In this week’s Motion Motorsport Report by Dave Mathers for Inside Track Motorsport News, Dave wraps up last weekend’s racing action, including NASCAR, F1, NHRA and much more.
News reports have the 2024 Williams FW46 being produced by, and I quote, “a committee of senior managers in the absence of a technical director.”’!! What could possibly go wrong with that? Wow.
Could they be getting cocky after a Williams finally made it to Q3, this time at the Dutch Grand Prix? Sadly, it appeared that Logan Sargeant slipped the transmission into reverse on the start dropping all the way to the back of the pack before hitting a wet spot on the track and having an off.
In other F1 news, a veteran journalist and family friend was quoted as saying that Michael Schumacher’s situation is “a case without hope.” The rare glimpse into the health of the F1 legend – almost 10 years after his tragic skiing accident – is a huge disappointment to his many fans who have longed for news about a possible recovery.
Apparently, the only way for motor racing to get coverage in the mainstream media is to have a dramatic accident. The wreck by Ryan Preece during the recent Daytona Cup race managed to get a lot of primetime coverage on Sunday.
Further to the Preece wreck, Denny Hamlin suggests it’s time to get rid of the grass in the infield. I agree with him. Pave it over and stop the crazy flips we have seen from cars digging into the grass.
Pro Stock Motorcycle star Angelle Sampey has announced plans to move into a Top Alcohol Dragster owned by Top Fuel champ Antron Brown. Her stated goal, you ask? ‘To kick Tony Stewart’s butt’!! GREAT promotional talk. Bring it.
I wondered what Brad Keselowski was doing during the late red flag Saturday night at Daytona. He was doing donuts with his car. Apparently, a fire had started in the left front rocker panel area, and he was just trying to blow out the fire. It worked!!
NHRA has announced its 2024 schedule and it shows 21 races… the same number as this year. However, with Denver and Topeka dropping off the schedule two T.B.D. dates have been added (June 21-23 and July 12-14). Any guesses as to where they will be? Hmm.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: Christopher Bell got the pole for the cup race at Darlington Raceway ahead of Denny Hamlin and Tyler Reddick, all three in Toyotas.
The first stage went almost caution free but not quite. Christopher Bell, with one lap to go, smacked the wall in four, gaining one of those famous Darlington stripes, for a yellow. Denny Hamlin won Stage 1.
Then Bubba Wallace slid up the track and hit Joey Logano but the yellow was already out!! On about lap 180 the yellow came out because the lower lights were out in corners 3 & 4. NASCAR was working to get the lights back on. Opinions were mixed whether the lights were needed or not. At lap 189 the red flag came out apparently to get the lights fixed.
After less than ten minutes the red got pulled and the yellow came back out (in spite of the mass media protestations that ‘NASCAR had a major problem with their lights’ the race could have continued without them!!!) as it appeared that the lights were back on in 3 & 4.
On lap 217 B.J. McLeod just flat out stopped on track for another yellow. Just before the stage end Ty Gibbs and Austin Cindric got together for another caution. Denny Hamlin won Stage 2 thus sweeping both stages.
On lap 310 Harvick headed for pit road and Tyler Reddick slowed to try and follow him causing Ryan Newman to rear end him for a yellow. On lap 318 Alex Bowman blatantly blocked (probably the most flagrant block I have seen in a long time!!) Daniel Suarez by going down the track.
When Suarez came back up, he clipped Bowman collecting Harrison Burton in the mess. On lap 330 Kyle Busch ran Todd Gilliland up into the wall causing Todd to spin. Denny Hamlin got tapped going by ‘the scene of the crime’ as did Christopher Bell. But the BIG loser was Michael McDowell whose car was really, really bent!! He was just, sadly, an innocent victim.
I have watched enough races from Darlington to know that the first stage was an anomaly as it ran without incidents right to the last lap before stage end. And my fears were realized as the wreck ‘em race did not disappoint!!
At the flag it was Kyle Larson ahead of Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher. Good race.
In the points Byron leads Larson by 1 and Reddick by 15.
Their next race is Kansas, Sunday on TSN 5 at 3.00 P.M.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES: John Hunter Nemechek qualified on the pole for the Xfinity race Saturday at Darlington Raceway ahead of Denny Hamlin (both in Toyotas) and Justin Allgaier (Chev).
On lap 8 Josh Berry and Daniel Hemric got together in 4 but both kept going with no flag. On lap 12 Sammy Smith got behind on his steering and got sideways on corner 4 exit bringing out the first yellow. From there they ran right to the end of Stage 1 won by Nemechek.
On lap 55 Anthony Alfredo got into the wall after moving up from the bottom lane and getting tagged causing another caution. Nemechek wins Stage 2 as well. Kyle Larson entered pit road at the stage end where they lifted the hood. The problem? Pit road was closed!! Tilt!!
On lap 102 Jeremy Clements and Kyle Sieg got together coming out of 4 and both cars spun for a yellow. On lap 132 Ryan Sieg spun coming out of that notorious corner 4 resulting in a caution. On lap 142 Sam Mayer put the bumper to Parker Kligerman and spun him. Parker kept it off the wall and got moving but the caution came out, nevertheless. This, of course, lead to overtime and Denny Hamlin picked up the win ahead of Austin Hill and Nemechek. The 19 car beat the 21 car and the 20 car!! Interesting numerology!!
In the points Hill leads Nemechek by 23 and Allgaier by 33. That will change after Kansas next week as Nemechek has five wins to four for Nemechek and two for Allgaier when the playoffs begin.
Their next race is Kansas, Saturday on TSN 5 at 3.00 P.M.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS: Their next race is Bristol, Thursday, September 14 on Fox Sports Racing at 9.00 P.M.
FORMULA ONE: The Tifosi were ecstatic Saturday at Monza as their Ferraris qualified 1st (Carlos Sainz) and 3rd (Charles Leclerc) book ending Max Verstappen.
Lance Stroll had a head scratching 20th place on the charts. Not sure what that was all about.
And, of course, once again the Kindergarten Kops (aka the stewards) were at it again for the kids ‘colouring outside the lines’!! And they almost pulled the pole away from Sainz for ‘disregarding the instructions of the stewards’ whatever in Hades that meant!!
That would have made January 6 look like a tea party!! Can you imagine what nearly 100,000 irate Italians would be capable of had they taken away the pole? Scary visual!
So, the top racing series in the world is incapable of removing a car stopped on the circuit resulting in the initial start being aborted? Really? Yuki Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri stopped and the marshals were unable to push it off as it was stuck in gear. Wow!!!
This resulted in a Russian fire drill as all the crew members came running back out to their respective cars on the grid. The end result – a 23-minute delay in the start of the race!! Wow.
Sainz had a mirror full of Max up until lap 15 when Max made the pass for the lead!! The biggest mover was Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull who moved from his fifth place starting spot to third then second in the closing laps.
On the last lap the two Ferraris running 3rd and 4th had a ‘close encounter of the worst kind.’ Leclerc locked up on corner entry and almost hit his teammate. Both cars survived to live another day.
At the flag it was Verstappen, Perez, Sainz and Leclerc. Stroll finished 16th.
In the Drivers’ Championship Max leads Perez by 145 and Alonso by 196.
In the Constructors’ Championship Red Bull leads Mercedes by ‘only’ 310 and Ferrari by 355.
Their next race is Singapore, Sunday, September 17 at 7.55 on TSN 1 & 5.
INDYCAR: Graham Rahal picked up the pole Saturday for Sunday’s IndyCar race at Portland International Speedway ahead of Scott McLaughlin and Colton Herta. Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco qualified 21st.
On lap 3 Will Power tried to stay ahead of Alexander Rossi on corner entry and overcooked it causing him to spin onto the grass bringing out a yellow. On lap 83 Agustino Canapino looped it and stopped just off track for another yellow.
At the flag it was Alex Palou over Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon. DeFrancesco finished 17th. With the win Palou has pretty much sealed up the championship. He leads Scott Dixon by 91 and Josef Newgarden by 148.
Their next race is the season finale at Laguna Seca, Sunday at 3.00 on NBC.
IMSA: Their next race is at IRP, Sunday, September 17.
NHRA: The largest drag race in the world better known as the U.S. Nationals was held last week and weekend. Action started Friday with the once popular and full fields HEMI Challenge.
The sanctioning body has allowed the rules to get out of control and today’s cars are purpose-built, tube-chassied, full-blown race cars costing well into six figures.
As a result, only 14 cars showed this year. Steve Comella qualified Number 1 with an 8.313 and marched through the field taking out Number 2 qualifier James Daniels in the final. Maritime racer Wendell Howes went out in the quarter finals.
Once again Pro Mod got treated as that drunken uncle who shows up at every family reunion. In spite of having the MOST entries of all the Pro classes (21 to 19 T/F, 17 F/C, 17 P/S & 18 P/SM) they were laddered up on Saturday with first round Sunday!!!! It is, after all, the most diverse Pro class of all.
‘Tricky’ Rickie Smith took the Number 1 spot with the only spray (nitrous) car in the field. B.C. star Justin Bond was 2nd. But Wait There’s More!!! In spite of the PRO in the class name for the finals Pro Mod runs before Factory Stock, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, JUNIOR DRAGSTER (I kid you not!!) and ‘Street Legal’!! Then they have the ‘Parade of Champions’ followed by the OTHER four Pro classes. What is wrong with this picture?
Steve Torrence qualified first in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, Smith in Pro Mod, Matt Hartford in Pro Stock, Gaige Herrera in Pro Stock Bike, David Janac in Factory Stock and Greg Stanfield in Factory X.
It looked like it was going to be ‘Upset City’ as the first three Top Fuel pairings were won by the lower qualified car. But thankfully, no, as things soon returned to normal, as normal as can be expected from cars that have enough power to speed up the earth’s rotation!! LOL
Greg Stanfield won the new Factory X class. Jesse Alexandra won Factory Stock.
Matt Smith won Pro Stock Bike and was the giant killer as he had taken out Gaige Herrera in the semis. Five upsets.
Another Matt, Matt Hartford, who qualified Number 1, won Pro Stock. Four upsets and three ‘smokers.’
Kris Thorne took out Justin Bond in the Pro Mod final. Six upsets and one ‘smoker.’
Ron Capps took out J.R. Todd in the Funny Car final. Five upsets and five ‘smokers.’
Crowd favourite Antron Brown took out low qualifier Steve Torrence in the Top Fuel final. Five upsets and six ‘smokers.’
Overall, the event was a great success. We will have the points next week.
Their next race is Maple Grove, September 17.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: L.P. Dumoulin grabbed the pole Saturday at Mosport for Sunday’s race. Marc Antoine Camirand was second and Alex Labbe was third.
The pole time was a stout 1:22.381. And the best part you ask? Thirty one cars were entered for the race and all but two took time trials. And even better there have been 54 unique entries in Pinty’s races this year.
Apparently, a documentary on basketball legend Bill Walton was playing when the start of the TSN+ broadcast of the race was due to start. It even had the Pinty’s race showing as the title on the side of the screen? Really? Live Timing shows green but I’m watching a very LONG commercial on the broadcast?????
And the TSN+ schedule shows a 1 o’clock start? And now I’m getting an error message? I give up.
Live Timing shows green on lap 1 of 51 but it has been like that for over 15 minutes. Refreshing Live Timing shows a blue dot for status and 0 of 51 laps!! Now
Live Timing shows #96 ‘null null’ 1st and #27 ‘null null’ 19th but nobody else!!!
I give up! I’m going now to watch IndyCar and drag racing then Cup tonight!! Update – I checked back and Live Timing was back on at lap 47 of 51!!!! Lap 49 and that famous racer ‘null null’ was in a dead tie with the leader Kevin Lacroix, LOL. Then it disappeared again.
Kevin Lacroix won the race ahead of pole sitter Dumoulin, Camirand, D.J. Kennington and Labbe. In the points (the ones hidden at the bottom of the race results page NOT the ones on the website!!!) Treyten Lapcevich has a 35 point lead on Camirand and 71 on Alex Tagliani. My math indicates that Lapcevich only has to finish in the top ten (assuming Camirand wins) to earn the championship at Delaware. Should be interesting to say the least.
Their next race, the season finale, is Delaware, Sunday, September 24.
APC Series: Their next race is Delaware, Saturday, September 23.
ONTARIO SPORTSMAN SERIES: Rick Spencer-Walt won the OSS race at Sauble Speedway Saturday ahead of Chad McGlynn, Derek McCullough, Brendan Patrick and Kevin Trevellin.
Their next race is Delaware, Friday, September 15.
DELAWARE SPEEDWAY: In the Bone Stocks Jordan Willms won Heat 1, Ian Levac Heat 2, Jason Lovie Heat 3, Craig Cole the B Main while Jeremiah Rabideau won the Main ahead of Jay Cox and Phil Givens. Lovie was leading the main until he dropped out due to suspected electrical issues.
In the V/8 Stocks Chad Clutterbuck won Heat 1, Paul Fothergill won Heat 2 and Kyle Metzenberg won the main ahead of Fothergill and Mark McDonald.
Marshal Schrenk won the Late Model Heat 1, Ray Morneau won Heat 2 while Ronnie Beauchamp won the Main ahead of Gary Adriaensen, Morneau, Jesse Kennedy and Chase Pinsonneault. Last week’s winner Patrick Freel had something fail on his car on corner three entry and he hit the wall at full speed. He was thankfully okay.
In the Bone Stock points Cox has a 3-point lead on Rabideau and 48 points on Matt Langford. In the V/8 Stocks Fothergill has an 8-point lead on Jeff Ferguson and 39 on Dave Evison. Connor Pritiko has the Late Model championship pretty much wrapped up with a 31-point lead on Pinsonneault and 37 on Adriaensen.
Their next race is Super Stocks, V/8 Stocks and Bone Stocks, Friday.
FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY: Their next race is the Flamboro Memorial, Saturday.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY: Their next race is Epic Racewear Night, Friday.
SOUTHERN ONTARIO MOTOR SPEEDWAY (BUXTON): Their next race is Championship Night for Late Models and Modifieds, Saturday.
GRAND BEND SPEEDWAY: Their next race is Thursday night.
GRAND BEND DRAGWAY: Their next race is Fallfast, September 15 – 17.
ST. THOMAS DRAGWAY: Their next race is the Hot Rod Reunion, this weekend.
TORONTO MOTORSPORT PARK: Tragedy struck this past weekend when veteran racer Tony Positano passed away as a result of an on-track crash on Saturday, during their big Labour Day event. Condolences to his family, friends and everyone at TMP. The track’s next race is Canada Heads Up, this weekend.
SHANNONVILLE DRAGS: Their next race is September 23 & 24.
CAN AM STOCK/SUPER STOCK SERIES: Their next race is at Empire Dragway, September 16 & 17.
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