Now here’s a cool press release!! “Chase Pinsonneault Announces Next Chapter of Driver Development.” From Belle River, Ontario: After impressing in Delaware Speedway’s weekly Pro Late Model division and touring Ontario with the APC United Late Model Series in 2023, third-generation racer Chase Pinsonneault will join forces with NASCAR star Carson Hocevar under the newly minted Carson Hocevar Racing (CHR) banner for the 2024 season.
Pinsonneault will open his season in a CHR-prepared Pro Late Model, chasing events across the Midwest and Southeastern United States, with the goal of eventually transitioning to Super Late Model competition later in the season.
Formula One president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, responding at COTA about the multitude of complaints over the universally detested ‘track limits’ issue, tried to pass the blame to the individual circuits and NOT the FIA and F1. Nice try. Until F1 gets rid of their Mickey Mouse ‘steward’ program and hires REAL race directors, the problem will never go away.
Even people who don’t follow F1 but have watched a few races leading up to the two U.S. events have asked what that was all about. Simple answer – those ‘kindergarten’ drivers can’t colour between the lines!! And insanity continued in Austin after SEVENTY-SIX laps were deleted in the first practice session.
Ryan Blaney’s sixth-place finish at Las Vegas was disqualified due to the fact that ‘his car had a left-front shock, which didn’t meet the overall specified length outlined in the rule book.’ Okay, fair enough, BUT some NASCAR Tech Official should be fired!!! There is no way the team changed that shock during the race, so clearly the car started the race with that shock. How did that get missed in pre-practice, pre-qualifying and pre-race tech? ‘Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do’!!
UPDATE – ‘upon further review’ – officials discovered an issue with the damper template that was used at Vegas – so the penalty was reversed!! Good move.
The Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the incredibly beautiful facility in Austin, TX, stated that they had 440,000 spectators at last year’s Formula One race and they expect this year’s crowd to be even bigger. Those numbers are literally mind-boggling! Wow.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Martin Truex Jr. grabbed the pole for Sunday’s Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, over Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick, all in Toyotas. Things ran smooth as silk until three laps from the end of Stage 1, when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun, bringing out the first caution. Kyle Larson won the stage. Seven of the eight points contenders collected stage points. Chris Beuscher was mired down in 27th, so no points for him.
Ryan Blaney won a ‘drama-free’ (read – BORING) Stage 2, which moved him up to the top-four in points, just ahead of Truex. Lap 213, Larson was chasing Blaney onto pit road but seriously overcooked it, hitting the barrels hard at the end of the pit wall, just missing Blaney. Red flag to clean up the mess and Larson parked it, done for the day. Right after the restart, J.J. Yeley spun, then Ross Chastain got into Brad Keselowski and John Hunter Nemechek for another caution.
On Lap 236, Denny Hamlin got into the wall entering turn one and he said something broke. One lap later, something also broke on Truex’s car and it was his engine. At the flag, it was Christopher Bell, ahead of Blaney and Reddick.
Larson and Bell are locked into the Championship 4, with William Byron and Blaney above the cut-line. Reddick, Truex and Hamlin will have to win or have a great race next Sunday to get into the final four; Buescher is in a must-win position. Their next race is Martinsville Speedway, Sunday on TSN 3 and NBC at 2 p.m. ET.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Cole Custer (Ford) got the pole for the Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in front of John Hunter Nemechek (Toyota) and Justin Allgaier (Chev). Stage 1 ran caution-free, with Custer winning the stage. On Lap 68, Dawson Cram lost a left-rear wheel entering turn one, bringing out the first race caution. Derek Kraus won Stage 2.
On Lap 97, Sheldon Creed and Chandler Smith got together, after Smith got bumped by Brandon Jones. Smith spun and collected Brett Moffitt for another caution. On Lap 165, the yellow came out for the tire that had been leaning against the outside pit road for five laps. Not sure whose tire it was but I see fines in somebody’s future!! LOL.
Following the restart, caution for a wreck by Josh Berry, after team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. got loose and made contact. The race ran green from there, with Sam Mayer getting the win, ahead of last week’s winner Riley Herbst and Nemechek. Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth in a rare appearance.
