Dave Mathers updates you on the weekend’s action on the international and local racing scenes, including road racing, stock cars and road racing.
Congratulations to Scott Wildgust and Team Smokies Garage on winning Extreme Pro Mod at the NMCA Power Festival at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan on the weekend.
Scott, from Sebringville, Ontario, qualified Number 2 with a 3.635-second ET and won the event with a 3.636!! How’s that for consistency?! His opponent in the final, Mike DiDomenico, got loose at half-track and proceeded to have the ride of a lifetime swapping lanes and directions without hitting the wall on either side; a real ‘tank slapper’ that would have made the lead spot in the old Diamond P series, ‘And They Walked Away’!!
And the interesting part is that Martin track owner Alex Pinsonneault sits at the top of the grandstands at Delaware each week his grandson Chase is racing. I asked if he was going to this show, and he said, ‘no’ as he had great people running his track. The only downside to the big win is that Scott’s late father, Chuck, did not see it. He would have been so proud!
If you are a fan of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, you will want to make sure you pick up a copy of the latest issue of Inside Track Motorsport News. Go to pages 6 & 7. They say a photo is worth a thousand words. Well, this picture is good for about a million words!!
Talk about being in the right place at the right time. ITMN Editor Greg MacPherson caught the action just after Treyten Lapcevich had applied the ‘chrome horn’ to Marc-Antoine Camirand on the last corner of the last lap at CTMP to get the win. That is not the good part. Check out the crowd!! VERY enthusiastic. ‘Nuff said. Awesome coverage of that race and the other support races that weekend.
Did anybody else hear Dale Earnhardt Jr. comment that the huge lobster given to New Hampshire Motor Speedway race winner Martin Truex Jr. had a different strap on the claws than the day before? And that strap was, wait for it, some black 200 MPH tape!! Ya gotta love it!!
Formula One changed the qualifying procedure for Hungary. Hard tires were mandated in Q1, Medium tires in Q2 and Soft tires in Q3. Gee, that reminds me of something. Hmm, oh yeah, Club Racing. They say that it’s so Pirelli has to bring fewer tires to an event. We’ll see how that works out. Why not just let the teams run whatever tire works better for them? After day one, the drivers did not appear to like the change. No surprise there.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, due to the proximity of Pocono Raceway, we used to attend races there. As a result, we moved up and got great seats at the top of the grandstands, right at start / finish line.
However, in 1985, we got up to our seats only to see that they had built a new tower directly across from us. It’s bad enough that the track only has three corners but when you can only see two of them, as the tunnel turn was now blocked, it was time to ‘Exit Stage Left’!!
If you know of anyone who should be in the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, you have one week left to submit a nomination on their behalf. Nominations are being accepted on a year-round basis, but consideration for the Class of 2023 closes at midnight on July 31 (2023). If you ever said, “XXXXX should be in the Hall…,” it’s on you to submit their name and info. Click HERE for info about submitting a nomination.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: William Byron (Chev) picked up the pole for the Cup race at Pocono, ahead of points leader Martin Truex Jr. (Toyota) and Kyle Larson (Chev).
On lap 6, J.J. Yeley spun off Corner 3 and hit the inside wall for the first caution. Joey Logano won Stage 1. On the subsequent restart, Logano and Daniel Suarez both spun to bring the yellow right back out. Suarez drove his badly damaged and bent car back to the pits. Logano, on the other hand, had four flat tires and he was unable to get moving, thus requiring a push and a tow.
On lap 42, Austin Dillon got hit by B.J. McLeod, then hit the wall and slid down track for yet another caution. On the restart, Kyle Larson, on the front row, looped it and hit the turn one wall for another flag!! Stage 2 was won by, wait for it, the same guy who had hit the wall on the prior restart – Kyle Larson!! Go figure.
On lap 106, Dillon hit the wall hard at the entry to Corner 1, after contact with Tyler Reddick. It appeared that Dillon may have come down just a bit on Reddick.
Then Dillon, in his post-wreck interview, said that he wouldn’t talk to Reddick but he just ‘has to start wrecking people’! Huh?
On lap 144, Ty Dillon spun Chase Briscoe coming off Turn 3, with Briscoe hitting the wall for yet another caution. The green came back out with 14 to go. Three laps later, Alex Bowman spun for yet another flag!! Bowman felt that Hamlin hit him; I feel it was the air off Hamlin’s bumper pushing him around – aero push! And those two have a bit of history!!
The green came back out with 7 to go. Hamlin ran Larson high going into Turn 1 and Larson showed his displeasure by running Hamlin to the fence coming to the yellow. And, surprise, surprise, yellow. Justin Haley hit the wall at the Tunnel Turn. The green came out with 3 to go and Hamlin got the lead.
Ryan Preece spun with 2 to go but did not hit the wall – no yellow then, but a lap later, the yellow flew and ended the race. Then the crowd LOUDLY booed Hamlin! Interesting.
Hamlin won the race over Reddick and Truex. In the points, Truex leads Byron by 30 and Hamlin by 55. Their next race is Richmond Raceway, Sunday on TSN 5 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Josh Berry won the pole for the Xfinity race at Pocono, ahead of Daniel Hemric and Sheldon Creed, all in Chevs. Canadian Alex Labbe (Ford) was 32nd.
I guess Dale Jr. didn’t get the memo that there are only THREE corners at Pocono, as he was yelling about the cars coming out of Corner 4 on the first lap while he was up on the starter’s stand!! LOL.
Stage 1 was drama-free, with polesitter Berry winning the stage. Ditto for Stage 2, which Berry won as well. On the restart for the final stage, the serenity ended!!
A five-car pileup included Cole Custer, John Hunter Nemechek, Smith and Smith (Sammy and Chandler) and Cup interloper Chase Elliott. The first two did not return to the track.
On lap 81, Joey Gase appeared to run out of gas and got tagged by Justin Allgaier for another yellow. On lap 87, Connor Mosack hit the wall on corner exit for a caution. Just after the restart, Berry appeared to overcook the entry to corner one and went high, allowing Austin Hill to get under him. Berry attempted to come back but bumped into another car. I think that cut a tire and he dropped back before sliding up into the wall.
At the flag, it was Hill, Sam Mayer and Elliott. Labbe ended up 28th. In the standings, Nemechek leads Hill by 13 and Allgaier by 55. Their next race is Road America, Saturday on TSN 2 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS: Nick Sanchez grabbed the pole for the Truck Series race at Pocono. He was followed by Jake Garcia and Grant Enfinger, all three in Chevs. Canadian Stewart Friesen (Toyota) qualified 16th.
Four laps in, Tanner Gray spanked the inside wall HARD, after spinning, and brought out a caution. Zane Smith won Stage 1, which was only 15 laps long. The second stage was also 15 laps and won by Smith.
On lap 46, Sanchez spun and appeared to collect Garcia for another yellow. On the subsequent restart, all Hell broke loose, with at least ten trucks involved in a wreck, when one truck spun coming out of Turn 1 and collected the others. The race was red flagged to allow track cleanup. After about 15 minutes, racing resumed with 5 laps to go.
At the flag, it was Kyle Busch getting around Corey Heim on the last lap, with Taylor Gray third. Friesen finished 32nd. In the points, Heim leads Smith by 42 and Enfinger by 59. Their next race is Richmond, Saturday on Fox Sports Racing at 7:30 p.m. ET.
FORMULA ONE: Poor Sergio Perez, who can hear the footsteps of Daniel Ricciardo right behind him, as he had another unfortunate ‘moment’ in P1 at Hungary. He spun and hit the wall. It appeared to me that he may have touched the grass with his left-front, causing the spin.
I have to say that the future of F1 announcing looks to be in really good hands. The youth announcing team were really, really impressive in their commentary during P2. Very well done.
Ah, once again, the dreaded ‘track limits’ reappeared during qualifying. When will F1 ever learn? The stewards screw up EVERY race. Let the ‘best drivers in the world’ do what they do best – race!! If it’s paved, let them use that pavement to RACE. I found it interesting that there was a clip of Perez arriving at the track and getting out of Mustang Mach-E!!
Qualifying was interesting to say the least. George Russell did not make it out of Q1, whereas his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton grabbed the pole, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Max Verstappen qualified second, in his Red Bull, while Lando Norris was third, in a McLaren. Lance Stroll qualified 14th.
Hamilton had what can only be described as a BRUTAL start, with Verstappen and the two McLarens all getting around him. Alpine had another brutal race, as both cars were out early, similar to their bad luck at Silverstone.
The back-markers were playing ‘bumper cars’ on the start. At the halfway mark, it was Max, the two McLarens and Lewis. Russell had moved up from his brutal 18th-place start to get into the points.
I honestly thought that somebody had turned off the power to the stewards’ booth, as we had heard nothing from them. However, not to disappoint, they posted that they were reviewing an incident on lap 48 between Oscar Piastri’s McLaren and the Red Bull of Perez. AND ‘no action required’!!! I guess they just wanted people to know they (the stewards) were there? LOL.
By lap 50, Verstappen had, wait for it, a 35-second lead on Norris in the first McLaren!! Wow. Meanwhile, Hamilton was dueling with Piastri for fourth!!
At the flag, it was Max over Norris and Perez. Third was a great finish for Perez (he started 9th), as I’m pretty sure he can hear the footsteps coming for him.
Hamilton ended up 4th. Stroll ended up 10th. In the post-race celebrations, as the champagne spraying commenced, Norris broke the number one trophy!! An accident? Hmm. They did laugh about it.
In the points, Verstappen has a 110-point lead over teammate Perez and 142 on Fernando Alonso. In the Constructor’s Championship, Red Bull has enough points to win next year as well – 229 over Mercedes and 268 over Aston Martin.
Their next race is Spa, Belgium, Sunday at 8:55 a.m. ET on TSN 5.
INDYCAR: I had to say this before they even started engines at Iowa Speedway. In my opinion, IndyCar has a much better-looking car than Formula One. They look sleeker, lower and just plain faster.
In the first (Saturday) race, Will Power started on the pole, ahead of Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden. Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco qualified 12th. Newgarden got around Power just before the halfway mark. The yellow came out, on lap 153, when Graham Rahal spun, after hitting the outside wall coming out of Turn 4.
Hard to believe but these rocket ships ran green all the way to the checkered flag, with no further cautions. At the checkers, it was Newgarden over McLaughlin and Pato O’Ward. DeFrancesco ended up 22nd. In his post-race interview, Newgarden could not contain his anger about the lapped cars making passing so difficult. And I agree with him. The officials have to tighten things up.
Power also nabbed the pole for the second (Sunday) race, ahead of McLaughlin and David Malukas. DeFrancesco qualified 19th. On lap 86, Agustin Canapino slid into the wall for a yellow.
On lap 156, Sting Ray Robb left his pit before his left-rear wheel was bolted and went out on track, where he quickly lost the wheel. It rolled out onto the racing surface and several cars just missed it.
With 10 laps to go, Ryan Hunter-Reay brought out the yellow, when he scrubbed the wall on the exit of Corner 4. This would bring out a ‘trophy dash’ to the finish. The green came out with 3 to go and business really picked up!!
Newgarden got the win over Power and Alex Palou. DeFrancesco ended up 21st. In the points, Palou leads a fast-closing Newgarden by 80 points and Dixon by 120. Their next race is Nashville on Sunday, August 6.
IMSA: It would seem that, once again, the viewers get stuck with the ‘B Team’ announce crew for the race at the beautiful Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. We had to, once again, endure the ‘Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy’ calls from the lead announcer. BRUTAL!
Having said all that, the Aston Martin of Gunn/Riberas started first in GTDPRO, followed by the Lexus of Hawksworth/Barnicoat and the Corvette of Garcia/Taylor. The Pfaff Porsche of Bachler/Pilet started fifth. In GTD, the Mercedes of Skeen/Grenier topped the chart, followed by the McLaren of Iribe/Schandorff and the Lamborghini of Goikhberg/Spinelli.
Well, I made it about 20 minutes before I had to mute the broadcast. Hopefully IMSA will consider closed captioning in the future, if they stick with this B-Team.
At about the ‘2 hours to go’ mark, two cars got together, bringing out the yellow. The Andretti Aston and the Metni Porsche slid off track together.
Racing resumed after about a 10-minute caution to fix the tire walls. With about an hour to go, the Iribe McLaren hit the tire wall hard, possibly after a tap from behind. Needless to say, the track staff did a lot of tire barrier repairs during the race.
The PRO class was won by the ‘Heart of Racing’ Aston Martin of Gunn/Riberas, followed by the Hawksworth/Barnicoat Lexus and the Pfaff Porsche of Bachler/Pilet. The GTD class was won as well by the ‘Heart of Racing’ team, the Aston Martin of Garcia/Taylor, followed by the Udell/Andlauer Porsche and the Brynjolfsson/Hindman Porsche.
In the PRO points, Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat lead Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella by 96 and Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor by 109. In GTD points, Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow lead Roman DeAngelis and Marco Sorensen by 212 and Aaron Telitz and Frankie Montecalvo by 219. Their next race is at Road America on August 6.
NHRA: The car counts were low in all three Pro classes at the Northwest Nationals in Kent, WA. Mike Salinas was Number One in the 13-car Top Fuel field, with a 3.743. John Force topped the 13-car Funny Car field, with a 3.915. Fourteen bikes showed up for the first appearance of the Pro Stock Bikes at Kent, with Gaige Herrera on top, with a 6.767.
Steve Torrence came out of the Number Four spot to win Top Fuel, taking out Doug Kalitta in the final. Four upsets and six ‘smokers’!! Tim Wilkerson won Funny Car, beating J.R. Todd in the final. Four upsets and eight ‘smokers’!!
Gaige Herrera won Pro Stock Bike, defeating Eddie Krawiec in the final. Two upsets.
Torrence now leads the Top Fuel points by four over Justin Ashley and 136 over Leah Pruett. In Funny Car, Matt Hagan has a 17-point lead on Ron Capps and 120 points on Alexis DeJoria. Herrera is in a different area code in Pro Stock Bike, leading Hector Arana Jr. by 266 and Krawiec by 213. Their next race is Sonoma, Sunday on Fox and Fox Sports Racing at 4 p.m. ET.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): The series returned to Stafford Motor Speedway, as flooding had been a problem at Thunder Road Speedway in Barre, VT. Tony Stewart picked up the win in Heat 1, followed by Paul Tracy and Daniel Suarez.
Heat 2 was won by Brad Keselowski, followed by the two Ryans – Preece and Newman. Newman won the main, helped by a caution when Tony Kanaan overcooked corner entry and hit the wall with 10 laps to go. He was followed by Suarez, Marco Andretti, Ken Schrader and Greg Biffle. In the points, Newman leads Andretti by 14 and Tracy by 21. Their next race is Thursday at Radford, VA on RevTV at 9 p.m. ET.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Marc-Antoine Camirand grabbed the pole for the 300-lapper at Edmonton International Raceway on Saturday, followed by his nemesis Treyten Lapcevich and Alex Guenette. The race ran very smoothly and Camirand went flag-to-flag for the win, with his mile-wide smile, going back-to-back at Edmonton.
Lapcevich and L.P. Dumoulin completed the podium, the only other cars on the lead lap. In the points, Lapcevich leads Kevin Lacroix by 21 and Camirand by 24. Their next races are a doubleheader on Wednesday, in Saskatoon.
APC SERIES: Their next race is Sauble Speedway on Saturday, August 5.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Their next race is Peterborough Speedway on Saturday.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Fifty-five cars, count ‘em, 55 Bone Stocks made it to Delaware on Friday night, 54 of which got on track for the heats. Mark Thorne won Heat 1, Jason Lovie won Heat 2, David Rockwood won Heat 3 and Craig Cole won Heat 4. Jay Cox won the B-Main, while Lovie won the main, ahead of Jeremiah Rabideau and Jordan Willms. Cox leads the points by 29 over Willms and 64 over Matt Langford.
In the Super Stocks, Brad Collison won Heat 1 after Connor Van Steensel was penalized a spot for jumping the restart with 2 to go. Heat 2 went to Ryan Bright and the main was won, nay dominated, by Carson Nagy, ahead of Jay Doerr and Shawn Chenoweth. Nagy leads Doerr by 5 and Lane Zardo by 8 in the points.
The Late Models saw Gary Adriaensen take Heat 1, Jesse Kennedy take Heat 2 and Adriaensen win the main, nosing out Connor Pritiko and Ray Morneau. In the points, Pritiko leads both Adriaensen and Morneau by 33. Delaware’s next race is Monster Trucks on Friday and Saturday.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next race is the Gold Rush $10,000-to-win Pro Late Model race on Saturday.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY: Their next big race is the Slack Lumber Night on Friday.
SOUTHERN ONTARIO MOTOR SPEEDWAY (BUXTON): Their next race is Saturday, with the SOS Sprints.
GRAND BEND SPEEDWAY: Their next race is this Thursday, followed by the Infamous 50 Bone Stock race on Saturday.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next BIG race is the 23rd Annual Canadian Nationals on August 4 – 6.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next race is the Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racers this weekend.
EAST LONDON TIMING ASSOCIATION ‘LittleBigGo’ – Friday, August 11 from 10 – 5 at St. Thomas Dragway. BE THERE!!!
TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK: Their next race is the Race Cayuga Sportsman Series this weekend.
SHANNONVILLE DRAGS: Their next race is August 26 & 27.
CAN AM STOCK/SUPER STOCK SERIES: Their next race is at St. Thomas Dragway on August 5 & 6.
Any comments can be sent to Dave Mathers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook Messenger.