Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsports Report for October 12, 2023. In this week’s edition, Dave laments NASCAR’s big three not coming to Canada in 2024 as well as many other topics and race summaries.
Not sure if it was the decision of facilities not to go after races, or if NASCAR decides that Canada isn’t an attractive market for their product, but despite lots of rumours to the contrary, none of NASCAR’s elite touring series will be coming to Canada next season.
It’s reminiscent of when the NHRA stopped coming to Canada, thirty-odd years ago. If you know the real reason, you may understand the situation. Just saying.
Rumours have it that Ford is ready to leave the Australian V/8 Supercars Series. Apparently, compromise on the rules appears to be unreachable, thereby creating another single-marque racing series? How ‘exciting’!!
Stratford, Ontario Pro Mod ace Spencer Hyde (right) will be driving an Elite Motorsports Top Fuel dragster in the In N Out Burger NHRA Finals in Pomona the weekend of November 12.
Elite is the dominant team in NHRA Pro Stock racing and the car is owned by the Paton Family. Good luck to this rising star! Oh, and In N Out Burgers are the best in the world!!
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Tyler Reddick got the pole for Sunday’s race on the Charlotte Roval ahead of Christopher Bell, both in Toyotas, and Daniel Suarez (Chev).
Polesitter Reddick picked up the win in the caution free Stage 1. On lap 49, Josh Bilicki spun after contact from Corey LaJoie for the first actual yellow of the race.
Stage 2 was won by Chase Elliott. On lap 76 Denny Hamlin overcooked corner entry, spun and then got hit by Ty Dillon amongst others for a caution. Hamlin’s right rear tire was pushed back indicating a possible toe link problem.
On lap 81 Erik Jones got spun and came down and collected Michael McDowell for a yellow. On lap 86 Andy Lally stopped on pit out for another caution. On lap 95 Daneil Suarez looped it after contact from Christopher Bell for yet another caution. On lap 98 Ricky Stenhouse stopped on track with a fire under and inside of his car. More rocker panel problems?
At the flag it was A.J. Allmendinger ahead of William Byron and Kyle Busch.
In the points Byron leads Martin Truex by 5 and Hamlin by 9.
Their next race is Las Vegas, Sunday on TSN 3 at 2.30 P.M.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Sam Mayer won the pole for the Saturday race on the Charlotte Roval ahead of teammate Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry, all in Chevs.
Canadians Alex Labbe started 10th and Alex Guenette started 37th. ‘Long in the tooth’ Boris Said failed to qualify as did road race ace Andy Lally, Devin Jones and Preston Pardus.
Allgaier won the caution free Stage 1. With two laps to go in Stage 2 Conor Daly spun and hit the wall bringing out a yellow. John Hunter Nemechek won Stage 2. With 10 to go the caution came out for debris laying on the track in the last corner.
A few laps later Allgaier and Jeb Burton, who were running one/two on the restart, got together in corner 1 for another yellow. Burton got loose on corner entry and took out Allgaier who was outside of him.
At the flag it was Mayer over Cole Custer and Josh Berry. Labbe finished 15th while Guenette finished 33rd; both on the lead lap. Only three race cautions? I would have lost that bet.
In the points Nemechek leads Austin Hill by 16 and Allgaier by 20. Moving forward into the Round of Eight Josh Berry, Daniel Hemric, Parker Kligerman and Jeb Burton were eliminated.
Their next race is Las Vegas, Saturday on TSN 2 at 3.30 P.M.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS: Their next race is Homestead, Saturday, October 21 on Fox Sports Racing at 12.00 P.M.
FORMULA ONE: There were no surprises in qualifying at the Formula One race at Qatar. On Friday Max Verstappen nabbed yet another pole in his Red Bull followed by the two Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
Lance Stroll qualified 17th and reportedly had a bit of a meltdown when his performance coach attempted to direct him to the scales. Frustration? And he made no friends with his interview acting like a spoiled child. A sad wind down to his career.
And once again, the detested stewards issued ‘track limits’ violations during qualifying on a track that is paved almost everywhere. AND the track was covered with sand. On a track completely surrounded by deserts? Who knew?
The TV Guide info stated Sprint Shootout but, no, it was Sprint qualifying. It should have been renamed the ‘Track Limits Elimination Session.’
At the end it was the McLarens of Piastri and Norris ahead of the Red Bull of Verstappen. Piastri nailed it in his interview – “as drivers we will use as much track as possible” in response to the question about the widening the track in Corner 13 using paint overnight to try and correct the BRUTAL calls by the stewards.
First lap (of 19) of the Sprint and there was an ‘off’ by rookie Liam Lawson, who started 14th in his Alpha Tauri, bringing out a local yellow and then the pace car.
Norris went from second to sixth on the initial start and Verstappen dropped from third to fifth. On lap 3, Logan Sargeant had another in a LONG line of offs in his Williams bringing out the second caution.
On lap 11 Piastri got around Russell for the lead. On the same lap Perez and Ocon got together during a, wait for it, THREE-wide pass attempt with both ending up in the gravel for yet another yellow.
With Perez out, Max was declared the 2023 Drivers’ Champion. The yellow came out four laps later with four to go. Piastri and Verstappen had a spirited battle at the front with Piastri picking up the win over Max and Norris.
Sunday’s race was turned into NASCAR-style ‘Stage Racing’ as the tires had become a problem due to damage from the curbs.
Thus, it was mandated that the tires could only be run 18 laps. Hopefully the curbs will be fixed for next year? There was, not surprisingly, some ‘dissension’ in the ranks over the tire situation. The drivers were upset that they were learning about the tire issues from the press and not the FIA. Communication problems? Hmm.
Oh boy, the ‘Best Drivers in the World’ can’t make it through the first corner AGAIN. Both Mercedes hit each other with Hamilton losing a wheel and he was out of the race. Russell went to the pits but came back out at the back of the pack. Safety car!!
And the stewards are ‘investigating’ Hamilton for walking across the track. And they penalized him. LOL.
Ah, and ‘track limits’ raised its ugly head once again. Lap 27 and Sergio Perez was ‘being investigated’ by the beloved stewards. Oops, lap 38 and the stewards are looking at Perez AGAIN!! Lap 43 and Stroll gets a five second penalty for exceeding track limits four times. I guess there was no danger created with the first three but the fourth one was dangerous? Wow.
Lap 45 and now it’s Pierre Gasly’s turn to get penalized for ‘exceeding track limits’!! Apparently, the heat was intense and some of the drivers were complaining.
The ‘ice bucket challenge’ got laughingly mentioned a couple of times. Who knew that it got hot in the desert?
At the flag it was Verstappen ahead of the two McLarens of Piastri and Norris. Stroll finished a stout 11th considering the weekend he had endured. His teammate Alonso was ‘summoned to the prinicpal’s office’ after the race. The insanity just continues, when will it end?
Max has a 209-point lead over teammate Perez and 233 over Hamilton.
In the Constructor’s Championship Red Bull leads Mercedes by only 337 and Ferrari by 359.
Their next race is COTA, Austin, Texas, Sunday, October 22 at 12.55 P.M. on TSN 5.
IMSA: Their next race is the Petit LeMans, Road Atlanta, Sunday at 11.30 A.M. on RevTV.
NHRA: Their next race is Texas, Sunday on Fox Sports Racing at 3 P.M.
PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY: Wet weather on Sunday and Monday meant that the 30th edition of the APC Autumn Colours Classic presented by Toronto Motorama couldn’t be finished on the Thanksgiving long weekend.
As a result, they’ll try to finish things up this Saturday at the high-banked, one-third-mile paved oval. See below for the schedule.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next race is the Halloween Enduro 250, Saturday, October 21.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next race is the Canadian Sports Compact Series, Saturday.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next race is the Mud Bog, this weekend.
TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK: Their next race is Race Cayuga, this weekend.
Any comments can be sent to Dave Mathers via email at email@example.com or by Facebook Messenger.