World of Motorsports June 9

World of Motorsports June 9

Winners last weekend included Kyle Busch scoring win number three of the season at World-Wide Technology Raceway in Madison Illinois. He beat Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex Jr., in the second overtime finish. The race was largely uninteresting, inspired by an almost two-hour delay for lightning in the area that never resulted in rain. Duh! Busch started on the pole and led 121 laps in the yawner.

The Indy cars raced on the streets of Detroit bouncing by the Chevrolet Corporate offices with Alex Palou winning in his Honda powered car. Will Power finished second in a Chevrolet. Felix Rosenquist drove a McLaren to third making it three different manufactures from all over the globe on the podium. Scott Dixon got fourth followed by Alexander Rossi from the nearby Auburn area. In addition to being bumpy in the extreme the track was narrow and hard to pass on. That said there were ten lead changes among seven drivers with seven caution periods. Street races are seldom as good as real race-track events as will become evident when NASCAR races on the streets in Chicago over the July 1 weekend.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull won again in the Spanish Grand Prix. It was his third win in a row and fifth in seven races run thus far in 2023. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was second, his best finish of the year. Teammate George Russell completed the podium. Red Bull driver Sergio Perez was fourth followed by Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz. This kind of dominance at the top of the finishing charts is hurting the entertainment value of the American owned series but not track attendance. F-1 crowds appear to top the charts in all major motorsports racing with the exception of the Indianapolis 500 that truly does host over300,000 attendees one day each year in May. I am going to skip future F-1reports until someone other than Max Verstappen wins which means you can assume, he won if you do not read otherwise here.

Cole Custer won for the first time since returning back to the Xfinity series in Portland Oregon on a sunny Saturday. It took twelve races for the Stewart/Hass driver to get his Ford into victory lane. He won over Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Josh Berry and Austin Hill. Sheldon Creed and John Hunter-Nemechek were factors in the beginning of the race but a series of purposeful take-outs relegated these two drivers down the finishing order as a result of their own doing. Reports said that the attendance at the City of Portland owned raceway was down from last year which is hard to imagine since the race was run in a monsoon rain. Grant Enfinger won in the truck race back at World-Wide Tech Raceway on Saturday. Ty Majeski and Zane Smith looked like they could both win until Majeski spun sideways, tagged Smith, and took them both out of contention. Following Enfinger was Stewart Freisen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy. The trucks are now off the schedule for a few weeks while the CUP and Xfinity cars come to our neighborhood to do battle at Sonoma Raceway just two hours from here. This weekend will have an ARCA West event on Friday, Xfinity on Saturday along with a vintage Trans Am race where FOX Announcer Mike Joy will race and Sunday’s Cup race where Daniel Suarez scored his only win in CUP last year. The weekend is one long party with races thrown in. Concerts, celebrities, air show, and more would keep the smart fan at the track from start to finish to avoid the Achilles heel of the property, traffic.

Sprint car racing has been going hot and heavy these days with Kyle Larsen winning his third high-limit feature Tuesday night. Jake Swanson won in USAC sprint competition at Knoxville Buddy Koifoid, Geo Scelzi, Rico Abreu, Logan Seavey and Jesse Love have all been winners with one thing in common, they all started racing in California!

I was at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa last weekend taking in the Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that saw Californians Ralph Sheheen, and Cory Kruzeman inducted. It was a bucket-list event for me having lived most of the years that have made sprint car racing worthy of hall of fame status in motorsports! Tonight, I will attend the West Coast Hall of Fame at Sonoma Raceway where drivers Kevin Harvick and LeRoy Van Connett will be inducted. The gala affair will be a who’s-who of NASCAR in attendance as part of the weekend of racing at the wine-country venue. More to report on this next time. The NHRA was rained out Sunday in New Hampshire. Not sure what happened on Monday. Stay tuned.

Lots of racing going on these days at Placerville, Petaluma, Cycle Land in Oroville, Ocean Speedway in Watsonville and, of course, Thunderhill, where you can see four separate events for FREE today and Sunday with the AUDI Club leading the billing.  You can also see the 24 Hours of Le Mans event in France on TV or streaming. Rick Hendricks will compete with his “Garage 56” Camaro entry, a NASCAR look-alike car built by Hendrick, Chevrolet, and Goodyear to compete in their specific class below the prototypes and other exotics. These lower classes are where all the good racing is and where all the brand awareness takes place. Chevrolet has Corvettes in the battle as did Ford when the Ford VS. Ferrari story unfolded. Indy, Le Mans, and Daytona could be considered the big three of diversified motorsports events.