GRM Invited to This Weekend’s Team Valvoline ProAm 50

By Colin Wood
Apr 24, 2020 | SCCA, iRacing, eMotorsports, Valvoline

Valvoline and the SCCA have renewed an old partnership for 2020. For a lucky few, it gets better: A select group of SCCA members will get to virtually race against the likes of Chase Elliot, Alex Bowman and other Valvoline pro drivers this Saturday, April 25, in the Team Valvoline ProAm 50 taking place at the virtual Watkins Glen International as part of the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA eSports Super Tour.

The SCCA members were invited based on participation, sportsmanship and previous success in the SCCA eMotorsports Series. Top finishing SCCA drivers will receive a Valvoline care package of lubricants for their (real) car, and other finishers will have the chance to win prize packs of Valvoline swag.

The race is available for streaming live on YouTube and SCCA’s social media channels beginning at 5 p.m. ET this Saturday, April 25th with a 10-minute qualifying session, followed immediately by the 20-minute race. Our own JG Pasterjak will be racing—in case you needed someone to root for. "Being a part of the select group chosen to represent the SCCA in this event is a really unique honor,” he says. “I think the defining vibe for me will be the fact that as soon as our team was selected, all of our drivers immediately began sharing driving and track tips, setting up private practice sessions, and just generally being incredibly supportive of each other. These are drivers who compete hard against each other on real tracks and autocross courses, as well as virtual ones, but the spirit of community is even more powerful than the spirit of competitiveness. That alone makes it a cool thing to be a part of. I'm also looking forward to being on track with some of the best in the sim racing business, although I don't expect I'll see those guys in my windshield for very long. And being on track with some current NASCAR stars is also going to be exciting. Really I just want to come out of this with like a serious public beef with Jimmie Johnson or something. I think that would be great for my brand."


Read the full release below:

TOPEKA, KS. (April, 21, 2020) - Valvoline Inc. and Sports Car Club of America have renewed an old friendship, with the global lubricants marketer and the 65,000-member enthusiasts club joining hands in a partnership for 2020.

As a portion of the renewed partnership, Valvoline is collecting its professional drivers for a chance to race against a select group of SCCA members during the Team Valvoline ProAm 50 this Saturday, April 25 on the iRacing version of Watkins Glen International as part of the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA eSports Super Tour. Among the Team Valvoline members are Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, with other Valvoline pros to be determined.

A select group of SCCA members will be invited to participate in the race, using the Cadillac CTS.V that has been racing in the Touring group for SCCA Super Tour events. The invitations will be based on a variety of criteria, including participation, sportsmanship and success at the previous three rounds of the SCCA’s eMotorsports series.

The top finishing SCCA driver will receive a Valvoline care pack of lubricants for their real-life car, including motor oil, gear oil and coolant. Other finishers have a chance to win a Team Valvoline prize pack consisting of Valvoline hats, t-shirts and other swag.

The virtual race will be streamed live along with all the Hoosier SCCA eSports Super Tour races on Saturday.

In addition to the Team Valvoline ProAm 50, Valvoline returns as a monthly partner for SCCA’s Track Night in America driven by Tire Rack program. Valvoline will offer discount codes for $25 off a Track Night in America entry during their month.

Representatives from Valvoline will be on site throughout the SCCA’s 2020 season.

Valvoline and the SCCA were nearly synonymous for many years, and now they’re back with us to have some fun with our members and provide value for Track Night in America,” Heyward Wagner, Senior Director, Marketing and Experiential Programs, said. “This is part of a focus on a true grassroots effort by Valvoline to engage the eager motorsports enthusiasts in the SCCA and that attend Track Night, and we’re happy to play matchmaker and get them together.”

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View comments on the GRM forums
poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/23/20 6:30 p.m.


Needs Hong Norr stickers in the Hoosier font. #justsayin cheeky

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/20 8:30 p.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

That would look rad. #justsayin smiley

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/24/20 9:58 a.m.

The pro lineup has been announced:

Jimmie Johnson: Even in his final season of full-time racing, the Hendrick Motorsports stalwart is one of the most accomplished drivers of any motorsports era. The seven-time NASCAR Cup champion (equaled only by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt) is the only race car driver in history to be named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Chase Elliott: The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott now has his own impressive racing resume. Elliott is the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, the youngest ever, and 2016 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year. He has won the last two NASCAR Cup “real world” races at The Glen.

William Byron: The 22-year-old is now the pilot of the famed Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 machine. Byron earned rookie of the year titles in all three of NASCAR’s top series, each in consecutive years, and doubled up in the Xfinity Series by also collecting the series championship in 2017.

Alex Bowman: The two-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner joined Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 88 at the end of the 2016 season and has remained with the team ever since. He was off to a hot start in 2020 after bringing home the win at Auto Club Speedway in March after leading 110 laps out of 200 total.

Ray Evernham: The three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion as a crew chief for Jeff Gordon has recently resumed his driving career in vintage racing. Evernham has been a team owner and worked in television, currently hosting the show AmeriCARna on Velocity.

Parker Kligerman: Parker Kligerman has run a partial NASCAR schedule as a driver for the past couple of seasons while also working as an analyst and pit reporter for NASCAR broadcasts on NBC. He formed Burton Kligerman eSports with Jeff Burton to run in the NASCAR Pro Invitational.

Ashton Crowder: The 17-year-old is a Burton Klingerman eSports driver, competing in the eNASCAR iRacing Series. Crowder currently sits ninth with one win after five rounds.  

Logan Clampitt: Logan Clampitt is a Burton Kligerman eSports driver running in the eNASCAR iRacing Series. Entering his fifth year in the series, he also runs the iRacing Rallycross World Championship. Clampitt is currently eighth in the eNASCAR point battle.

Tom O’Gorman: Tom O’Gorman is an SCCA racer with a knack for driving any car he can get his hands on. A winner of four SCCA autocross national championships, two SCCA ProSolo Championships, two World Challenge season-long championships, and multiple IMSA race winner, he can still be found weekly competing in the Hoosier SCCA eSports Super Tour.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/24/20 11:30 a.m.

I'm gonna get smoked so hard in this...

The SCCA crew had a couple practice sessions yesterday, and everyone is being really supportive. I need to find a second somewhere, and I think I have some ideas, but those pro eSports guys are beasts. Still, I think you'll likely see a couple SCCA folks in the top 5. There's some genuine talent on the club side. And perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the fast virtual drivers are also very fast actual drivers, so there's ample evidence the whole sim thing actually has some real world relevance.

At any rate, I'm just stoked to be on the same track as a lot of those folks. I've gotten the chance to do some really cool stuff in actual cars, but sharing the track with an entire championship winning NASCAR team roster was never going to happen in analog space. So it's both really cool to have this opportunity, and to see our worlds of sports car raccing and autocrossing and NASCAR and eSports interesting in one place at one time, which would only ever be possible in this format.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/24/20 11:51 a.m.


I'm gonna get smoked so hard in this...

berkeley that! You're an animal! You're a killer! Show me your war-face!!!!!!!

T.J. MegaDork
4/24/20 12:59 p.m.

Cool, I added it to my calendar. Should be fun to watch.

Any word on who is doing the commentating?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/24/20 1:08 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :


OnTheChip New Reader
4/24/20 3:12 p.m.

Pasterjak in a Cadillac. Poetry. wink

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/24/20 3:38 p.m.
T.J. said:

Cool, I added it to my calendar. Should be fun to watch.

Any word on who is doing the commentating?

Only dead fish go with the flow.

I'm assuming it'll be Larry MacLeod and Greg Ginsburg, the Runoffs tv crew. They've been doing all of the Super Tour events so far (Larry and Tom O'Gorman have been switching off reporting duties to race).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/24/20 3:45 p.m.

The latest:

The Valvoline ProAm 50 matches Valvoline’s lineup of real-life and virtual racing stars against a roster of Sports Car Club of America® members who have proven their mettle in weekly events as part of the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA eSports Super Tour.

