In this week’s edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report, Dave takes another look at the unfriendly weekend weather, as well as NASCAR at Nashville and Newfoundland, NHRA, SRX and much more.
THE WEATHER: Once again, Mother Nature clearly proved that she is NOT a race fan!! The high temperatures and a bit of rain at Nashville Superspeedway created some harsh conditions for the NASCAR teams.
In fact, the start of the Cup race had to moved up due to the threat of rain. And then there was a LONG weather delay before racing resumed late Sunday night.
South Boston was brutally hot for the SRX race Saturday night and that may have contributed to the frayed tempers that erupted!!
Rain in Newfoundland caused Saturday’s NASCAR Canada Pinty’s Series race to be postponed until Sunday. I guess being on an island surrounded by an ocean might have some bearing on that!
NHRA at Norwalk experienced high temps but the Bader crew still had prepared a good track. But then the rain hit just as the finals for the Pro classes were ready to run. But they got it done!
The Glen was warm, warm, warm as well and with about an hour and a half to go, the red came out for ‘severe weather’!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Denny Hamlin (Toyota) started from the pole at Nashville, followed by Joey Logano (Ford) and Kyle Larson (Chev). How’s that for parity!!
Kyle Busch had to start dead last (36th) after a ‘misunderstanding’ about the rules.
On the 42nd lap, the red flag came out for lightning in the area. After a brief red flag period the race resumed. On lap 50 two Hendrick cars had problems.
William Byron parked with apparent steering rack issues and then Alex Bowman blew a right front tire and pretty much ripped the fender apart getting back to the pits.
Meanwhile Hamlin was still leading and had been right from the start. Ty Dillon and Chase Briscoe got together on lap 62 when Briscoe slid up and into Dillon. Both cars continued with what appeared to be little damage.
Martin Truex got around teammate Hamlin and won Stage 1. The yellow came out for some light rain on lap 118. And Kyle Busch had moved all the way up to third from his DFL starting spot!!
The red came out AGAIN on lap 139 for another threat of lightning, just 11 short of halfway, which could make it a complete race.
Apparently, NASCAR wanted to outdo their officemates, IMSA, who had earlier run the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen. So, they had the Seven Hours at Nashville!! LOL
I have to give a BIG shoutout to our Canadian TSN network. They stayed with the race, whereas the Americans had NBC drop the coverage and switch to NBCSN and Peacock.
We are so fortunate up here in God’s country to have two major sports networks, TSN and Sports Net, that give us far superior racing coverage compared to our neighbours to the south. Thank you!!
Oh, congratulations to the Colorado Rockies for winning the Stanley Cup. Now there will be no more bouncing back and forth from the race to the game and back!
Racing finally resumed LATE Sunday night. Martin Truex, Jr. was given the Stage 2 ‘win’ points, which was run under caution. Ryan Blaney spun on lap 206 in turn 4 bringing out the laundry. During the ensuing caution a fire erupted on pit road with the 43 car of Erik Jones.
Both cars continued with Blaney finishing a very strong 3rd and Jones 11th. Chris Buescher lost a tire around lap 256 and his team will now, sadly, face fines and suspensions.
On lap 291, Josh Bilicki did his best Exxon Valdez impression oiling the track down. This set things up for a final sprint to the flag.
Chase Elliott picked up the win after leading 42 laps, Kurt Busch (Toyota) finished second with Blaney third. Elliott gets the trophy for ‘Best Burnout of the Year’ complete with flames coming out of the exhaust pipes. EPIC!! Polesitter Hamlin led the most laps, 114, and finished 6th.
In the points championship, Elliott increased his lead to now lead Ross ‘Watermelon Man’ Chastain by 30 and Blaney by 31.
Their next race, Road America, is Sunday at 3 P.M. on TSN 5. BAD fast track!!
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Riley Herbst (Ford) qualified on the pole at Nashville Saturday ahead of AJ Allmendinger (Chev) and Trevor Bayne (Toyota). More parity!!
Canada’s Alex Labbe started 31st. Josh Berry spun in Corner 2 on lap 106 bringing out the first of three yellows (other than stage endings). Jeffery Earnhardt spun out of turn 4 on lap117 but recovered to finish 7th. The final caution was for Sheldon Creed, Joe Graf, Jr. and Jeb Burton tangling going into Corner 3.
Justin Allgaier (Toyota) picked up the win with Bayne second and Riley Herbst (Ford) 3rd. Labbe moved up to finish 23rd. Dinger has a 25-point lead over Ty Gibbs (Toyota) and 32 points on Allgaier.
Their next race, Road America, is Saturday 2.30 P.M. on TSN 4.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: After getting dirty last week on the dirt in Knoxville, the Trucks dropped into Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. Ryan Preece (Ford) grabbed the pole over Zane Smith (Ford) and Carson Hocevar (Chev). Canadian Stewart Friesen (Toyota) started 9th.
There were the usual ‘close encounters of the worst kind’ throughout the race, but with 24 to go, the #66 truck of Ty Majeski felt it would be a good idea to dive to the bottom under THREE, count’ em, three trucks.
This caused Matty D (DeBenedetto) to push up into both Cory Heim and Grant Enfinger, with Grant getting the worst of the deal. His voice was quite constrained over the radio but in a later interview he stated he was okay. HARD hit.
Smith won Stage 1 while Preece won Stage 2 and the race. Smith was second followed by Hocevar. Friesen finished a strong 5th.
Smith has a 21-point lead over John Hunter Nemechek (Toyota) and a 30-point lead on Ben Rhodes (Toyota). Friesen sits 5th just 53 points back of the leader.
Their next race, Mid Ohio, is Saturday at 1.30 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Their next race, Austria, is Sunday at 9.55 on TSN 4 & 5.
BAD NEWS: Bill Bader, Jr. announced that his father Bill, Sr., has died from an accident at his home in Montana. The world has truly lost one of the greatest promoters and an all around really good guy. He will be missed by many. Life is just not fair sometimes!
NHRA: They dropped into the beautiful Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio on the weekend. Brittany Force qualified number one in Top Fuel but lost to Josh Hart in the semis. Mike Salinas then took out Hart in the final.
Ron Capps grabbed the #1 spot in Funny Car but was also taken out in the semis by Bob Tasca. Tasca then lost to Robert Hight in the final.
Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson got the #1 spot in Pro Modified but lost to ‘Tricky Rickie’ Smith in the semis. Smith then lost to Kris Throne in the final!! Do you see a pattern here?
Erica Enders got the top spot in Pro Stock but didn’t want to play that game and marched through the field taking out Aaron Stanfield in the final. And there were THREE Fords in the field (did anybody tell NHRA??)!! LOL
Eddie Krawiec qualified #1 in Pro Stock Bike but lost to Hector Arana, Jr. In the second round. Angelle Sampey came out of the #2 spot to get the win over Joey Gladstone.
Bill Skillman (Ford) qualified #1 then marched right through the Factory Stock field from the top spot and won over second place qualifier David Barton (Chev) in the final.
Salinas has slipped past Force by 12 points and is 109 ahead of Steve Torrence. In the floppers Hight has a 21-point lead on Matt Hagan and 100 on Capps.
In Pro Stock Erica is 105 points ahead of Stanfield and 252 up on Kyle Koretsky. In Pro Stock Bike Steve Johnson has a 52-point lead on Sampey and 55 on Karen Stoffer.
Their next race is Denver, Sunday, July 17, the start of the Western Swing.
INDYCAR: Their next race is Mid Ohio, noon Sunday, on NBC.
IMSA: He’s BAAAAAAACK!! Robert Wickens, the Canadian racer badly injured when he hit the fence in a 2018 IndyCar crash at the three-cornered hat known as Pocono Raceway.
Driving a specially equipped Hyundai Elantra with co-driver Canadian Mark Wilkins, the pair won the Touring Car class at Watkins Glen on Saturday.
His triumphant drive down pit road evoked memories of all the crews coming out to congratulate Dale Earnhardt when he finally won the Daytona 500 back in 1998.
All the IMSA crews, drivers and officials came up to him as drove to the Winners Circle. A VERY touching and emotional moment. Well done!
A record car count showed up for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen including 7 DPs (5 Cadillacs and 2 Acuras), 7 LMP2s, 11 LMP3s, 7 PROs and 16 GTDs for a total of 48.
Tom Blomqvist broke the magic minute and a half barrier qualifying with a 1.29.580 in his Acura. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque also cracked the minute thirty mark with a 1.29.744 in their Acura.
Sahlen is a long-time supporter of racing at the Glen as well as several other sporting events and they are a hot dog manufacturer in Buffalo. Hot dogs at a sporting event? How absolutely, positively American!! Ya gotta love it!!
I loved the mix in the PRO class – a Ferrari, a Porsche (Pfaff Racing), a Mercedes, a BMW, a Corvette, an Aston Martin and a Lexus. Awesome.
As I was watching the streaming (Rogers doesn’t carry the Canadian channel that shows it) I was impressed once again with the high quality of the video. Awesome camera work.
A small fire broke out on pit road when there was a problem with the refueling connection on one of the prototypes. The driver bailed out so there were no injuries.
With about an hour and a half to go, three of the prototypes seemed to run out of talent and they bounced off each other knocking the Lamborghini of Jeff Westphal off the track and hard into the wall. It tore the nose off the car.
Within moments of that wreck the red flag came out for ‘severe weather’!! There was some rain and a lot of lightning.
The race finally got restarted with little change in the class leaders. At the flag it was Filipe Albuquerque’s Acura followed by Blomqvist’s Acura and Bourdais’s Cadillac.
John Edwards, in a BMW, won PRO over Gunn in the Aston Martin and Serra in a Ferrari. The Pfaff team ran second most of the race and actually had the lead with less than three minutes to go but, unfortunately, had to stop for a splash of gas and finished fourth.
GTD was won by Ellis in a Mercedes followed by De Angelis in an Aston Martin and Millroy in a McLaren. LMP2 was won by Scott Huffaker while Felipe Fraga won LMP3.
I love that IMSA runs the ‘long course,’ meaning they go down into the valley and back up again. I loved going there during the F1 races back in the late ‘70s and watching them literally fly up the hill. And the sounds were to die for!! Surround sound at its ultimate!!
Their next race is at CTMP (formerly Mosport), Sunday on NBC.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): CBS wanted something entertaining to run on Saturday nights. Well, with this SRX series they have definitely found it!!
This two-hour show offers lots of entertainment. Greg Biffle won the first 12-minute Heat Race 1 over Tony Stewart and Marco Andretti. Last week’s winner Helio Castroneves won Heat 2 ahead of Andretti and Ryan Newman.
Tempers flared before the feature with Stewart lashing out at Eddie Francis and then used some questionable language in his interview. I’m sure Tony will get ‘called to the trailer’ (the CBS one) this week.
The main started with Andretti and Stewart (Tony must know the handicapper??) on the front row.
On lap 66, Marco dive bombed the Biff taking himself out but Biffle continued. Three laps later, Michael Waltrip got wrecked by ‘others.’ Actually, he was on the outside when the cars in front of him got together and he was forced into the wall. Paul Tracy, once again, made some new friends. Waltrip and Tracy finished at the very end of the pack.
Stewart picked up the win over Biffle and a fast-closing Bobby Labonte. The fans packing the stands loved it.
Their next race is Saturday night at the legendary Stafford Springs Speedway, Connecticut. The famous half mile track has been owned by the Arute family for many, many years.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: With the exception of a rain out on Saturday the trip to ‘The Rock’ was a tremendous success for the inaugural race at Eastbound (and down?? LOL) International Speedway.
What a great experience for the teams to travel by ferry to the race creating wonderful memories for all involved.
Brandon Watson qualified #1 1 followed by Treyton Lapcevich and Andrew Ranger. At the end of the 225 laps, it was Marc-Antoine Camirand (qualified 5th) on the top step with Brett Taylor (qualified 12th) second and Lapcevich third.
Their next race is at the Honda Indy at Toronto on Friday, July 15. Always an exciting race, as so famously stated by the late Dick Trickle, like ‘jet fighters in a gymnasium’!!
APC SERIES: This weekend, the series will run the Qwick Wick Super Stocks and OSCAAR Hot Rods Friday night and then the APC Late Models and Hot Rods on Saturday night at Delaware Speedway, their home track.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: The series returned to Full Throttle Speedway (Varney) for their rain date from May 14. Chad McGlynn and Mike Hryniuk, Jr, started on the front row and swapped paint until lap 33 when they made contact, slid a little high and Tim Tolton ducked under them for the lead.
Tolton held on all the way to the checker finishing ahead of Kevin Trevellin, Hryniuk, Brad Robinson and Mark Patrick.
Their next race is on the dirt at Southern Ontario Motor Speedway (South Buxton), Saturday July 9. It should be fun to see asphalt guys hit the dirt.
I raced there 52 years ago when we had a three-race deal with Buxton, Ridge Raceway and Nilestown Speedway. John Reynolds (17 car) kicked our asphalt butts all over the place at both dirt tracks and ran very well on the pavement. Great memories!!
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Delaware knocked it out of the park with their pre-race festivities Friday night. They had both Super Stocks and Late Models lined up on the track for a very successful autograph session.
Fans would have a hard time telling the difference between the classes as they are very similar looking. The simplest explanation could be ‘Wide 5s’ versus ‘5 x 5s.’
It was really great to run into Alec Pinsonneault and Fred (Fred’s Chassis) Faulkner before the races. Alec’s grandson is running a Super Stock.
Alec formerly ran ASA and CASCAR along with his son. Fred, a graduate of McColl Racing, built some good cars ‘back in the day’ out of his Windsor shop.
Alec had plans to build a stock car track outside Windsor (Cottam) in the ‘90s but the Ministry of Transportation told him that he would have to build a new interchange to accommodate all the anticipated traffic.
His cost – seven million dollars. Nope. So, he bought US 131 Motorsport Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Another loss for the local economy!!
Carson Nagy won, nay, dominated the first Super Stock heat and continued that dominance into the feature where he topped Jay Doerr. Trevor Colver won the second heat.
In the Late Model division there was a little ‘dirty pool’ played on one of the heat initial starts with the inside car moving up the track causing the outside car to lift.
I’m sure there is a car number written on somebody’s dash for ‘future reference’!! LOL Ray Morneau continued his strong runs grabbing the checker ahead of a very close Kyle Steckly and Connor Pritiko.
This weekend the APC Series will run with the Qwick Wick Super Stocks and OSCAAR Hot Rods Friday night while the APC Late Models and Hot Rods go Saturday night.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: The Canadian Nitro Nationals – Jets, 2 Nitro Funny Cars, 4 Top Fuelers, Top Sportsman/Top Dragster, Nitro Harleys, Can-Am Stock/Super Stocks, This weekend. BE THERE!!
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers