Motorsports lost a legend last week. ‘Ohio George’ Montgomery passed away at age 90. My friend John Stenabaugh and I were going to attend George’s 90 the birthday party last January 25 but a bit of family sickness cancelled the event. George showed up at St. Thomas Dragway in 1967 a few weeks before the Spring Nationals. He had two trailers. The Willys came out of one and raced. I asked him what was in the other. He showed me the Mustang Malco Gasser and said Ford would not let him show it yet. The rest is history. He will be missed.
Well, the Silly Season is definitely alive and well in Formula One. Multiple sources report that Canadian Lance Stroll is retiring at the end of this season from his father’s Aston Martin team and becoming a professional tennis player. Interesting!!
In the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ category, nobody is going bigger than the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Their Formula One race last year had 440,000 attendees!! Their aim for next year is to hit 500,000!! And pundits said years ago that Formula One would never make it in North America!! Pshaw!! LOL
Once again comments are being made about the head-scratching ‘track limits’ controversy in Formula One. If I cross the lane marker on either side of my own vehicle the steering wheel vibrates (Lane Departure feature). Why can’t they use that technology to help the drivers (and get the stewards off their backs!!)? Or, as most seem to prefer, do away with them completely?
I was asked to do the colour commentary on the Rogers TV broadcast of Friday night’s races at Delaware Speedway. It was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Congratulations to Dartmouth, NS racer Cole Butcher for winning the prestigious Oxford 250 for the second year in a row! The talented driver went ‘back to front’ in the 41-car field to win at Maine’s Oxford Speedway. He was sent to the tail of the pack, early in the race, after being penalized following contact with another driver.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Qualifying for the Evirum 125 on the parking lot at Circuit ICAR, nee Mirabel Airport, saw Marc-Antoine Camirand win the pole ahead of Alex Labbe and Alex Tagliani. I had to laugh as the gremlins once again hit the Live Timing function and on lap 39 of 55 all the drivers were replaced by that famous racer ‘null null’!! LOL
After 55 trips around the course, the finish was a virtual clone of the start with Camirand ahead of Labbe, Tagliani, Treyten Lapcevich and L.P. Dumoulin.
Lapcevich continues to lead the points by 31 over Camirand and by 52 over Tagliani.
UNITED RACING SERIES: J.R. Fitzpatrick picked up the win in the APC Late Model race over Shae Gemmell, Kyle Steckly, Jo Lawrence and Josh Stade.
Steckly has taken over the Late Model points lead by 5 over previous leader Lawrence and by 10 atop Jake Sheridan.
Their next race is Delaware, Saturday, September 23.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Qualifying for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Saturday night at Daytona saw Chase Briscoe grab the pole ahead of Aric Almirola and Harrison Burton all driving Fords.
After Friday’s Xfinity race, I was worried that the Cup race would have a bunch of trouble, as well. The first stage ran green to the yellow with no incidents whatsoever. It looked like Stage 2 would be trouble free as well. NOPE!!
Coming to the end of the stage, on lap 95, Christopher Bell tried to push Ty Gibbs into the lead. Instead, Gibbs went sideways and hit Ryan Blaney and then they collected about fifteen cars bringing out not the yellow but the red flag for track cleanup. Brad Keselowski won Stage 2.
In the wreck were Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Blaney, A.J. Allmendinger, Gibbs, Bell, Brennan Poole, Harrison Burton, Chris Buescher, Riley Herbst, Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick and Ricky Stenhouse. Oops, missed Kevin Harvick. Six of the cars were unable to continue.
Five laps to go and Ryan Preece barrel-rolled about nine or ten times onto the infield grass on the back stretch after getting bumped by Erik Jones.
What a finish!! Cars two and three wide and Chris Buescher got the win ahead of teammate/car owner Keselowski, Almirola, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano all but Elliott in Fords. This puts Bubba Wallace in The Chase as the last car.
Truex wins the regular season points by 48 over Hamlin and by 64 over William Byron.
In the revised points, going into the playoffs, Truex and Byron are tied for the lead 11 points ahead of Hamlin, 15 points up on Chris Buescher and 17 on Kyle Busch.
The points reset for their next race at Darlington, Sunday on TSN 5 at 6.00 P.M.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Austin Hill (Chev) unsurprisingly won the pole for Friday night’s race at Daytona in front of Sheldon Creed (Chev) and Sammy Smith (Toyota).
Quebec stock car racer Alex Guenette, the same guy who drives for Fast Eddie in the Canada’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series, qualified 31st. Surprisingly the first stage ran caution free with polesitter Hill winning the points and the stage.
On lap 42 the serenity came to an end when Anthony Alfredo slid up and tagged Brandon Jones, with Jones spinning and collecting 11 other cars including the aforementioned Guenette. Unfortunately, six of the 12 cars were unable to continue. Hill won Stage 2.
