FORMULA ONE: The new sprint qualifying debuted Saturday at Silverstone. Max Verstappen got a better launch than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and never looked back finishing ahead of Hamilton and fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. The enclosed trailer with three windows for the three finishers driving around the circuit was really cool. Tires were a major concern again.
WOW!!! What a start to Sunday’s race!! Verstappen and Hamilton got together with Max spinning and hitting the wall HARD. In front of, wait for it – 356,000 spectators (for the weekend)!! Queens Park, are you picking up on THAT number???
Hamilton was assessed a ten second penalty by the stewards. I disagree with the call. There, I said it. He served the penalty, came back up through the pack and made Charles LeClerc commit an ‘unforced error’ with a couple of laps to go when the Ferrari got a bit off-line, wiggled, and Lewis was past.
LeClerc finished second and Bottas third. Verstappen still leads the points with Hamilton only eight points back and a surprising Lando Norris third. Next race on the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary on August 1. THAT will be an interesting race… stay tuned!!
NASCAR: XFINITY SERIES: Christopher Bell dominated Saturday’s race at Loudon leading 151 out of the 200 laps. Justin Allgaier was second with Daniel Hemric third. Alex Labbe started 15th and finished 36th.
Austin Cindric leads the points with AJ Allmendinger second and Daniel Hemric third. Labbe sits 18th. They sang ‘O Canada’ before the race as usual but sadly there were few if any Canadians there. Let’s hope that changes soon.
CUP SERIES: The Cup Series race at Loudon got off to what can only be described as an inauspicious start!! Kyle Busch, the pole sitter, looped it six laps in due to a damp track and finished a VERY unhappy last. A nearly two hour rain delay held things up before track drying allowed the race to resume. Eric Almirola won over Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski.
PINTY’S SERIES: GOOD NEWS – The series has been held back by the country’s COVID-19 rules but it finally gets underway with a double header at Sunset Speedway on Sunday, August 1. And even better news, the series returns ‘home’ with a visit to Delaware Speedway on Sunday, September 26. Back where it all started – as CASCAR – so many years ago!!
NHRA: They dropped into the beautiful Bandimere Speedway just west of the Mile High City Denver, Colorado in the Rockies. A side note here: I find it VERY interesting that two NHRA races were held on the weekend in facilities just off Interstate I-70.
There were 39 Stock class cars at Denver compared to 143 at the Jeg’s SPORTSNationals at National Trail in Ohio. In Super Stock, there were 16 at Denver and 107 at Hebron!! Car counts were down in all Pro classes at Denver.
Steve Torrence continued his total dominance of the Top Fuel class beating Joey Haas in the final. Steve is 307 points ahead of Antron Brown.
In the floppers, Matt Hagan beat Alexis DeJoria in the final. Bob Tasca leads John Force by 50 in the Funny Car points race.
Jose Gonzalez topped Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson in the final in Pro Mod and he holds the lead in the points by 58 over Justin Bond. Matt Smith won Pro Stock Motorcycle over Eddie Krawiec and leads the points by 163 over Steve Johnson.
Factory Stock had the only full field of the above classes and Stephen Bell (16 Camaro) bested Leah Pruett (21 Challenger) in the final.
IMSA: The race at Lime Rock Park was a bit of a let-down as there were only three GTLM cars there; two Vettes and a Porsche. Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia won in the #3 Corvette. The Pfaff Porsche team finished a strong fourth in GTD class with drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon.
INDYCAR: They’re off until August 8 when they run the inaugural Big Machine Music City street course at Nashville, Tennessee. I’m looking forward to that race.
I’m not sure what the reason is/was for that big gap in the schedule as the series has been picking up lots of new viewers this year but hopefully the interest will still be there after the break.
SRX: The last SRX race for this year was held Saturday at the Nashville Fairgrounds track. Here’s a flashback for that track. Junior Hanley was running the All American 400 there in 1989 (I think) and Bill Elliott was parked about five cars over from us.
Bill walked over and said, ‘Juniah, ah got one of your cars and an Ernie engine but ah’m half a second slower than you.’ ‘Stay here,’ says Junior. Bill and I watched him walk over to Bill’s car and he took a full ten minutes to walk around it.
He didn’t lift the hood or the trunk and didn’t go underneath. He came back and gave Bill six changes. Bill went over and told Ernie and they made the changes.
He came back after the next practice and said, ‘well THAT found the half second,… what else ya got?’ Junior flashed a HUGE smile and said, ‘you’re on your own now!’
On Saturday night, Bill won the first heat, followed by his son, Chase, in second and Bobby Labonte third. Helio Castroneves won the second heat with Eddie Francis, Jr. second and Paul Tracy third.
In the Main, Chase Elliott was victorious over Tony Stewart and Bill Elliott. And the crowd went wild!!
Stewart won the points championship in his own series over Ernie Francis, Jr. and Bobby Labonte in third. And once again, Paul Tracy made some more ‘friends.’
DID YOU KNOW?: The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has given design approval as an FIA Grade 3 facility for the planned 4 K road course track named Oro Station just north of Barrie, Ontario.
The track will be part of a larger development on the west side of Highway 400. This is good news for the sports car crowd but don’t be surprised if there is interest from the stock car crowd, as well.
Also, did you know that Austin Cindric will be replacing Brad Keselowski in the #2 Cup Mustang at Team Penske? Brad is reportedly moving over to Roush Fenway as a driver and possible part owner.
Until next week!!