In this week’s Motion Motorsport Report, Dave Mathers recaps the NASCAR action at Sears Point, F1 Azerbaijan, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series at Chaudière and several other locations around the world and Canada.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Well, THAT was exciting!! The Cup cars put on quite a show at Sears Point!! Kyle Larson (Chev) grabbed the pole, followed by Chase Elliott (Chev) and Chris Buescher (Ford).
On lap 11, Bubba Wallace’s Toyota blew up spewing much more than oil out of the pipes. Larson won Stage One, while Joey Logano (Ford) won Stage Two. The race only had two cautions other than the two for stage endings but there were spins all over the place.
For some reason, Larson did not come in with the rest of the leaders at the end of the second stage and this put him way back in the pack. I’m thinking the subsequent pit stop was rushed because he lost the right front wheel shortly after pitting.
That will result in a four-week suspension for the car chief, jack man and tire carrier plus a fine. Kyle Busch spun with 22 laps to go but kept on going with no damage.
At the flag, it was Daniel Suarez (Chev) who led the most laps followed by Buescher and Michael McDowell (Ford). Elliott continues to lead the points by 16 over Ross Chastain and by 23 ahead of Kyle Busch.
I must say, I’m sorry to see that the traditional Father’s Day race at MIS has been dropped from the schedule.
Their next race, Nashville Superspeedway, is Sunday, June 26 at 5 P.M.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Their next race, Nashville Superspeedway, is Saturday, June 25 at 3.30 P.M.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: It was really cool to see road race ace Andy Lally in the announcers’ booth at Sonoma. Carson Hocevar (Chev), who got t-boned hard last week at Gateway grabbed the pole even with his broken right leg!
However, he was forced to the rear as a result of wrecking just after his qualifying run. ‘Watermelon Man’ Ross Chastain (Chev) qualified second while Kyle Busch (Toyota) grabbed the third spot. Canadian Stewart Friesen started tenth.
It was interesting to see how brown the grass was at the track as California is, unfortunately, suffering from severe water shortages.
Ty Majeski (Toyota) won the caution-free (but NOT incident-free) Stage One while Ben Rhodes (Toyota) won Stage Two.
Stage Three had LOTS of action with Friesen involved in two incidents. Matty D. (DiBenedetto) spun Friesen with about 15 to go and then Friesen got into it with Josh Bilicki and Alex Bowman with three to go bringing out the red flag. There were actually flames coming out from under Friesen’s truck.
Kyle Busch ‘took candy from the babies’ again getting the win over Zane Smith (Ford) and Majeski. Rhodes leads the points by five on Chandler Smith and by 12 on Zane Smith.
Their next race, Knoxville, is Saturday at 9 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Apparently the honeymoon is over between Formula One and new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. He claims that the activism expressed by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton is ‘hurting the sport’ (he subsequently retracted his comments).
Three F1 teams: Alpine, Mercedes and Aston Martin are fully supporting Pride Month. Liberty Media also supports those measures. Dissent between F1 and the FIA? Who knew?
Charles Leclerc, in his Ferrari, took the pole, in Azerbaijan, ahead of the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen. Canadians Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) started 18th and 19th.
Stroll had experienced some trauma earlier in the weekend hitting the wall twice. Latifi incurred a stop and go penalty even before the green flag flew after a crew member pushed him back into his starting box with less than fifteen seconds before the start.
On the start, Leclerc seemed to have some problems and Perez beat him into 1. On lap 9 the power unit on the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz gave up the ghost taking him out of the race!! Sebastian Vettel spun on lap 13 but kept on going with, fortunately, no wall contact.
Verstappen got around teammate Perez for the lead on lap 15. And on the track no less, NOT in the pits!! Oops, lap 20, and Leclerc has a similar engine failure to his teammate, smoking badly on track!!
Maybe Ferrari turned the wick up too much? Hmm. On lap 24 the Ferrari powered Alfa Romeo of Guanyu Zhou was told to ‘box, box’! A third failure? Hmm.
On lap 39 it was quite humourous to see the crew of the Alpha Tauri driven by Yuki Tsunoda fix the rear wing using, wait for it, two hundred mile per hour tape! This invoked MUCH clutching of pearls in the steward’s room!! Funny!!
I found it very interesting that there was discussion during the race of teams allowing other teams to pass them. I thought that was against the ‘regulations’??
At the flag, it was Verstappen over Perez with George Russell third in his Mercedes. Latifi finished 15th with Stroll 16th.
Max has a 21-point lead over Perez and 34 points on Leclerc. Stroll sits 17th but Latifi has not earned any points. Red Bull has a commanding 80 point lead over Ferrari and 118 on Mercedes.
Their next race is Montreal this Sunday, in Montreal.
NHRA: Their next race is Bristol Sunday.
INDYCAR: The race Sunday at the beautiful bad fast Road America could have be subtitled the Carnage Chaos race. Wow, so many torn up race cars!!
Alexander Rossi started from the pole with Josef Newgarden second and Alex Palou third. ‘Seven Time’ Jimmie Johnson started 26th and got off track on the first lap bringing out a caution but he kept going. On lap 4 Palou made contact with VeeKay (I think) and got way off course. Will Power got turned a few laps later but soldiered on to finish 19th.
Newgarden won the race beating Marcus Ericsson in second and Rossi in third. In addition Newgarden picked up a one million dollar bonus from PeopleReady, a bonus that will be split with charity.
The bonus was for being the first driver in 2022 to win on all three types of circuits – road, street and oval track. Canadians Devlin DeFrancesco started 21st and finished 18th while Dalton Kellett started and finished 23rd.
Ericsson leads Power by 27 points and Newgarden by 32.
Their next race is Mid Ohio, July 3 at noon.
IMSA: The tall foreheads at IMSA headquarters have made the executive decision to ban the Glickenhaus entries from their top class next year as they ‘don’t sell enough cars’?? Oh, really?
I guess they have so many entries in their top class that they can ban entries? And they wonder why F1 and NASCAR are driving away from them? This from a sanctioning body that can’t even get a TV deal and has to rely on the internet for race coverage? Wow.
Their next race is at Watkins Glen, Sunday, June 26.
THE 24 HOURS OF LEMANS: I found out why I couldn’t find who was driving the NASCAR Camaro because I was one year premature!! That car will run next year!! D’oh.
As for this year’s race I especially loved the playing of ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ by Richard Strauss made famous in the movie 2001, a Space Odyssey, as the cars came for the green flag. One car got taken out right after the green, the United Autosports LMP2 Oreca, ending up in the gravel. There were 5 Hyper Cars, 27 LMP2, 7 GTE Pro and 23 GTE Am entries.
One of the two Glickenhaus entries in the Hyper Car class had problems around the 8 hour mark. After a pit stop it spun out on track and had to return to the pits to ‘diagnose’ the problem. You remember the Glickenhaus team, the one that IMSA doesn’t want in the series next year? That one!! AND without them there would be only THREE, count’em, three cars in Hyper Car this year. And if there is a change in management at Toyota there could be only ONE entry next year. D’oh!!
This race had to be one of the cleanest in years with very little drama and very few ‘offs’.
Once again the incredible in-car camera work during the night was amazing and it was so bright and clear. Wonderful technology. Sebastian Bourdais got a ‘little’ help with about nine hours to go and spun. He didn’t hit anything and kept going.
The Weathertech Porsche had a spin around the 16 hour mark but, like Bourdais, they kept it off the wall and continued. In the 17th hour one of the Alpines got bumped into the gravel trap.
With about five hours to go the pole sitting LMP2 car spun on it’s own and hit the wall hard. The GTE Pro class was Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, mix and continue all race long. And the camera crew seemed fixated on showing Patrick Dempsey all race long.
As expected, the Toyotas finished ‘one, two’ while the Glickenhauses finished third and fourth. Porsche won the GTE Pro class over two Ferraris in this the last year for the class at LeMans. Both Corvettes dropped out of the race with problems. In the GTE AM class it was Aston Martin, Porsche, Aston Martin.
In my opinion it is time to bring the WEC cars to LeMans and forget about the top class which seems to have rules written on a chalk board, changing all the time.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): This exciting series, headed by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham, returns again this year with CBS carrying the two hour broadcasts on six consecutive Saturday nights. Their season opens Saturday at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Subsequent races will be at South Boston Speedway, Stafford Motor Speedway, Nashville Fairgrounds, I-55 Raceway and Sharon Speedway.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Racing at the little quarter mile ‘bullring’ at Autodrome Chaudière on Saturday, L.P. Dumoulin qualified on the pole followed by Donald Theetge and Marc-Antoine Camirand.
Andrew Ranger won the 250-lap race, beating Camirand and D.J. Kennington. Unfortunately, similar to the previous race at Mosport, the Live Timing as of 10 P.M. Sunday still shows 0 laps of 250!!! Hopefully they can find somebody to get that fixed.
Kevin Lacroix leads Treyton Lapcevich by only two points and Alex Tagliani by eight.
Their next race is at Eastbound International Speedway, Newfoundland on June 25.
APC SERIES: Their next race is Friday, July 1 at Delaware Speedway.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Their next race is this Friday at Delaware Speedway
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Last Friday night’s racing was unfortunately rained out.
GRAND BEND MOTORPLEX: Mark this weekend in your planner as it is the wild 25th Stratford Spectacular. And two of the BADDEST Stratford cars will be there – the Pro Mods of Scott Wildgust and Spencer Hyde, Ford vs. Chev!! BE THERE!!
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: NHRA National Open this weekend.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers