In this week’s Motion Motorsport Report, Dave Mathers covers the busy Great Canadian / Fall Brawl at Delaware Speedway, plus NASCAR’s crashfest in Texas and much more.
UPCOMING EVENT: The Earl Ross Memorial – Racing Legends Reunion, Saturday, October 15, 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.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: The Great Canadian Weekend was a success in spite of Mother Nature’s best attempts. We’ll cover the two Delaware classes here while the APC/Qwick Wick and Pinty’s results will be found under their headings below.
Forty, count ’em, forty Bone Stocks started the 25-lap main Friday night. The final race in the 2022 Championship was down to, basically, a two-car battle between Jo Lawrence and Jeremiah Rabideau.
On the second lap, Jo’s brother Kris got taken out on the front straight and his night was done. Jo grabbed the lead early on and held off Jeremiah, who finished third, for the win and the class championship.
In the race, Derek Moesker finished seconnd with Phil Givens fourth and Matt Langford fifth. In the points, Phil Givens finished third, Kris Lawrence fourth and Nathan Rhea fifth.
Sixteen cars, one of the highest car counts of the year, took the green flag in the V/8 Stocks. Matt Hopkins got the win over Jerry Broom, Kyle Metzenberg, Jordan Morris and 15-year-old Ethan Orr.
Metzenberg won the class championship ahead of Jeff Ferguson, Orr, Chad Clutterbuck and Morris. Got an old stock car back in the barn? Drag it out, air up the tires and get ready to have some fun next year with it!!
The track’s next event is the Monster Truck Throwdown this weekend.
APC SERIES: On Friday night, the Qwick Wick Super Stocks ran their last race of the season. Pete Vanderwyst had fast time, 19.731, while Zane Zardo had problems and didn’t time due to drive shaft problems.
Luckily, London Drive Systems owner Matt Lake was ‘in the house’ and he saved the day for Zardo getting him out to start dead last in the Main.
With the top six cars in points so close it was anybody’s championship to win. An early caution brought a very long red flag session, nearly an hour, as a driver had a back injury after hitting the front straight inside wall. He had to be taken out of the car through the roof but reports are that he will be okay.
After the restart, things got busy. Vanderwyst had the lead, but Rick Spencer-Walt had a rocketship and quickly caught Pete. Rick was running for the win not for points, so Pete wisely pulled over and followed Rick to the checkered flag.
This gave Pete the championship and, in post race inspection, Rick was DQ’d for being 12 pounds light, so Pete also got the race win, too. Finishing behind the first two were Nic Ramsay, Shawn Chenoweth and Ryan Dyson.
The final points for the class showed Vanderwyst as champion, followed by Gerrit Tiemersma, Zardo, Trevor Collver and Ryan Dyson.
On Saturday night, the popular OSCAAR Hot Rods and Open Wheel Modifieds raced before the APC United Late Model 100 lapper.
Twenty-one Hot Rods showed with most eclectic lineup imaginable. There were OLD Camaros, Chevelles, AMX’s, a Superbird, a Dodge and several 60s Pontiacs amongst the lineup. Dalen Martin picked up the win in his 71 Mustang over Cole Weber, Paul Senior, Trevor Thompson and Dave Evison, Jr. It was almost like watching an old Diamond Class race from about 1970!!
Fifteen Modifieds started the main with Andy Kamrath destroying the field ahead of Bryan Batty, Marshall Schrink, Jason Keen and Norman Newman.
The APC Series race for the Late Models featured 29 starters and had barely gotten underway when Brandon Watson did his very best imitation of the Exxon Valdez, oiling the track from just past the starting line to up through 1 & 2 and down the back straightaway.
It turned out that the oil drain plug had wiggled loose, finally falling out. In spite of everybody thinking he had a blown motor thanks to a bunch of Castrol oil from the Kennington team he got back on track and actually finished tenth.
Blair Wickett spun on lap 28 bringing out the yellow. Two laps later Matt Pritiko had a flat tire and, apparently, a broken suspension.
Jake Sheridan had grabbed the lead on the initial start but gave up the lead to Shae Gemmell on lap 45. Gemmell held the lead for the rest of the way followed by Sheridan, Josh Stade, Kyle Steckly (who started dead last due to an engine problem for qualifying) and Treyten Lapcevich.
