The Motor Racing Game

September 2, 2015

2015 Week 33

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 1:29 pm

Welcome to week 33 – two races this weekend. F1 is in Ferrari’s home country of Italy, at Monza; NASCAR is at Darlington for their penultimate regular season race before the Chase for the Cup. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 32:

Moto GP England, Indycar Sonoma, WEC Germany:

Week32Rslts

The British weather made a last minute appearance just before the start of the Moto GP race at Silverstone by raining during the warm up lap. With all the bikes coming in for wet weather tires, the start was delayed so that the grid could reform for a proper start. Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez showed themselves to be the masters of the rain by riding away from the rest of field, but when Marquez crashed (finishing classified in 21st) Rossi slowed and was almost caught by the best of the rest, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso, who battled all race long and finished second and third respectively behind Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo could only manage fourth place, ceding his lead in the championship back to Rossi. Dani Pedrosa was a lonely fifth. Our other pick, Andrea Iannone finished 8th.

At the Indycar finale in Sonoma Scott Dixon pretty much needed to win the race to stand any chance of taking the title, and even then he’d need Juan Pablo Montoya to do no better than sixth. Both happened. Dixon had such a good race that he finished more than six seconds clear of second place Ryan Hunter-Reay. For Montoya he was thwarted by an incident when teammate Will Power closed the door on Montoya’s passing attempt, causing damage to both cars, requiring an off cycle pit stop for both. From there Montoya could do no better than sixth, which was not good enough to win the championship. Power finished behind him in seventh. But it was a subdued victory for Dixon and the rest of the drivers, who remembered and celebrated in their press interviews the life of Justin Wilson which was sadly lost in the accident of last week.

At the Nurburgring the home team Porsche took a one-two victory in the WEC 6-hour race. The #17 driven by Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, finished a lap clear of their teammate the #18 Porsche driven by Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas. For the #18 it was a closer finish over the next two cars, the two Audis, with the #7 (Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer) ahead of the #8 (Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis), with both finishing on the same lap as the Porsche. And keeping the two-by-two order intact, in fifth and sixth place where the two Toyotas, albeit more laps down, with the #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima) finishing ahead of the #2 (Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway).

Week32PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my eleventh outright win of the year, with one tie, and breaking Sebastian’s string of three wins in a row. Avoiding Will Power seemed to make the difference. No changes in the standings, although Drewe continued to close the gap on Greased Lightning who made a welcome return to the game …

Week32Standings

August 24, 2015

2015 Week 32

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 4:00 am

Welcome to week 32 – three races this weekend. Moto GP visits Donington Park in the U.K.; Indycar is on the road course in Sonoma – formerly Sears Point; WEC is in Germany at the famous Nurburgring. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 31:

F1 Belgium, WRC Germany, NASCAR Bristol, Indycar Pocono, USCC VIR:

Week31Rslts

Mercedes got back to their winning ways at Spa-Francorchamps, after the hiccup of Hungary. Lewis Hamilton easily beating his teammate Nico Rosberg, after Rosberg had a poor start that saw him drop to fifth, from where he needed most of the rest of the race to get back to second. Sebastien Vettel looked like he’d take third place, thanks to a one pit-stop strategy, but that strategy proved too much for his tires, and he suffered tire failure right at the end of the race, resulting in a 12th place finish. That gave third place to Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen started well down the order – in 16th place, so did quite well to climb to 7th by the end.

For Volkswagen, their home round of the WRC, in Germany, was the only round they hadn’t won since entering the WRC. They corrected that blemish in style by sweeping the podium with Sebastien Ogier taking a comfortable win over his teammates, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. As usual it was only Latvala that mounted any kind of threat to Ogier. As was the case last year, the Hyundais were strong, with Dani Sordo coming out ahead (in 4th) of his teammate Thierry Neuville (5th) in a close battle that went back and forth through to the end of the rally. Kris Meeke, as usual, crashed his Citroen, losing him lots of time and a 12th place finish. It is hard to see how Citroen will continue with him next year, since he doesn’t seem to be able to figure out how to avoid the crashes when striving for a top pace.

