Old guys rule in BCRA midget season at Lakeport
For the Nevada Appeal
I got an email the other day with the results of the BCRA midget season, which wrapped up last Saturday night at Lakeport. It confirmed those T-shirts you see with the saying “Old Guys Rule.” The 2013 BCRA midget champion is Floyd Alvis, who is 79. It was his ninth title in a long racing career. Second in the standings was a relative youngster, 61-year-old Gary Conterno, and coming in third was Carson City’s own J.R. Williams, 78 years young. Congratulations to all.
At the other end of the age scale is 23 year old Mackena Bell, who finished her first season in the K&N Pro Series East on Friday with her second-ever road race, this one at the fast and treacherous Road Atlanta track. I was not able to get the results before I had to write this column, but I’ll have all the details next week.
Several other championship races still are going on, although one will be settled this weekend. The IndyCar series holds its season finale at Auto Club Speedway in California on Sunday. Only two drivers are in contention for the title — Target-Ganassi driver Scott Dixon and Penske driver Helio Castroneves. Dixon overtook Castroneves for the points lead at the Houston doubleheader when transmission woes sidelined the Brazilian in both races. Dixon now has a 25-point lead going into Sunday’s 500 miler. The track is relatively flat, much like Indianapolis, where Castroneves has won three times. Dixon, who has two championships under his belt to Castroneves’ none, only has to finish fifth or better to take the title. Castroneves is looking to win the race and hopes Dixon finishes out of the top five. “I have nothing to lose,” said Castroneves, who had run cautiously while he had the points lead earlier in the season.
Things are not quite so close in the Formula 1 championship chase. You know the old saying, “It isn’t over until the fat lady sings”? Well, she’s warming up as Sebastian Vettel stretched his points lead to 90 over Fernando Alonso in Japan last weekend with his fifth race win in a row. A finish of fourth or better at next weekend’s round in India will clinch the title for Vettel even if Alonso goes on to win each of the final four races of the season. Vettel’s Red Bull team also looks like a shoo-in for the Constructors’ Championship, which is worth many millions of dollars to the team that wins it.
At the halfway point in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, the next two races could have a dramatic impact on the points. Sunday’s 500 miler at Talladega, the final restrictor plate race of the season, is definitely a wild card. Expect at least one, and possibly two or more, big multi-car pileups which could drop the leaders well down the order and vault others into contention. And the season’s final short-track race next weekend at Martinsville could be yet another game-changer. Short tracks lend themselves to lots of fender-banging and short tempers, which in turn lead to potential poor finishes for some Chase contenders.
Finally, the NHRA Mello Yello series has just two races remaining in Las Vegas and in Pomona the second weekend in November. Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Smith has a comfortable 125-point lead over Hector Arana Jr., while Jeg Coughlin holds a lead of 45 points over second-place Mike Edwards in Pro Stock. Sixty-four year old John Force is looking for his 16th Funny Car driving championship with a 65-point lead over Matt Hagan. And in Top Fuel, there’s an 83-point gap between leader Shawn Langdon and challenger Doug Kalitta, with Spencer Massey another three points back in third. With 100 points for a win, none of these competitors has a lock in their respective divisions.