Last weekend featured the first NASCAR Cup playoff race and a strange Monza Formula 1 race with an unusual result. This weekend is even busier with all three NASCAR touring series at Richmond for four races, F1 at a new venue, and a doubleheader for the NTT IndyCar series at Mid-Ohio. And Fernley 95A Speedway is back in action as well.
Fernley 95A has IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Dwarfs, Bootleggers, and either Gen-X/Pure Stock or Sport Mods on the card. Gates open at 3 p.m., racing at 6 p.m. General admission is $10, $5 for kids and seniors, and $20 for the tailgate section.
At Darlington, once again Chase Elliott was involved in a late-race incident that took both himself and the leader out of contention. This time it was Martin Truex Jr., instead of Joey Logano. The incident handed the race to Kevin Harvick, advancing him to the next round and increasing his playoff point count to 62. Saturday, the Cup teams are at Richmond for a 250-miler under the lights, airing on MSNBC at 4:30 p.m. Truex won both Richmond outings last year, while teammate Kyle Busch swept in 2018. Other active drivers who have Richmond wins in the past five years are Logano, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski. Harvick last won there in 2013, Clint Bowyer in 2012, and Jimmie Johnson in 2008. Bowyer and Kyle Busch will both have substitute crew chiefs tonight after penalties for multiple loose lug nuts at Darlington. Harvick is on the pole for tonight’s race with Logano alongside. With no qualifying, playoff drivers take the first 16 spots. This may help Matt Dibenedetto and Ryan Blaney, both 17 points below the cut line with two races to go in the first playoff round. Both need to do well tonight to advance.
The off-again, on-again NTT IndyCar Mid-Ohio doubleheader is on for this weekend. Point leader Scott Dixon has won six of the 13 races at Mid-Ohio for the series and has won four out of nine races this season. He goes into the weekend with a 96-point lead over second-place Josef Newgarden. Dixon could very well clinch his sixth series championship if he wins today and tomorrow. Both races will air on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.
A crash, a safety car, and a closed pit lane at the Italian Grand Prix scrambled the finishing order last Sunday, handing Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly his first Formula 1 victory. Carlos Sainz in a McLaren hounded him in the closing laps but had to settle for second, his best-ever F1 result. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was third. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton served a 10-second stop and go penalty and carved his way through the field to finish seventh, setting fastest lap in the process. I can’t blame Hamilton for missing the “pit closed” signs, as they were placed on the left side of the track, while a driver entering the pits is looking right. They need to change that for next season. This weekend is the Pirelli Gran Premio Della Toscana Ferrari at the Mugello circuit, a new venue for F1 and the Ferrari test track. The race airs Sunday at 6:05 a.m. on ESPN2.
Also: Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing have announced a “partnership” that will see the seven-time NASCAR champion in a Ganassi Indy car for road and street course races in 2021 and 2022. And Bubba Wallace announced that he will not be driving a Richard Petty Motorsports Chevy next season. No destination was announced, but Ganassi’s No. 42 and Hendrick’s No. 48 Camaros still have no announced driver for 2021.
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