In this week’s Motion Motorsport Report, Dave Mathers jams his blog with his take on NASCAR at Indy, F1 Hungary, NHRA, Pinty’s Series in Saskatoon, APC at The Beach, the Canadian Nationals at Grand Bend and much more.
MY VIEW: Once again, NASCAR continues to be consistently inconsistent. Disqualifying / penalizing the winning and runner-up cars of JGR was a ‘bit’ of an overreach for a couple of pieces of tape?
Richard Petty won the 1984 Firecracker 400 in front of President Reagan and did NOT lose the win for having a ‘big’ motor found in post-race tech.
Joey Logano won Richmond five years ago and his car was found to have rear suspension ‘issues,’ never really spelled out. He kept the win but was fined and lost points.
I feel that fines and the loss of ‘some’ points in this case would have been more appropriate.
A quote from USA Today from several years ago – ‘NASCAR is reluctant to ever pull a victory from a driver’ – backs up my position. Needless to say, I’m sure there were LOTS of water-cooler discussions about this ‘incident’. P.T. Barnum would be proud!!
In F1, Sebastian Vettel has decided to retire at the end of this year. Smart move. And Porsche is buying 50% of Red Bull Racing as the parties team up to build a new power train package. It will apparently happen in 2026. And Audi is buying 75% of Alfa Romeo/Sauber? Hmm.
In the post-race announcements at Pomona, the BIG news came that Don Schumacher is turning over his majority interest in Don Schumacher Racing to Joe and Cathi Maynard, his business partners.
This pretty much guarantees that John Force is the new King of Nitro in NHRA. Interesting.
NASCAR Cup Series: Wow, where to start!! NASCAR promised to ‘add excitement’ for the fans and they NAILED it on the Indianapolis Road Course!!
Tyler Reddick (Chev) grabbed the pole with Austin Cindric 2nd and Chase Briscoe 3rd, both in Fords.
I’m not sure who designed Corner One but they should get a medal!! The announce team dubbed it ‘Calamity Corner’ and no truer descriptor could be found.
Coming down the front straight 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and even 8-wide, there was action all race as they tried to squeeze into the very tight right hander. Surprisingly, there were only three actual cautions (the two for stage endings don’t really count!) but lots and lots and lots of spins, offs, bumps, bangs and worse!! Good stuff for the audience.
Briscoe won Stage 1 with Christopher Bell (Toyota) grabbing the win in Stage 2. On lap 61 Kyle Larson appeared to lose his brakes coming down the front straight and, at full song, completely body slammed an unsuspecting Ty Dillon!!
Both drivers were okay although Dillon did admit it was the toughest hit he had ever experienced.
With two laps to go, business picked up when parts of a car (possibly the No. 20?) ended up in the middle of the track forcing a full course yellow.
On the restart, ‘Watermelon Man’ Ross Chastain realized four-wide into one was NOT going to work and took the ‘escape road’ around 1 & 2, coming out just behind the leader.
He was in the middle of the battle between Reddick and Cindric and, at the checker, he was relegated to the back of the lead lap finishing 27th for his ‘unsanctioned’ off track adventure!!
Harrison Burton in the famed Wood Brothers 21 Ford finished a personal best 3rd followed by Todd Gilliland and Bubba Wallace.
The absolute highlight of the entire race was the alert winner’s circle camera crew catching Tyler’s little boy running (toddling??) out to greet dad!! AWESOME stuff!!
I’m old enough to remember when kids (and women) were not allowed on pit road so this is a very refreshing and good thing for the sport.
Chase Elliott has a commanding lead in the points 125 ahead of Ryan Blaney and 129 on Chastain.
Their next race, Michigan, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Holy cow, HINCH (retired IndyCar racer and Canadian James Hinchcliffe) in the announce booth for the Xfinity race on the Indianapolis Road Course! Ya gotta love it!!
With NBC airing both the IndyCar and Xfinity races, the crossover was a natural considering that Little E was calling the IndyCar race.
The ‘Dinger, A.J. Allmendinger (Chev), unsurprisingly notched the pole at the race on the Indianapolis Road Course followed by Ty Gibbs (Toyota) and Riley Herbst (Ford). Canadian Alex Labbe started 14th.
The drama started on the parade laps when Jeb Burton backed down pit road with rear suspension issues.
Labbe seemed to have brake issues early in the race overcooking a couple of corners. On lap 15 Ryan Ellis and Parker Kligerman got together bringing out the full course yellow.
Kligerman had lost his brakes and spun to get the car to stop taking out Ellis. On the subsequent pit stops Dinger’s crew had problems with the right rear tire sending him back in the pack.
With 2 to go in Stage 1, after the restart, the cars were THREE-wide, on a ‘two lane’ road course!! ‘Bad boy’ Noah Gragson picked up the Stage 1 win.
