In this week’s edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report, Dave covers the NASCAR weekend in Atlanta, F1 in Austria, Delaware Speedway, SRX, OSS and even the Rogers outage.
MY ‘VIEW’: Friday morning dawned with utter chaos!! No internet, no cell phones, no home phones and no TV!!! Oh my, how we have become totally tied to the apron strings of Mother Rogers!!
I couldn’t even use our Echo Dots and Sonos without the internet!! TOTAL withdrawal!! LOL Thankfully my Sirius and GPS still worked in my vehicle!!
So, did Putin decide to get even with Canada for all the ‘sanctions’ that Trudeau applied against Russia? Hmm. Definitely a ‘head scratcher’!!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Qualifying for the Cup cars at Atlanta was rained out and, similar to the Xfinity cars, the starting lineup was set using ‘the metric.’ Thus, Chase Elliott (Chev) got the pole followed by Ross Chastain and Kyle Larson, in third.
Problems happened right off the hop for defending Cup champ Larson as he got WAY loose and immediately fell back through the field, before finally stopping in 29th place. He began to recover and slowly moved back through the pack getting up to 9th at the end of Stage 1 which was won by Elliott. On lap 80 BJ McLeod spun collecting Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher.
The proverbial ‘big one’ happened on lap 92 when Elliott pulled up to block Truex in the top groove. Truex lifted and got tagged from behind by Chastain.
The incident took out Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon. Dillon could not continue.
On lap 137 Chase Briscoe had a solo spin but kept going. With one lap to go in Stage 2, Alex Bowman blew a tire and had a solo spin meaning the stage ended under caution with Elliott picking up his second stage win.
On lap 171, Garrett Smithley slowed on track and got tapped by Ty Dillon taking out Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and McDowell.
On lap 190 Kyle Busch got sideways but didn’t hit anything. Cody Ware spun ahead of Kyle and backed up into the wall.
With 24 laps to go, Christopher Bell did a ‘slow spin’ coming out of 4 and ran across the infield grass without hitting anything. BUT on his pit stop, the tire changer didn’t get the left rear bolted properly and the wheel fell off on pit road. Suspensions in the offing?
With 15 to go, Chastain ran out of traction (or talent, depending on who you talk to!!) in the bottom lane and went up and spun Denny Hamlin. Both cars were in the top five!!
The restart came with 8 to go, only to be followed by a crash with Hamlin and Logano when another car (Bell) tried to split them on the back straight.
At the checker, it was crowd favourite Chase Elliott holding off Chastain who was sporting a really cool ‘Stars and Stripes’ paint job and Austin Cindric finished in third. Twenty-one cars finished on the lead lap. The siren going off at the Dawsonville Pool Hall once again was EPIC!!
Elliott now leads Blaney by 47 points and Chastain by 50.
Their next race, Loudon, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 1, 3 & 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Noah Gragson was fined a heavy $35,000 for his actions last week at Road America and his Junior Motorsports Team lost 30 points. He retaliated against Sage Karam turning him sideways and taking out a bunch of cars.
Qualifying was rained out at Atlanta, so the starting lineup was set based on ‘the metric’!! Ty Gibbs (Toyota) started from the pole followed by Josh Berry and A.J. Allmendinger (both in Chevs).
The race was a fairly clean one, with Berry winning Stage 1 and Austin Hill (Chev) winning Stage 2 and the race. Berry finished second with Ryan Truex (Toyota) third. Alex Labbe qualified 12th and finished 23rd.
Dinger continues to lead the points by 29 over Gibbs and by 30 ahead of Justin Allgaier.
Their next race, Loudon, is Saturday at 2.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Corey Hein (Toyota) grabbed the pole at Mid Ohio Saturday ahead of Parker Kligerman and Carson Hocevar (both in Chevs).
Stewart Friesen (Toyota) started 19th. The race had several yellows for trucks stopped on the track but other than that it was a good race.
Kligerman won Stage 1 and the race with Zane Smith (Ford) winning Stage 2 and finishing 2nd ahead of Hocevar. Friesen finished 4th.
Smith now has a commanding 58-point lead over both John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith. Friesen is 4th 11 back of the two ahead of him.
Their next race, at Pocono, is Saturday, July 23 at 12 noon on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Austria was the home for another ‘Sprint’ race to establish the starting lineup. And I think they should run the sprints at every race as it is much more exciting than the normal qualifying.
Max Verstappen, in his Red Bull, picked up the win and the pole ahead of the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Canadian Lance Stroll started 13th with Nicholas Latifi 18th.
Alonso had walked out of the Driver’s Meeting, apparently due to dissatisfaction with the inconsistency of this year’s officiating (I couldn’t agree with him more!!), and as a result was sent to the back for the start and was fined twenty-five thousand euros, a fine which was ‘suspended.’ Huh?
Once again, the stewards have managed to totally DESTROY a perfectly good motor car race with their Mickey Mouse ‘track limit’ penalties. When will this insanity come to an end?
If it’s paved, let ‘em race for crying out loud. It is WAY past time to change the ‘regulations’!!! After all, F1 is the world’s TOP motor sport, NOT a Club Racing series!!
The announcers were forced to talk all race about the constant penalties instead of talking about the great racing on the track.
A spirited battle at the front showed Max losing the lead to the Ferraris until Sainz had a catastrophic engine failure and fire on lap 57. A ‘virtual safety car’ ensued with Leclerc leading Max and the two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell.
Leclerc picks up the win over Max and Hamilton in an exciting race, in spite of the countless ‘interruptions’ from the stewards.
Uh, about that ‘podium’ at the Red Bull Ring? First place all alone up high on a separate level with 2nd and 3rd down on the lower level? Haven’t seen one quite like that before.
A great race on a great circuit. And the clouds and clouds of orange smoke both during and after the race were really cool!!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!! The stewards summoned the TOP THREE finishers to the Stewards’ Room after the race because they had their personal physiotherapists in parc ferme.
This, on a day with brutally high temperatures. They were each given SUSPENDED 10,000 euro fines!! The stewards are very concerned ‘for the orderly conduct of the event.’ Wow.
The best way to get ‘orderly conduct of the event’ you ask? Get rid of the stewards!!! Problem solved.
And there is still more!! The stewards were upset that, apparently, seven teams had ‘communicated’ against the rules with their drivers before the start of the sprint race.
However, the stewards “determined that the messages that were under investigation were permitted.” Another wow!!
Verstappen continues to lead the points by 38 over Leclerc and by 57 over Perez. Red Bull leads the Manufacturer’s championship by 56 over Ferrari and by 122 over Mercedes.
Their next race, France, is Sunday, July 24.
NHRA: Their next race is Denver, Sunday, the start of the Western Swing. Coverage Sunday at 4 on Fox and Fox Sports Racing.
INDYCAR: Following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, the popular Honda Indy Toronto returns to the Exhibition Place track this coming weekend. The race takes place on Sunday at 3 p.m. on SportsNet 360.
IMSA: The sanctioning body has announced a new, multiple class, sprint race series for next year featuring 45 minute sprint races at 10 different events for cars in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) and Grand Touring 4 (GT4) classes.
The only problem, you ask? Once again, the sporty car guys want to mess with the class designations renaming the GT4 class to GSX? Huh? And they wonder why their fans are confused and their TV numbers are dropping? Wow.
Thank goodness we have REV TV here in Canada to cover their races and don’t have to flip between Peacock and USA like they do in the U.S.!!
Their next race is at Lime Rock, Saturday on REV TV at 3 P.M.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): The Saturday night series which has been drawing some VERY high ratings for CBS raced Saturday night at the famous Nashville Speedway nicely banked half-mile.
It was the home of the All American 400 for many, many years with Junior Hanley getting the win one year when first place finisher Darrell Waltrip was DQ’d for having, wait for it, a LEAD radio which was installed by his crew on the way to the scales. That radio sat on the shelf in ACT Tech Director Stan Meserve’s office for years!!
And Junior sold the winner’s guitar before he ever left the track!! LOL Even years later, I can hear the audience screaming anybody but Waltrip (DW) in a 1986 ASA race there. I still think the back straight is higher than the front straight!!
IndyCar ace Josef Newgarden won Heat 1 over Helio Castroneves and Bobby Labonte. Local hero Cole Williams, voted in by the fans, won Heat 2 finishing under the yellow behind that ‘Clown Car’ pace car. Marco Andretti finished 2nd with Greg Biffle 3rd.
An interesting story was told about a vicious storm that hit the track at 3 a.m. Saturday morning, tearing down some of the tents and damaging their infrastructure including a few of the race cars. Tony Stewart joined the SRX team and others to clean up the damage.
In the main, Paul Tracy, once again, made some new friends!! This has been a recording!! LOL!
Labonte started on the pole and led with Tracy right behind. THAT would be motivation enough to stay out front!!
On lap 49, Newgarden spanked the second turn wall hard. He was able to continue. With 10 to go, Tony Kanaan and Newgarden got together at the back of the pack bringing out another yellow. Labonte picked up the win over Andretti and Kenseth.
Labonte leads the points after 4 of 6 races with Andretti 2nd 3 back and Ryan Newman 3rd 5 back.
Their next race is Saturday night at the legendary I-55 Speedway, Pevely, Missouri. That track is owned by Kenny Schrader, and he will be joining in the fun!!
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Their next race takes lace at the Honda Indy Toronto, this coming Friday. AND, the good news? The Ontario Honda Dealers are giving free admission to Friday’s racing. BE THERE!!
APC SERIES: Their next race is Saturday, July 16 at Flamboro.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: The series raced on the dirt Saturday night at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway (South Buxton), a track that has seen a strong resurgence of late with many track and facility improvements.
The series brought in Pinty’s Series regular and former two-time champion DJ Kennington to make a guest appearance with them on the dirt. And what an appearance he made!!
DJ led flag-to-flag for the win, with Chad McGlynn second and ‘Hollywood Lite,’ Mike Hryniuk, Jr. third. Great photos of DJ in the Winner’s Circle with his two kids, along with Chad and Mike.
Their next race is Saturday at Peterborough Speedway (after they get ALL the mud off from Buxton!!).
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Once again, Delaware avoided the rain that was forecast for the area on Friday. The Bone Stocks, a crowd favourite, had an interesting addition, a little white paint on one side, black paint on the other side, FIAT!!
Talk about evoking memories of The Italian Job where several Minis drove through tunnels. It cornered well but, sadly, was down on horsepower on the straights.
Thirty-five cars took the green for the main with Craig Cole winning ahead of Jeremiah Rabideau and Jo Lawrence. The V/8 Stocks were using a 21.40 Index and had only four cars. Kyle Mezenberg won over Jeff Ferguson and Ethan Orr.
The Late Models saw Kyle Steckly grab the lead on lap 6 and drive away for the win followed by Connor Pritiko and Ray Morneau in a virtual photo finish. Morneau continues to lead the points by 19 over Steckly and by 20 atop Connor Pritiko.
This Friday, they will run the Late Models, Super Stocks and the Bone 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 22nd Annual Canadian Nationals runs July 29 – 31.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: You can catch the Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racers on July 31.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: The Canada Heads Up Shootout Series takes to the track at TMP this coming weekend.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers