In this week’s edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report, Dave discusses some of NASCAR’s latest news, F1’s weekend in France, the Pinty’s Series’ visit to Wetaskiwin and much more.
MY VIEW: What’s happening with Kyle Busch? The rumour mill has it that his contract hasn’t been or won’t be renewed, depending on who you listen to. With sponsors leaving the team and his very high salary it should be interesting to see what transpires. Stay tuned.
NASCAR has announced that the Cup series will run a street race in Chicago next year. It will be beside Lake Michigan using parts of Lake Shore Drive. IMSA will run with NASCAR on the same weekend (July 1-2, 2023).
Will Toyota be the third engine supplier for IndyCar. After all Roger Penske is Toyota’s largest dealer and he also happens to own the series. Hmmm!!
I have to totally agree with Erik Tomas with his comments in his latest ‘Tomas Tales’ column in the print version of Inside Track Motorsport News.
It was regarding the NASCAR Truck Races on Fox Sports Racing. ‘Why do they make the telecasts so damn close to unwatchable by running the same promos over and repeatedly at every stop set,’ he asks?
It may be time for FSR to fire its current sales staff and find new people who can actually go out and sell some new and fresh advertising. Race fans are very loyal to sponsors and WILL buy their products. And I am SO tired of hearing ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ music accompanying the ‘Dumbest Stuff on Wheels’ promo. PLEASE make it stop!!!!!!!!!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Kurt Busch hit the wall hard in Saturday qualifying at the ‘three cornered hat’ known as Pocono Raceway and was not cleared to race Sunday. As a result, Ty Gibbs took over the #45 car for the race.
Denny Hamlin captured the pole over teammate Kyle Busch, both in Toyotas with Chase Elliott (Chev) 3rd. On the first lap Hamlin hit the wall flat but kept going with, apparently, only cosmetic damage.
On lap 7 Austin Cindric looped it coming out of 3 and hit the inside wall. On lap 28 Aric Almirola spun bringing out the 2nd yellow. On lap 36 Josh Bilicki appeared to have a suspension failure spinning into the outside wall.
Five laps later, Hamlin spun in the tunnel turn all by himself. Four laps late Corey LaJoie looped it into the wall after getting a ‘little’ help from the side. Do you see a pattern here? Single car spins/wrecks?
On lap 85 Ty Dillon spun in 2 bringing out the 6th yellow. Now, here’s a question: What in the world is the ‘Pocono Raceway Pit Road Grid’ graphic that pops up at the top of the picture? Does somebody really think that is a useful tool?
On lap 108 Blaney had a left rear flat but made it to pit road with no caution. However, with 22 laps to go Blaney spun out of 3 into the inside wall and had to drop out of the race.
Business REALLY picked up on the subsequent restart. Frequent combatants Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin restarted side by side. Coming out of 1, Hamlin ‘narrowed up the track’ for Chastain with Ross hitting the wall and spinning across the track damaging Kevin Harvick in the process.
With the restart with 13 laps to go there were worries about rain and lightning coming from the west. Hamlin grabbed the lead over Busch and set sail.
Hamlin won the race over Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez. In an interview Chastain admitted that ‘he had it coming’ from Hamlin and he hoped that the little feud was finally over!!
HOLD THE PRESSES!! NASCAR has disqualified both the Pocono winner Hamlin and runner-up Busch for problems with their front fascia/nose cones giving the win to third place finisher Chase Elliott who did not, apparently, lead a lap!
Elliott now has a commanding points lead over Chastain and Blaney.
Their next race, Indianapolis Road Course, is Sunday at 2.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Justin Allgaier (Chev) grabbed the pole at Pocono Raceway Saturday with Ty Gibbs 2nd and Brandon Jones 3rd (both in Toyotas). Alex Labbe started 22nd.
On lap 2 Rajah Caruth got into the left rear of Labbe taking out both of them. Both cars were done for the day. On lap 47 there was an horrendous crash coming out of three. Santino Ferrucci got sideways in front of the pack.
Jeb Burton got together with Ricky Stenhouse and Jeb ended upside down on the front straightaway. This new ‘process’ for uprighting wrecked cars is pretty trick, setting the car gently down with no bouncing.
On lap 53 Sammy Smith spun and backed it hard into the wall. Surprisingly the race ran pretty much incident free right to the flag. For the last twenty or so laps Noah Gragson, he of the infamous incident at Road America, ran a VERY spirited race with Ty Gibbs.
Gibbs actually got a little ahead of Noah entering the tunnel turn on the last lap but got loose allowing Gragson to get the win. Josh Berry finished 3rd.
A.J. Allmendinger continues to lead the points by 16 points ahead of Justin Allgaier and by 22 on Gibbs. A very tight bunch right there.
Their next race, Indianapolis Road Course, is Saturday at 3.30 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: With qualifying rained out the starting line up at Pocono Raceway Smith and Smith grabbed the front row – Zane (Ford) and Chandler (Toyota) with Carson Hocevar (Chev) third. Canadian Stewart Friesen started fourth.
On the first lap rookie Jack Wood found out that getting through the feared ‘tunnel turn’ was a lot harder than he realized. On lap 7 Dean Thompson got crossed up bringing out another yellow. On lap 12 Todd Bodine making his last Truck start got collected and spun into the wall.
Chandler Smith won Stage 1 and the race with Christian Eckes winning Stage 2. Ryan Preece (Ford) finished 2nd with John Hunter Nemechek (Toyota) grabbing 3rd. Friesen slipped to 14th at the flag.
Zane Smith now leads Chandler Smith by 40 and Nemechek by 45 in the points.
Their next race, Indianapolis Raceway Park, is Friday night at 9 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: So Formula One goes to a racetrack that looks like it is a huge mall parking lot with goofy stripes and the universally detested ‘stewards’ are going into meltdown over cars ‘exceeding track limits’? When will this insanity end?
Qualifying for the French Grand Prix was interesting with Charles Leclerc picking up the pole in his Ferrari over the favoured Red Bulls. Verstappen timed 2nd with Perez 3rd.
The rumoured improvements for Mercedes did not seem to help as Hamilton ended up 4th and Russell 6th. Canadian drivers Lance Stroll started 17th and Nicholas Latifi 20th.
Everything went according to plan on the start with the exception of Hamilton getting around Perez. On lap 18 the world appeared to spin on its axis as leader Leclerc stuffed it HARD into the wall at about a buck twenty!!
He blamed the accident on a stuck throttle but this was his third time this year of having a ‘moment’!!
It was funny to watch the bad boy Mercedes pace car going at 10/10 while the race cars were basically following on their ‘fast idle’ mode!!
On lap 35 did we see an example of ‘porpoising’ on the Sainz Ferrari as his steering wheel seemed to be shaking quite a bit? And the car appeared to be bouncing in the corners.
On lap 38 Latifi looped it but fortunately kept going, no harm, no foul.
On lap 42 abject stupidity rose to an all-new height when Sainz was ordered to ‘box, box’ at the very time he was making a pass for third on Perez!! Huh?
At about the same time Perez and George Russell touched wheels as Russell tried a ‘dive bomb’ going into the corner. Their positions didn’t change. Sainz did pit and dropped from 3rd to 8th.
Perez and Russell continued to sword fight with George making several (unsuccessful) passing attempts. However, that all changed with two laps to go when Russell held back and got the jump on the final restart, an age old short track trick, making the pass cleanly.
At the flag it was Verstappen, Hamilton and Russell. Ferrari with their self-inflicted stupidity ended up 5th and 20th. Stroll ended up a strong 10th with Latifi 17th.
Max has a commanding 63-point lead on Leclerc and 70 points on Perez in the points championship. Stroll sits 18th. Red Bull has an 82 point lead over Ferrari in the Manufacturers race with 126 on Mercedes.
Their next race, Hungary, is Sunday at 8.55 on TSN 4 & 5.
NHRA: The second race on the western tour was held in wine country at Sonoma, California on the weekend.
Leah Pruett qualified number 1 in Top Fuel but lost to Shawn Langdon in the second round. Brittany Force qualified 5th and took out Mike Salinas in the final.
Robert Hight grabbed the number 1 spot in Funny Car but lost to Bob Tasca III in the final round.
Erica Enders continues her domination of Pro Stock qualifying number 1 and taking out Greg Anderson in the final round.
Angelle Sampey topped Pro Stock Bike qualifying but lost in the semis to Eddie Krawiec who in turn lost to Joey Gladstone in the final. There were only 14 bikes in attendance.
Brittany has a 6-point lead over Salinas and a 140 point lead on Justin Ashley in Top Fuel. Hight has a commanding 144-point lead over Matt Hagan and 210 on Ron Capps in Funny Car. Enders has a full 80-point lead on Aaron Stanfield and 307 on Kyle Koretsky in Pro Stock. Angelle Sampey has a slim 2-point lead on Gladstone and 12 points on Steve Johnson in Pro Stock Bike.
Their next race is Seattle, Sunday at 4 on Fox and Fox Sports Racing.
INDYCAR: The series dropped into the neat Iowa Speedway for a double header on the weekend. This 16-year-old facility, designed by Rusty Wallace, is a great track for the open wheelers. Will Power started from the pole in Saturday’s race followed by Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly. The two Canadians Devlin DeFrancesco and Dalton Kellett started 18th and 26th.
The first yellow came out on lap 17 for Jimmie Johnson who spun but kept it off the wall. And he did not lose a lap. AND he led a bunch of early laps!!
On lap 115 Felix Rosenqvist in his McLaren lost it going into corner one and spanked the wall. On lap 166 Ed Carpenter hit the wall hard and brought out the laundry.
It’s hard to believe but the race went green from there all the way to the checker flag. Josef Newgarden picked up the win over Pato O’Ward, pole sitter Will Power, Rinus VeeKay and Scott Dixon. DeFrancesco finished 17th and Kellett was 20th.
For Sunday’s race Power once again started from the pole ahead of Newgarden and Daly.
The first 120 laps were drama free until Kyle Kirkwood slid up into the wall and then down into the inside wall bringing out the first yellow. Race leader and Saturday’s winner Newgarden spun out of the lead on lap 235 after what appeared to be a suspension failure bringing out the second and final caution.
Pato O’Ward picked up the win ahead of Power, Scott McLaughlin, Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson was quite impressive with his high groove racing in both races. DeFrancesco ended up 15th with Kellett 22nd.
Their next race is at the Indianapolis Road Course, Saturday at 12 noon on Sportsnet 360 part of the NASCAR weekend there.
IMSA: Their next race is at Road America, Sunday, August 7.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX) – The sixth and final race of this CBS Saturday night series was held at the 3/8-mile dirt Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, southeast of Cleveland. The track is owned by legendary Sprint Car driver Dave Blaney.
A little back story on Blaney. In about 1990 the World of Outlaws was running during Speed Weeks at St. Augustine, so Linda and I drove up to watch. Blaney’s Casey Luna #10 Ford powered car came out and stuttered badly.
We had gotten a Ford Performance Technical Service Bulletin just the week before about a ‘soft’ drive gear on Ford Motorsport distributors. I walked down to the car and saw the distributor in question. I mentioned the TSB to the crew chief. He looked at me like I was nuts. Okay.
He went out to qualify and it stuttered again, and he ended up DFL. We had paid extra to park the Mustang ragtop outside corner one so I could see down into the pits. He ran DFL in the heat and then, surprise, surprise they changed distributors!! Who knew?
He started DFL and then put on a clinic coming from 26th to 5th. Gee, if only they had listened to that dumb Canadian?
Ryan Newman won Heat 1 over Mikey Waltrip and Marco Andretti. Chase Elliott won Heat 2 ahead of Tony Kanaan and Bobby Labonte.
In the main, Chase Elliott picked up the win atop Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Hunter Reay and Bobby Labonte.
Marco Andretti, who broke his wrist in the main, won the overall points championship beating Ryan Newman, Labonte, Stewart and Greg Biffle.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: The series dropped into the little 1/4 mile bullring known as Edmonton International Raceway in Wetaskiwin, Alberta on Saturday as part of their western swing.
Alex Tagliani grabbed the pole ahead of Kevin Lacroix and D.J. Kennington. Tag actually owns the record there set back in 2014, at 71.919 mph. His speed this trip was 69.897 mph at 12.876 seconds. Think about that for a minute – 12 seconds!! Hmm, 300 laps at 12 seconds/lap equals one hour!!
Eureka!!! They have FINALLY fixed their Live Timing feature!! And boy do these laps add up quickly at five/minute!! ‘Null null’ seems to be really hounding the leader!! LOL
I counted five yellows before halfway then – TILT – the Live Timing FROZE at lap 157. After several reboot/refreshes on both my desktop and my phone the results showed up as a complete race with 304 laps completed. What’s that old adage – ‘half a loaf is better than no loaf’? LOL
Marc-Antoine Camirand picked up the win followed by Kevin Lacroix and Andrew Ranger. Brandon Watson appeared to have posted the quickest lap during the race with a 13.058 and he finished 6th.
Camirand leads Lacroix by 2 points and Gary Klutt by 17 in the championship race. Their next race is a double header at Saskatoon, Wednesday.
APC SERIES: Their next race is at Sauble Speedway, Saturday.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Their next race is Friday, August 5 at Delaware Speedway.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Another full field of Bone Stocks saw Jason Lovie win Heat 1, Shawn Fucile win Heat 2 and Jordan Willms won Heat 3. The Lawrence brothers put on a clinic in the main with Kris winning ahead of Jo and Willms finishing 3rd.
The V8 Stocks saw Kyle Mezenberg grab the win ahead of Jordan Morris and Chad Clutterbuck.
The Late Models put on a great show with 22 cars in attendance. Ron Beauchamp won Heat 1 with Jake Hooker grabbing the win in Heat 2. The fun started right off the hop in the main as Hooker touched Connor Pritiko who then slid up into Tom Zagorodny, an ‘innocent bystander,’ sending him into the wall. Zagorodny was the only one unable to continue.
Kyle Steckly, winner of the past two features, had his transponder fail/fall off and spent time getting it reattached. Starting from the back of the pack Kyle ‘put on a clinic’ getting into the top 5 by halfway and then getting around leader Ray Morneau on lap 26. Pritiko finished third. The win makes it three Friday night wins in a row for Steckly.
This Friday they will run the Super Stocks, Bone Stocks and ‘Drive it like you stole it’ King of the Hill.
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 IHRA Canadian Nationals take place this weekend.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racers Sunday.
TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK: Extreme Outlaws this weekend.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers