Welcome to week 32 – four races this weekend. F1 is at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium; Germany hosts the WRC; NASCAR is at the short-track in Bristol, Tennessee; and Indycar is in Sonoma, California, formerly Sears Point. Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at http://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2014-week-thirty-two-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 31:
MotoGP Czech Republic, NASCAR Michigan, Indycar Milwaukee, DTM Nurburgring:
Well, Marquez couldn’t do it. He won’t win 19 of 19 in a season, but 10 in-a-row through last week’s event at Indianapolis was pretty impressive. This week, in the Czech Republic he was finally beaten by Dani Pedrosa on the Honda. Pedrosa seemed to have the race under his control, including at the end where the gap to second place Jorge Lorenzo makes it sound closer than it was. Marquez held third place until about half way, when Valentino Rossi got around him and finished in the final podium spot. Marquez then had to contend with the two Andreas, Iannone and Dovizioso, and did manage to get across the line ahead of them, in that order. For our other picks, Alvaro Bautista finished 10th, and Pol Espargaro crashed out on lap 7, leaving him classified in 22nd place.
Jeff Gordon is on a roll. Last week he won pole position at Watkins Glen and had the lead until a mechanical failure ended his race. This week, pole again, and this time he followed up with a win. He looked strong all race, but didn’t put the winning move on the leader for most the race, Joey Logano, until after the final caution. At the end Kevin Harvick also got around Logano to finish second, with Logano third. While there were multiple cautions, there was just one “big one”, near the beginning of the race, caused when Danica Patrick and Jeff Burton got together. Everyone got out of the wreck ok.
Like Gordon in NASCAR, in Indycar Will Power had pole position and went on to take the win at the Milwaukee mile. His team-mate, Juan-Pablo Montoya tried to put pressure on him at the end, but had to settle for second after getting tied up in lapped traffic. Tony Kanaan rounded out the top three, and afterward said that he had no answer for the speed of Power’s Penske Chevrolet. Scott Dixon had a good race to finish 4th – he started much lower on the grid, in 11th. All of our other picks didn’t do so well: Ed Carpenter finished 9th, Helio Castroneves 11th, Sebastien Bourdais 12th, and Ryan Hunter-Reay 21st after his suspension broke about two-thirds of the way into the race.
At the DTM race around (a short version of) the famed Nurburgring, Marco Wittman led all but one lap to take the victory (and that one lap was when he made his mandatory pit stop). It could be considered a boring race, with Mike Rockenfeller taking second place on the first lap, and pretty much staying there, behind Wittman, for the whole race. Same for Edoardo Mortara – third after lap one, and third at the end. For our other two picks, Bruno Spengler finished 12th, and Mattias Ekstrom finished 23rd and last after mechanical problems ended his race after just one lap.
Congratulations to our joint winners, Greased Lightning and myself. It’s win 4.5 for Greased Lightning, and 6.5 for me. Hard to figure out how we finished on top, since we had quite different picks, although the picking three winners – Pedrosa, Gordon, and Wittman was notable among Greased Lightning’s picks. Sebastian and I swap places again at the top of the season’s standing – this may come down to the wire. It also remains close between Drewe and Greased Lighting, with just 22 points separating them …