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Motor Sports News By David Vodden
Tomorrow, Sunday, it is still possible to bring your teen-age driver to Thunderhill Park with his or her street car to participate in one of four driving clinics held each year at the Willows road course. It costs a meager $99 and it will save your young drivers life. The day-long event has earned high praise from all parents and young drivers who have attended in the past for what it does to improve the skills that enable graduates to avoid and, as needed, deal with issues that occur when driving. We have all experienced these surprise occurrences. We survived but too many young drivers did not. Car control, respect, and the physics of the automobile when operated on four, small rubber patches, is all good information. It makes the difference when reacting to what driving throws at your child in those critical early years of highway driving. Come to Thunderhill Park Sunday June 25, by 8am. Find the event official, Scott Smith, and sign up. There is no reason not to do this. None. Your choice. See you and your most precious child at the track.
Kyle Larsen won the NASCAR Monster Energy series 400 lap feature event at Michigan Raceway last Sunday. He beat Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Jamie Mc Murray. It was a good race in the end as per usual. Larsen fought off challengers, including long-time leader Kyle Busch, Hamlin and Elliott, over three late race restarts. The win show cased Larsen’s skills that promise more wins in the future and the potential for the Japanese descendent to become a NASCAR super star. Time will tell. Larsen went to Ohio one day later and won an All-Star series sprint car main event defeating Kasey Kahne for the win. Larsen raced later this week in sprint cars. He will be among the limited number of NASCAR stars that make the trip west for tomorrows “Save Mart 300”, NASCAR road race at the Sonoma eleven-turn, slow and technical course. Tonight, Saturday, Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will be racing at nearby Calistoga Fairgrounds Speedway on the big half -mile dirt oval there in winged sprint cars. Larsen is not racing but he will be there. Back to Michigan. Kyle Busch was the early leader while Martin Truex Jr., had the dominant car. Truex won both stages in the race but finished sixth. Kyle Busch ended up finishing seventh and immediately left the track asking his crew chief to “get his shit” on the radio as the race ended. The one crash at Michigan occurred late in the event when Ryan Blaney faltered and slowed causing a cluster of fast moving drivers to attempt to occupy the same space, not a plausible physics premise. Daniel Suarez ended up cramming Kevin Harvick into Blaney. A fast-moving Darrell Wallace came along and hit Suarez who veered into the path of Danica Patrick who, again, ended up hard in the wall. The television announcers said it best, “Danica cannot buy a break.” She as OK as were the other drivers in the incident. The Xfinity race at Michigan was better than the Sunday race due to the mix of Super stars and new drivers learning the ropes in this NASCAR “B” series program. Hamlin won by an inch over William Byron at the line. He took the lead on the last lap from the young-gun rookie driver. Hamlin was in a Joe Gibbs Toyota while Byron was in a Dale Earnhardt owned Chevy. John Hunter Nemechek won the NASCAR Camping World Truck race at Gateway Speedway in another last-lap, winner take all, daring pass. He beat Chase Briscoe, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton to the line. Briscoe was the fastest truck and came from a late race tire change to battle Christopher Bell and Crafton for the lead. That battle and the style of racing involved helped Nemechek catch the leaders and pass them while they were “leaning on each other”. NASCAR is at the Sonoma – Sears Point Raceway – this weekend for a 300KM run on the venerable sports car road course. Tony Stewart won the last NASCAR Monster Energy Cup race of his career there last year defeating Denny Hamlin in a last-turn drama that even Hamlin was OK with. Hamlin finished second and congratulated Stewart on his win.
Friday’s Silver Dollar Speedway races saw Kyle Hirst win in the 410 class with Tony Richards on top in the wingless division and Scott Gannett number one in the Economy Sprints. No results here for the Orland Speedway event. I hope you went and saw that program in person? Chico star Jonathan Allard made a cameo appearance at Antioch Speedway Saturday night and won in the winged sprint car racing program there.
Drag racing at the Bristol strip for the NHRA saw Ron Capps win again in Top Fuel Funny Car and a first-time winner in Top Fuel, Clay Millican. Everyone likes to see a first-time winner, ala NASCAR’s non-stop projections for rookie winners. Millican gave us that result. He is not new to the drag racing world or even to Top Fuel Dragsters. The talking heads are now projecting multiple wins, ala NASCAR, for the Drummond, Tennessee racer. He defeated Leah Pritchett. END