If you want to see some live local racing, Fernley 95A Speedway is in action tonight. Featuring IMCA Modified, Pro Stock, Hobby Stock, Super Stock 4, and Pure Stock divisions, racing begins at 5 p.m. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. and admission is $12 for adults 13 and up. Kids 6-12 and seniors 63 and over are $8, and kids five and under and military in uniform are free.
Carson City’s Mackena Bell raced in the K&N; Pro Series East round at Loudon, N.H., Friday night. She qualified 21st of 30 starters on Thursday, but Friday’s race ran after deadline for this column. You can catch the race next Sunday on Fox Sports 1 at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
When the wrecks were cleared and the rains came, Eric Almirola scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory, ending a 15-year winless streak for the famed Petty Motorsports No. 43. The Daytona track was plagued with rain all weekend, and the scheduled Saturday night race was run on Sunday morning. Two “big ones” took out a number of potential winners, and only about half the starting field took the checkered flag. Almirola is the 11th driver this season to score a win, locking him into the Chase. Kurt Busch, who finished third, was penalized 10 points after post-race inspection, and still sits 24th in points. If he drops below 30th, his single win won’t count for Chase eligibility. Jeff Gordon still sits atop the point standings with one win, so he is assured of a Chase berth. So are teammates Jimmie Johnson with three wins and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two victories. Kasey Kahne, the only winless Hendrick driver, had a good run going at Daytona until he was taken out in the second big wreck.
Time is running out for those drivers on the outside looking into the Chase. Depending on where a team sits, there are two strategies. If you’re well up in the points, the smart thing is to concentrate on points racing. If you’re out of the top 16, you’ll want to go for that all-important win. It will be interesting to watch the next eight races to see how those two strategies play out.
The tables were turned at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, as Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes succumbed to mechanical issues instead of Lewis Hamilton’s. Hamilton, who charged from sixth on the grid to the win, closed to within four points of teammate Rosberg in the drivers’ championship standings. The result was also highly popular with the British crowd, who stormed the track to congratulate their countryman on his home track victory. However, looming protests and a potential ban on the front to rear interconnected (FRIC) suspension system could change who is standing on F1 podiums for the remainder of the season. Although several teams are running some version of the system, Mercedes’ is by far the most complicated (and effective).
The IndyCar series had a double points race at Pocono Raceway, with a potentially critical effect on the series standings. When the checkered flag flew on the remarkably caution-free race, Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya captured his first series win since 2000. Of course, in the intervening years he was otherwise occupied in Formula 1 and NASCAR, but the Pocono race showed his talent hasn’t waned a bit. Driving with perhaps more maturity than in his younger IndyCar days, Montoya stayed at or near the front all day long, maintaining an average position of 2.10. The race set a record for the fastest 500 mile race ever at 202.402 miles per hour average speed.
Tonight they transition from the 2.5 mile “Tricky Triangle” to the 7/8 mile Iowa Speedway oval. Rain disrupted Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions, causing some adjustments to the schedule.
At the NHRA Summit Racing Nationals in Ohio, Antron Brown won the Top Fuel final when Shawn Langdon went up in smoke; John Force edged
Ron Capps in Funny Car to take his 140th career win; and Erica Enders-Stevens beat Dave Connolly by .0505 second for the Pro Stock victory.