In this week’s installment of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report, Dave looks at the busy NASCAR weekend in Vegas, F1 news, date announcements for the SRX Series, and more.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: I have to say right up front that I LOVE the looks of the new car. The bigger wheels and tires actually fill the wheel wells and give the cars a much tougher look. Home run by NASCAR!
However, there is still some fine tuning to be done and with the REALLY smart guys working in the garages I predict that the learning curve will be quickly conquered.
Kyle Busch backed his car hard into the wall during Saturday practice and had to go to a backup. Only problem – the backup was – to put it mildly, incomplete, as in no motor and no graphics.
His crew, with help, converted the car over for Kyle and he started at the back. He had a couple of ‘moments’ early on and it looked like it was not going to be his day.
During the race, at the end of the second stage, it appeared that Busch had a bit of a ‘disagreement’ with another car.
Nevertheless, he came up through the pack and with less than ten to go he was leading comfortably over teammate Martin Truex, Jr.
However, the car of Erik Jones got in trouble and spun resulting in Bubba Wallace hitting the inside wall while spinning to miss Jones.
On the final restart, Alex Bowman outran Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain. Busch ended up fourth, with Truex eighth.
Denny Hamlin broke the transaxle in his car and fully admitted that he had tried to shift it like the old transmission. Several cars, like Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez, were innocent victims early in the race, hitting the showers early.
The Cup cars, like both the Xfinity and truck races, were running sometimes as many as five wide creating some very exciting door to door action. Good television.
Kyle Larson (Chev) leads the points after three races by 6 over Truex (Toyota) and 9 ahead of Joey Logano (Ford).
The next race, Phoenix, is this Sunday at 3.30 P.M. on both TSN and Fox.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Hey, who knew? SNOW in Vegas caused a delay in the program Saturday. Ty Gibbs (Toyota), grandson of Joe Gibbs, held off 8, count ‘em 8, Chevs in a row to win at Las Vegas Saturday.
Noah Gragson was a strong second while Daniel Hemric was third. The race saw a lot of carnage with 7 cars taken to the garage with terminal damage.
Gibbs started things off just four laps in when he appeared to spin Ryan Sieg. Ty apologized for the hit in the post race interview. Alex Labbe finished 17th and sits 27th in points.
After three races Gragson, who won the first two stages of the race, leads Gibbs by 17 points and A.J. Allmendinger by 21.
Their next race, Phoenix, is this Saturday at 4.30 P.M. on TSN.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Well, the finish was not the end of the drama at Las Vegas. Chandler Smith (Toyota) held off Zane Smith (Ford) in second and Kyle Busch (Toyota) in third.
However, in post-race inspection Zane Smith’s truck was disqualified for ‘14.16.1 – 1 4 Lug Nuts’? Lug nuts? Huh? That bumped Busch up to second and moved Canadian Stewart Friesen (Toyota) up to third. Todd (the Onion) Bodine returned after a several year absence. And after a couple of ‘incidents,’ finished 21st.
After the first two races, Chandler Smith leads the point by 5 over Tanner Gray and 15 over Ty Majeski.
Their next race, at Circuit of the Americas, is Saturday, March 26 at 1 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: They will open the season at Sunset Speedway on May 14.
APC SERIES: This Ontario-based tour opens May 21 at Sunset Speedway.
NHRA: Their next race is the Gatornationals this weekend at Gainesville, Florida. If you have never been to the ‘Gators, you must go. So put it on your bucket list, you won’t be disappointed.
IMSA: Their next race is The Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 19.
FORMULA ONE: The ongoing soap opera, aka Formula One, continues. Apparently, the new tire/wheel have created an unanticipated problem for the cars. And that problem is called, wait for it, ‘porpoising’!! They only have two weeks to sort that one out.
They start their season on March 20 at Bahrain.
IndyCar: Their next race is at Texas Motor Speedway on March 20.
SRX SERIES: Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham’s uber-successful six-race Saturday night series returns again, this year, featuring racing on six straight weekends.
Action begins on the ½-mile Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida (or, as Junior Hanley always calls it, Pepsi-Cola!!) on June 18, the home of the popular long running Snowball Derby.
It’s followed by action on the legendary 4/10-mile South Boston Speedway in Virginia, the birthplace for many, many NASCAR drivers.
Race #3 is at another legend, the ½-mile Stafford Motor Speedway, Connecticut owned by the Arute family. Number Four is on the bad fast paved high-banked ½-mile at the Nashville Fairgrounds, Tennessee, the long time home of the All-American 400.
Race Five hits the dirt on the 1/3-mile I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri. That is the track owned by Ken Schrader, so I fully expect to see him in the race.
The final race lands on the dirt at the 3/8-mile Sharon Speedway in Ohio. CBS will cover all the races live and it will, once again, be a two-hour show with heats and a feature. The full driver lineup will be announced at a later date.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers