Category Archives: Left Coast News

Press releases, official race results and other noteworthy news from supermodified sanctions and tracks west of the Mississippi including Englewood Racing Association, Madera Speedway and more.

Kyle Vanderpool Wins Madera Opener

California driver eyeing East & West Coast Supers, Sprints in 2014

MADERA, Calif. (April 11, 2014) – Sanger, California’s Kyle Vanderpool opened his 2014 season with another dominating supermodified win at his home track, Madera Speedway in Madera, Calif.

In the first of six Super Modified vs. Winged Sprints special shows at Madera this year, Vanderpool wheeled the Penix Racing No. 3 Hyder chassis to a convincing six-second victory over JoJo Helberg. Vanderpool’s fast lap time of 12.692 around Madera’s 0.333-mile oval was some four-tenths better than any other car in the field.

Kyle Vanderpool shoots down the frontstetch at Madera Speedway
Kyle Vanderpool(shown here at Madera Speedway) will traverse the country in 2014. Photo by Orange Freak Photography.

The 30-lapper went green to checkered without a caution flag and Vanderpool completed the fast-paced open-wheel extravaganza in just over six and a half minutes.

“The car had a pretty good push in it for most of the day but we were able to get it going pretty good for the main event,” said the 25-year-old racer, who qualified third and finished third in his heat before winning the feature. “I want to thank everyone who came out to support the speedway and the supers and sprint cars. On our team, I want to thank our owners Don and Chuck Penix, my dad, Dan Vanderpool, our crew chief and shock man Jeff Gardner of KW Shocks and my wife Kami. Thanks to all our sponsors who make it all possible.”

Vanderpool will be back in action for the second round of the Supermodified vs. Winged Sprints at Madera on May 3.

In addition to supporting Madera and west-coast-style supermodified racing, the Penix Racing team has a 2014 schedule on tap that includes east-coast super racing with their Belfab chassis and some winged sprint car racing in the new King of Wing series organized by Davey Hamilton.

Vanderpool took some time Thursday to talk about Penix Racing’s upcoming season.

“We’re excited to get back out east and run the Belfab car. I think we showed very good last year when we went out to Sandusky, Star and Thompson. We really learned a lot and we’re looking forward to building on it this season. And the sprint car deal with Davey Hamilton’s series, that is going to be cool. We’re going to run the west coast portion of that series November 21-23, which will have us at Madera, Irwindale and Kern County. We’re working to get a sprinter together to run that deal, and it should be a lot of fun,” Vanderpool said.

After running Madera May 3, Vanderpool says the team may travel to the Ohio to run a Midwest Supermodified Association show at Sandusky Speedway on May 31. The team also has the June 13 MSA event at Toledo Speedway on their radar, however Vanderpool added those two events are very tentative for the Penix team.

If Vanderpool and the Penix Racing team don’t make it to the Midwest for either of the aforementioned Ohio shows, the June 21 MSA event at Sandusky will be their first race east of the Mississippi.

International Supermodified Association (ISMA) events are on the team’s radar in 2014, as well. Don Penix will look to enter the No. 3 in its first ISMA event of the year at Sandusky for the annual Hy-Miler Nationals July 25-26.

Penix will store the Belfab chassis on the east coast through the fall and hit ISMA shows at Oswego Speedway August 30 for International Classic weekend, New Hampshire’s Star Speedway September 6 and the World Series of Racing at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway October 17-19.

For more information on Kyle Vanderpool and Penix Racing, visit PenixRacing.com, where fans will find Kyle’s 2014 schedule of events, bio story, news, photos, racecar specs and more!

Penix Racing and Kyle Vanderpool thank the crew and team sponsors that made a season of racing supermodifieds coast-to-coast possible, including NH3 Plus, Inc., Administrative Solutions, Caps Brite Hot Coatings, Belfab Racing Products, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, McGaughy’s, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Simpson Race Products, K&N Filters and SpeedMeetsArt.com. The team also sends out a special thanks to Jet Star Inc. in Indianapolis and Cooper Machine in Tewsbury, Mass., for housing the Penix supermodified during last season.

Penix Racing is also active on Facebook and Twitter, and can be found at http://www.facebook.com/Penix-Racing or twitter.com/penixracing.

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Penix Racing is a supermodified racing team based in Madera, California. Penix Racing is the only supermodified team that owns east-coast and west-coast-style supermodifieds, and in 2013 became the first team to ever regularly compete in events west and east of the Mississippi River.

Penix Racing and Kyle Vanderpool’s marketing partners are NH3 Plus, Inc., Administrative Solutions, Caps Brite Hot Coatings, Belfab Racing Products, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, McGaughy’s, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Simpson Race Products, K&N Filters and SpeedMeetsArt.com.

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Kyle Vanderpool Kicks Back after Busy Supermodified Season

FRESNO, Calif. –Kyle Vanderpool closed an impressive 2013 supermodified season October 20 with a strong eighth-place run in the World Series of Racing ISMA 50-lapper at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. The finish garnered the Penix Racing driver the ISMA Hard Charger bonus for starting deep in the pack and advancing the most positions in the fast-paced supermodified main event.

