In this week’s Motion Motorsports Report, Dave Mathers addresses some speculation about Joe Gibbs Racing taking on a new partner, the prospects for Red Bull’s continued domination of F1, and the busy race weekends at Nashville, Watkins Glen, Newfoundland, Norwalk and more.
Reports have Joe Gibbs selling a minority share of Joe Gibbs Racing to Josh Harris, the rumoured new owner of the Washington Commanders (formerly the Redskins). Gibbs, of course, was a former very successful coach of that squad and brought them three Super Bowl wins.
Harris owns the New Jersey Devils in the NHL and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA. This sounds similar to the Roush Fenway agreement from about fifteen years ago.
Former Formula One driver Jenson Button who so capably drove the Hendrick Motorsport Camaro in the 24 Hours of Le Mans postulates that Europeans don’t understand NASCAR!! He says they can’t grasp the pushing, shoving and spinning they see.
That is understandable as they are used to F1 races where there is little if any passing except in the pits. I agree with his statement that NASCAR should quickly capitalize, in Europe, on the momentum generated by the LOUD Camaro, which was truly the crowd favourite.
In post race inspection at Montreal, it was discovered that Max Verstappen had pulled a ‘Dave Winfield’ when a dead bird was found in his right-front brake duct. The Winfield reference, for those under 40, was that the then Yankee outfielder had nailed a seagull during a game against the Blue Jays (in 1983) back when the Jays were still playing in the open air CNE Stadium!!
Last week a reader correctly pointed out that I had listed Denver as the next NHRA meet rather than Norwalk which was held last weekend. Guilty!! Driver error.
In 1998 I was sponsoring the Alcohol Funny Car of Herbie ‘Go Fast’ Rogers. He called me and said their big race at Norwalk had been rained out that Sunday and would be completed on Wednesday. ‘You should come down’!! Ask me twice.
We got there and I saw my first Pro Mods – Charles Carpenter stands out!! Oh, baby. Then Herb introduced me to Bill Bader. We hit it right off.
Fast forward ten years, and a month after Linda and I bought London Motorsport Park from the Fletchers, I was sitting in my office when I saw a white GMC pickup pull onto the track and stop just past the tree. It had Norwalk and IHRA all over it.
In BOUNCES Bill Bader and we had a great handshake. He said, “I have bought IHRA and we want to have a National Event in Canada and as you are halfway between Detroit and Toronto, we want to hold it here.”
Of course I was interested… until we got down to the ‘fine print.’ We only had to spend two million dollars to bring the track up to their specs. Tilt!
I told them there was another really good track about seventy miles away that had an owner with lots of money. And thus, Grand Bend got the IHRA Canadian Nationals, an event that is still running strong and packing them in. That event happens this year on August 4 – 6. Be there!! That still doesn’t excuse my brain cramp in not mentioning Norwalk!!
Apparently, FIA single seater director Nikolas Tombazis feels that it won’t be long before the other teams catch up and even pass Red Bull. I would suggest that is wishful thinking. This guy clearly doesn’t know or remember history, specifically the years of Schumacher’s domination, Hamilton’s iron grip on the series, the powerful McLarens and even the John Player Lotuses (Loti?).
The sport constantly runs through cycles like this, and I predict that the Red Bull run at the top is not going to end any time soon.
Josh Berry has been named to replace the retiring Kevin Harvick in the #4 Stewart/Haas Mustang. Good choice! It is hard to believe that it has been over 22 years since Harvick took over the Richard Childress car following the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt during the 2001 Daytona 500.
Rumours ‘auf Deutschland’ indicate that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel after all for a return of F1 to Germany. With Audi joining the series in three years there is a push to maybe, just maybe, see a race at the Hockenheimring, the track that also has a drag strip right next to the last two corners of the course.
Here’s hoping as there are definitely a LOT more F1 fans there than in some of the current oil rich venues.
Many people saw the footage of the huge fire on an overpass on I-95 in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago when a fuel tanker overdrove the corner and crashed. Pocono Speedway, 160 km. away, sent one of their jet dryers to the scene to help crews dry the fresh asphalt to allow the stripes to be painted. Good PR for Pocono and NASCAR. Well done.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Ross Chastain (Chev) got the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Nashville Superspeedway. Tyler Reddick (Toyota) was 2nd with Justin Haley (Chev) 3rd. I hoped that the Cup race would not be a wreck-fest like the Xfinity one turned out to be.
BTW… the experiment with Junior and Jeff Burton announcing from outside the booth is a major FAIL!! Fahgetaboutit!!
Kyle Busch was the first to have problems, pitting with a low tire on lap 16. On lap 30 Bubba Wallace came up on Ryan Blaney causing Blaney to scrape the wall. Tyler Reddick won Stage 1 after getting around polesitter Chastain.
On the restart Chastain, William Byron and Martin Truex ran three-wide for several laps before Truex pulled ahead for the lead. The yellow came out on lap 139 when Reddick spun at pit entrance and the right rear wheel flew off. This was just after he had pitted.
On the restart, it appeared that Keselowski, in 4th, missed a gear and cars checked up behind. Blaney ended up hitting the inside wall hard for another yellow. Busch was also involved appearing to shove Blaney into the wall.
I’m not sure what NBC has done with their cameras but there was something wrong with several cameras quite often during the race. Denny Hamlin won Stage 2.
The final stage ran pretty much drama free except for a bunch of passes and Chastain got the win over Truex and Hamlin. As Chastain was doing his burnout, his teammate Daniel Suarez appeared to want to drive up the track and congratulate him. Unfortunately, Chase Briscoe was in the way and they bumped spinning Suarez.
In the points Truex has an 18-point lead over Byron and Chastain who are tied for second.
Their next race is the Chicago Street Race, Sunday on TSN 3 & 5 and NBC at 5 P.M.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: At Nashville Superspeedway, Cole Custer (Ford) got the pole over Chandler Smith (Chev) and Sammy Smith (Toyota).
Well, that didn’t take long – two cars got sideways in four and collected a bunch of cars on the very first lap. Kyle Sieg slid into Jeb Burton with Ryan Sieg, Stefan Parsons and Justin Allgaier spinning to miss them. I must admit I did not miss the whiny voice of one of the announcers (not Junior)!!! Things calmed down and went green to the end of the first stage which was won by Ty Gibbs.
On the stage restart, Austin Hill slid up into Gibbs, spinning him. A.J. Allmendinger and Carson Hocevar were also collected. On the restart, Connor Mosak spun in Corner 2 for another yellow. On lap 69 Sheldon Creed slid up into Sammy Smith. Chandler Smith went on to win Stage 2.
On lap 104 Parker Kligerman had a solo spin after slowing to get to the pits and got tapped from behind by Kaz Grala for yet another yellow. With 6 laps to go Ross Chastain spun down onto the grass bringing out yet another caution flag.
On the restart Chandler Smith spun from the front setting up a green / white / checker. At the flag, it was ‘Dinger ahead of Riley Herbst and Sam Mayer. AND to put the icing on the cake, a bunch of the field wrecked coming to the stripe!! LOL Reports indicate that 21 cars wrecked during the race. Ouch.
John Hunter Nemechek leads the points by 9 over Austin Hill and by 41 on Allgaier.
Their next race is the Chicago Street Course Saturday on TSN 2 at 5 P.M.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS: Nick Sanchez won the pole at Nashville Superspeedway ahead of Bayley Currey and Rajah Caruth all in Chevs. Canadian Stewart Friesen (Toyota) started 18th.
Five laps in and Hailie Deegan got loose and slid up into Lawless Alan bringing out the first yellow. Zane Smith picked up the Stage 1 win.
On lap 84 Friesen spun off Corner 4 and stopped on the apron for a yellow. On lap 93 Daniel Dye slid up the hill and spun for another caution. Corey Heim won Stage 2.
On lap 104 Dean Thompson bounced off Christian Eckes and spun. With ten laps to go Friesen spun again for another flag. The last five laps were, to put it mildly, intense!! Three and four-wide before they got into single file.
At the checker it was Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith and Sanchez. Friesen recovered to finish 18th.
In the points Heim leads Smith by 16 and Grant Enfinger by 31. Friesen sits 11th.
