Gardnerville racer wins two events
Gardnerville racer Robert Miller dominated the IMCA Modified division in northern Nevada in 2015, and appears to be doing the same in the Pro Stock division this year. Driving B.J. Pearson’s “Nuclear Banana,” Miller won the season openers at both Fernley 95A Speedway and Fallon’s Rattlesnake Raceway. The Fallon race was the first of the 10-race Nevada Pro Stock Association series with a purse of $1,000 to win. Miller is now 2 for 2 in the Pro Stocks, but unfortunately 0 for 2 in the Modified division. The second race of the NPSA series takes place tonight at Fernley 95A Speedway. Also on tap are the Modified, Street Stock, Dwarf, Super Stock 4, and Pure Stock divisions as well as the popular chain races. Racing starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults (13 and older), $8 for kids 6-12 and seniors 63 and older, and free for kids 5 and under and military with ID.
It was inevitable defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch would win a race this season, but Martinsville was a bit of a surprise. Busch had never won there while Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin had combined for 13 victories. But Busch swept the weekend, taking the checker in both the Camping World Truck race and the Sprint Cup 500-lap event. Tonight the Cup drivers are at the fast Texas Motor Speedway, another of Johnson’s favorite playgrounds. Jimmie has won six times there, including the last three races and five of the last seven. You probably won’t get good odds on a bet on the No. 48 at your local sports book. Other current active drivers who have won at Texas are Carl Edwards with three; Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Greg Biffle with two; and one apiece for Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, and the Busch brothers. Logano’s win came two years ago and Kyle Busch’s victory was in 2013, but it’s been quite a while for the others on the winners’ list.
With five of the 16 Chase for the Championship slots provisionally filled after six races, which Cup drivers are most likely to be the next to visit victory circle? Two Gibbs drivers are in, and I’m betting the other two, Edwards and Kenseth, are both going to win this season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will certainly score a win, probably at Daytona or Talladega, and likely more than one. I expect Joey Logano to join teammate Brad Keselowski on the winners’ list. Martin Truex Jr. is another likely winner, and I predict Kyle Larson breaks through this year along with A.J. Allmendinger, who came so close Sunday. Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon probably win from the Childress camp, and Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray are also solid contenders for a victory this season. It’s tough to win in Sprint Cup as a rookie, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott in the winner’s circle before season’s end. Chances are good we’ll see a new winner tonight. Of the 30 races held at Texas, 24, and all of the last 10, were won from a top-10 starting spot. Hamlin and Keselowski are the only two who qualified in the top-10 among 2016 winners.
Nico Rosberg scored his second Formula 1 victory of 2016 in Bahrain Sunday, his fifth straight win counting back to the end of the 2015 season. Teammate Lewis Hamilton got another poor start and was hit in the first turn, forcing him to fight his way back to a podium finish in third. Second place went to the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, but teammate Sebastian Vettel didn’t even start the race after blowing the engine on the warmup lap. Fernando Alonso was unable to race due to injuries suffered in a horrific crash in Australia, and Haas F1 driver Roman Grosjean bettered his Australia finish by one place, finishing in fifth after running as high as fourth. The new American team is performing better than anyone expected. Unfortunately, Grosjean’s teammate Esteban Gutierrez failed to finish for the second time in two races.