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Roger Diez: A whole new world for NASCAR

Roger Diez

Roger Diez

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NASCAR has entered new territory. Just a few years ago racing with wet weather tires, let alone on an oval, would not have even entered the conversation. But then we saw them on road courses, then on short ovals at the beginning of a race, and now for the last 82 laps in New Hampshire after a two-plus hour rain delay. It’s a whole new world. I could quibble with NASCAR’s dithering about if or when to let teams change tires, but in the end, it worked out.

Christopher Bell swept the weekend with the Xfinity win Saturday and a convincing victory Sunday. He is now the fourth NASCAR Cup driver to score three wins this season, joining Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and William Byron. After a clean first stage, the race deteriorated into a caution-fest in the last two stages. After his third wreck, Kyle Busch parked on the track and walked away. Chase Briscoe came home second, followed by Stewart-Haas teammate Josh Berry, Kyle Larson, and Chris Buescher.

Larson and Elliott are now tied for the points lead at 620, but Larson is scored first due to his eight stage wins to Elliott’s one.


This week’s Nashville Superspeedway race is the fourth Cup race at the 1.33 mile tri-oval, with Chevy drivers Larson, Elliott, and Ross Chastain winning the previous three Nashville outings.

Saturday’s action will air on USA with Xfinity practice and qualifying at 9:30 a.m., Cup practice and qualifying at 11:05 a.m., and the Xfinity Tennessee Lottery 250 at 2 p.m. Sunday’s Ally 400 airs on NBC at 12:30 p.m.


The NTT IndyCar series was at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca last weekend. Indy cars ran at Laguna from 1983 to 2004 under the CART and Champ Car banners and returned as IndyCar in 2019. On Sunday, Alex Palou joined Colton Herta as a two-time 2024 winner after starting on the pole and leading 48 of the 95 laps.

Palou has never finished lower than third at Laguna and Sunday’s win vaulted him into the season points lead with 285. He’s now 23 ahead of Will Power and another nine clear of Scott Dixon.

The series has this weekend off, with Mid-Ohio next weekend and the Iowa doubleheader the following week.


The Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix went to Max Verstappen, but it may have signaled a change in the 2024 season. Verstappen’s Red Bull took the checkered flag a mere 2.2 seconds ahead of Lando Norris’s McLaren with Lewis Hamilton in third. Red Bull may be on the verge of losing their absolute dominance on the Formula 1 field, as both McLaren and Ferrari, and now Mercedes, seem to be in position to challenge them. Norris took pole for the race, the second pole in a row that Red Bull has missed after Mercedes’ George Russell qualified first in Canada. Verstappen has won seven of the 10 races so far this season, but at this time last year Red Bull had swept every race.

This weekend F1 is at the Red Bull Ring, so Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez will be under extra pressure to perform. Verstappen leads active drivers with four wins in Austria while Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, and Valtteri Bottas have one win each. Saturday’s 3 a.m. Sprint race and 7 a.m. qualifying air on ESPN2 with the race on ESPN Sunday at 6 a.m.


Finally, a NASCAR silly season update – Gene Haas will retain one of the Stewart-Haas franchises and run a single-car Cup team in 2025. No driver or manufacturer has been announced. But the driver won’t be current SHR pilot Chase Briscoe, who will be moving to Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the No. 19 Toyota from the retiring Martin Truex Jr.


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