In this edition of Dave Mathers’ Motion Motorsport Report, for October 4, 2022, Dave looks ahead to some interesting local events, and also looks back at the weekend in racing.
UPCOMING EVENT: The Earl Ross Memorial – Racing Legends Reunion, on Saturday, October 15 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. at the Ailsa Craig Community Center, 155 Annie Ada Shipley St, Ailsa Craig, Ontario. You don’t want to miss it. The emcee promises some GREAT stories about some of the attendees!! See bottom for the event flyer.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: Their next event is the Pumpkin Smasher Enduro this Saturday.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Flamboro hosted their big Frostoberfest event this past weekend, under nicer than usual conditions. It’s one of Ontario’s big fall short track specials, with races in many classes.
Mike Schmidt of London Recreational Racing is the force behind this event, getting people excited to participate and putting prizes – including the coveted soapstone igloo awards – on the line.
PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY: The big race this coming weekend is Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic, arguably the biggest special event of the Ontario racing season featuring multiple classes, camping and jammed grandstands, pits and parking lots. Click HERE for tickets and info.
DRAG RACING: I will be adding big events only for the three local drag strips as they run regular bracket races each and every weekend.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next big race is the Canadian Sports Compact Series on Saturday, October 15.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next big race is the Turkey Nationals this weekend.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Their next big race is the Canada Heads Up Series, October 15 & 16.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Christopher Bell (Toyota) started from the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega followed by Kyle Larson (Chev) and Denny Hamlin (Toyota). Xfinity ace Noah Gragson qualified 7th filling in for the injured Alex Bowman. The first yellow flew on lap 8 when the right-side window flew off and up Ty Dillon’s car.
GREAT camera work catching that. On lap 24 it was the ‘not quite the Big One’ involving 7 cars when Ricky Stenhouse bumped Harrison Burton after Burton pulled up from the middle row to the top row. Burton and Ty Gibbs were unable to continue.
On lap 45 Corey LaJoie spanked the wall HARD when he had a flat tire. He too was unable to continue. On lap 161, Daniel Hemric stalled at pit out and while the safety crew looked after him the fire crew put out a grass fire on the dry grass just inside corner 4. Were the two incidents connected? Hmm.
For about the last ten laps or so, Ryan Blaney had Watermelon Man Ross Chastain as his bumping partner. Blaney had early in the race pulled high from the lead dropping to the back fearing ‘The Big One.’
I can’t imagine the ‘pucker factor’ for Blaney seeing Chastain filling his rear view mirror!! Ross DOES have a bit of a reputation!!
The green came out with two to go and Chase Elliott pulled the gun out of the holster, getting around Blaney at the stripe followed by Michael McDowell, Chastain and Hamlin. Blaney won Stage 1 with Elliott taking Stage 2.
In the ‘Round of Twelve,’ Elliott has a 2-point lead on Blaney and 6 points on Chastain. VERY tight!!
Their next race, the Charlotte Roval, is Sunday at 2 P.M. on TSN 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: Austin Hill (Chev) nabbed the pole for the Xfinity race at Talladega on Saturday, followed by Ty Gibbs (Toyota) and Sheldon Creed (Chev).
Unlike the Truck race, this race looked like a bunch of little old ladies driving around as there was only one, yup, one caution other than the two stage ends.
Gibbs, running third, got a ‘little’ help from Justin Allgaier and had to go to the back on the subsequent restart. Austin Hill won both stages.
AJ Allmendinger made a miraculous ‘come from behind’ moment to win his first race at ‘Dega, his fourth of this year. He was followed by Sam Mayer and Landon Cassill.
‘Dinger is in a tie with Noah Gragson with Gibbs 21 back in 3rd in the Round of Twelve.
Their next race, the Charlotte Roval, is Saturday at 3.30 P.M. on TSN 4.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: The very first thing I noticed about the Truck Race at Talladega was the brown grass. With all the rain and tropical storms down that way the grass caught me by surprise.
John Hunter Nemechek started from the pole followed by Chandler Smith, both in Toyotas, with Carson Hocevar 3rd in a Chev. On lap 19 Jordan Anderson running 4th hit the wall and spun down across the track catching fire from, reportedly, a broken fuel line.
He bailed as the truck hit the wall and was overcome by the smoke. He was helicoptered to the local hospital where he posted online that he was fine other than some burns on his arms, hands and knee and said he would be out that night.
On lap 27 Colby Howard got a flat tire bringing out the yellow. On lap 33 three trucks got together after it appeared that Lawless Allen got a flat went up track and then back down collecting Hocevar and Bryan Dauzat.
On the yellow ending Stage 2, a tire got away from one truck and a crewman went out on the infield grass to retrieve the tire. Needless to say, he was ‘escorted out of the pits’ and had his hard card taken.
On lap 73 Howard spun while running in the top ten causing another yellow. Six laps later Grant Enfinger spun and collected four other drivers. With five laps to go Hocevar stopped on track with a flat then started back up heading to the pits. Nemechek won Stage 1 with Chandler Smith winning Stage 2.
Matty D, Matt DiBenedetto picked up the win under the yellow as all heck broke loose coming to the flag. Ben Rhodes was second with Bret Holmes third.
Stewart Friesen finished 20th and I’m pretty sure I saw him cross the finish line backwards!! LOL
Chandler Smith has a 12-point cushion on Zane Smith and 27 on Ben Rhodes. Friesen is tied for fourth, 30 out.
Their next race, Homestead, is Saturday, October 22.
FORMULA ONE: It seems that Mother Nature spreads her weather everywhere as the start of the Singapore F1 race was delayed by one hour and five minutes due to a wet track meaning the race would be limited to two hours.
Charles Leclerc grabbed the pole with his Ferrari over Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Max Verstappen was on a complete Banzai, pole for sure, run when Red Bull took a page out of the Ferrari Pit Guide and ordered him to ‘box, box, box’!! He started 8th.
Apparently, the team was worried they didn’t have enough fuel in his tank to allow a post-qualifying fuel check. Expletives WERE issued and promptly deleted on air!! LOL
I’m sure Leclerc went back to Corner 1 after the race to see if his ‘athletic supporter’ was hanging on the fence because Perez SMOKED him into corner 1 and never looked back.
I’m sure the scare created by a wet track entered into that result. On lap 8 Canadian Nicholas Latifi in his Williams got into Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo taking them both out of the race.
I’m going to combine the next three yellows – lap 26 Alexander Albon, lap 33 Hamilton, lap 36 Yuki Tsunoda – when all three spun and ‘got into the tires’!! Then Max spun and saved it!!
On the last lap, Max got around Hamilton who, in turn, had been trying to pass Sebastian Vettel.
And another ‘head scratcher’ in a LONG line of F1 stewards ‘head scratchers’! Perez, who won by 7.6 seconds was penalized five seconds for, wait for it, not staying closer than 10 car lengths to the pace car on the Latifi/Zhou yellow. Club racing at its finest!!
They almost ruined another race. When will Liberty wake up and ‘change the program’ thus making F1 the finest racing series in the world AGAIN!!?
Quick Quiz: How many of the reported 302,000 spectators at the race would have even have noted this ‘transgression’!!!?
At the flag, it was Perez, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari. Canadian Lance Stroll started 12th and finished an outstanding sixth ahead of heavy hitters like Max and Lewis. VERY well done.
Max leads Leclerc by 104 and 106 on Perez in the Driver’s Points, while Red Bull leads Ferrari by 137 and Mercedes by 203 in the Manufacturer’s Points.
Their next race is Japan on Sunday at 7.30 A.M. on TSN 4 & 5.
NHRA: They were in Madison, Illinois this past weekend for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Steve Torrence qualified number 1 in Top Fuel and marched through the field taking out number 2 qualifier Josh Hart in the final.
There were fifteen cars in Funny Car and, like Top Fuel, number 1 qualifier Robert Hight marched through the field topping Ron Capps with a holeshot in the final.
Only 13 Pro Mods showed and, here again, number 1 qualifier Daniel Pharris went to the final defeating J.R. Gray. 15 Pro Stocks entered and Kyle Koretsky grabbed the number one spot but unlike the other three he was taken out in the semis by eventual winner Erica Enders who topped Dallas Glenn in the final.
And, in what seems to be a trend, 15 Pro Stock Bikes showed and, continuing the trend Matt Smith took the number 1 spot and took out Jerry Savoie in the final.
Justin Ashley leads Torrence by 14 and Brittany Force by 30 in Top Fuel. Hight has a 46-point lead on Capps and 103 on Matt Hagan in the floppers.
Kris Thorne leads Tricky Rickie Smith by 65 and Steve ‘Fast’ Jackson by 102 in Pro Mod. In Pro Stock Enders leads Aaron Stanfield by 120 and Koretsky by 153. Matt Smith leads Joey Gladstone by 21 in the P/S Bikes and wife Angie by 90.
Their next race is Texas, October 16 on Fox Sports Racing at 2.
IMSA: I found the conversation with Jimmie Johnson at the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta to be very enlightening. Something I had never thought about, but it makes so much sense. Sports cars are similar to stock cars when it comes to ‘side force’ and much better than IndyCars. That is why, he said, that the sports cars corner better than the open wheelers.
The race itself seemed to be a battle to see who could get into the tire barriers first and there was a lot of carnage. It was interesting to see Juan Pablo Montoya’s son Sebastian doing a great job in an LMP2 car.
Also, it was interesting to see Chad Knaus ‘on the box’ for ‘Seven Time’!! And even more interesting you ask? With tropical storms seeming to be everywhere in the south and east Road Atlanta had Chamber of Commerce weather!
The DPi Acura of Blomqvist, Castroneves and Jarvis won the class at the Ten Hour ‘Enduro’, the final race for DPi. They were followed by three Cadillacs. Deletraz, de Andrade and Farano won LMP2. Chaves, Andretti and Burdon won LMP3.
Farnbacher, Simpson and Bechtolsheimer won GTD. Hawksworth, Barnicoat and Kirkwood won GTD PRO, also the last race for that class. Krohn, de Phillippi and Edwards finished second with the Canadian Porsche team of Pfaff Racing picking up third with Campbell, Jaminet and Nasr third. We will post the final points next week.
MY ‘VIEW’: For 2023, Formula One has doubled the number of races having Sprint Qualifying to now have it at six tracks, one quarter of the twenty-four races. I personally love the Sprint format as it adds excitement to the weekend’s racing and eliminates one boring practice session.
– It seems that the ‘tall foreheads’ at IndyCar have decided to follow the head-scratching example of the Blue Jays and are going to STREAM the Toronto Indy race next year. My wife is livid about the Blue Jays decision this year as she is an avid fan.
Why, why, why would anybody think that cutting the viewing audience by about ninety percent could make any economic sense whatsoever? IndyCar’s TV numbers are brutal already so why compound that downward slide with streaming?
Having said that, I boast all the time to my American friends about how lucky we are up here in ‘God’s Country’ to have two, count ‘em, TWO sports networks, TSN and SportsNet, that actually GET it!!! No switching mid-race to Peacock or USA Network!!
– William Byron was fined $50,000 and 25 points for dumping Denny Hamlin during a caution at Texas. This after Denny ran Byron high and into the wall. A little harsh for a car in the playoffs?
– Alex Bowman had to sit out ‘Dega due to the Concussion Protocol. It has been suggested that the number of concussion incidents this year can be attributed to the design of the Next Gen car. What could possibly go wrong with a car from a sports car chassis company?
I remember a bunch of years ago when Champ Car had a problem with a newly designed heavy transaxle that was injuring the backs of drivers when they got hit from behind.
Until next week!!
- By Dave Mathers