In the July 18, 2022 edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report for Inside Track, Dave looks at some silly season musical chairs action before giving his take on the world of racing this past weekend, including NASCAR New Hampshire, the Toronto Indy, APC Flamboro and more…
MY ‘VIEW’: A couple of driver announcements last week were rather strange, to say the least!! In the NASCAR Cup Series, Tyler Reddick was announced as a new driver on the 23XI Racing Team (Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch) for, wait for it, 2024!! Huh?
In IndyCar, Alex Palou was announced as driving for McLaren next year, but apparently, Chip Ganassi Racing says it still has an option for another season with him. Double huh!! Gentlemen, start… your… lawyers!!!!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: To some of us ‘old timers’ there are some great memories from the old Bryar Motorsports Park in Loudon, New Hampshire, a bad-fast 5/8-mile oval with a bat-sh*t crazy campground on a hill above the back straightaway.
That track morphed into the current one-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Both NASCAR North and ACT raced at Bryar ‘back in the day.’
Due to its proximity to Canada, the stands are usually jam-packed with Canadian fans. Of course, due to the pandemic, that did not happen over the past two years. This year it was great to see they were back!!
In qualifying, Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) grabbed the pole for Joe Gibbs Racing ending a long pole drought. Points leader Chase Elliott (Chev) started 2nd with Kurt Busch (Toyota) 3rd.
Action picked up quickly as on lap 6 Ty Dillon, who just learned he has lost his ride at the end of this year, got caught up in a three wide situation and collected Alex Bowman, BJ McLeod and Josh Bilicki.
On lap 78 Kyle Busch spun by himself coming out of corner 2 and kept going without hitting anything. On lap 89 Corey LaJoie downshifted and got way loose taking out Harrison Burton.
On lap 147 Ryan Blaney backed into the wall all by himself. On 153 Chase Briscoe spun alone. On lap 163 Kyle Busch looped it again.
Something happened between Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski and Austin turned up and into Brad on the caution. Maybe another Dillon will be unemployed next year? Nah.
Also during the caution, Austin Cindric lost a wheel on pit road. It appears that NASCAR is okay with wheels coming off on pit road but not on the racetrack.
PREDICTION: Based on the multitude of single car spinouts, I predict that NASCAR will outlaw shifting in the very near future. I feel those multiple spinouts were caused by missed shifts.
While Truex won both stages and lead 172 of the 301 laps he faded at the end to finish fourth. Christopher Bell (Toyota) won the race over Elliott and Bubba Wallace (Toyota). Kevin Harvick (Ford) finished fifth.
Elliott still leads the points by 50 ahead of the surprising Ross Chastain and by 122 over Joey Logano.
Their next race, Pocono, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Josh Berry grabbed the pole for the race at Loudon ahead of Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier (all in Chevs). Alex Labbe started 27th.
The race, to put it mildly, was a crashfest with 7 yellows plus the yellows for the two stage ends.
The cars were running four-wide on many occasions. And on some of those occasions, it didn’t end well. On lap 125, Ryan Sieg slowed to avoid a spinning car and he got rear ended HARD by Jeb Burton with his car coming right off the ground. Sieg had won Stage 1 while William Byron picked up the Stage 2 win.
Allgaier picked up the win over Trevor Bayne and Brandon Brown. Labbe finished where he started after getting roughed up by A.J. Allmendinger on lap 144. A.J. drove up and into Alex while they were both running in the top-five.
Dinger has a 16-point lead over Allgaier and 28 atop Ty Gibbs. Their next race, Pocono, is Saturday at 5 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Their next race, Pocono, is Saturday at 12 noon on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: They’re back at it, in France, Sunday at 8:55 a.m. (EST) on TSN 1 & 5.
NHRA: NHRA dropped into Bandimere Speedway, a track which is built into the side of a mountain just west of Denver, Colorado on the weekend.
In Top Fuel, Brittany Force qualified #1 but lost in Round 2. Tony Stewart’s wife Leah Pruett started from the #3 spot and won when final round opponent Shawn Langdon got shut off with a fluid leak.
In Funny Car, the other Tony Stewart car of Matt Hagan qualified #1 but lost in the semis. Robert Hight started from the #2 spot, took out boss and father-in-law John Force in the semis and topped Bob Tasca in the final.
Pro Stock saw Aaron Stanfield qualify #1 one but lose in the final to #7 qualifier Matt Hartford.
Matt Smith qualified #1 in Pro Stock Bike and marched through the field to take out Joey Gladstone in the final.
Mike Salinas leads Top Fuel by 10 over Force and by 92 over Justin Ashley. Hight leads in Funny Car by 95 atop Hagan and by 166 over Capps. Erica Enders has a 35-point lead over Stanfield in Pro Stock and a 259 lead on Kyle Koretsky. Steve Johnson has a 10-point lead over Angelle Sampey and 19 over Matt Smith in Pro Stock Bike.
Their next race is Sonoma, Sunday at 4 on Fox Sports Racing.
INDYCAR: Colton Herta (heading to F1???) nabbed the pole for the Honda Indy Toronto over Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden. Canadians Devlin DeFrancesco and Dalton Kellett started 12th and 23rd, respectively, a great start for Devlin.
Racing is always exciting on the temporary road course around the Canadian National Exhibition grounds and this race definitely continued that trend. There were several ‘rubbing is racing’ incidents throughout the race, much to the delight of the sell-out crowd.
