This week’s edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report takes a look at the NASCAR action at Talladega, Verstappen’s F1 romp in Italy and more.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: The Cup race at Talladega started with Christopher Bell on the pole followed by Martin Truex, Jr. and Daniel Hemric.
There were 5 Chevs and 5 Toyotas in the top ten and the first Ford was Logano in 13th. On lap 36 Cody Ware spun coming onto pit road but created no caution.
Tyler Reddick went to the garage with a broken motor the start of problems for ECR. It appeared that Hemric had similar problems on lap 58 when he suddenly slowed taking out Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher.
Bubba Wallace continues to run strong on super speedways winning Stage 1 ahead of Kyle Larson and Bell.
On lap 82 Greg Biffle retired with what appeared to be a third broken ECR motor. On lap 85 BJ McLeod lost a wheel which will result in a huge fine.
On lap 90 Logano got spun by Bubba taking out Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Corey LaJoie, Todd Gilliland, Daniel Suarez, Ricky Stenhouse, Cole Custer and Ty Dillon. That one will get talked about for sure!!
On lap 100 Custer blew up. On lap 106 Ware got spun by his own teammate David Ragan.
William Byron won Stage 2 over Chase Elliott and Larson. On lap 161 Kyle Busch tried to pass on pit road spinning Bell in the process.
What was most interesting during the race was seeing the ‘hood flap’s coming open when cars got close to the car in front indicating some interesting aerodynamics!
Believe it or not, the final stage went caution free with lots of passing involved. Ross Chastain picked up the flag atop Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch.
The watermelon farmer from Florida is quickly becoming very popular with the fans and this is his second win this year.
Chase Elliott continues to lead the points now by 21 over Ryan Blaney and 34 on Byron.
Their next race, Dover, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Welcome to the Ag Pro 300 at Talladega aka The Carnage 330!! Wow, where to start. The good news first, Larry McReynolds (Larry Mac) returned to the pit box as crew chief for Jeffery Earnhart, grandson of Dale Sr., and nephew of Dale, Jr. Jefferey grabbed the pole and started ahead of Austin Hill and Ty Gibbs.
On the first lap Gibbs made a power move to grab the lead. The first of MANY yellows came out on lap 11 when Ryan Ellis suffered a flat tire. Josh Berry won Stage 1 ahead of Gibbs and A.J. Allmendinger.
On the restart they went four wide and once even five wide just inviting contact. On lap 48 the 91 car of Mason Massey got into the wall and collected several cars in the aftermath. Justin Allgaier won Stage 2 ahead of Gibbs and Dinger.
During the pit stops at the end of Stage 2 Brandon Brown spun on pit road creating some excitement. On lap 78 Gibbs got into Daniel Hemric spinning both cars and taking out Brandon Jones, Ryan Ellis and David Starr sending Gibbs and Hemric to the garage. Josh Williams spun trying to get onto pit road on lap 98 but recovered and continued.
The ‘Big One’ happened on lap 105 when it appeared that Sam Mayer took out Austin Hill. Further camera work revealed that Sam might have had some ‘help’ from Dinger.
Myatt Snyder, Brown, Ryan Vargas, Joe Graf, Jr. and Jones were involved. The in-car camera work keeps getting better and better and gives the viewers some awesome views of the accidents. Well done by Fox.
The final restart was affected by Jeremy Clements stopping on track thus causing another restart. When all the yellows were over (10 in total) Noah Gragson grabbed the checker ahead of Jefferey Earnhart, showing what he could do in a good ride, and Dinger. Dinger leads the points by 40 over Gragson and by 45 on Gibbs.
Their next race, Dover, is Saturday at 1.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: While there was no Truck race on the weekend that didn’t mean that the racers just sat around doing nothing.
Canadian Stewart Friesen won the rain delayed ‘Montgomery County Open’ at New York’s Fonda Speedway picking up the $12,000 for the win on the dirt! It was only his 80th win at the track! AND his wife Jessica finished 4th!! Wow!
Their next race, Darlington, is Friday night, May 6 at 7.30 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Okay, who came up with the name for this race? ‘Rolex Gran Premio del Made in Italy e dell Emilia Romagna’? By the time the announcers finished reading the name the first lap was complete!! LOL
With Max Verstappen winning the pole as a result of winning his qualifying race it looked to be another win for him. Carlos Sainz may get his wish to ‘spend more time with his family,’ something he said while objecting to an extra race date being added to the schedule, as he stuffed it into the gravel trap for the second time this year and on the first lap!!
It appeared that Daniel Ricciardo had tapped him from behind so it was not all his fault. The spin collected Fernando Alonso as well. On lap 13 new Mercedes phenom George Russell spun but was able to continue ultimately finishing a VERY strong 4th (compared to Hamilton’s 13th place finish after starting 14th).
On lap 19 one of the new announcers breathlessly announced ‘oh, there’s a crash on pit road’!! BUT they never showed it or told us who it was. But I’m guessing it was Ocon pulling out in front of Hamilton. On lap 26 Mick Schumacher spun his Haas but was able to continue.
While all this was happening we had to listen to David Croft whine incessantly about Race Control NOT allowing the DRS (Drag Reduction System) to be implemented in spite of the track being damp. I personally think it was the right call due to the track conditions.
On lap 30 Sergio Perez spun his Red Bull while running second but kept going and did not lose the spot. On lap 54 Charles LeClerc spun his Ferrari from third but did lose the spot ending up 6th at the flag. Max won by a very convincing 17 seconds getting the trifecta – pole, fastest lap and win. Perez finished 2nd while a refreshingly ecstatic Lando Norris grabbed another third.
LeClerc leads the points by 27 over Max and 32 above Perez.
Their next race is the inaugural race in MIAMI, Florida, May 8 on the newly built street course around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins football team. I’m really looking forward to it.
INDYCAR: Their next race is at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday.
IMSA: According to Marshal Pruett, writing in Racer, the reason for the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche dropping out of the Long Beach race was a one in a million accident.
They pitted at the same time, and just in front of it, as the #3 Corvette when one of the lugs bounced out of the Corvette’s airgun, spinning up into the air, over the roof of the #9 car, into its fuel fill probe then bouncing off and down into the radiator exit ducting.
A crew member spotted it and pulled it out, but the damage had been done as there was fluid coming from the rad thus ending their stellar run. Sad. Even Hollywood couldn’t write a scenario like that!!
Their next race is at Laguna Seca on Sunday.
NHRA: They visited Houston (Texas) Raceway Park for the last time for the Springnationals as the track has been, sadly, sold.
Steve Torrence qualified number one in Top Fuel but went out in the semis to Justin Ashley who then lost to number two qualifier Brittany Force in the finals.
There were six upsets of the 15 (lower qualified car winning) and six ‘traction issues’.
Funny Car saw low qualifier Ron Capps get a bye in round one as there were only 15 entries but he went out in the second round to Matt Hagan who qualified 8th and marched through the pack taking out Bobby Bode in the final. There were nine upsets and seven ‘traction issues’ with the floppers.
In Pro Stock Camrie Caruso qualified number one and marched to the final to set up the first all-female final in Pro Stock history. She lost to Erica Enders but at least she can boast she ‘treed’ Pro Stock legend Greg Anderson using an ‘.011′ light to beat his ‘.040′ light even though he was quicker. She will be a name to watch going forward. There were six upsets but only four ‘traction issues.’
In Pro Stock Bike Steve Johnson picked up the win beating Matt Smith in the final.
Force now leads Torrence by 32 and Ashley by 53 in Top Fuel. In the floppers Hagan leads Robert Hight by 60 and Capps by 87. Enders leads Aaron Stanfield by 82 and Kyle Koretsky by 126 in Pro Stock. Karen Stoffer sits 23 points atop Johnston and 68 over Angie Smith in Pro Stock Bike.
Their next race is the Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte, this weekend.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: They will open the season at Sunset Speedway on May 14.
APC SERIES: They had a test day at Delaware on the weekend and will start their season May 21 at Sunset Speedway.
MOTORAMA: The Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by eBay Motors goes Friday through Sunday at Toronto’s International Centre. I might see some of you there. Usually in mid-March, the show has been moved back this year, to put the COVID restrictions behind it. Visit www.MotoramaShow.com for tickets and info.
Until next week!!