Vanderpool’s Thompson run culminated a great season for the Californian that saw the Penix Racing team compete in supermodified racing coast to coast from March to October.

The team kicked off the season with wins at their home track, Madera Speedway in California. Vanderpool would go on to race his Penix-owned west-coast Hyder super to victories in five of six Madera shows in another dominating season on the west coast.

The big story coming into this season was Vanderpool’s first foray to the east coast in the new Penix Racing Belfab chassis to race in the most competitive supermodified traveling series in the country, the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) and Midwest Supermodified Association (MSA).

After running a handful of Must See Supermodified (MSR) events in the Midwest, Vanderpool’s first MSA event came on a June weekend when the MSR show was rained out at Auto City, Michigan. The Penix team made the quick decision to travel south to Ohio’s Sandusky Speedway for the MSA show, where Vanderpool impressed many with a fine fourth-place finish against the best supermodified racers in the Midwest.

Not only did Vanderpool finish fourth in his first time racing the Belfab chassis on Hoosier tires, but he ran strong against three of supermodified racing’s best. Dave Shullick Jr., 2013 MSA champion Trent Stephens and multi-time winner Charlie Schultz finished first through third with Vanderpool coming home fourth among some very talented company.

The June 22 MSA race also served as a good warm-up for July’s prestigious ISMA Hy-Miler Supermodified Nationals at Sandusky, which would serve as Vanderpool’s first-ever ISMA start.

At the Nationals Vanderpool wheeled his Belfab to a respectable 13th-place finish in Friday’s Fast 40.

Consistent rain showers postponed Saturday’s 100-lap ISMA headliner to Sunday. The team used Saturday’s day off to make a few changes to the car, which resulted in a very impressive fifth-place qualifying effort Sunday morning for the afternoon’s main event. Unfortunately for the Penix team, Kyle was involved in an early race accident that sidelined him for the rest of the race.

The wreck resulted in much damage to the No. 3 Belfab, marking one of the few disappointments of the year for the Penix Racing group.

“Wrecking so early at Sandusky, especially with so much promise going into the feature, was tough,” Vanderpool said this past week. “But after a lot of work by the team in the shop, we rebounded and had some good runs in the fall. Racing the ISMA group is tough. There are so many talented racers, so many good cars. Whether it’s Ohio or New England, you have to be on your game. It’s been a real privilege to run with them and run respectable.”

With the car housed in Indianapolis for the season, the team spent the latter part of the summer making repairs to the NH3 Plus-sponsored machine in time to run two of ISMA’s premier events, September’s Star Classic and October’s Thompson World Series.

At Star, Vanderpool consistently ran top-10 practice speeds of nearly 30 entrants, including posting the sixth-fastest lap in the first and last practice sessions of the day.

In his first trip to Star, Vanderpool started the Classic 26th and went on a tear to pass many cars on his way to the seventh place. But the car broke a torque arm on lap 52, which sidelined the No. 3 super for the remainder of the event.

The season concluded at Thompson, one of the fastest tracks supermodifieds visit on an annual basis. The team battled an array of mechanical problems during practice and qualifying races, which take place on Saturday before the Sunday main event.

Vanderpool would start deep in the 28-car field with uncertainty surrounding the car’s ability to go the 50-lap distance. But once the green flag waved Vanderpool soon realized he had a machine capable of running well.

The California racer began passing cars and continued to do so throughout the main event. Toward the latter stages of the race Vanderpool found himself inside the top 10 and continuing to challenge for more positions. When the checkers waved the Penix 3 crossed the stripe in the eighth position to earn the Hard Charger award and a solid top-10 finish in their first trip ever to Thompson.

“The Star and Thompson races were very important to us,” team owner Don Penix commented. “We hadn’t done a ton of racing yet with the east-coast car, and we really wanted to make Oswego’s Classic weekend, but we needed the extra week to prepare for Star. We wanted to do well to end the season on a high note, and Kyle did an outstanding job at both racetracks. My mind hasn’t stopped running since we left Thompson, thinking of ways to improve the car for next season. We’re all really excited to continue our progress when 2014 rolls around.”

Penix and Vanderpool are now pointing to next season and an opportunity to turn even more heads on the east coast. With the Belfab super now back in California, the team has begun preparations for the 2014 season, which will include more racing with ISMA and MSA.

Penix Racing and Kyle Vanderpool thank the crew and team sponsors that made a season of racing supermodifieds coast-to-coast possible, including NH3 Plus, Inc., Administrative Solutions, Caps Brite Hot Coatings, Belfab Racing Products, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, McGaughy’s, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Simpson Race Products, K&N Filters and SpeedMeetsArt.com. The team also sends out a special thanks to Jet Star Inc. in Indianapolis and Cooper Machine in Tewksbury, Mass., for housing the Penix supermodified during the season.