Their next race is Mid-Ohio, Saturday on Fox Sports Racing at 1.30 P.M.
FORMULA ONE: Their next race is Austria, Sunday on TSN 1 & 5 at 8.55 A.M.
INDYCAR: Their next race is Mid Ohio, Sunday on TSN 5 at 2 P.M.
IMSA: I printed out the qualifying for the Six Hours of the Glen and, tilt, number one qualifier was a Lamborghini GTD car followed by a Ferrari GTDPRO car!! Huh?
Reading further I learned that qualifying was rained out so the field would be set by points. Thus, the Penske Porsche GTP of Campbell/Nasr would start first followed by the Derani/Sims/Aitken Whelen Engineering Caddy.
The Wayne Taylor Acura of Taylor/Albuquerque would start third. Here’s where it got interesting. The GTD cars all got to time trials, so the Spinelli/Liddy Goikhberg Lambo led GTD and the Serra/Rigon Ferrari led GTDPRO. Got that?
Fifty-seven cars took the green flag, and I counted ten Canadians in the list including Devlin DeFrancesco in a P2 car.
It did NOT take long for action as Augustus Farfus stuffed his BMW P car into the fence on the first corner of the first lap. He then stopped on a green track??
Wow. The Rick Ware P2 car lost a wheel. Then a P2 car hit a P Caddy. A couple of GT cars tangled and appeared to be stuck together.
The six hours saw lots of action and several accidents. I can’t recall seeing so many lost wheels most from the P cars. Strange.
At the flag it was the Penske Porsche GTP car of Tandy/Jaminet grabbing the overall win ahead of the DePhillippi/Yelloly BMW and the Derani/Sims/Aitken Cadillac. Jaminet grabbed the lead in traffic with five minutes to go and then benefited from a full course caution when veteran Bill Auberlin flipped his BMW GTD car quite spectacular!
In LMP2 the Kurtz/Hanley/Siegeln team took the class win. In LMP3 it was Robinson/Fraga/Burdon.
In GTDPRO the Lexus of Hawksworth/Barnicoat prevailed. The Canadian Pfaff Motorsports Porsche of Bachler/Pilet had problems and finished an uncharacteristic fifth.
GTD was won by another Lexus driven by Montecalvo/Telitz/Thompson.
BUT… STOP THE PRESSES! The winning Penske Porsche at the Six Hours of the Glen had the victory taken away per the following head-scratching release: “The #6 Porsche was found to have a skid block measuring less than the permitted minimum thickness and was moved to the rear of the GTP finishing order.”
And, of course, that would definitely make the car go faster!!! Wow.
It may be time for NASCAR to start using the long course as the runs down into the valley (aka The Boot), would sound really cool. The only downside of the broadcast was the uber-annoying announcer.
I got so tired of listening to his blathering and saying ‘Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy’ (I have no problem with Jeremy!!) every other minute that I muted the race and asked Alexa to play Brahms Piano Concerto Number One followed by Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth (no Cup race to watch at the same time)!! Pure heaven – great racing and great music!! LOL
Their next race is at ‘the track formerly known as Mosport’ on Sunday, July 9.
NHRA: Rain hampered qualifying action at Norwalk on the weekend on both Friday and Saturday. Leah Pruett qualified number one in Top Fuel. Bob Tasca got the top spot in Funny Car. Jason Scruggs was first in Pro Mod.
Matt Hartford topped Pro Stock and Eric Latino qualified 15th in his Pro Stock debut. Gaige Herrara once again was first in Pro Stock Bike. Del Holbrook topped Factory Stock.
Leah Pruett came out of her number one spot in Top Fuel to march through the field and take out Justin Ashley. There were 3 upsets and 9 ‘smokers’, 7 in the first round.
Blake Alexander took out Matt Hagan in the Funny Car final. There were 4 upsets and 7 ‘smokers.’
Jason Scruggs also came out of his first-place spot in Pro Mod to take out Jose Gonzalez. There were 5 upsets and 3 ‘smokers.’
Pro Stock saw Hartford become the third pro driver to win from the number one spot taking out Dallas Glenn in the final. Three upsets and three ‘smokers.’
Hector Arana, Jr. won Pro Stock Bike over Steve Johnson. Two upsets.
Stephen Bell took out Lee Hartman in the Factory Stock final.
In the points Ashley leads Top Fuel by 64 over Torrence and by 122 atop Brittany Force.
Funny Car has Capps 32 points ahead of Hagan and 57 up on Hight.
Canadian Justin Bond leads Pro Mod by 88 over Kristopher Throne and by 167 over Jason Lee.
Glenn has a 137-point lead in Pro Stock over Deric Kramer and 191 on Hartford.
Herreira has a commanding 216-point lead in Pro Stock Bike over Eddie Krawiec and by 224 over Steve Johnson.
Aaron Standfield leads Factory Stock by 81 on Lenny Lottig and by 142 on Joseph Welch.
Their next race is Denver, Sunday, July 16.
PIKE’S PEAK HILL CLIMB: In Sunday’s run up the mountain the Ford Performance Supervan 4 (an EV) driven by Romain Dumas won the Pikes Peak Open class with a time of 8.47.682 and finished second overall!!
I drove that road to the top forty years ago when it was half pavement and half dirt and I can tell you that even at ‘normal’ speeds it is a scary ride.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Twenty-one entries made the long trek and voyage to Eastbound International Speedway in Newfoundland and the locals welcomed them with open arms. Donald Theetge won the pole ahead of Marc-Antoine Camirand and Alex Labbe. Labbe has been a good runner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the last few years.
It would appear that the chronic timing issues suffered by the series have continued as Live Timing froze at lap 68 of 250 and several F5s and reboots did not correct the situation. At lap 68 Kevin Lacroix showed as leader followed by Labbe and Brandon Watson.
J.P. Bergeron must figure he has a target on his back over the last two races. At Chaudière Wallace Stacey got together with him while in this race he climbed over the left front of Brandon McFarlane when the two got together and had to be separated. Hopefully there will be no ‘Act Three’ at the Grand Prix of Toronto!!
An incident involving Alex Tagliani and Alex Guenette brought out the yellow, necessitating a restart on lap 180. Brandon Watson was able to jump out front only to be passed on the very next lap by Treyten Lapcevich. In the closing laps, Tag tried a three-wide dive bomb underneath into the corner and took out Watson and Glenn Styres.
On the restart it was Lapcevich and Camirand side by side (haven’t we seen this movie before?) but Alex Labbe broke up the potential ‘love fest’ at the front and got past Camirand for second.
As usual, cautions breed cautions and Styres and local racer Wayne Hanlon got together with both cars spinning out. Race Control decided to put out the red flag to get all the fluid on the track cleaned up. Good news, the Live Timing came back on at about lap 225.
With 13 to go Lapcevich held the lead while Camirand got around Labbe for second. With 6 to go Josh Collins spanked the wall in 4. At the checker it was Lapcevich over Labbe, Camirand, Alex Guenette and Lacroix. The is makes three wins in four races for Lapcevich.
Their next race is Friday, July 14 for the Grand Prix of Toronto. A fun race!!
APC SERIES: The series next race is Delaware this weekend.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Their next race is at Delaware on Friday July 14.
SUPERSTAR RACING EXPERIENCE (SRX): Their season starts Thursday, July 13 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Rains washed out Friday night’s program. Their next race is the APC Late Models, Modifieds and Hot Rods Saturday.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next race features the Ontario Modifieds, this coming Saturday.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY: Their next big race is the O’Neil’s & Case IH Night this Friday.
SOUTHERN ONTARIO MOTOR SPEEDWAY (Buxton): Their next race is regular racing this Saturday.
GRAND BEND SPEEDWAY: Their next race is racing this Thursday and Saturday.
GRAND BEND MOTORPLEX: Their next race is the ONDR this weekend.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next race is Canada Day Shootout Saturday and No Prep Race Sunday.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: They play host to the big Nitro Nationals this weekend.
SHANNONVILLE DRAGS: Their next race is July 15 & 16.
CAN AM STOCK/SUPER STOCK SERIES: They’re part of the Nitro Natioanals event this weekend at TMP.
Any comments, questions, corrections, complaints or suggestions can be sent to Dave Mathers via email at email@example.com or by Facebook Messenger.