Welcome to week 42 – three races this weekend. F1 comes to the U.S. and the Circuit of the Americas, NASCAR is also in Texas at the 1.5 mile Texas Motor Speedway just outside of Dallas, and the WEC is in Shanghai in China. As usual Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at http://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2014-week-forty-two-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 41:
WRC Spain, MotoGP Malaysia, NASCAR Virginia:
Sebastien Ogier won Spain’s WRC event and so clinched the WRC driver’s title for this year. As has often happened in WRC this year, his teammate Jari-Matti Latvala was his closest rival and finished second. The other Volkwagen driver, Andreas Mikkelsen was on track to make it a VW 1-2-3, but punctured mid-way through the second day dropping him down the order – he finished 7th. Finishing third was Mikko Hirvonen who had one of his better rallies this year. He finished ahead of Mads Ostberg who was quoted as saying he just couldn’t find his rhythm in the early part of the event. Kris Meeke suffered a double puncture on day 1 while carrying only one spare, so he retired and came back under Rally 2 rules, which meant a lowly 19th place finish.
Marc Marquez finally got back to his winning ways by not crashing out in Sepang and winning the MotoGP race ahead of Valentino Rossi. Marquez, Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo who finished third, had a close battle for most of the race. Dani Pedrosa had a miserable race, crashing on lap 2, getting back on his bike, then crashing a second time later in the race, leaving him classified in 17th place. Our other pick, Andrea Dovizioso had some sort of mechanical problem late in the race and fell back to an eighth place finish after being as high as second after a great start.
NASCAR was at the short track in Martinsville and as usual there, there were lots of cautions from lots of minor wrecks. Jeff Gordon looked the strongest for most the race, even recovering from a pit speeding penalty that dropped him down lower than 30th, but at the very end he couldn’t overhaul the winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and had to settle for second. Behind “Chase” contender Ryan Newman in third, and Tony Stewart in fourth, Joey Logano was the next “Chase” contender to finish, and right behind him in sixth, Matt Kenseth. Kenseth got into Kevin Harvick mid-way through the race, leaving Harvick with car damage that he couldn’t recover from, and thus a 33rd place finish. Jimmie Johnson also suffered car damage after coming together with Casey Mears, which meant a 32nd place finish for Johnson. Besides Gordon, Newman, Logano, Kenseth, and Harvick, the other three Chase contenders had mixed fortunes. Denny Hamlin finished 8th which puts him for now “on the bubble”, Carl Edwards finished 20th, and Brad Keselowski who suffered a transmission problem that caused the biggest crash of the race, finished in 31st place.
Congratulations to Greased Lightning and his fifth win of the year with one tie. His success in NASCAR looks to have made the difference, and with a 25 point winning margin, quite a big difference. No change in the standings, but Greased Lightning’s win once again closes things up for third place…