In the points, Mayer is guaranteed to be in the Championship 4 thanks to his win. Nemechek, Custer and Austin Hill are currently above the cut-line, with Allgaier just below. Sammy Smith, Chandler Smith and Creed enter Saturday’s race in a must-win position. Their next race is Martinsville Speedway, Saturday on TSN 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS: Nick Sanchez won the pole for Saturday’s Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, ahead of Carson Hocevar and Grant Enfinger, all in Chevs. Canadian Stewart Friesen (Toyota) started 9th. Stage 1 ran caution-free, with Corey Heim grabbing the stage win.
On Lap 54, Spencer Boyd came to a stop on track, bringing out the first race caution. Heim won Stage 2. On Lap 70, Hailie Deegan and Colby Howard tangled for the second race caution. On Lap 80, Mason Maggio brought out the yellow, after spinning exiting turn four.
At the flag, it was Hocevar over Ben Rhodes and Heim. Friesen finished 6th. Marco Andretti started 27th and finished 18th. Zane Smith crossed the line second but was later disqualified; he still wouldn’t have made the Championship 4 with his original finish.
Heim, Hocevar, Rhodes and Enfinger will battle for the championship in the season finale. Their next and final race is Phoenix Raceway on Friday, November 3 at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Apparently the changes that Aston Martin made to their race cars did not work on Friday at COTA. Both cars failed to advance out of Q1 qualifying, Fernando Alonso 17th and Lance Stroll 19th. In Q3, Max Verstappen set fast time but, true to form, the stewards took his time away for exceeding ‘track limits’ and he ended up sixth!! Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) grabbed the pole, ahead of Lando Norris (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Apparently the highly promised updates and improvements from the Haas team did not quite pan out (14th & 16th).
Qualifying for the Sprint race on Saturday was hot and heavy, especially in the last minute. Verstappen made up for his ‘track limits’ error by nabbing the pole, in front of Leclerc and Hamilton. Hamilton got around Leclerc on the first lap, going almost over the lines. No call from the stewards. However, his teammate George Russell did something similar a few laps later and got a five-second penalty. Hmmm. Sadly, Stroll was the first car out of the race, with purported brake problems. The brakes were definitely smoking on pit road. And he had been leading Alonso. At the flag, it was Max almost ten seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Leclerc third.
For Sunday’s main event, both Haas and Aston Martin cars started the race from pit lane, due to changes made following the Sprint race. Odds makers in Vegas were posting how many laps it would take for Verstappen to take the lead. I’m guessing single digits! (Oops, missed that one by almost 20 laps!!). Max grabbed the lead from Lando Norris on Lap 28. With 7 to go, Hamilton initially got blocked by Norris but then got around him for second. With 5 to go, Verstappen appeared to have problems and Hamilton was catching him by a second a lap. At the flag, it was Max winning, with Lewis two seconds back and Norris in third.
UPDATE: Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have both been disqualified following the US Grand Prix at COTA. Apparently, both were DQ’d ‘after being found to have skid plates worn out of compliance with regulations.’
The irony here is that in a car constructed of the highest tech materials available to mankind such as carbon fibre and titanium these disqualifications were for a piece of WOOD that runs under the car. That wood was worn down too much, reportedly 1 millimeter!! Did it make the car go faster? No. Did it make the car corner better? No. Did it help the handling of the car? No. Wow.
In the ‘revised’ Drivers’ Championship standings, Max leads Perez by 226 and Hamilton by 265. In the ‘revised’ Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads Mercedes by 362 and Ferrari by 384.
Their next race is Mexico, Sunday at 4.55 P.M. on TSN 5 and ABC.
NHRA: Their next race is Las Vegas on Sunday.
TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK: Their next race is Test & Tune this weekend.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: The track hosted the Halloween Enduro this past weekend. Rodney Rutherford took the checkered flag. You can see the full report and gallery here.
Speaking of… hope everyone has a great Halloween!
Any comments can be sent to Dave Mathers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook Messenger.