The NASCAR race at Bristol was a surprisingly timid affair, with very few crashes, somewhat unexpected on the tight and short track. The lead did change hands quite a few times as the teams managed to tweak their cars and find a bit of an edge for some portion of the race. Joey Logano was one of the most consistent from start to end, and that seems to have led to the payoff of the win. Kevin Harvick did get very close (literally) to Logano in the closing laps, which made for the most excitement of the evening, but ultimately could not claim the top spot, and had to settle for second.

It was an awful Indycar race at Pocono with many crashes and mechanical failures, leaving just 11 of the 24 cars that started, running at the end. The worst was when Sage Karam crashed and part of his car hit Justin Wilson. Wilson is critically injured and in a coma – let’s all hope for the best. Ryan Hunter-Reay won the event over Josef Newgarden, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Will Power.

It was just the GTLM and GTD cars at the USCC event at VIR, and Porsche took the first two spots with the #911 beating their teammate the #912. In third was the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, which held second place for much the race, but lost out to the #912 Porsche after the last round of pit stops. The two BMWs finished 4th and 5th, with the #24 coming out ahead of the #25. They had different pit strategies, with three stops for the #24 versus two spots for the #25, but at the end it didn’t seem to make any difference. In sixth place, and the only other car to finish on the same lap as the winner, was the #3 Corvette Racing car.

Week31PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian and his seventh win of the year, and three in a row. As I was calculating the scores, in the order of the events shown above, Drewe was holding a commanding lead – until Sebastian’s USCC picks came through to trump both Drewe and iomracer; and overcome his WRC deficit caused by picking last year’s dominate car (Hyundai) over this year’s (VW).

Week31Standings

August 17, 2015

2015 Week 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:04 am

Welcome to week 31 – five races this weekend. F1 visits Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium; WRC has one of their two asphalt events with Rally Deutschland; NASCAR is on the short-track at Bristol, Tennessee; Indycar is on the big oval of Pocono in Pennsylvania; USCC is at VIR in Virginia, but only the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) cars. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 30:

MotoGP Czech Republic, NASCAR Michigan:

Week30Rslts

Jorge Lorenzo won in easy fashion at the Moto GP event in Brno. That ties him with Valentino Rossi for the championship lead, after Rossi could do no better that third after a poor start. Between them was Marc Marquez which keeps his hopes for another championship alive. Rounding out the top five was Andrea Iannone and Danni Pedrosa. Unlike Rossi, Bradley Smith had a great start off the line, grabbing third place, but he couldn’t keep the others at bay, dropping to 7th at the end, just ahead of his teammate Pol Espargaro. The Aprilia’s of Alvero Bautista and Stefan Bradl did not have the pace of the other factory machines, leaving Bradl 14th just behind his teammate. Cal Crutchlow was in the top 10 when he crashed, leaving him classified 23rd.

NASCAR was at the big oval of Michigan where Matt Kenseth dominated the race, beating Kevin Harvick despite a late caution closing things up towards the end. Almost all our picks did well by NASCAR standards with Carl Edwards coming in 6th, Joey Logano 7th, Brad Keselowski 9th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th, and Kyle Bush just outside the top 10 in 11th. Jimmie Johnson was the only one to languish down the order after a flat tire early on, an overshoot during a routine pit stop, and a late spin; he finished 39th.

Week30PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian, his 6th win of the year, two in a row, and the highest 2-event week score so far this year. He got 7 of the top 8 Moto GP riders, and did well in NASCAR too. That takes him back ahead of Greased Lightning who missed the week …

Week30Standings

August 10, 2015

2015 Week 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 1:52 am

Welcome to week 30 – two races this weekend. MotoGP returns to Europe to Brno in the Czech Republic, and NASCAR heads to big track in Michigan. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 29:

Moto GP Indianapolis, NASCAR Watkins Glen, USCC Road America:

Week29Rslts

The Moto GP at Indianapolis’ road course quickly sorted itself into two distinct battles: one for first between Jorge Lorenzo, who led most the race but was passed with four laps to go by winner Marc Marquez; and the battle for third between Daniel Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi, who swapped places several times toward the end, but with Rossi taking the podium spot across the finish line. It was a good result for Rossi who only started 8th on the grid, and it keeps him ahead by a slim margin over teammate Lorenzo in the championship. In fifth place was Andrea Iannone, which means we picked the top five.

