This Week In Motorsports

 
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Motorsports News by David Vodden

The Le Mons are back. Specifically, the 24 Hours of LeMons auto race will return to Thunderhill Park next weekend Saturday and Sunday, July 29th and 30th. The all-day race features junk cars built with humorous themes, in competition for about fourteen hours ending at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.  The race starts at 10am on Saturday. Admission is $30 for adults which includes access for two days. Gates open at 8am both days with the fun and games on going from the time you arrive until you leave whenever that may be. Food, drink and easy access to the race cars and drivers adds to the enjoyment for all who drive west on highway 162 past Wal Mart to experience this most entertaining, family fun event.  Please note, you can see on-track action every day of the week at Thunderhill from now until the end of the year. Just click on www.thunderhill.com and check the calendar tab to see how.

The global Formula One race series is half way over with ten events left in the twenty-race schedule. As this is being written, international driving stars, Sebastian Vettel [German] and Lewis Hamilton [British] are one point apart in the fight for the driver’s championship. Vettel drives a Ferrari [Italian] and Hamilton drivers a Mercedes [German]. Valtteri Bottas [Finish] and Daniel Ricciardo [Australian] are next in line for the driver’s title fight. The multi-billion-dollar race show, now owned by an American company now, gets on track in Budapest this weekend. Hamilton won last weekends British Grand Prix at Silverstone in a flag-to-flag romp. To the credit of the television company covering the action very rarely showed Hamilton out front but, instead, opted for the entertaining parts of the race mid-pack and wherever good racing was taking place. Too bad the Neanderthal television crews that cover the NASCAR races can’t do this. Dumb.

Speaking of NASCAR, Denny Hamlin is the newest Monster Energy winner and the first driver in the once omnipotent Joe Gibbs team to find victory circle. It was a good win in a race where the addition of a chemical compound taken from drag racing was added to the track surface to allow cars to stick in lanes off the inside line. The New Hampshire mile track traditionally produces very poor racing. A single lane on the inner line of the track left anyone and everyone trying to pass out to lunch. The result was no passing and a crappy race. Not so this time. Congrats to NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., for giving the fans a better show. Kyle Larsen earned yet another second place in that race after starting last once again. His Siamese twin, Martin Truex Jr., was attached to the back of his bumper. Once again Kyle Busch won the Saturday Xfinity race and was looking good in the Sunday big show when a NASCAR call for speeding on pit lane knocked him out of contention. Having NASCAR decide the outcome of major-league races is getting painful.  Officials should not decide who wins in motorsports. This is supposed to be the result of good driving and not bureaucrats in the tower who may or may not have an agenda. Kyle Bush remains very mad.

Indy Car racing was in Toronto Canada where Josef Newgarden beat Auburn, Ca. driver and Indy 500 winner, Alexander Rossi, and James Hinchcliffe in what was a good show.  The American open-wheel racing series convenes at Mid-Ohio this weekend on what is a legendary purpose-built road course.  Honda driver Scott Dixon holds a slim three-point lead over Chevy driver Helio Castroneves with four races left on the schedule following this weekend’s meet.  Surprisingly, Castroneves, the very popular and up-beat long-term driver for Roger Penske, has never won the Indy-car drivers championship. Go figure!

Silver Dollar Speedway continues for the next five Friday nights ending on August 25th when track championships will be decided in all classes topped by the 410-sprint car division. Two weeks later, starting on Wednesday night September 6th, the annual “Gold Cup” race of champions will take place featuring the traveling World of Outlaw Sprint cars on the small-dirt-oval track for two nights of really-good winged sprint car racing. The WoO sprint cars race on Friday and Saturday nights. The 2017 edition of the World of Outlaw racing has been better than in recent years with David Gravel, Brad Sweet, Shane Stewart, Logan Schubert and Sheldon Haudenschild making waves.  Donny Schatz is still the man to beat and remains the likely 2017 WoO sprint car champion but he does not do well at Silver Dollar Speedway. This changes the playing field allowing anyone, including locals like Sedan Becker and Andy Forsberg, a chance to win. Mark your calendar.

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