J.R. Fitzpatrick with four wins on the year won the season Points Championship ahead of Steckly, Rick Spencer-Walt, Josh Stade and Andrew Gresel.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: Well, the Pinty’s Fall Brawl definitely lived up to its name!! Brawling? You want some brawling? You’ve got it!! Fortunately, it happened on the track and NOT in the pits.
Mother Nature had threatened to delay the race to as late as Wednesday but there were a couple of windows on Sunday. Twenty-seven cars showed for one of the larger fields this year.
During driver introductions, 2022 Delaware Late Model Track Champion Ray Morneau got the loudest cheers followed closely by the cheers for D.J. Kennington.
Unfortunately, during the overnight storm, it appears that lighting struck the scoreboard on the back straightaway (been there, done that, NOT fun). ‘Tech support’ worked hard and finally got it working for the start of the 250 lapper. Sadly, it ‘gave up the ghost’ early on in the race.
As the last bars of the National Anthem were playing, the rain started, delaying the initial start by almost an hour. The huge big screen just behind pit road provided awesome video of the action and it was used well during the rain ‘interlude’!! Charlotte’s got nothing on Delaware!! LOL
Brandon Watson started from the pole and immediately told the pack that he was fast, VERY fast.
The first caution came early when Wallace Stacey spun. Glenn Styres and Sam Fellows got together going into 3 bringing out the second yellow. Trevor Monaghan and Styres spun going into one for another caution. Soon after Stacey spun again.
On the subsequent restart, the top three points cars Kennington (3rd in points), Kevin Lacroix (2nd) and Marc-Antoine Camirand (1st) were nose to tail on the inside line showing how close the points were.
Several laps later (no lap counter) Alex Tagliani got loose going into 1 and used Alex Labbe to straighten himself out, shoving Alex up and around bringing out another yellow. Alex had an overnighter to get back from Texas where he finished 17 in the Xfinity race on Saturday.
On lap 98 Dexter Stacey spun in 2 and then stopped on track. Shortly after, Trevor Monaghan looped it in 2 but kept going thus avoiding a yellow. Soon after Wallace Stacey got spun by T.J. Rinomato and stopped, again, on track.
Lapped cars were causing the leaders headaches and the Kingsbury car would not yield to the move over flag on a couple of occasions.
On lap 218 points leader Camirand appeared to use Jake Sheridan for braking and spun Jake. And then Jake got held a lap on pit road? I do know that car owner Fast Eddie was NOT a happy camper post race!! When I looked over at Jake’s dad, Ron, he just did the old hands palms up signal!! Didn’t have to say a word.
The BIG ONE happened on lap 225 when a bunch of cars tangled coming out of Turn 4, with Tagliani appearing to get the worst of it.
After a lengthy cleanup and a humourous case of not being able to find the driver for one of the safety vehicles (did he have the keys in his pocket??) racing resumed. Camirand appeared to come down just a bit on Kyle Steckly coming out of 4 resulting in Kyle hitting the inside wall and stopping just before the end of pit wall thus requiring a tow.
Racing resumed green right to the checkered for the 18 remaining on track ‘walking wounded,’ and Watson dominated the race, grabbing the checker over Donald Theetge, Lacroix, Treyten Lapcevich and Kennington.
Camirand won the 2022 NASCAR Canada Pinty’s Series Points Championship ahead of Lacroix and Kennington.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next big race is Frostoberfest this weekend.
LOCAL DRAGS: 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 Pro Street 519 No Prep Race this weekend.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Their next big race is the Ontario Bracket Finals this weekend.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: For the first time in a while, two Fords sat on the front row at Texas Motor Speedway, on Sunday. Brad Keselowski got the pole with Joey Logano beside him and William Byron (Chev) third.
The track was hot, VERY hot, 140 degrees, the hottest Texas race ever so it was obvious that there would be problems. And there were problems, lots of them, all very costly!!
The first yellow (of FOURTEEN!!!! – the two stage ends don’t count as true yellows) came out on lap 42 when Martin Truex spun out of 4 after, reportedly, getting turned by the bump in the track.
I thought it was really cool that William Byron in a Chev was advertising the Ford Raptor hot rod pickup. What’s that you say, it wasn’t THAT Raptor? LOL
On lap 50, Kyle Busch spanked the wall HARD while running fourth in front of the whole pack and went straight to the garage. His reply to the interviewer’s query of ‘what needs to happen to flip the script’ – 2023 – was classic.
On lap 56, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. spun and kept going but they still ‘put it out’?? On lap 78 Christopher Bell got a flat right rear and spun. On lap 98 Alex Bowman got into the wall for another yellow.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin were having a serious ‘sword fight’ and were banging fenders coming to the end of Stage 1.
Another yellow for Christopher Bell on lap 136 after he spun with a flat tire and then took it to the house.
Harrison Burton had a fire on pit road while the tire changer stayed working on the left rear tire!! Now that’s dedication!! They dropped him off the jack, he pulled ahead, they put out the fire, he backed up and they completed the stop!! Definitely a ‘You Tube/Tik Tok’ moment!!
A scary one happened on lap 168 when Cody Ware bounced of the Corner 4 wall and came down pit road at full song hitting the pit wall just a few feet past an opening which would have things far worse. He was taken to the infield care center after a lot of scrambling by the safety crews.
You’d think it couldn’t get worse? Think again. Points leader coming in Chase Elliott hit the wall coming off 4 and caught on fire around his flat right front tire.
On lap 197 Chris Buescher spun for another yellow. ‘Watermelon Man’ Ross Chastain was having a battle with Byron, but Byron finally got clear.
On lap 212 the yellow came out for rain and it was red flagged for a one-hour delay. The interviews were entertaining, and it appears that some of these young drivers don’t even shave yet!! LOL I think the only one the TV crews didn’t interview was the Hendrick Motorsports Executive Chef!!
Back under green and, once again, it was business as usual as Buescher spun again up into the wall on lap 243.
Kevin Harvick was leading when he blew a tire at the fastest spot on the track, the end of the back straight, and hit the wall hard!!!
But wait, there’s more!!! On lap 269 while LEADING Truex blew a tire and hammered the wall putting an end to his day. At the same time, it appeared that Denny Hamlin had pulled the chinstrap too tight on his helmet restricting blood flow to his brain as he flamed out on William Byron for an on track ‘incident’ where Byron spun Denny onto the infield grass under yellow!! Didn’t he get Kyle’s pit crew? Did they bring Kyle’s ‘attitude’ with them? Just wondering!!
On lap 301 Stenhouse spun out of 4 and Austin Cindric spun to miss him. Cindric saved it without hitting the inside wall. Two laps after the restart Aric Almirola brought out what turned out to be, finally, the last yellow when he spun in 2.
At the flag, it was Tyler Reddick ahead of Logano and Justin Haley.
Logano has a 12-point lead on Chastain and 13 on Byron in the Round of 12 points.
Here are my comments on Texas. As a former drag strip owner, I can assure you that JP2 has a VERY short period of effectiveness/life expectancy. We had to spray between EVERY round of the ‘big boys’ as the effectiveness quickly wore off.
So, is that what happened at Texas or was it a tire problem or a track ‘crack’ problem or a new car problem?
NASCAR has some of the smartest people in house so I’m sure they will get things sorted out. This problem of having the leaders crash out is bad optics and leaves the sport open for criticism.
Several options are available. A new tire just for Texas? Another repave to fix the deadly cracks, thus eliminating the need to spray the track? A bigger restrictor plate/electronic governor/chip/wood block under the throttle pedal to slow the speeds and make the racing safer?
Apparently, the IndyCar types HATE the glue. I’m glad I’m not making the decisions, but decisions have to be made.
Their next race, Talladega Sunday at 2 P.M. on TSN 3 & 5.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: While searching the entry list for Texas I noticed that Alex Labbe was not listed in the 36 car but rather in the 92, another Mario Gosselin car.
And for next year, it appears that Alex has several options listed – the 36, 90, 91 and 92, all DGM Racing team cars. In fact, only three Xfinity and three Truck drivers appear to be confirmed for next year. Interesting.
Brandon Jones (Toyota) started from the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway. Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric, both in Chevs, started second and third.
Jones got bumped down onto the apron by Daniel Hemric going into the very first corner but actually saved it and kept going. It is entirely possible that the number 11 is now written on the dash of the 19 car for ‘future reference’!! LOL
The yellows were fast and furious throughout the race. Action started on lap 19 when Jeffery Earnhart spun and hit the wall. On lap 38 CJ McLaughlin spun in 1 for the second yellow. On lap 78 David Starr got into the wall.
On lap 91 Akinori Ogata spun for another caution. On lap 100 it was the BIG ONE!! Eight cars ‘got together’ with Points Leader AJ Allmendinger involved but he was able to continue finishing fourth.
You think the BIG ONE was big? Hold my beer!! Here’s the BIG ONE Edition 2, the remix!! Lap 117 saw NINE cars go into the spin cycle with 7 of them ‘sent to the house’!! The last caution came out on lap 127 when Garrett Smithley got drop kicked into the wall by Kyle Weatherman.
It appeared that the drivers must have had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment after that as they ran the last 73 laps cleanly!! Hemric won Stage 1 while Dinger won Stage 2.
At the flag, it was the fourth win in a row for Gragson over Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs (who started from the parking lot due to unapproved changes), Dinger and Riley Herbst. The last person to win four in a row was Sam Ard in 1983, 39 years ago.
Gragson has a 26-point lead on Dinger and 27 on Gibbs in the playoffs.
Their next race, Talladega Saturday at 4 P.M. on TSN 4.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Their next race, Talladega, is Saturday at 12.30 P.M. on Fox Sports Racing.
FORMULA ONE: Last weekend was scheduled to be the Russian Grand Prix that got cancelled due to the Ukrainian conflict. The Sochi circuit was rather unique but sadly I doubt it will ever get used again.
Their next race is Singapore on Sunday at 7.55 A.M. on TSN 3 & 5.
NHRA: The series dropped into the great Charlotte Motor Speedway complex on the weekend. Top Fuel Points Leader Justin Ashley grabbed the number one spot but lost in the final to Antron Brown. Track prep was good as there were only three ‘traction losses’ and only 4 upsets (slower qualified car taking the win).
In Funny Car, legend John Force qualified number one but lost in the semis to Ron Capps. Then Capps took out surprising Alexis DeJoria in the final. There were five ‘traction issues’ and four upsets.
Pro Mod had only 15 cars and Jose Gonzalez topped the field but lost in the semis to Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson who took out Justin Bond in the final. Only one tire smoker and five upsets.
Pro Stock had Erica Enders again taking the top spot but she lost in the semis to Matt Hartford who, in turn, lost to Aaron Standfield in the final. Five upsets, one smoker.
As for the points Ashley leads Top Fuel by 43 over Antron Brown and by 52 on Brittany Force. In Funny Car Robert Hight leads Capps by 23 and Matt Hagan by 60. In Pro Mod Kris Throne has a 46 point lead on Rickie Smith and 125 on Jackson. Enders leads Stanfield by 64 and Troy Coughlin, Jr. by 97 in Pro Stock.
Their next race is Gateway this weekend on Fox Sports Racing at 2.
IMSA: Their next race is Petit LeMans, Road Atlanta, this Saturday on Rev TV at noon.
MY ‘VIEW’: NHRA can pat themselves on the back for their TV numbers from Maple Grove. 1,678,000 viewers tuned in for the race a new record for the event and NHRA actually beat NASCAR in several of the key demographical segments!! (NASCAR had 1,776,000 for the Bristol Cup race)!!
AND they had more viewers than any IndyCar race this year except the Indy 500! VERY well done!! This could be because long time drag racer Kenny Koretsky and family bought the track!! That’s what happens when a REAL drag racer buys a facility and NOT bean counters!! Just saying.
• Formula One has announced the starting time for their Las Vegas race on November 18 next year. It will be 10 P.M. Pacific Standard Time meaning a 1 A.M. start for us in the east. I predict a LOT of VCR activity and a LOT of skipped over commercials on the Sunday!!
• The FIA won’t approve a Super Licence for Colton Herta even though F1 wants him. It is so ironic that the US has no F1 drivers while Canada has two, Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, although that number appears to be dropping to one next year.
And the FIA has deemed that IndyCar drivers are less qualified than Formula 2 & 3 drivers when it comes to the coveted Super Licenses. Really? American Colton Herta was in line for a possible F1 ride but the FIA decided that he doesn’t have enough ‘points’!!
There will be THREE F1 races in the U.S. next year plus the Canadian and Mexican Grands Prix, so an American driver would be a great draw for all five promoters.
Until next week!!
– Dave Mathers