ben has towards this and I think if he gets it, he deserves it... but that isn't going to stop this old man from trying!"

However, it's not only the older drivers looking to make their mark. The younger generation that are making not only their first Empire State 450's... but potentially their first starts in STARS LIS.

10 rookies are poised to make their first Empire State 450's, including McBrien Racing pair Evie Vance and Ruby McBrien, who are in very capable equipment.

Vance has already earned approval to run the race as she was a Kobalt Tools Truck Series regular in 2016, and as a result, has superspeedway experience, however, McBrien has yet to run a race on a SuperSpeedway, coming straight from Late Model racing. As a result, the 17 year old will have to prove her worth, and will run both the NSCF Championship Series and STARS KTTS support races to earn her marks. However, this has only encouraged the shy yet excitable youngster.

"I'm really really ready to get out there and show what I can do" said McBrien, "The most important thing to me is to impress the fans and make them cheer! I can't wait to do my best for everyone!"

Atkins' may be a favourite to earn the record but other drivers will stand in his way, and with a mix of potential and experience running rampant in the series this year, it will certainly be a difficult task for the 30 year old Englishman.
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Re: 2017 Empire State 450 (Pre-Race)

Post by BJA95 on Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:51 am

Nico Yazawa Secures Empire State 450 Pole Position

In a shocking result in Wednesday's single car qualifying session, Nico Yazawa has taken the pole position for her first start in the series, the famous Empire State 450. Yazawa, who is debuting with new team ยต's Autosport, was the only driver to break the 36 second barrier, running a 36.938, over 7 hundredths faster than second place Ben Atkins. Both Yazawa and Atkins are locked into the Empire State 450.

The 20-year-old Yazawa, who is also a former school idol, tweeted out after the race "Well of course I won the pole, a fitting position for the #1 Super Idol in the world!" showing off her confidence and charm.

Atkins was easily as excited about his front row berth, seen high-fiving his pit crew and team, before giving an interview.

"I'm just happy I can have fun in the duels and not have to worry about missing the race!" said Atkins, "I really thought we had the pole position on lock but then Nico [Yazawa] went out and set a blistering time... I was really impressed by that. It's awesome for a new team to come in and achieve, and they're a great group of people too. Hopefully we see more of that in the future!"

While Yazawa celebrated her pole, things were not as cheery for her teammate and team owner Maki Nishikino, who will have to work on the car after only timing in at 41st in the single car runs.

Full Single Car Qualifying Results:


1 55 N Yazawa 36.938
2 2 B Atkins 37.009
3 92 B Carlisle 37.035
4 72 J Beaufort 37.100
5 6 R Matthews 37.127
6 26 S Libra 37.160
7 29 R McBrien 37.177
8 12 G Macintosh 37.189
9 11 F McBrien 37.196
10 1 M Dillinger 37.228
11 19 E Vance 37.261
12 65 I Durbin 37.265
13 22 C Minami 37.321
14 21 C Lester 37.333
15 02 R Truro, Jr. 37.349
16 31 J Eichholtz 37.454
17 00 J Clagett 37.460
18 66 D Donohue 37.468
19 86 M Montellini 37.513
20 15 B Stansfield 37.524
21 44 E Jenkins 37.528
22 50 G Macena 37.531
23 20 C Swift 37.556
24 28 R Carter 37.633
25 99 K Miller 37.661
26 75 W Carmichael 37.686
27 27 N Prowse 37.690
28 18 M Hanley 37.741
29 88 B Green 37.849
30 14 G Hadaway 37.915
31 01 H Tsushima 37.938
32 10 D Leckliter 37.985
33 9 M Johnson 37.995
34 98 S Harrow 38.036
35 5 T Benatar 38.074
36 08 Y Kunikida 38.147
37 89 L Forrester 38.182
38 94 G Carter 38.207
39 76 R McKee 38.215
40 24 P Vaughn 38.229
41 0 M Nishikino 38.281
42 82 J Sanders 38.314
43 57 D Dent 39.021
44 77 B Ward 39.025
45 70 S Peterson 39.133
46 78 D Williams 39.326
47 05 M McAllister 39.340
48 7 D Johnson 39.347

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