Continue to check the Penix Racing website throughout the winter months for the team’s tentative 2014 schedule, new photos and more, PenixRacing.com or KVanderpoolRacing.com.

Penix Racing is also active on Facebook and Twitter, and can be found at  http://www.facebook.com/Penix-Racing or twitter.com/penixracing.

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Penix Racing is a supermodified racing team based in Madera, California. Penix Racing is the only supermodified team that owns east-coast and west-coast-style supermodifieds, and in 2013 will become the first team to ever regularly compete in events west and east of the Mississippi River.

Penix Racing and Kyle Vanderpool’s marketing partners are NH3 Plus, Inc., Administrative Solutions, Caps Brite Hot Coatings, Belfab Racing Products, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, McGaughy’s, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Simpson Race Products, K&N Filters and SpeedMeetsArt.com.

PenixRacing.com built and maintained by NewConceptRaceMedia.com. For more information, contact Keith Shampine at 704-662-5350 or email keith@newconceptracemedia.com.

California Supermodified Racer Kyle Vanderpool Wants to Race the Best

Here’s an story based on an interview we did for the start of the Must See Racing Supermodified season.  While it was originally supposed to appear on MustSeeRacing.com, it was never published so we present it to you here now.

Just to catch you up on how Kyle’s season has gone as he gets ready to race with ISMA at the legendary Thompson International Speedway this weekend, make sure you visit PenixRacing.com and be sure to follow @PenixRacing on Twitter.

Goshen, IN – April 30, 2013…In the days of the great Gold Rush, if a person wanted to make it big he was told to “Go West, young man. Go West.” But for second generation supermodified competitor Kyle Vanderpool of Madera, CA, doing just the opposite may be his ticket to fame.

Many times in the past, aspiring racers have done just that. Greats like Parnelli Jones, and the entire Vukovich family made the cross-country trek to Indiana and the mecca of open wheel racing. Now Vanderpool, following in the recent footsteps of the Swanson brothers, hopes to make his mark on the competitive world of Must See Racing, specifically the supermodified division.

“I’m very proud to represent California. There’s different levels of competitors out there and because not a lot of supermodified guys from out here have had this opportunity, I think it’s going to give me a whole different perspective because the cars are so much different,” he said.

Vanderpool’s civic pride is more than a matter of personal interest. He said, “I hope that people out there will respect me and come to know me as a clean, safe, and competitive driver and not make a bad name for California racers.”

Being a former champion at Madera Speedway as well as a Vukovich, Pombo, and Harvest Classic winner, Vanderpool has amassed an impressive resume in his short career of supermodified racing. But he’s not about to underestimate the level and depth of competition east of the Mississippi. “There’s a big group of guys to run with and the competition levels are astounding compared to out here,” he stated. “Now I’m not saying they are slouches here but it’s died off so bad there’s just not a lot of racers anymore and there, the field of cars is big and the experience level as well as the level of equipment seems to be much greater.”

Even so, Vanderpool and his Penix Racing team have set goals for themselves, including a possible Must See Racing Supermodified Series Championship. “The goal for me as a driver is to always win. We’re coming back there to win and as a team we are doing everything we can to be ready, focused and dedicated to that. The Must See Championship will be tough, but I’ve got my sights set on that too,” he declared.

One win in particular that the full-time utility worker has in mind is the Xtreme Speed Challenge at Winchester Speedway that will kick off his first east coast racing experience. He exclaimed, “A win at Winchester would rank as one of my greatest accomplishments because of all the history there. I mean think about it, just think of all the great names that have run there and how everyone talks about how tough it is. I‘ve heard about that place since I was a little kid and now I might have a shot at winning there.”

Vanderpool will be spending about as much time in the air as he will behind the wheel of his low slung brand new Belfab chassis.  “I’m one of those drivers that still has to work for a living, so I don’t know how much further I can go, but we’ll see what happens,“ he shared. “I have 15 days of vacation a year and they are all used for racing. I’m blessed to have a wonderful wife that supports me and I’m so blessed to have Don and Chuck Penix behind me. I know how lucky I am because I couldn’t do this without them. I would be just like everyone else out here, I don’t have a lot of money and the economy is very tight.”

Much of the young racers experience has come behind the wheel of a 410 CU. IN supermodified so he’s well versed on the many conflicts of small blocks versus big blocks.

“You know what? A year ago I would have said small block is the way to go because I had this perception that the east coast cars and big blocks were heavy and slower. Now though, after testing the Belfab at Madera, on used American Racer tires we are only a tenth off the our west coast cars time,” he explained.  “I’m really excited to bring the big block Belfab back there and if everything people say is true about  how much better the west coast cars are but we’re right there with west coast times, it will be very interesting to see what happens.”
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If motor sport history can teach us any lesson, it’s that young brave racers, with good equipment that are driven to win like Kyle Vanderpool, will have no problem finding the grass to be greener on the other side of the fence.