On lap 92 Jeb Burton had a ‘tank-slapper’ and spun with Ryan Ellis, Justin Haley and Caesar Bacarella spinning to miss hitting him. The green came back out with two to go and Trevor Bayne on the points and Hill right behind him. Hill went high to pass and Bayne moves up to block. Tilt!! Eleven cars got collected!! Overtime!!
Justin Allgaier and Parker Kligerman restarted side by side when Blaine Perkins hit Josh Williams taking out John Hunter Nemechek and Jeremy Clements. On the restart it was Allgaier and Kligerman again but Sheldon Creed was able to get underneath Kligerman to finish 2nd 0.005 seconds back with Daniel Hemric 3rd and Kligerman 4th.
I counted 20 cars of the original 38 starters on track at the flag with several more on pit road. Josh Berry and Jordan Anderson, not wanting to get left out of the fun, got together at the flag. Tough race for the crews.
In the points Hill leads Allgaier by 27 and Nemechek by 28 with two races left before the round of 12.
Their next race is Darlington, Saturday on TSN 5 at 3.30 P.M.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES: Grant Enfinger won the pole for the race on the legendary Milwaukee Mile. Nick Sanchez was 2nd with Carson Hocevar 3rd, all in Chevs. Stewart Friesen qualified 21st.
Many years ago, a certain London (ON) area racer left the ASA race there and actually drove two hours on I-94 WEST before realizing that he should have taken I-94 EAST!! LOL
Things went smoothly with Grant Enfinger winning the caution-free Stage 1. Just after the restart the trucks of Greg van Elst and Brad Perez got together for a caution.
Enfinger also won Stage 2. On lap 124 Spencer Boyd spun coming out of 2 for a caution. On lap 134 William Sawalich got loose going into 3 and then hit the wall folding up the back end of his truck and causing a yellow.
On lap 141 Nick Sanchez spun and hit the wall for another yellow. At the flag it was Grant Enfinger ahead of Hocevar and Christian Eckes. Friesen finished 30th. In the points Corey Heim has a nine-point lead over Eckes and 12 points on Enfinger. The Trucks do not (yet) have a playoff series and their champion will be crowned at Phoenix on Friday, November 3.
Their next race is Kansas, Friday, September 8 on Fox Sports Racing at 4.00 P.M.
FORMULA ONE: Qualifying was run Saturday in wet conditions so all bets were off for the Dutch Grand Prix in the Netherlands. The pole was won by, surprise, surprise, Max Verstappen in his Red Bull. He was followed by Lando Norris (McLaren) and George Russell (Mercedes). Lance Stroll did not get out of Q2 and started 11th.
UGLY is the only way to describe conditions for the start of the race Sunday. First it was dry then it was wet, then rinse and repeat!! Pit stops were the order of the day switching from drys to wets. The pit stops changed the running order with Sergio Perez grabbing the lead from teammate Verstappen. Needless to say that didn’t last long.
All the pre-race hype about the big improvements made to both Mercedes and Ferrari proved to be just that, hype. Nobody was going to touch the Red Bulls, a trend which has existed all year (and last!!).
On lap 16 Logan Sargeant, who had managed to advance to Q3 in his Williams Saturday in the rain, had fallen to the back of the pack when he had a major ‘off’ resulting in a full course caution. Five laps later the green finally came back out.
With about 11 laps to go the rain returned forcing tire changes en masse. With nine laps to go Perez overcooked Corner One going off and sliding backwards off track. He only lost one spot on track. David Croft had the best line of the race when he stated, ‘they might need to build an ark it is raining so heavy’!! LOL Conditions were so bad that they rad flagged the race with 8 to go.
After about a 45-minute red flag delay the cars returned to the VERY wet racetrack. They then returned to pit lane and reassembled for the conclusion of the race.
After two laps behind the pace car ‘racing’ resumed. The stewards, once again, raised their ugly heads and placed a five second penalty on Perez for ‘speeding on pit road.’ With four laps to go Russell had a flat tire and pitted from 7th, apparently as a result of contact with the McLaren of Lando Norris.
At the flag it was Verstappen, Alonso, Perez who then got dropped to 4th with the penalty and Gasly who moved up to 3rd. Sainz finished 5th. The Mercedes cars ended up 6th and 17th while the Ferraris were 5th and 19th. McLaren had a less than stellar day ending up 7th and 9th.
I must admit I have never heard that first anthem before. And it was sung live and quite beautifully. Well done.
In the points, Verstappen has enough points to win next year’s championship as well!! Teammate Perez is 138 points back with Alonso 171 behind. In the Constructor’s Championship Red Bull has a 285-point lead on Mercedes and 325 on Aston Martin.
Their next race is Spa, Belgium, Sunday at 8.55 A.M. on TSN 1 & 5.
INDYCAR: Saturday qualifying at Gateway was cancelled due to storms, rain and lightning in the area. Haven’t we heard THAT song before this year?
On Sunday Josef Newgarden picked up the pole ahead of Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward. Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco started 18th.
The race started under cloudy and overcast conditions. The fireworks along the backstretch on the parade laps were very impressive if not surprising!! That didn’t take long. Benjamin Pedersen got spun by Ed Carpenter on the very first lap.
After ten laps of cleanup things got back underway. On lap 122 Takuma Sato looped it after tagging the wall for only the second yellow. After 13 laps of caution the green came back out.
On lap 202 Newgarden scrubbed the wall but kept going with no yellow. At the flag it was Scott Dixon ahead of Pato O’Ward and David Malukas, the only three drivers on the lead lap.
And Dixon was over 22 seconds ahead of O’Ward. Total dominance!! DeFrancesco finished 19th.
Their next race is Portland, Sunday at 3.30 on TSN 1 & NBC.
IMSA: During qualifying at VIR, the racetrack that could double as a country club, Saturday saw the Lexus of Hawksworth/Barnicoat nab the PRO pole with the Pfaff Porsche of Bachler/Pilet 4th. The Sellers/Snow BMW got the GTD pole.
Oh no, once again we get the B-team announce group. Can we maybe get ‘closed captioning’ added to the broadcast so we know what is being said?
On lap 22 David Brule had a brutal off in his Porsche GTD car in Corner 6 tearing up the tire barriers. I found it interesting that the track staff had trailers loaded with replacement bundles of tires all strapped together to replace the damaged units. Cool. Racing resumed under very overcast skies. On lap 29 Misha Goikhberg got off in corner 14 in her GTD Lamborghini for a second yellow.
At the end of the two hours and forty minutes, Jordan Taylor won the PRO class with his Corvette ahead of Ben Barnicoat’s Lexus and the Pfaff Porsche. Madison Snow won GTD in a BMW over Robby Foley’s Bimmer and Phillip Ellis in his Mercedes who passed the tough Bill Auberlein with two laps to go.
Their next race is at IRP, Sunday, September 17
NHRA: Their next race is the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis this weekend with lots of TV coverage all weekend on Fox Sports Racing.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Cory McAllister picked up the win Saturday night at Sunset Speedway ahead of Connor James, Shawn McGlynn, Brad Robinson and Michael Hryniuk, Jr. And the best news you ask? 100 laps, all green!! Ya gotta love that!! Their next race is Sauble, Saturday.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: A good crowd showed up Friday for the Late Models, the Bone Stocks and King of the Hill. 53 Bone Stockers were there for their 50 lapper. Wayde Thorne won Heat 1, Jason Lovie won Heat 2, Jordan Willms won Heat 3 but apparently didn’t make it through tech while Matt Langford won Heat 4. Sterling Roberts picked up the win in the Last Chance Qualifier.
In the main, with 8 laps to go, Jason Craig got together with Sterling Roberts coming out of 2 with Craig getting upside down going into 3. At the flag it was Lovie, Jeremiah Rabideau, Jay Cox, Jo Lawrence and Lane Zardo. Yup, THAT Lane Zardo!!
Cox still leads the points by 4 over Rabideau and by 45 on Langford.
Shawn McGlynn won Heat 1 for the Late Models, last week’s winner Chase Pinsonneault won Heat 2 and then finished second to Patrick Freel in the main with Freel winning his first main. Gary Adriaensen was 3rd, Connor Pritiko 4th and Marshall Schrenk 5th.
Pritko has a commanding 33-point lead on Pinsonneault and 43 points on Adriaensen.
King of the Hill had 45 entries with some great match ups. In the best of three final a fast Porsche S4 lost to a faster Eagle Talon!! On the final race the Talon ran a 24.50 second pass from a standing start (on my watch). Curiously that was one full second quicker than his earlier win!!
Their next race is Late Models, V/8 Stocks and Bone Stocks, Friday.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next race is the Pro Late Models, Saturday.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY: Their next race is Burger Barn Night, Friday.
SOUTHERN ONTARIO MOTOR SPEEDWAY (BUXTON): Their next race is Championship Night for Thunder Stocks and Mini Mods, Saturday.
GRAND BEND MOTORPLEX: Their next race is the Thunder by the Beach, this weekend.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next race is Street Legal, Friday only.
TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK: Their next race is the Labour Day Weekend Spectacular, this weekend.
SHANNONVILLE DRAGS: Their next race is September 23 & 24.
CAN AM STOCK/SUPER STOCK SERIES: Their next race is at TMP, this weekend.
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