NASCAR Cup Series: Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was known as the Intimidator back in the day. Well Kyle Larson seems to have earned the nickname the Dominator. He led, nay, dominated, 256 of the 334 laps yesterday at Texas Motor Speedway after starting from the pole.
Things got very busy quite early on lap 31 when Bubba Wallace got sideways, apparently with no outside help, in the middle of the pack and took out 15 cars.
Later on, two of the championship contenders – Joey Logano and Martin Truex, Jr. – were eliminated. Logano went out with a rare blown motor and Truex with a very badly damaged race car (right front wheel at about a 45 degree angle!!).
Larson’s teammate William Byron finished second with Christopher Bell third. Chase contender Chase Elliott (what a perfect name for a NASCAR driver!!) along with Corey LaJoie, Chase Briscoe (another Chase, who knew??), Garrett Smithley and Cody Ware were sent to the back of the starting field because of multiple failures in the tech lanes.
As well, Alex Bowman and Justin Haley were also sent to the back because of ‘unapproved adjustments’!! Kyle Larson now has a 51-point lead over Ryan Blaney and 59 over Denny Hamlin who also wrecked but got back to 11th after some fast work by his crew.
Kyle Busch is fourth with Elliott and Keselowski outside looking in. There are two more races, Kansas and Martinsville, before the number of contenders drops to four. No pressure!! They race Sunday at 3 at Kansas Speedway. Should be fun!
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: John Hunter Nemechek won Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway finishing ahead of points contenders Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson. Canadian Alex Labbé finished 24th.
AJ Allmendinger, who got punted out of the lead, finished 6th but still leads the points by 4 over Austin Cindric (finished 5th) and 26 over Justin Allgaier (finished 4th). That shows how tight and competitive the points are getting!! They race Saturday at 3 at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: The trucks get time off before heading to the tight bullring at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 30.
NHRA: Things did NOT go well for NHRA at Thunder Valley, Bristol, Tennessee. Friday, they had big problems with the timing equipment (been there, done that, definitely have the T-shirt!!). it was probably because of all the rain.
Then, the car counts were down – 14 Top Fuelers, 14 Floppers, 14 Pro Mods and 15 Pro Stock Bikes. First round Sunday was one to forget!! Five of the seven Top Fuelers, five of the seven Funny Cars and four of the seven Pro Mods had ‘traction issues.’ In Top Fuel, Steve Torrence qualified #1 and went to the Final only to be beaten by Mike Salinas. The good news – the track came around big time after the first rounds.
In Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria qualified #1 and marched right through the field taking out JR Todd in the Final.
In Pro Mod, Rickie Smith qualified #1 but got taken out in the first round by JR Gray who went to the Final and took out Jose Gonzalez. Pro Stock Motorcycle featured an all-female final with Angelle Sampey nosing out Karen Stoffer for the Wally.
In Top Fuel, Steve Torrance continues to dominate the points by 73 over Brittany Force and a whopping 147 over Justin Ashley. In Funny Car, Ron Capps leads Matt Hagan by 1, count ‘em, 1 point with J.R. Todd third 83 points out of the lead. Matt Smith leads Angelle by 25 in Pro Stock Bikes with Steve Johnson 56 points down.
The series now heads to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the weekend of October 31 which will allow them to attend the SEMA Show November 2-5.
That’s only four days and, trust me, that’s NOT enough time to see ALL the good stuff at that show.
FORMULA ONE: The series drops into the uber-gorgeous Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this weekend. That promises to be a great race between the two contenders, Lewis and Max. I can hardly wait.
IMSA: Their next race, where the GT cars will reunite with the prototypes, will be at the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta on November 13th.
LOCAL STOCKS: The Ontario short track racing scene pretty much wound down this past weekend. Flamboro Speedway managed to get in the second and final day of its rain-delayed Frostoberfest on Sunday, going into the night. But Brockville Ontario Speedway’s Fall Nationals were rained out.
Did You Know?
– Don Schumacher Racing has lost five of its six drivers in the past year. Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson, Jr. left at the end of last year and now Antron Brown is starting his own team next year. But the big one is Tony Stewart starting his own team taking girlfriend and Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett along with Funny Car driver and points contender Matt Hagan away from DSR. Tony now joins John Force, Connie Kalitta, Schumacher as well as the Capco team in the multi-team ownership ranks. Schumacher’s son Tony has obtained sponsorship and will return to the Top Fuel ranks next year.
– Speaking of Capco Racing they have ‘joined’ the Toyota Racing Team where they will get technical and product support for their program.
– Daniel Ricciardo had a bet with McLaren honcho Zak Brown that has paid off. Zak told Daniel that if he got a podium for McLaren he could drive his choice from Brown’s awesome collection. And what did he choose? A 1984 Dale Earnhart, Sr. Monte Carlo. Apparently the Intimidator was Daniel’s hero. He’ll get to drive it just before the F1 race at COTA!!
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be hosting a ‘driver-less’ remote control electric car RACE this Saturday. It’s a competition amongst several colleges and universities. Great concept.
Until next week!!