On the restart for Stage 2, Ty Gibbs spun while running third. No caution. Then Riley Herbst got spun in the other Monster Energy car and all of a sudden both of them were running at the back of the pack.
It didn’t take Dinger long to get back up front and take over the race lead.
Josh Berry picked up the win in Stage 2 and Alex Labbe was a very strong 2nd!! On the restart Alex Bowman beat Dinger into turn 1 but AJ was back in the lead at the next corner.
Allmendinger got the win over Alex Bowman, Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe. Labbe finished 12th.
Dinger continues to lead the points by 17 over Allgaier and by 30 atop Gibbs. Labbe sits 20th.
Their next race, Michigan, is Saturday at 3.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: John Hunter Nemechek grabbed the pole for Friday night’s race at the fast 5/8-mile oval at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the home of the NHRA U.S. Nationals for the past six decades.
He was followed by Chandler Smith and Christian Eckes. Canadian Stewart Friesen started 8th. All four were in Toyotas.
Action started early as on lap 10 Spencer Boyd and Josh Reaume got together hard with Boyd’s truck catching fire. On lap 31 Reaume spun again and shortened his truck up quite a bit but kept going. He was eventually black flagged for being too slow. Nemechek won Stage 1.
On lap 73 the yellow came out again for Blake Lothian. On lap 108 Nemechek spun but missed hitting the wall. Ty Majeski picked up the Stage 2 win.
The yellow came out on lap 149 for a three-way accident involving Lawless Allan (GREAT first name), Chase Purdy and Zane Smith.
The yellow came out again on lap 192 for Colby Howard and Carson Kocevar getting together. Howard was NOT impressed with getting spun but the hit was actually pay back.
Nemechek spun out leader Taylor Gray with two to go bringing out another yellow. The yellow forced overtime and Grant Enfinger got the win over Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith. Friesen ended up 4th.
Lane Smith leads Rhodes by 14 with Enfinger and Friesen in a third-place tie 22 back.
Their next race, Richmond, is Saturday night, August 13 at 8 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Everybody was waiting to see if the ‘porpoising’ problems had been solved for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The good news – it seemed to be! The bad news – Ferrari continues to shoot itself in the foot!!
George Russell surprised everybody by grabbing the pole in his Mercedes ahead of the favoured Red Bull and Ferrari cars. Sainz was 2nd and Leclerc 3rd in the Ferraris. Lance Stroll qualified 14th and Nicholas Latifi was 20th.
Hamilton started 7th but was up to 4th by lap 12. And once again we heard ‘box, box’ from the Ferrari pits, this time for Sainz on a very early lap 16.
On lap 31, Leclerc got around Russell for the lead. Points leader Max Verstappen came from 10th to grab the lead as some rain hit the circuit. Max actually looped it in the wet but kept right on going picking up the win over Hamilton and Russell.
Max leads Leclerc by 80 and Perez by 85. Red Bull leads the Manufacturers by 97 over Ferrari with Mercedes now just 30 back of the red cars.
Their next race, Spa, Belgium, is Sunday, August 28 as they now have their summer three-week break.
NHRA: The final race of the western swing was held at Kent, Washington near Seattle on the weekend.
In Top Fuel Brittany Force qualified number 1 but lost in the final to ‘The Sarge’ Tony Schumacher returning this year after sitting out for a while. Traction ‘problems’ affected 6 of the 15 runs.
In Funny Car Bob Tasca led a short 12 car field but lost to J.R. Todd in the second round. Robert Hight qualified 5th but took out Todd in the final after topping boss and father-in-law John Force in the semis. Similarly, traction affected 6 of the 13 runs.
Pro Stock saw the closest final round in a very long time in any class!! Troy Coughlin, Jr. beat Erica Enders by 0.0001 seconds!! That’s one ten thousandth of a second!!
Force has a 75-point lead over Mike Salinas in Top Fuel with Justin Ashley 173 points back of the leader.
In the floppers Hight has a 228-point lead on Matt Hagan and 294 on Ron Capps.
Erica has a 103-point lead on Aaron Stanfield and 355 on Kyle Koretsky in Pro Stock.
Their next race is Topeka, Sunday, August 14.
INDYCAR: Felix Rosenqvist grabbed the pole for the race on the Indianapolis Road Course ahead of Alexander Rossi and Alex Palou, STILL driving for Chip Ganassi!! LOL
Sharing the weekend with NASCAR, Xfinity later on Saturday and Cup Sunday, the crowd got a great show both days. Canadians Devlin DeFrancesco and Dalton Kellett started 14th and 24th.
After an excellent start drama erupted on the very first lap when Pato O’Ward spun in front of the pack after getting hit by Will Power but kept going with no caution.
Kellett brought out the first yellow spinning on lap 3. On lap 35 Simon Pagenaud ran out of fuel on track bringing out a yellow. Conor Daly dropped out with ‘drive line’ issues at the mid way part of the race.
Rossi, in spite of having smoke emanating from his left rear wheel with ten to go, picked up the win FAR ahead of Christian Lundgaard, Will Power, Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden. DeFrancesco ended up 18th with Kellett 21st.
Will Power leads Marcus Ericsson by 9 points and Josef Newgarden by 32 in the points championship.
Their next race is on the streets of Nashville, Sunday at 3 on Sportsnet 360.
IMSA: Their next race is at Road America, Sunday at 11.35 A.M. on REV TV.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES – Treyton Lapcevich picked up the pole ahead of Andrew Ranger and Donald Theetge for the first of two 125 lappers at the 1/3 mile oval in Saskatoon.
I had to laugh as once again that hard runner ‘Null null’ showed up chasing the leader on their Race Center Live Timing!! Twenty-three cars took the green flag for the Leland 125. At the flag, it was veteran DJ Kennington with the win over Ranger and Marc-Antoine Camirand.
Alex Tagliani won the second 125 lapper over Ranger and L.P. Dumoulin.
Camirand has a narrow 7-point lead on Kevin Lacroix and 8 points on Kennington.
Their next race is Sunday at Three Rivers.
APC SERIES: Kyle Steckly qualified number one at Sauble Speedway Saturday night but with the ‘inversion’ he started the 100 lapper 8th.
Ryan Kimball started 2nd and led the race until lap 86 when Josh Stade emerged at the front and led the rest of the way. Steckly finished 2nd with Rick Spencer Walt 3rd, Gord Shepherd 4th and Tom Gibbons 5th.
J.R Fitzpatrick leads Steckly by only 5 points with Stade in 3rd, 17 back. The points race looks like it will go right down to the wire.
Their next race is at Sunset, Saturday, August 13.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Their next race is this Friday at Delaware Speedway.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: The Bone Stocks ran a 50 lapper on Friday night with 36 cars before a large, family crowd on the hill. The Lawrence brothers started 7th (Kris) and 10th (Jo) but Jo had the lead by lap 3.
Jeremiah Rabideau got the lead on lap 24 and then the two of them swapped the lead back and forth. On a restart with 8 to go, Jo’s engine sounded ‘off’ and he fell back allowing Rabideau to take the lead and the win ahead of Phil Givens, Jordan Willms, Kris Lawrence and Matt Langford.
The Super Stocks ran a relatively trouble free 35 lapper. Ryden Lapcevich started from the pole but got quickly passed by third place starter Ryan Dyson. Points leader Pete Vanderwyst started 9th and worked his way through the pack dodging the lapped cars but couldn’t catch Dyson. Andrew Ferreira finished third over Carson Nagy and Branden Verhoeven.
King of the Hill featured 22 entries including 2 minivans (fighting for a $32 BONUS put up by the announce team)!! Another Verhoeven (sorry, missed his first name) won in a pickup truck, the first win according to track announcer Jamie Maudsley, since ‘Dave Mathers won in a Lightning pickup about 25 years ago’!!
One of the two bad-fast Audis almost spanked the turn two wall in the best of three final that only went two rounds. And, yes, the crowd went wild!! This Friday, they will run the Ontario Sportsman Series, Late Models and V/8 Stocks.
I will be adding big events only for the three local drag strips as they run regular races each and every weekend.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: The weather cooperated to make it a great Canadian Nationals on the weekend. I noticed the lack of American cars – could this be due to that dreaded ‘Arrive CANT’ app? And, yes, I added the ‘T’!! Call your MP and let them know that the app sucks!!
The Paton Family had two, count ‘em, TWO ‘Fast Eddie’ Top Fuelers at the event. One was driven by Todd Paton and the other by Cam Ferre. And BOTH went down the track side by side both days AND went the full 1/4 mile!! Great show.
Neale Armstrong put on spectacular shows once again with his jet dragster as did the big jet truck. The BB/AD and A/FD combo class was very exciting. I saw one teenaged girl wiping her eyes from the nitro fumes!! She’ll be back!!
Paul Noakes hopped into a Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car and he went straight down Broadway with it.
Spencer Hyde should become a bracket racer as he had five runs between 3.70 and 3.75 in his ‘Jack and the Green Stock’ tribute ‘69 Camaro Pro Mod. (I teched the original Jack and the Green Stock BRAND NEW!! Yup, I’m that old!!) Both Top Dragster and Top Sportsman had full fields and both classes put on some very close racing.
Their next big race is the Windsor Weekend, August 12 – 14. The photo gallery below is courtesy of Peter Anderson.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: This Friday during the day will see the E.L.T.A. ‘Little Big Go’. BE THERE!!
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Their next big race is this Saturday and Sunday, the Canada Heads Up Shootout Series.
Until next week!!
- By Dave Mathers