NASCAR CUP SERIES: Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for yesterday’s Cup race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ‘Roval.’
Kyle Larson’s car lost an alternator belt early in the race but his crew replaced it during one of the breaks. He came back through the pack and won the race ahead of a surprising Tyler Reddick with Chris Buescher in third.
Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick continued their ‘close encounters of the worst kind’ that started earlier this year. Harvick got things started by ‘bump drafting’ Elliott HARD in a corner knocking up into the wall and the 9 car’s rear bumper loose.
He pitted to get repairs and worked his way back up to one car behind Harvick. Harvick went into a corner too hot (or something broke) and he hit the wall hard taking him out of the race. ‘And the crowd went wild’!! Larson goes into the ‘Round of Eight’ with a 35 point lead, almost an entire race, over Hamlin, Truex, Blaney, Kyle Busch, Elliott, Logano and Keselowski.
Two Chevs, three Toyotas and three Fords. Three car owners – Hendrick, Gibbs and Penske. Talk about ‘parity’!! The next Cup race is Sunday (2 o’clock) at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: AJ Allmendinger, with his big win Saturday at the ‘Roval’ at Charlotte Motor Speedway, has now cemented himself in the record books as the winningest road course driver in Xfinity history, breaking a tie with Austin Cindric for that honour.
Starting way back in 14th he finished a little over three seconds ahead of pole sitter Cindric who was followed by Daniel Hemric. Alex Labbe started 20th and finished a strong lead lap 14th. AJ has a 6 point lead over Cindric and a 29 point lead over Justin Allgaier while Labbe sits 20th. They race this coming Saturday (3 p.m.) at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: The trucks get time off before heading to the tight bullring at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 30.
SUPER DIRT WEEK: The DIRTcar community was in Oswego, NY for Super DIRT Week and for the second year in a row, St. Catharines, Ontario’s Mat Williamson was the star of the show, winning several races including the big one, $50,000-to-win Billy Whittaker Cars 200 Modified race at the dirt-covered Oswego Speedway.
The prestigious win puts him in the same category as fellow-Canadian Stewart Friesen, Billy Decker, Brett Hearn, Merv Treichler, and Buzzie Reutimann as the only drivers to win back-to-back Billy Whittaker Cars 200s.
PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY: One of the biggest asphalt fall specials in Canada wrapped up Sunday at Peterborough Speedway. With rain washing away the Saturday schedule, Sunday was jammed with fans and features, starting early and running late into the night.
‘Flyin’ Ryan Kimball won the Electric City 167 for the Pro Late Models. He was involved in an early-race incident but was back in contention in the late-going thanks to heavy attrition and many cautions.
The final run made up for all the yellows with Kimball coming home in front of Connor James and Danny Benedict. J.R. Fitzpatrick, Dan McHattie and Shawn Chenoweth were all in the mix as the laps wound down.
NHRA: Justin Ashley took out the dominant Top Fueler of Steve Torrence at Texas Motorplex just west of Ennis, Texas on Sunday. Ron Capps continues to be hot in Funny Car topping the also-hot Matt Hagan in the final.
Lyle Barrett (I’m sorry but I have never heard of him) waded through a tough Pro Mod field beating Justin Bond in their final. Canadian Eric Latino qualified ninth but couldn’t make round one due to problems.
Greg Anderson qualified number one in Pro Stock and bettered Chris McGaha in the final. Matt Smith got around Hector Arana, Jr. in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final. Sadly neither NHRA.com nor dragracecentral.com had posted the updated points by press time.
Their next race is this weekend at Thunder Valley, Bristol, Tennessee. I worked the NHRA Springnationals at Bristol in 1967 and I asked the local guys why it was called Thunder Valley.
They chuckled and they said ‘wait until the first Fuelers go down the track’!! The first pair went down the track and up the hill into the trees in the shutdown area. About thirty seconds later the sound of the Top Fuelers came echoing back down the valley!! Quite a phenomenon!!
I have to ‘editorialize’ about the five NHRA Pro classes. I do the ladders for every event and I track the number of ‘upsets’ and ‘loss of traction’ for every race.
I’m going to give the numbers from Texas with the ‘upsets’ the first number and the ‘loss of traction’ the second number. Top Fuel – 4 & 4. Funny Car – 3 & 3. Pro Mod – 8 & 2. Pro Stock – 6 & 4. Pro Stock Motorcycle – 4 & 0.
It would appear that Pro Mod is the most unpredictable class of the bunch. And that could be because of the variety of bodies and engines that grace the class. As you may have picked up, I am a HUGE Pro Mod fan and would love to see the class become a ‘real’ Pro class in NHRA as it represents all the good things that have gotten NHRA to where it is today.
FORMULA ONE: Valtteri Bottas started from the pole in Turkey this weekend in his Mercedes and finished in the same position in what can only be described as ‘variable conditions’!! Rain, more rain, etc.
The ‘rain tires’ they were using had HUGE knobs on them, bigger than I remember. Max Verstappen started second in his Red Bull and ended in the same place admitting that Bottas looked after his tires better. Sergio Perez grabbed third in the second Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton qualified ‘number one’ but took a ten-spot penalty for a new power unit. He marched through the field quite easily except for eight laps stuck behind the VERY wide Alpha Tauri of Yuki Tsunoda.
Lewis and his crew appeared to have had a disagreement about when or if to pit. He finally came in with eight laps to go but dropped from third to fifth, a drop he was not able to recover from.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 6 points and Bottas by 85.5 points. The series drops into the uber-gorgeous Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on the weekend of October 24th. That promises to be a great race between the two contenders. I can hardly wait.
IMSA: Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner put the #4 Corvette in the Winners Circle with their GTLM class win Saturday at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
Garcia and Taylor in the #3 Vette finished second with Kevin Estre and Cooper MacNeil third in the #79 Weathertech Porsche. Sufficient to say that a LOT of paint was traded amongst all three cars in the class with Estre being literally run right of the track at one point.
The most inspired run of the race came from the duo of Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon in the
Canadian Pfaff Porsche. Starting basically from the parking lot (16th out of 17 class starters) they wove their way through the entire GTD field and got a little help when the leader at the time, Bill Auberlin, got taken out by Garcia who overcooked corner entry and spun up into the 96 BMW of Turner Motorsports.
Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow finished second in a Lamborghini Huracan while Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz ended up third in a Lexus.
Garcia and Taylor lead the GTLM points over Tandy and Milner with MacNeil alone in third. Vanthoor and Robichon lead GTD in the Pfaff Porsche with Sellers and Snow in second followed by DeAngelis and Gunn in third.
As well Mario Farnbacher stuffed his Acura hard into the tire wall when something broke at one of the fastest parts of the track. And he ‘walked away’!!
The ‘Pace Car’ or as IMSA calls it the ‘Safety Car’ was a Porsche Taycan Turbo S; the first time an all-electric car has paced an IMSA race. Way cool. When I first saw it out on the track, I actually thought it was a Tesla. But, upon further review, I noticed that ‘special’ hood ornament!! LOL
Their next race, where the GT cars will reunite with the prototypes, will be at the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta on November 13th.
Did You Know?
– And TSN/Rogers did it AGAIN!!!!!!!!! As we were going to be out Saturday afternoon, I programmed the NASCAR Xfinity race that showed on the Rogers guide as being on TSN 3, 496 on my set. What did I get you ask?
Five hours of ladies and mens rugby, etc… yet the header still showed the Xfinity race. Wow, is anybody steering the ship with the NASCAR file at either location?
– Michael Andretti is rumoured to be buying the Lawrence Stroll-headed Aston Martin Formula One team with the deal closing at COTA on the October 24 weekend. Stay tuned.
– NASCAR had another problem with the ‘curbing,’ similar to the one at IMS on August 14, during Saturday’s Xfinity race after one section got torn out by Josh Bilicki necessitating the removal of the bolts left sticking up. Maybe over the winter a better attaching system could be created?
– Brad Hulton has created an interesting new website – DriverCal.com – to provide a source for race fans to find what’s happening in the motorsports world in their area. Cool concept!
Until next week!!