Lots of racing available for fans this weekend
August 24, 2013
There's lots of racing going on this weekend, both locally and on TV. The Lucas Oil Off-Road series is at Wild West Motorsports Park in Mustang today and Sunday, and Reno-Tahoe-Fernley Speedway holds its eighth points race of the season for the 95A series tonight. The Lucas Oil show features Pro 4, Pro 2, and Pro Lite trucks, Pro Buggies, and Mod Karts. At Reno-Tahoe-Fernley, the IMCA Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Mod Minis are on the program, and there is also a possibility that the Hobby Stock class will be added. Activities at Wild West Motorsports Park start at 9:30 a.m. today and run until 4:30, which will just give you enough time to get out to Reno-Tahoe-Fernley for a 6 p.m. start.
Carson City's Mackena Bell is also back in action this weekend in tonight's K&N Pro Series race at Virginia International Raceway. When I talked to her in June, she was apprehensive about the road course rounds this year, having little to no road racing experience. But she has a good car, a good crew, and as much road course seat time as many of her competitors.
While you're watching local racing live, don't forget to set your DVR to record tonight's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol. As the series heads into the final races leading up to the Chase, the bottom half of the 12 runoff spots are still very much in doubt. Jimmie Johnson's blown engine and subsequent 40th place finish at Michigan last week has tightened up the points at the top, although Johnson is now locked into the Chase and has a 41-point cushion over second-place Clint Bowyer. However, Jimmie's teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. has dropped to seventh in the standings, only 18 points ahead of 11th place. And without a win, Junior is in danger of not making the Chase. So is Jeff Gordon, who also is winless and 14th in the standings, 26 points out of 10th place. And Bristol is the kind of place that can scramble things, with 43 cars on a very fast half-mile short track and lots of full-contact racing.
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Silly Season is well underway in the Cup series. Juan Montoya's contract with Ganassi Racing has not been renewed for 2014, and it may spell the end of his career. And Ryan Newman must be puzzled. He was told by his friend Tony Stewart that if the team obtained sponsorship for a fourth car, Newman would have the ride. And now it appears that Kurt Busch has been offered that fourth Stewart-Haas seat, joining Stewart, Danica Patrick, and Kevin Harvick. Whether or not Busch accepts the offer, it gives him a big bargaining chip in contract negotiations with Furniture Row. Harvick's departure from the RCR organization opens up a seat for Richard Childress' grandson Austin Dillon to move up into the Cup ranks unless the team hires Newman or Montoya.
If you're an IndyCar fan, this weekend is your best chance to see the series in person, as the series visits nearby Sonoma Raceway. It has been a wild season with several first-time winners. Ganassi and Penske teams have had tough starts.
Coming back from a four-week layoff, Formula 1 is at the frighteningly fast Spa Francorchamps circuit this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix. As the second half of the season begins, it is shaping up to be a duel between points leader and defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton in his debut season with Mercedes.