On lap 46, Felix Rosenqvist appeared to turn into Alexander Rossi in the corner, shoving Rossi into the wall and out of the race. Near the end of the race Kyle Kirkwood and Jimmie Johnston got together in a battle of the back markers.
At the checker, it was veteran Scott Dixon winning for Chip Ganassi and tying Mario Andretti for second in all-time series wins, 52, behind only the 67 wins of A.J. Foyt. Herta finished second with Rosenqvist 3rd, Graham Rahal 4th and Marcus Ericsson 5th.
Ericsson leads the points by 35 over Will Power and by 37 ahead of Alex Palou.
Their next race is a doubleheader at Iowa, 4 P.M. on Saturday and 3 P.M. Sunday on NBC and SportsNet 360.
IMSA: Only 15 GT cars were entered for the Northeast Grand Prix at the fun, fun, fun Lime Rock Park in northwest Connecticut!! The Northeast race in the northwest? LOL Having said that, the 15 cars put on a great show for the fans.
The Canadian Pfaff Porsche driven by Campbell and Jaminet started first in GTDPRO and dominated all 174 laps. The Heart of Racing Team’s Aston Martin finished second with the VasserSullivan Lexus third.
In GTD, Paul Miller Racing picked up the win in their BMW while another Heart of Racing Team Aston finished second followed by the CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini.
Their next race is at Road America, Sunday, August 7.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): The series visited Ken Schrader’s neat little dirt 1/3-mile I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri on the weekend. And Schrader joined in as he was not going to let Tony Stewart to have all the fun.
The announcers said the series was auctioning off damaged body parts and Paul Tracy had contributed the most number of those damaged parts!!
The first heat continued Tracy’s contributions!! Marco Andretti started beside Schrader with the two switching spots at the flag, with Stewart third. Tracy was unable to start the second heat as his car was overheating.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, running his first-ever dirt race, started from the pole in Heat 2 beside Matt Kenseth but immediately advanced to the rear!! Stewart won the heat ahead of Tony Kanaan and Eddie Francis, Jr.
Stewart started from the pole (nothing to see here, move along!!!) beside Francis. We recall the lecture that Stewart gave Francis a few races ago so this could get interesting. Also interesting was watching the pit crew pouring bottled water into Hailie Deegan’s car. Bottled water? Really?
Overheating? Oh, yeah, it was HOT, very hot. And tempers flared!! I feel sorry for the crew as they have a bunch of badly damaged cars to get ready for Sharon this Saturday.
Stewart won over Andretti, Schrader, Ryan Newman and Mikey Waltrip. The fans definitely got their money’s worth!!
Their next race is Saturday night at the legendary Sharon Speedway, Sharon, Ohio.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Once again, NASCAR Canada dropped the ball on their Live Timing as it was NOT working at the Toronto race. One would naturally assume that an organization as rich and powerful as NASCAR could find somebody competent to run their website or alternatively, eliminate the non-functioning Race Center LIVE (yeah, it really does say ‘live’!!) button completely.
It is a disservice to the many fans who did not want to subject themselves to the brutal Toronto traffic to take advantage of the free admission offered by the Honda Dealers. Maybe the ‘webmaster’ will get ‘called to the trailer’?
Having said that, Andrew Ranger (Chev) grabbed the pole ahead of L.P. Dumoulin (Dodge) and Alex Tagliani (Chev). Based on Facebook postings it appears that Brandon Watson had an engine failure in qualifying (or practice) and had to start dead last after a powerplant swap.
Kevin Lacroix (Dodge) picked up the win over pole sitter Ranger and L.P. Dumoulin.
Lacroix leads the points by 3 over Marc Antoine Camirand (Chev) and by 8 over Gary Klutt (Dodge).
Their next race is near Edmonton (Edmonton International Raceway, in Wetaskiwin) on Saturday.
APC SERIES: Kyle Steckly qualified 7th at Flamboro and finished first in the 100 lapper taking the lead on lap 99. Shae Gemmell finished 2nd with Danny Benedict 3rd. That makes Kyle two for two on the weekend after winning Delaware on Friday night.
Their next race is at Sauble Speedway, Saturday, July 30.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Long-time racer and former CASCAR competitor Kevin Trevellin picked up his very first feature win, in over 30 years, at Peterborough Speedway on Saturday night.
Another long-time racer and former CASCAR competitor Mark Patrick finished second ahead of Doug Cathcart, Chad McGlynn and Brad Robinson. Well done, Kevin!!
Their next race is Friday, August 5 at Delaware Speedway.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: In the Bone Stocks, Jason Lovie won Heat One, ‘ringer’ Steve Shaw, Jr. won Heat Two, Jeremiah Rabideau won Heat Three and Jack Dixon won the consi. Kris Lawrence won the main over brother Jo with Rabideau third.
Super Stock heats were won by Doug Stewart and Shawn Chenoweth. Carson Nagy continued his winning ways, getting the feature win over points leader Pete Vanderwyst and Branden Verhoeven.
Veteran Delaware competitor Lloyd Rawlings grabbed the win in Late Model Heat One while Kyle Steckly won Heat Two. Steckly picked up the feature win over Ray Morneau and Connor Pritiko.
This Friday they will run the 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 races each and every weekend.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: The 22nd Annual Canadian Nationals go July 29 – 31.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: The Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racers are there July 31.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: The Canada Sports Compact Series visits TMP this weekend.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers