2015 State of the Series

forumbanner2015 State of the Series Address

Better late than never, huh?

For the sake of arguments, lets roll with that, true or not. Basically, what that statement brings up, is the 10,000lbs elephant in the room. That being the fact that since our NEORacingNews.com Pro Cup Series wrapped up in November, we have basically gone dark.

With just the semi-serious dirt series running on Saturday evenings, and the Super Speedway Series just trudging along on Wednesdays throughout the winter months, Can-Am Racing Series has more or less fallen off the face of the earth. Lets not even ignore what it truly was, and that is that the administration basically just let go and let the league flop in the breeze for the last 3 months.

But before we get too far, let me, Greg Netherwood, co-founder of the series, explain a few things.

First, lets go with my prespective. I just turned 33 on January 2nd (Happy Belated Birthday to Me!). To give a little bit of history here, I began sim-racing before some of you were born. My first ever sim was Bill Elliotts NASCAR Challenge. I’ve been hardcore into sim-racing since then. Through all the Papy sims, into iRacing, you name it and if it turned left I more than likely owned it and raced it. For the last 13 years, I have been owning or administering an online racing series. 13. Years. Thirteen. You read that right. Some people that race with us have kids that aren’t that old.

To be blunt with it all, I got burnt out. CARS was my first ever series that I was able to build from nothing into a strong, 3 to 4 night a week series with full fields in all divisions. I have never been more proud of something I built in my life. I had a lot of help doing so, with my co-founder Chris Hie shouldering a lot of the work early on, and then moving into the group that currently consists of Patrick Hahe, Chris Cable, Trevor Williams, and formerly Mike King. We all worked hard to get where we are.

But, being the “owner”, though I hate that word, I shouldered a lot of the work. My reasoning being, if you want something done your way, do it yourself. But that had burnt me out. 4 full years of running a series 3 to 4 nights a week was taxing. Losing out on personal things with family and girlfriends because you need to be at a race, or spending a night home doing something league related when you know you have many other places you could be.

To say I wanted some time off to myself and to relax and recharge, is an understatement.

It was my intention to be up front and communicate with the masses, however, real life intervened. My career has taken off, and unfortunately all these things with Can-Am Racing Series came at the same point as my busy time with my career. So, as a result, all those “planning stages” and “statements” I truly wanted to put out in the webisphere were either pushed to the backburner or shelved all together.

Being the main voice, and face, of the Can-Am Racing Series, the fact I went so dark and yet communicated so little should not have happened. Did I need time away to relax, and do what I wanted to do for a bit? Sure. Should I have done so at the expense of all of you, who have been our loyal followers, and racers? No. I know I let a lot of you down, and deserve any amount of flack I get for it.

We have a team of administrators, sure. But theres a reason they all look to me for direction. And I let them down as well. They were left flopping in the breeze as I took my break, and that was unfair to them, and all of you.

For that, I will apologize.

However, with that out of the way, let me be the first to say that I am truly excited for what 2015 may bring. This is our 4th year in full existence, and while we are off to a rocky start, things are going to be looking up very soon!

I would like to outline what we have in store for 2015:

Lets start with our division selection. Many of you know that we started as a Late Model only series. However, many of us have grown tired of the late models, running them weekly for 3 years does that to a man.We had 10 full seasons of them, with 9 different champions. To say we are proud of what we did on Sundays, is an understatement. From a televised all-star challenge with the SARA that saw the victor visit the New Hampshire Motor Speedway as a prize, to seeing members turn into real life late model standouts in the Carolinas, we couldnt be happier for how that division grew and exceeded our expectations.

But its time we move on from the late models. Our Tuesday Nationwide/XFinity Series really took off last year, and we had 25+ cars for 30 of the 34 events. To couple with that series, we are going to be swapping out the late models with the Generation 6 Cup Cars (A-Class Fusion, SS, and Camry), to follow along with the NASCAR schedule just like we do on Tuesdays.

We will keep our usual race times on Sundays. 8 pm Practice, with a 9:30pm Qualifying, we are aiming to run races that are actually the same length as we ran last year with our Pro Cup series (races approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). For reference, we’re talking 120 laps at tracks like Texas and Atlanta. The races we ran last year in that division were the perfect length for a Gen6 Cup Series, and we are truly excited to see how this will turn out. The Gen6 Cup Series will run Fixed Basic, as we always have, and will follow the NASCAR schedule as closely as possible.

The division will have 3 short seasons (12 races each) encompassed within the one 36 race overall season. We did this in the Tuesday Pro Cup series last year, and it worked out splendidly. Basically, every race you enter, you get points for 2 dfiferent standings. One set for the segment, one set for the full season. There will be a Chase format, but we will be following the old NASCAR chase, not the new one. The new one sucks. That one can burn. Slowly.

The series will start with Daytona qualifying, with full Duals and everything. We will also be using the “League Tab” on iRacing, so we can better police the number situation.

The second “announcement” is that we will be continuing our Tuesday Nationwide/XFinity style series, the NEORacingNews.com Pro Cup Series. Continuing with the same format as last year in which we also follow the NASCAR schedule, using the same car makes as last year (B-License Camaro, Impala and Mustang). The only difference between this year and last year, is that we will be utilizing slightly shorter race lengths. In 2014, there were multiple races that went just a tad too long for the B-Class style cars, and as such we are going to shorten them up so we are done by 10pm EST. For example, rather than 120 laps at Texas, we would be running 90.

We will be using the same multi-segment/full season points, like we did last year and with the Sunday Gen6 Cup Series this year. With 3 amazing point battles last season, culminating with a nailbiting finish at Homestead with Chris Cable besting Greg Netherwood, we just cant get over how pumped we are to continue this division.

With that all said, though, we do have a few things we will be eliminating.

The Super Speedway Series will be going by the wayside. With 2 full schedules set for 2015, we want to really focus on our two banner divisions. Having a 3rd will pull the strings too taught, and we really need to streamline our operations. Not fatten them up. With the Wednesday Super Speedway Series dwindling, we will be elminating that.

As well, the officially sanctioned rFactor Dirt Series (http://dirt.canamracingseries.com) will be switching nights and will be taking on a different feel and direction. Not entirely sure where I will be going with that, but, I am a dirt racer at heart and will continue this series with full CARS support. But, we’ll see where I go with it in the coming weeks as we wrap up our first season in the Super Late Models on dirt.

The final change, and probably the biggest, is the fact that we will be totally beginning anew with the sign ups. For the last 2 years, we have been utilizing a mailling list that is almost 400 people strong. It needs to be weeded out, and we have decided we will flush it out and begin fresh.

The signups for all series are open now! I cant stress that enough!

We want to take Can-Am Racing Series into 2015, our third anniversary, into a new dimension. And we want you all to join us. We have worked hard to get wh ere we are, and while we have taken a break, we want to pick back up where we left off. The schedules are being inputed into the website as we speak, to be finalized by the weekend (February 1st). The Daytona qualifying begins in under 3 weeks, and its about time we got pumped!

So, go! Visit www.CanAmRacingSeries.Com and sign up today! Lets get this party started right going into 2015. We have a lot to be thankful for, and we want you all to join us and give us much more!

Good luck to everyone this season, we sure can’t wait to get back to racing with all of you!

Thank you all as always,
Greg Netherwood, Co-Founder/Administrator
Chris Cable, Administrator
Patrick Hahe, Administrator
Trevor Williams, Administrator
Al Smith, Hater of All Things Racing Related Including This Post

Hot Rod!!!!

10453080_854117684640831_2078820199731610142_oAfter 2 years of racing at Can-Am Racing Series, encompassing 131 career starts, Rodney “Hot Rod” Haack has been one of the most valued members of the CARS community despite at times not being among the lead group.  And for the first time in his career he would be sitting atop the scoring pylon at the end of the Talladega 45!

It sure didnt look that way as the race went on, however. For the first part of the race, as frequent challenger Robert Barney was up front showing the way with just a few laps lead by Chris Cable, Ray Thompson, and Bruce Perry. Haack would sneak up front to lead a lap or two, but mostly it was a front pack of about 5 cars that really showed the way.

The pit stops rolled around, just as Jim Glennan was making noise, roaring from as far back as 9th to 2nd in the space of one lap. He, as well as Greg Netherwood, Bruce Perry, and Barney would dive to pit road together. 3 leaps earlier, Matt Quick and Patrick Hahe took the trip, and as the field cycled around, it was Barney and Netherwood up front by 2 seconds over Hahe and Quick.

But they made up the time quickly (pun intended), and soon it was a 4 truck dog fight between Barney, with Netherwood pushing, and Hahe and Quick. They would swap the lead over and over between the 4 of them for the next 10 laps. Quick, however, made a boo boo, and miscalculated his fuel consumption, and ran out as the leaders took the 2 to go sign.

Hahe, desperately trying to hold on with Barney and Netherwood, would end up slamming Netherwood in the left rear off turn 2, sending both spinning into the inside wall as Barney sped off. Perry, Glennan, defending champion Shane Palenica, Haack and Thompson were all in a pack about 6 seconds back of the leaders when they took the 2 to go, but once Barney was left on his own, it was game on. Barney would hit turn 1 with the pack getting bigger and bigger in his mirror.

They would catch him down the back stretch, and through 3 and 4, the now big pack would dip and dodge 3 wide. Coming off turn 4 onto the front stretch, Palenica thought he was clear and tried moving down from the extreme top. He however, was not, and clipped Perry, sending Perry into the wall and back into Thompson. Glennan barely snuck by, and Barney was just able to slither through.

Rodney Haack however kept the hammer down, and after starting 2 to go running 8th, he would Cole Trickle the wreck and make it through unscathed, crossing the line first for his first career victory in his 132nd start!

Robert Barney would take 2nd, Jim Glennan would get 3rd, Perry salvaged a 4th and Palenica rolled across 5th.

Hahe holds off Netherwood to take winter season opener!

pat_gregA finish that would go down in the history books came right down to the last 2 turns, as another amazing Super Speedway Series event took place at Daytona with Patrick Hahe getting his second win in a row dating back to last seasons finale. With 42 laps on the docket, 17 cars made the tow and would run the entire race caution free. After the first set of pit stops, a pack of 8 or so cars was comprising the lead pack, with 2 and 3 wide racing through out as everyone jossled for position.

Thet second stop coming with just a shade under ten laps to go would end up with only four of those cars still in the lead pack. Bruce Perry and Greg Netherwood would have a  second lead over Hahe and Chris Cable. They would soon run them down as Netherwood just could not keep his car cool behind Perry, thus not allowing a proper draft.

With the white flag in the air, Hahe took the lead over Perry heading into turn 1 side by side. But all 4 cars would converge, with Netherwood nipping Perry in the left rear and causing Cable to lose control and slide into the grass. This left just Hahe and Netherwood drag racing down the back stretch. Slamming doors at least twice, and even harder into turn 3 that saw both cars sideways, they were fighting for every inch. But, Hahe held it just a bit more than Netherwood and they would again drag race off turn 4. One more slam of fenders on the straightaway would allow Hahe to inch ahead, and beat Netherwood to the line for his second win in a row.

Perry would manage to keep 3rd, with Ed Gubic taking 4th and reigning champion Shane Palenica rounding out the top 5. The series takes to the old Daytona next week in the K&N Impala!

Closing it out at Homestead

For the final race of the season, the NEORacingNews.com Pro Cup Series headed back to the state where it all began. Chris Cable came into the race looking to hold off Greg Netherwood for the overall championship while Nick Silver had the segment championship all but wrapped up. 23 drivers would take the grid for what turned out to be a thrilling finale.

Chris Cable started his race off right by securing the pole. He would pull out to an early lead over John Higman Jr and Shawn Powell. Cable’s strong start would quickly diminish as he lost control of his car coming out of turn 2 on lap 12. Cable would escape serious consequences as the field was able to avoid his stationary car. Higman Jr would lead the field onto pit road and to the green on lap 17. The field would next see the yellow flag on lap 20 as Patrick Hahe would lose control coming out of turn 2 after a near collision with the #25 of Nick Silver. This would leave Sean Casto as the leader on the next restart after he decided to stay out on the round of pit stops.

Casto and Shawn Powell would battle for the lead before Powell would take over from Casto. After another yellow on lap 40, it would be Nick Silver’s turn at the point after coming off pit road first. The first incident with huge championship implications of the night would come on lap 55. Higman Jr would get loose out of turn 4 with Cable sending him the rest of the way around. Shawn Powell would not slowdown in time, rear ending the #05 of Cable, causing massive damage. This suddenly put the #1 of Greg Netherwood back in the championship hunt as he would be tied with Cable points-wise at this point in the race.

Silver, Casto, and Netherwood would lead them to the green on the restart. “This is definitely a Greg type of track,” said Silver. With no shortage of talent at momentum tracks, Netherwood was suddenly a favorite to contend for the win. He would dog Silver for the lead over the next six laps until another yellow waved. Robert Barney would stay on the track to inherit the lead during the caution. Nick Silver would pull back into the second spot and retook the lead the following lap. Patrick Hahe would suddenly become a contender as he took over the second position. Unfortunately for Netherwood, his championship hopes would be dashed on lap 76 as he and the #52 of Casto would come together in turn 1. Netherwood would try to hang onto it but while doing so would make contact with the outside wall, not bringing out a caution, but severely damaging his car and chances of a top finish.

The rest of the race would continue under green with Nick Silver leading the rest of the race on his way to his ninth race win of the season and the second segment championship. Scott Walter would bring it home second. Shane Ewing, Sean Casto, and 

Colton Harvey would play bumper cars in turn 4 coming to the checkered. This would see Ewing coming home third, Colton Harvey fourth, and Sean Casto rounding out the top 5.

Chris Cable would hang on to take the overall season championship with Nick Silver taking the second segment championship. This brought what has been a fantastic, record-breaking season to a close. 16 different winners took home the checkered flag in what was definitely one of the most competitive seasons at Can-Am Racing to date.

Hahe takes Iowa, Brooks gets the title

haheiowa

The Exclaim Graphics Late Model Tour took to Iowa Speedway for its 145 lap season finale. Justin Brooks came into the night with the points title all but wrapped up. He only needed to start the race as only 12 cars took the green flag.

The race went green for the first 109 laps until Chris Cable clipped the apron coming off from turn four and spun. In the first run, Brooks and teammate Cody Kelley separated themselves from the field. The rest of the field spread out quite a bit besides a few side by side battles here and there.

When the green flag dropped Patrick Hahe was the leader as the field had almost cycled through pit stops before the caution flew.  Hahe would hold onto the lead with Greg Netherwood charging in second with Brooks in tow.  On lap 120 Kelley and Josh Kotten would get together to bring out a caution.

Another caution slowed the field and set up a one lap shootout to the checkers. Hahe would separate himself on the shootout but chaos would hit coming out of turn four setting up a crash involving Brooks and Netherwood on the front stretch. Hahe got the win, with Brooks second, Trevor Williams third, Netherwood fourth and Tim Bills fifth.

Justin Brooks would be the series champion putting together an impressive season that included six wins, and nine top fives in his 9 starts.