Each driver will race in identically prepared CTS.V race cars on iRacing’s virtual version of the eight-turn, 2.45-mile short course including inner loop at Watkins Glen International, a circuit traditionally run in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Why the NASCAR Cup Series configuration? Because the Team Valvoline Pro drivers are led by a host of NASCAR Cup drivers from Hendrick Motorsports, including seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, and a field of drivers from Burton Kligerman eSports. Click here to meet Team Valvoline.

The race is available for streaming live on YouTube and SCCA’s social media channels, beginning at 5 p.m. ET with a 10-minute qualifying session, followed immediately by the 20-minute race.

Today, let’s meet the SCCA stars participating in the Valvoline ProAm 50:

Andrew Abbott, Club Racing, Detroit Region: Abbott is a stalwart in Formula Vee with 10 Runoffs appearances under his belt. He narrowly missed the podium in 2017 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a career-best fourth-place finish.

Andrew Pallotta, Solo, North Carolina Region: The 2010 Solo Rookie of the Year and the 2014 Driver of the Year is a five-time National Champion.

Billy Davis, Solo, New England Region: Davis is a five-time SCCA Solo National Champion who doesn’t just win, he dominates. Davis was the quickest PAX in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Caleb Patrie, eSports, Milwaukee Region: A karter by trade, Patrie has jumped at every opportunity to be a part of the motorsport’s world, including as a crew member. SCCA eSports is the next available opportunity, one that he’s taken advantage of as a driver to watch in the Hoosier eSports Super Tour.

Chris DeShong, Club Racing, Central Florida Region: DeShong is an SCCA Club Racer with three Runoffs appearances. He earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award in Super Touring® Under in 2019 at VIR, moving from 24thon the grid to finish 16th.

Daniel Richardson, Club Racing, Washington DC Region: As a Club Racer, Richardson was the 2017 nation-wide point champion in American Sedan and took Majors Conference Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2018. He earned a Runoffs podium at Sonoma in 2018.

DJ Alessandrini, Solo/Club Racing, Northeast Ohio Region: Alessandrini does most of his autocrossing and club racing near his Ohio home, but still has a national-level reputation. He has been among the cream of the crop in the early stages of the Hoosier SCCA eSports Super Tour.

Eric Kutil, Club Racing, Ohio Valley Region: Kutil is a two-time Runoffs podium finisher, with a pair of silver medals in Super Touring Lite. He was the 2017 nation-wide point champion and the 2017 Majors Conference champion.

Jackson MacLeod, Solo, Saginaw Valley Region: The University of Michigan engineering student attends national autocross events as time permits and is the lead driver for his school’s Formula SAE program.

Jeremiah McClintock, Solo, Detroit Region: A two-time National Champion in autocross, McClintock has already solidified his legacy in the Club, as one-half of the McClintock Berry Cup for Formula Junior competitors bears his name.

JG Pasterjak, Time Trials/Solo, Central Florida Region: Pasterjak is the Production/Art Director for Grassroots Motorspors and all-around motorsports fanatic. He can often be found at SCCA Solo, road racing, time trials or track day and night events. His iRacing resume includes spinning on the pace lap after a duck bit his leg.

Ken Houseal, Solo, Philadelphia Region: Houseal was second in a very competitive C Street class in 2019, his best finish at Solo Nationals.  

Lawrence Loshak, Club Racing/Pro Racing, Milwaukee Region: As a Club Racer, Loshak is a five-time National Champion in a wide variety of classes: E Production, H Production, Formula 1000 and D Sports Racing. He is the 2013 Mark Donohue Award winner. He is a multi-time winner as a professional, collecting wins in both Trans Am and the Trans Am 2 class.

Max Grau, Club Racing, Great River Region: Grau drives a real-life Spec Racer Ford Gen 3 machine and has two Runoffs appearances.

Miles Crabbe, Solo, Alabama Region: The University of Alabama graduate has proven to be a versatile iRacing competitor, running nearly every group successfully through the early stages of the Hoosier eSports Super Tour.

Paul Darling, Flagging/eSports, Detroit Region: Darling is an SCCA flag marshal and earned a three-day Skip Barber School in 2019 by winning the first-ever SCCA Spec Racer Ford Challenge on iRacing.

Paul Slavonik, eSports/Track Events, Texas Region: Slavonik’s real-world SCCA adventures focus mainly on Time Trials and track days near his home in Texas. That background gave him enough information to author the book “Legacy Drive”, available for purchase now.

