This Week In Motorsports

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This Week In Motorsports

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Motorsports Report by David B. Vodden
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won at Talladega in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series in what was yet another cliff-hanger finish. He beat Jamie McMurray to the line by inches with late-race leader Kyle Busch crossing in third. Two observations: First, Stenhouse Jr. earned the pole position for the race and was a real contender all day long; Second, McMurray was committed to win or finish second at all costs. His moves to the runner-up spot were without regard for adverse consequences. Crazy but he got away with it!  It was a good, entertaining race with one super-neat, sixteen car crash that saw the perpetrator, A.J. Almindinger, end up on his top and two of my favorites, Joey Logano and Austin Dillon, pile into the wreckage. It was Talladega-awesome!

Aric Almirola won the Xfinity battle on Saturday with Elliott Sadler taking second and Joey Logano third. On Sunday in the big race Almirola finished fourth in his Richard Petty Enterprises #43 but was caught-out in post-race inspections resulting in financial fines and loss of series points for the effort. The NASCAR boys race in Kansas tonight on what is a 1.5-mile course that some call the “Cookie-cutter-course”. Fans decry the racing action that it provides. Joe Gibbs racing team drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth are winless so far this year after ten races. That is big news. They are hoping to resume their winning ways at Kansas where their record is quite good. The race is on Saturday night this weekend on Fox Sports 1.

Ryan Dungey is the Monster Energy Super Cross 450cc Champion by a mere five points over hard-charging Eli Tomac as that winter series comes to an end. It was drama at its best as Tomac was leading the three-time 450cc motorcycle jumper, Dungey, with two races to go. It looked like Tomac had all the momentum and was going to win. All he had to do was not fall in the last two races. He did. The motocross series goes outdoors for the summer series where Tomac is expected to redeem himself. Watch and see.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is beginning the “Month of May” tradition in the Hoosier state with the Indy Grand Prix today on the infield road course. It is an 85-lap affair that starts at 4pm – Hoosier-time. Practice goes non-stop for the rest of the week with qualifying starting in Saturday May 20th and ending with the “big pole qualifying day” on Sunday May 21st. Some 800,000 unique-viewers caught Formula One champion Fernando Alonzo’s Indy car rookie test. That is huge. The F-1 driver’s presence in this year’s great race is expected to continue to capture the eyes and hearts of race fans world -wide. The Indy 500 runs for the 101st time on Sunday May 28th. It will be on network ABC television. Don’t miss it.

Last week’s SCCA race program at Thunderhill was a bust for me. A broken hub on Saturday afternoon entering the top of turn-9 while leading ended the weekend and my career as an SCCA road racer. What a way to go out! Damn! The rest of the show was just “ok”. Car counts dipped on Sunday as did the quality of the racing. The SCCA is out of town until October 27-29 when they return to cap-off the 2017 racing season for their twenty-eight -classes of racing. It remains to be seen if I am among the drivers in the field?

Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway weekend of sprint car racing suffered from a dust-bowl in the faces of the fans on Friday night but made up for that flaw on Saturday night with a crash-fest for the flying winged race cars and their brave-young flying aces. Kyle Hirst won on Friday in a walk away whereas Rico Abreu took the honors on Saturday night in a better race. The Orland Speedway efforts were well documented in this paper on Wednesday. The old-Orland racers don’t go away, they just keep on coming back and winning.

For more race results including National Hot Rod Association [NHRA-drags], Moto GP motorcycles and road racing of all other kinds use Google and identify the title and the need for results. It is all there.

The Audi Club will be sharing all the hotel rooms in town this weekend with the Lamb Derby attendees that will enjoy activities that start with the fabulous Rotary Club pancake breakfast at 7am on Saturday. They will be serving on Sycamore Street just past the Court house. Next those in town will switch to the Elks Lodge on Shasta street at 11am for a delicious barrel chicken lunch. The all-day party then moves over to Jensen Park where Rotary Beer is the best thing going. It is all good so bring your family and friends and eat, drink and be merry.

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