Once again, thanks to Dave Mathers for offering his thoughts on the racing weekend just ended, including NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, the OSS, Delaware Speedway and more.
MY ‘VIEW’: This Saturday, August 13 from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. there will be a Custom and Classic Car Show at the former NILESTOWN SPEEDWAY, now the Polish Canadian Club, 2776 Hamilton Road, just east of London. There will a historic track display, food and entertainment along with the car show. Admission is free!!
An open appeal to IMSA – you are an AMERICAN racing series, why do you NOT have AMERICAN announcers. We almost need Closed Captioning to understand the current announce team. Bob Varsha was not available??????
It was a good weekend for former CASCAR racers at Delaware with Doug Stewart winning the V/8 race and Kevin Trevellin winning the Ontario Sportsman Series race followed by Sean Mangin and Chad McGlynn, all former CASCAR competitors.
As well in the Late Model Division Lloyd Rawlings, Shawn McGlynn, Jesse Kennedy and Ronnie Beauchamp are also former CASCAR racers.
In the Super Stock Division, we see Pete Vanderwyst.
And there are a bunch of second-generation drivers out there across all their classes – Matt Robblee, Kyle Steckly, Jake Sheridan, Brendan Patrick, Michael Hryniuk, Jr., Ryden Lapcevich, Chase Pinsonneault, Pete Vanderwyst Jr., Lane Zardo, Carson Nagy, Steve Shaw, Jr., Kris and Jo Lawrence and Brandon Verhoeven.
The future of Stock Car racing looks great!!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Bubba Wallace grabbed the pole for the 54th Annual FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Sunday followed by Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch, all in Toyotas.
You know you are old when I realized that I was at that very first Cup race 53 years ago in 1969 along with Fred Harris, Drew and Glenn Lackey, all coworkers at Grand Bend Dragway. I actually attended the USAC (now IndyCar) race in September 1968, the very first race at the new MIS.
On lap 25 a four-car incident brought out the first yellow. J.J. Yeley slowed in the middle of the pack and got hit by Michael McDowell. Ty Gibbs threaded the needle and got through the mess unscathed.
Cole Custer pulled into his pit with his left front wheel on fire!! The fire was put out and he continued. With five laps to go Daniel Suarez had a flat tire and took his time getting down off the racing surface. Fortunately, the yellow did not come out.
At the flag it was 46-year-old Kevin Harvick (Ford) getting the win over pole sitter Wallace, Denny Hamlin (Toyota), Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, the last two in Fords. It would appear that Ford Motorsport director Mark Rushbrook’s little rant about Ford only having 4 wins this year may have been heard by some of the teams?
Chase Elliott has an almost insurmountable lead in the regular season points, 199 out in front of Ryan Blaney and 137 up on Ross Chastain. There are three races to go before the playoffs begin at Darlington on Labour Day weekend.
Their next race, Richmond, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Noah Gragson started on the pole at Michigan with A.J. Allmendinger 2nd and Justin Allgaier 3rd all in Chevs. On lap 42 CJ McLaughlin spun and a fast-closing Matt Mills spun to avoid him and hit the wall. Both cars were done for the day. On lap 54 David Starr, with a ‘little’ help from Dillon Bassett, spun and came close to hitting the wall.
The race only had those two cautions and Gragson won both stages. Ty Gibbs (Toyota) took the win ahead of Allgaier and Gragson. Alex Labbe started 30th and finished 26th.
Dinger continues to lead the points by 19 over Allgaier and by 28 ahead of Gibbs. The jungle tomtoms at MIS had it that Gibbs, who is currently replacing KURT Busch, will actually replace KYLE Busch next year. Hmmm. Stay tuned.
Their next race, Richmond, is Saturday at 3.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Their next race, Richmond, is Saturday night at 8 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Their next race, Spa, Belgium, is Sunday, August 28 as they now have their summer three-week break.
NHRA: Their next race is Topeka, Sunday.
INDYCAR: Scott McLaughlin picked up the pole on the very tricky course at Nashville ahead of Romain Grosjean and Christian Lungaard. Our Canadian drivers Dalton Kellett and Devlin DeFrancesco qualified 12th and 24th.
Like the NASCAR races at both MIS and Three Rivers the start of the race was rain delayed. I’m not sure if it was the dampness or the tightness of the circuit but there were many incidents throughout the entire race with cars getting together with each other and getting into the walls. Graham Rahal got into the back of Pato O’Rourke and it appeared to break the transmission in Pato’s car.
Fortunately, I had scheduled both NBC and SportsNet to record the race. NBC did NOT go past their regularly scheduled time, but S/N did as the race start had been delayed by the rain that has been flooding parts of the areas around Nashville.
Scott Dixon picked up the hard-fought win over pole sitter McLaughlin, Alex Palou, Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta. The win breaks Dixon’s tie with Mario Andretti for wins as he now has 53 to Mario’s 52. A major accomplishment for sure. Defrancesco finished 22nd with Kellett 25th.
Alex Palou now leads the points by 42 over Dixon with Pato O’Ward 48 back.
Their next race is at Gateway, Saturday at 6.
IMSA: Overnight rains at Road America continued during the day resulting in a rather damp start to the two hour and forty minute race for all five classes. The DPi class saw Albuquerque grab the pole in his Acura over Lynn in a Cadillac and Blomqvist in another Acura.
In GTDPRO it was Hawksworth in a Lexus over the Pfaff Racing Porsche of Campbell and the Corvette of Garcia. A total of 37 cars took the green flag.
Five minutes into the race a BMW GTD car stopped on track just before the legendary ‘Speedville’ bridge but got it running thus avoiding a yellow. At the 25-minute point the LMP2 top qualifier, Thomas, spun and then for some strange reason he drove over onto the grass instead of staying on the pavement necessitating a full course yellow to tow him off.
The race continued under yellow for about twenty minutes. Another yellow came out at about the halfway mark for a big piece of debris on the track. Just after the one hour to go mark two cars ended up in the gravel traps with only one getting actually stuck.
With less than ten minutes to go a lapped car got in the way of the leaders causing a ‘tank slapper for Jarvis in the DPi Acura resulting in him hitting both walls tearing the right front body off the car. And he kept going!! Tough car. The clean up involved about 20 track workers picking up the debris, a LOT of carbon fiber.
Taylor and Albuquerque got the win in the DPi Acura atop Bamber and Lynn’s Caddy and the van der Zande and Bourdais Caddy. Merriman and Dalziel won LMP2, Robinson and Fraga won LMP3 while Ward and Ellis won GTD in their Mercedes. A late race caution may have prevented the Pfaff team of Campbell and Jaminet from getting around winners Hawksworth and Barnicoat in GTDPRO after they had traded the lead several times.
Their next race is at VIR, Sunday, August 28.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Kevin Lacroix picked up the pole for the race at Three Rivers followed by Marc Antoine Camirand and L.P. Dumoulin. Former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve made a surprise visit and grabbed the number 11 starting spot.
The start of the race was rain delayed, a problem also experienced by IndyCar at Nashville and NASCAR Cup at MIS. 26 cars took the green but it appeared the yellow came out quickly – wet track perhaps? And the Live Timing still showed ‘qualifying’ not ‘race’?? It looks like Villeneuve didn’t start as he shows at the bottom of the list.
Camirand had the lead at halfway followed by Alex Guenette and Gary Klutt. Oops, ‘null null’ is back, this time on lap 47 taking the top 16 spots!! LOL
Chaos struck with just laps to go when Camirand tapped leader JF Dumoulin, sending him into the wall. JF shot back across the track quickly, slamming into the side of his brother’s (LP Dumoulin) car, taking him out, too. LP had been running third at the time.
All this opened the door for Guenette to slip through and into the lead. He picked up his first career NPS win, ahead of D.J. Kennington, Camirand, Alex Tagliani and Treyton Lapcevich.
Camirand has 356 points and leads Kennington (347), Alex Tagliani (338), Kevin Lacroix (331) and LP Dumoulin (328).
Their next race is Tuesday, August 16 at Ohsweken Speedway.
APC SERIES: Their next race is at Sunset, Saturday.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Derek McCullough grabbed the pole for the 100 lapper Saturday night at Delaware Speedway with a very quick 19.991 second qualifying run. Todd Sheppard started 2nd with Kevin Trevellin 3rd.
On lap 19 Trevellin grabbed the lead. Everything was good until lap 81 when Allan Arsenault and Kevin Lay got together coming out of corner 2. The yellow came out again on lap 84, this time for the car of McCullough doing its best ‘Exxon Valdez’ impression!!
At the checker it was a very happy Trevellin taking his second consecutive series win ahead of Sean Mangin, Chad McGlynn, Doug Cathcart and Michael Hryniuk, Jr.
Their next race is Saturday at Full Throttle.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Former CASCAR racer Doug Stewart has transitioned from the Super Stock division to the V/8 Stock class, and it paid off as he picked up the checker ahead of Kyle Mezenberg and Ethan Orr. It’s highly unlikely that Jeff Ferguson and Chad Clutterbuck will be trading Christmas cards this year after their bumping and banging session on track!! LOL
The Late Models had 18 cars start the main after two cars had problems in the heats. Darrell Lake won Heat 1 with David McCullough winning Heat 2. Lake jumper the start of the main resulting in a restart. Unfortunately, on that restart four cars got together, Patrick Freel, Kyle Steckly, Matt Robblee and McCullough.
Steckly had the most damage and eventually had to park it. With the exception of three more yellows, things ran smoothly to the flag.
Ray Morneau picked up the win ahead of Connor Pritiko, Jake Hooker, Freel and Lake.
This Friday they will run the Outlaw Late Models, V/8 Stocks and the Bone Stocks.
I will be adding big events only for the three local drag strips as they run regular bracket races each and every weekend.
EMPIRE DRAGWAY: Stratford’s (Sebringville’s?) Scotty Wildgust qualified 4th for the 16 car PMRA Pro Mod show Sunday at the New York State track and marched through the field to get the big win.
The dream match-up with fellow Stratfordite Spencer Hyde ended in the semis when Hyde, number 2 qualifier, lost a close one. Scotty won the final with a margin of 0.04 seconds and he had four runs in the low 3.70s at about 204 MPH. Very, very consistent for the Smokey’s Garage bad boy. Very well done.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next big race is the Windsor Weekend this weekend.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next big race is the 60th Anniversary Weekend this weekend with Pro Mods and Neale Armstrong’s jet dragster.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Their next big race is Labour Day Weekend.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers