It is all about NASCAR at Indy | NevadaAppeal.com

It is all about NASCAR at Indy

Roger Diez

Another full Sunday of racing greeted gearheads last weekend, with Formula One, IndyCar, and NASCAR all on track. This week it’s all NASCAR, with the Camping World Truck dirt race at Eldora in the books and Xfinity and Monster Energy Cup series at Indianapolis.

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NASCAR’s Camping World Truck series ran their annual dirt track race at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday. The race used the typical short-track format of heat races and a main, with the added attraction of stages to the main. Matt Crafton broke a 27-race losing streak and took both the victory and a stage win after battling the entire race with dirt ace Matt Friesen, who won the other stage.

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Last Sunday’s Cup race in New Hampshire saw 12th winner of the season in the Cup series crowned. Denny Hamlin became the first of the Joe Gibbs Racing squad to visit victory lane in a points race this year, just past the season’s halfway mark. Kyle Larson had the most impressive drive of the day after starting 39th when his pole time of 133.324 miles per hour was disallowed due to an unapproved rear deck lid. He came from dead last to finish second for the seventh time this season. Points leader Martin Truex Jr. was third and that plus a stage win extended his lead to 38 points ahead of Larson. Joey Logano’s encumbered win earlier in the season is looming larger, as a broken suspension piece relegated him to 37th on Sunday. NASCAR confiscated the piece to determine why it failed, but no illegality is suspected. With 11 drivers locked into the playoffs with wins and five drivers ahead of Logano in points, he’s below the cutoff with seven races to go in the regular season.

Also at New Hampshire, post-race lug nut penalties of $10,000 were levied on the crew chiefs of Daniel Suarez’s No. 19 Gibbs Toyota and Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. However no suspensions or points penalties were involved.

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Today we’re treated to the 24th running of the Brickyard 400, with six former winners in the field. Kyle Busch has the hot hand, winning the past two races at Indy, but Jimmie Johnson’s four victories better all active drivers. Only Jeff Gordon, with five wins, tops Johnson’s Indy record. Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, and Ryan Newman each have a single Brickyard 400 victory. This race may be a frustrated Kyle Busch’s best chance to score a win and lock himself into the playoffs.

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Lewis Hamilton took his Mercedes F1 car to the pole on Saturday and rocketed away at Sunday’s start to take his fourth consecutive British Grand Prix win at Silverstone. Left front tire problems caused both Ferraris to pit in the closing laps, but Kimi Raikkonen managed to eke out a third place podium finish behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. Points leader Sebastian Vettel saw his margin shrink from 20 to a single point thanks to Hamilton’s win and his own seventh-place result.

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Penske driver Josef Newgarden became the third two-time Verizon IndyCar series winner in 2017 with a victory on the streets of Toronto. However, it was a bad day for his teammate Will Power whose first lap collision with Scott Dixon put him out of the race and dropped him to fifth in the season standings, 64 points behind leader Dixon.

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Finally, despite speculation Matt Kenseth might be up for the No. 88 Chevy ride next year, Hendrick Motorsports announced on Thursday that Alex Bowman will take over for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season. Bowman subbed for Junior last season and did a creditable job, including a pole at Phoenix.




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