Joey Logano won the NASCAR road race at Watkins Glen when leader Kevin Harvick ran out of fuel on the final corner of the final lap. Kyle Busch also got around Harvick before the finish line, with Harvick having enough momentum to take third. Busch’s second place should be enough to put him into the top 30 in the Race for the Chase, and with his earlier wins, into the Chase itself.

Action Express took a one-two at Road America in the 2 hour 40 minute USCC race, with the #31 Corvette coming out ahead of the #5 Corvette. The #1 Tequila Patron Ford finished third, ahead of the #60 Michael Shank Honda, and the #90 Visit Florida Corvette – the only other Prototype to finish on the lead lap. The #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette suffered suspension problems, so could do no better than 16th.

Week29PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian and his fifth win of the year, and an immediate comeback after an absence where he was missed by the remaining players. His diversity into NASCAR made the difference with his Kyle Busch pick – perhaps not so risky as usual with NASCAR, given Busch’s performance of late. His win gets him very close back to greased lightning and second place in the standings …

Week29Standings

August 3, 2015

2015 Week 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:56 am

Welcome to week 29 – three races this weekend. MotoGP is in the U.S. at the Indianapolis road course; NASCAR is also on a road course – Watkins Glen in New York; USCC is at Road America in Wisconsin. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 28:

WRC Finland, NASCAR Pocono, Indycar Mid-Ohio:

Week28Rslts

Finland is a fast rally, and this year was exceptional with winner Jari-Matti Latvala recording the fastest speed ever for a WRC rally. He edged out his teammate Sebastien Ogier for the win. Chris Meeke never really threatened the two of them, but was the best of the rest until he once again threw it all away with a crash late on Saturday. He restarted on Sunday under Rally 2, but finished 17th. That was better than Andreas Mikkelsen who crashed too heavily for repairs to be possible, so no finish and no points for picking him. With Meeke’s retirement, Mads Ostberg took the final podium position, followed by Thierry Neuville who came back from a very heavy shakedown roll, and Ott Tanak in fifth, which was an excellent performance considering he drove almost the entire Friday with a broken suspension.

NASCAR ended up being a battle of the gas calculations. Kyle Busch looked like he might make it an unprecedented fourth win in a row, but he ran out of gas on the last lap, leaving him with a 21st place finish, and handing the win to Matt Kenseth. Joey Logano’s gas problems started with three laps to go, also while he was leading; he finished 20th. Brad Keselowski finished second, despite incurring a drive-through penalty for driving over his own pit crew (no one injured) when he overshot his pit stall. And Jeff Gordon finished third in his final race at Pocono.

Graham Rahal took the win at Mid-Ohio in Indycar. He was one of the benefactors of a yellow that came out with twenty four laps to go (just over 2/3rds distance). He, along with Scott Dixon, who finished third behind Justin Wilson, had just pitted before the yellow, whereas race leader Juan Pablo Montoya was just about to pit. The disparity in the pit cycles left Montoya with an 11th place finish. Sebastien Bourdais was similarly caught out with the yellow, but for him it was the second time in the race that he missed pitting just before a yellow, hence he ended up a lowly 17th. Helio Castroneves didn’t have a good day either, finishing 15th.

Week28PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my tenth win of the year with one tie. Avoiding NASCAR and picking Rahal in Indycar did the trick. In the season-long standings greased lightning slides ahead of Sebastian …

Week28Standings

July 27, 2015

2015 Week 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:22 am

Welcome to week 28 – three races this weekend. WRC is in Finland for a fast and high flying (lots of jumps) event; NASCAR is at the superspeedway of Pocono in Pennsylvania; Indycar is at the road course of Mid-Ohio. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 27:

F1 Hungary, NASCAR Indianapolis, USCC Lime Rock:

Week27Rslts

Up to the Hungary GP Mercedes had won every race except one, that one being the second race of the year, the Malaysian GP which was won by Ferrari. In Hungary Ferrari again managed to better Mercedes when Sebastian Vettel took the victory. In fact both Mercedes suffered from contact, with Lewis Hamilton colliding with Daniel Ricciardo, and Nico Rosberg also tanging with Ricciardo while in second. With damage to both Mercedes needing extra pit stops, Hamilton finished the race in 6th and Rosberg in 8th. Ricciardo however did not suffer too badly and managed to grab the final podium position at the end, finishing just behind his teammate Daniil Kvyat. The two drivers finishing between Ricciardo and Hamilton were Max Verstappen in 4th and Fernando Alonso in 5th. Valtteri Bottas got driven into by Max Verstappen, leaving Bottas with a 13th place finish. Kimi Raikkonen suffered a terminal mechanicl problem 14 laps from the end, leaving him with an 18th place finish.

NASCAR was on the big oval at Indianapolis, and was won by Kyle Busch which surprisingly (for NASCAR) meant three wins in a row by the same driver. Second place Joey Logano and third place Kevin Harvick were the two to challenge Busch for the win at the end, just like the last race – so even more consistency from a usually hard to predict series. Carl Edwards was second with just over 10 laps to go, but then went to the pits which doomed him to a 13th place finish at the checkered flag.

USCC was at Lime Rock Park with only the Prototype Challenge (PC) and Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) cars racing. All but one of the PC cars finished ahead of the GTD cars. Winning the race was the #52 PR1/Mathiasen car 8 seconds ahead of the #11 RSR Racing car. One lap down in third was the #8 Starworks car finishing 5 seconds ahead of the #54 CORE Autosport car. 4 laps down and in 5th place was the #16 BAR1 Motorsports car.

Week27PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my ninth win of the year with one tie. The difference was my pick of the #16 USCC car over Greased Lightning’s pick of Carl Edwards. No changes in the season-long standings, but Greased Lightning is now only 5 points behind Sebastian; one more missed week by Sebastian will give Greased Lightning the second spot …

Week27Standings

July 20, 2015

2015 Week 27

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:50 am

Welcome to week 27 – three races this weekend. F1 is at the Hungaroring in Hungary; NASCAR is at the big oval in Indianapolis; USCC is at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Note that it is only the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) cars running at Lime Rock, so I’ve restricted the picks to the PC cars. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 26:

NASCAR New Hampshire, Indycar Iowa:

Week26Rslts

Kyle Busch made it back-to-back wins in the NASCAR event in New Hampshire. He got the lead with just over 50 laps to go (out of 301) thanks to a lucky break with the pit stop cycles, and held off Brad Keselowski through to the end. Kevin Harvick was third and Joey Logano fourth. Our other pick, Jimmie Johnson did not have a good day, and his position wasn’t helped with a pit lane speeding penalty – he finished in 22nd place.

The summary of the Indycar race at the short track oval in Iowa is uncannily similar to last year, with Ryan Hunter-Reay taking the win, with Josef Newgarden in second – just like last year. The championship front runners didn’t do so well though, with Juan Pablo Montoya the first to crash just 10 laps in when his suspension gave way, so a 24th place finish. Tony Kanaan at least made it past half way before he had a mechanical problem which ended his race and a 21st place finish. An upright on Scott Dixon’s car failed with 37 laps to go, which led to his retirement and an 18th place finish. Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power, and Helio Castroneves all made it to the end, but none of them challenged for the win, finishing 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th respectively. Graham Rahal was our best pick finishing 4th, despite being two laps down at one point in the race.

Week26PickRslts

Congratulations to Greased Lightning and his seventh win of the year with one tie. Picking Marco Andretti made the difference. Sadly only two players made picks. No changes in the season long standings …

Week26Standings

July 13, 2015

2015 Week 26

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:14 am

Welcome to week 26 – two races this weekend. NASCAR is at the intermediate length track in Louden, New Hampshire; Indycar is on the oval in Newton, Iowa. Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/tmrg-week-twenty-six-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 25:

MotoGP Germany, NASCAR Kentucky, Indycar Wisconsin, USCC Mosport:

Week25Rslts

Marc Marquez won the Moto GP race in dominating fashion. He started from pole, and despite dropping to third in the first few corners, he quickly got back around the faster starters to take the lead, and from then on wasn’t threatened. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo battled early with Rossi coming out ahead, but he couldn’t get around second-place Daniel Pedrosa, and at the end Pedrosa, Rossi, and Lorenzo all finished with quite large gaps (by Moto GP standards) between them. Andrea Iannone had a boring race, never really challenging those ahead of him, and never really being threatened from behind – he finished fifth. Iannone’s Ducati team mate, Andrea Dovizioso crashed and so was classified down in 22nd place.

Kyle Busch won the NASCAR race in Kentucky. Unlike the other drivers, Busch can’t get into the Chase by wins due to him missing 11 races with his broken leg, suffered in a crash earlier in the year, but can get in via points which those at the lower order of the top 16 expect to use to get into the Chase. With two wins Busch is now closing in on 16th place in the points, and will certainly get there if he continues with the performances he’s shown since coming back 6 races ago.

Sebastien Bourdais won the Indycar at the Milwaukee Mile by employing an off-sequence pit strategy. His risky pit strategy from early in the race turned out to be such an advantage that at one point he’d lapped the entire field. He wasn’t quite so dominating at the end, but still crossed the finish line a comfortable 2.2s ahead of Helio Castroneves, who had also adopted a different pit strategy compared to the rest of the field. Graham Rahal was close behind Castroneves in third, followed by championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya. Scott Dixon was seventh, and Simon Pagenaud was ninth. Will Power got collected when Ryan Briscoe crashed, leaving Power classified in 22nd place.

It was an extremely close race in the USCC event at Mosport with the #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette beating the #31 Action Express Corvette by less than ½s after 2 hours and 40 minutes of racing. It was the first race (that I can recall) where none of the Prototypes had significant issues, resulting in all of them finishing in the top 10. Completing the podium behind the #31 was the #60 Michael Shank Honda, followed by the #90 Visit Florida Corvette, the #5 Action Express Corvette, and the #01 Ganassi Ford; which meant that we picked five of the top six.

Week25PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my eighth outright win of the year, with one tie. No changes in the season long standings …

Week25Standings

July 6, 2015

2015 Week 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:20 am

Welcome to week 25 – four races this weekend. Moto GP is in Germany; NASCAR is at the intermediate track at Kentucky; Indycar is at the oval in Milwaukee; and USCC is at Mosport in Canada. Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2015-week-twenty-five-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 24:

F1 England, WRC Poland, NASCAR Daytona:

Week24Rslts

In front of his home crowd Lewis Hamilton won the British F1 GP at Silverstone in mixed weather conditions. British based team Williams looked like they might pull of a surprise when they went one-two into turn one at the start. Felipe Massa led his teammate Valtteri Bottas through to the first cycle of pit stops, after which Hamilton inherited the lead. Nico Rosberg was behind these three and pressured them all, eventually getting past both Massa and Bottas after the rain came. The rain also seem to favor the Ferrari allowing Sebastian Vettel to also pass the two Williams and claim the final podium spot. Behind the two Williams was Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull, followed by the Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg and the second Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen.

The story at WRC rally in Poland was all about tires. Most drivers at one point or another in the event complained about making the wrong choice, usually choosing soft rubber when hard would have been better, and these choices shuffled the running order multiple times. Sebastien Ogier seemed to make the right choices throughout the rally, with the job of sweeping the roads perhaps making the choice easier, and duly won the event. Andreas Mikkelsen was the only one to keep it close to Ogier at the end, but was a victim of a cancelled stage due to spectators in unsafe places – he had chosen hard tires which would have given him an advantage if the full schedule of stages had been run. But it wasn’t to be, and he finished the event 12s behind Ogier. Ott Tanak, who had the lead through lunchtime on Friday, and lost it when his tires and brakes went bad, then battled for third place with Jari-Matti Latvala for most of the remainder of the event, and held on to third to break up the Volkswagen podium sweep. Hayden Paddon was the leading Hyundai, and actually finished fourth, after Latvala was assessed a 40s penalty putting him in fifth. That penalty was received for late arrival at the very end (after the last stage) after Latvala had to repair a broken radiator. In sixth was Paddon’s teammate Thierry Neuville, then the leading Citroen of Kris Meeke. Local hero Robert Kubica finished eighth, followed by Mads Osberg in ninth.

The NASCAR race at Daytona was scheduled to be a Sunday night event, but rain led to a lengthy delay, and it didn’t start until 11:42 p.m. local time. It only took 2 minutes for the first big wreck. And the wrecks continued into the early hours of the morning, culminating in one of the worst crashes I’ve ever seen. Fortunately Austin Dillon walked away from the crash that saw him airborne, flying over two rows of cars and into the catch fencing which ripped his car to pieces, including complete separation of the engine and gearbox. Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson dominated the entire race and finished in that order, with Earnhardt throwing block after block for the last two laps to hold on to his winning position.

Week24PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my seventh win of the year with one tie. The combination of Andreas Mikkelsen and Kris Meeke did the trick. With greased lightning missing the week Sebastian creeps past and into second place in the season-long standings …

Week24Standings

 

 

June 29, 2015

2015 Week 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:13 am

Welcome to week 24 – three races this weekend. F1 is at Silverstone in England; WRC is in Poland; NASCAR is at Daytona. Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2015-week-twenty-four-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Many thanks to Sebastian for scoring the last two weeks while I was computerless on vacation.

Scores from week 23:

MotoGP Netherlands, NASCAR Sonoma, Indycar Fontana, USCC Watkins Glen:

Week23Rslts

At the Moto GP race at Assen in Holland, Valentino Rossi got back to the top step after beating Marc Marquez in a close race that saw them bump on the last lap which briefly sent Rossi off-track. Jorge Lorenzo had a poor qualifying and had to fight to get to a third place finish – he never threatened Rossi or Marquez. Lorenzo’s fight was with the fourth through tenth place riders who battled closely throughout the race. In fourth finished Andrea Iannone, followed by Pol Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow. Our other pick, Andrea Dovizioso, couldn’t mix it with the top ten, and finished in 12th.

The Indycar race at the big Fontana oval in California was close throughout the 500 miles with almost a record number of lead changes. This was a result of “pack” racing, which was criticized by most of the racers as dangerous. The racing I do is mostly “pack” racing, albeit at considerably slower speeds, so I disagree with the drivers’ opinions, instead redirecting the criticism to the 220+ mph speeds they race at. Instead of eliminating pack racing as suggested by the drivers, leading to dominating teams, which is uninteresting to spectators, they should reduce the speeds – 200 mph still produces exciting racing, while leading to more manageable safety, as NASCAR has proven. The drivers’ point was nevertheless emphasized by a horrendous last lap crash between Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay with Briscoe going airborne and destroying his car on landing. Fortunately both drivers walked away. Graham Rahal won the race under caution. Just four laps earlier Takuma Sato and Will Power had got together with Sato hitting the wall hard and bringing out the red flag (mostly to give a chance for the race to finish under green) – both drivers were unhurt. Power finished 19th. Helio Castroneves also crashed early in the race, finishing 23rd and last. Simon Pagenaud started the race from pole, and finished ninth. Juan Pablo Montoya was a challenger for win all race long, and finished fourth, maintaining his lead in the Indycar championship.

The Busch brothers took the spoils at the Sears Point road course in NASCAR, with Kyle beating Kurt. Jeff Gordon found himself in third place with seven laps to go, but he was on old tires when almost everyone behind him had fresh tires, and the combination meant Gordon went backwards through the last seven laps down to a 16th place finish. David Ragan and Martin Truex Jr. got together on lap 30 (of 110) putting Truex out of the race and a 42nd place finish. Truex blamed Ragen, but it looked like Truex started it at the prior corner – Ragen just finished it off.

At Watkins Glen the #90 Visit Florida Corvette took the USCC win under the yellow flag, beating the #01 Ganassi Racing Riley/Ford. The #5 Action Express Corvette was third and the only other car on the lead lap after six hours of racing. The other Action Express Corvette, the #31, finished 2 laps down in 8th place. The #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette had the lead with 30 minutes to go, but crashed out and finished in 28th place.

Week23PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian and his fourth win of the year. Solid Indycar picks did the job. No changes in the season-long standings …

Week23Standings

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