Robert Kucera, Club Racing, Northeast Ohio Region: The University of Akron student has a Spec Miata waiting for him when time allows, but has been known to hop behind the wheel of his college’s Formula SAE car as their lead driver.

Ryan Kristoff, Club Racing, Detroit Region: Kristoff recently earned his best Runoffs finish, grabbing a sixth-place result at VIR in 2019. He is a 2017 Majors Conference Champion in GT-Lite.

Selin Rollan, Club Racing/Pro Racing , Florida Region: Rollan’s best Runoffs finish is a very impressive second at Indianapolis in a record-large Spec Miata field. He is a Mazda Road To 24 Shootout winner and is a contender in Global MX-5 Cup as a professional racer.

Steve Ray, eSports, Texas Region: One of the leaders of SCCA’s official foray into eSports, Ray has proven to be a competitive driver on several platforms.

Tony Chow, Solo, Northeast Ohio Region: The defending F Street National Champion from Solo Nationals in just his second appearance, Chow was known to autocrossers in his region. His second appearance in Lincoln opened that up to everyone.

T.J. MegaDork
4/24/20 4:21 p.m.

" His iRacing resume includes spinning on the pace lap after a duck bit his leg. "

LOL. I'll be rooting for you JG, just watch out for ducks.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/24/20 4:26 p.m.

And some of the pro cars:

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/24/20 7:51 p.m.

I am genuinely freakin stoked to watch this. GO JG!!!!!!

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/24/20 7:55 p.m.
OnTheChip said:

Pasterjak in a Cadillac. Poetry. wink

...all these otha fools' mammas' been smokin crack....

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
4/25/20 3:52 p.m.

For anyone wanting to watch the the live stream here is the link:

T.J. MegaDork
4/25/20 4:29 p.m.

Watching. JG out qualified Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson.yes

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/25/20 7:05 p.m.

Fun stuff. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/26/20 7:37 a.m.

T.J. MegaDork
4/26/20 7:47 a.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

Waiting for what? Race was yesterday. You can go watch it in youtube. Do you want a spoiler?

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
4/26/20 8:09 a.m.

In reply to T.J. :

I do. I watched a few mins and fast-forwarded to results, but did not see "Pasterjak" in said results.

T.J. MegaDork
4/26/20 8:53 a.m.

In reply to poopshovel again :

He finished ahead of Jimmy Johnson and Chase Elliott. 

Jimmy did say he is new to iRacing, didn't practice and ate a burger at some point. May have been between qualli and the race though. 

Not sure, but I think JG finished 22nd. 7 of the top 10 were SCCA drivers and 3 were pros. 

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/26/20 10:17 a.m.

JG did a solid job and GRM got a lot of good press during the race.  All good!

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/26/20 2:47 p.m.

Yeah, started 28th and finished 22nd. After some help from the fast guys, I had gotten down to a 1:10.8 in practice, while most of the frontrunners were 1:10.4 or below. I couldn't repeat that performance in qualifying, though, and was well back in the pack (although ahead of Jimmie and Chase smiley). One thing I've learned about online racing in general is that the safest places to be for the first few laps are in the first few rows or the last few rows. Jimmie started right behind me, and I was determined that if I did nothing else during the course of the race I wasn't going to be the guy that took him out. So I actually didn't fight a few passes early on and watched people get by me and subsequently take themselves out spectacularly, or watched the middle of the pack basically destroy itself. 

The problem with this strategy, though, is that once things shake out and the field settles in, you're kind of far back to make a charge. So I basically played it safe the whole race, finished higher than I started, and beat some guys who I was pleased to beat. Running at 100% ability at my current aptitude level I could have probably snuck into the top 15 if every lap was perfectly executed. But the risk/reward was too high, and I went wih the safe route and finished within like 40 seconds of the leaders, and I'm tooooootally cool with that, considering I've been back on iRacing for like a month after more than a couple years away. 

Now, had I been in position to take the entire NASCAR contingent out with one well-executed suicide move, I may have chosen that path of glory. But that was not to be.

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