The Motor Racing Game

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:

Scores from week 27:

F1 Hungary, NASCAR Indianapolis, USCC Lime Rock:


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.


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 …


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:

Scores from week 26:

NASCAR New Hampshire, Indycar Iowa:


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.


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 …


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 Picks can be made at:

Scores from week 25:

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


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.


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


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 Picks can be made at:

Scores from week 24:

F1 England, WRC Poland, NASCAR Daytona:


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.


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 …




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 Picks can be made at:

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:


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.


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


June 21, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-Three

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sebastian X @ 6:37 pm

Welcome all to week twenty-three. Four this week. MotoGP has the Dutch TT at Assen. The USCC holds a six-hour event at Watkins Glen. Indycar races on the Fontana superspeedway. NASCAR has a road-course race at Sonoma.

Picks can be made at: The guide can be found at:


Results – Top Tens

    Formula 1
1    Rosberg
2    Hamilton
3    Massa
4    Vettel
5    Bottas
6    Hülkenberg
7    Maldonado
8    Verstappen
9    Pérez
10    Ricciardo

Rosberg got the drop on pole-man, Hamilton, at the first corner, and converted that into the victory. Grosjean had to retire with a gearbox issue (16th). Räikkönen (20th) had a tank-slapper on lap one thus crashing with Alonso.

Player Scores


Well done to iomracer and greasedlightning for their tied win, courtesy of Ricciardo despite his penalty having a better race than Grosjean.


Pos  Pre  +/-  Name Prior    Wk 22   Total   Differences
1    1       iomracer    5315     217     5532    0   –  
2    2       greased lightning    5168     217     5385    147   147  
3    3       Sebastian    5101     211     5312    220   73  
4    4       Drewe    5049     211     5260    272   52  
5    5       Chris W.    4801     190     4991    541   269  
6    6       New players    4240     190     4430    1102   561  

June 14, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sebastian X @ 11:51 pm

Welcome all to week twenty-two. Only a single event this week; Formula One at Spielberg (Red Bull Ring née A1 Ring née Österreichring). Picks can be made at: The guide can be found at:


Results – Top Tens

    MotoGP     WEC     WRC     Indycar     NASCAR
    Catalunya Le Mans Sardinia Toronto Michigan
1    Lorenzo #19 Porsche Ogier Newgarden Ku. Busch
2    Rossi #17 Porsche Paddon Filippi Earnhardt
3    Pedrosa #7 Audi Neuville Castroneves Truex
4    Iannone #8 Audi Evans Power Kenseth
5    Smith #18 Porsche Østberg Bourdais logano
6    Viñales #2 Toyota Latvala Kanaan Keselowski
7    Redding #9 Audi Protasov Montoya McMurray
8    Bradl #1 Toyota Andreucci Dixon Menard
9    Petrucci #47 KCMG Kopecký Rahal Bayne
10    Bautista #38 JOTA Al Qassimi Sato Bowyer

For Catalunya, Lorenzo led from start to finish, with Rossi making his way up to second but was unable to catch his team-mate. Dovioso hit the deck (20th), and Marquez crashed fighting for the lead on lap three (22nd).

It was a relatively undramatic Le Mans in the top class with the eight manufacturer prototypes all being consistent enough to fill the top-eight places. Porsche had the reliability to match their pace, vying with the Audis but gaining an edge on speed to pull away during the cooler night-and-early-morning hours when Porsche’s tendency to overheat was negated. The stand-out drives from Nick Tandy gave the #19 Porsche the victory. Audi had a lot of niggles with energy collection from braking. Toyota were off the pace.

With the new rules in WRC that have the championship leader run first and sweep the road for the first two legs, this was a repeat of Mexico in that Ogier declared it would take a miracle to win, and then won, aided by everyone else in contention buggering up. Latvala blew it in stage nine clouting a bank and knocking a tyre off the rim, then hit a rock in stage seventeen breaking a damper, leading him to limp through following stages. Meeke had an off on stage two, returning on Saturday to end up 24th.

It was a one-two in Toronto for CFH Racing with Josef Newgarden ahead of Luca Filippi. Our picks only included the four Penske drivers, three of whom were top-seven with Pagenaud 11th.

It rained a lot for the NASCAR, and Kurt Busch won a shortened race.

Player Scores


Well done to greasedlightning for his sixth win of the year; nine of his picks finished top-seven. In the Indycar and WEC, none of us picked the winner, although in retrospect going long on Le Mans would have been more successful than other years.


Pos  Pre  +/-  Name Prior    Wk 21   Total   Differences
1    1       iomracer    5014     301     5315    0   –  
2    2       greased lightning    4827     341     5168    147   147  
3    3       Sebastian    4792     309     5101    214   67  
4    4       Drewe    4718     331     5049    266   52  
5    5       Chris W.    4530     271     4801    514   248  
6    6       New players    3969     271     4240    1075   561  

June 8, 2015

2015 Week 21

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 1:25 am

Welcome to week 21 – the third of four weekends with five faces. WRC is in Italy on the island of Sardegna; Moto GP is at Catalunya in Spain; NASCAR visits the superspeedway in Michigan; Indycar is on the man-made island in Toronto, Canada; WEC hosts the premier sports car race of the year – the 24 hours of Le Mans. Picks can be made at:

Scores from week 20:

F1 Canada, NASCAR Pocono, Indycar Texas:


Lewis Hamilton got back into his winning ways, and took back control of the F1 championship by beating his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the Canadian GP in Montreal. Hamilton led the race from start to finish (excluding pit-stops). Kimi Raikkonen started the race in a solid third, but spun before half way and lost the position to Valtteri Bottas, and that’s how they stayed to the end. Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettal finished behind him in fifth which was a remarkable performance considering he was in last place at one point. Felipe Massa was sixth. Our other two picks were Daniil Kvyat who finished 9th and Daniel Ricciardo who finished 13th.

Martin Truex Jr. won the gear-shifting race at the big tri-oval of Pocono in Pennsylvania. There were quite a few solo-crashes at the end of the race, but despite the stop-and-go nature of the last 20 laps, Truex’s only real challengers at the end were second place finisher, Kevin Harvick, followed by Jimmie Johnson. Joey Logano was strong at the end also, and came home fourth. Our other pick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th.

Indycar was on the Texas Motor Speedway oval in Fort Worth, Texas (just outside Dallas). The Ganassi team dominated the race with Scott Dixon taking the win over his teammate Tony Kanaan. Penske also had a good race with two drivers finishing third and four, with Helio Castroneves ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. Simon Pagenaud, also with Penske, gambled with an early last pit stop to try and improve his position, but it didn’t work out and he finished 11th. Will Power started from pole position, but showed no speed during the race, and lost position after position down to a 13th place finish. Our other pick, Graham Rahal finished 15th.


Congratulations to Sebastian who gets his third win of the year. Picking Indy winner Scott Dixon and doing well in NASCAR with Jimmie Johnson, left it to Sebastian’s pick of Valtteri Botas to make the big difference, although with a margin of victory of 24 points, his “lower” picks did comparatively well too. No changes in the standings…


June 1, 2015

2015 Week 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:23 am

Welcome to week 20 – three races this weekend. F1 is in Montreal, Canada; NASCAR is on the tri-oval at Pocono in Pennsylvania; and Indycar has an oval race at Texas Motor Speedway, just outside Dallas. Picks can be made at:

Scores from week 19:

Moto GP Italy, NASCAR Dover, Indycar Belle Island, USCC Belle Island:


Jorge Lorenzo has become the man to beat after he easily rode to his third victory in a row at Mugello in Italy. After the first lap, once Lorenzo got ahead, the excitement was for the lesser positions. It was a tussle for most the race between Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, and Andrea Dovizioso. But Marquez crashed with five laps to go trying to get around Iannone, leaving Marquez with a 20th place finish. And Dovizioso’s bike suffered some sort of mechanical problem forcing him to the pits, and a 21st place finish. That left third place, behind Iannone, to Valentino Rossi, who at least holds on to the championship lead, and fourth place to Daniel Pedrosa.

Jimmie Johnson is starting to show his dominance in NASCAR this year after winning his fourth race of the year at Dover, Delaware. There was a couple of cautions late in the race, with the last one resulting in a green-white-checkered finish, but on both restarts Johnson basically drove away from the field, making victory look easy. Kevin Harvick was second, and Kyle Larson third.

It was mixed weather in Detroit for the Indycar race around Belle Island, meaning periods of wet and dry track, and tough choices with which tires to run. In the first race it was Carlos Munoz who got it right by staying out the longest on slicks, and that gave him a 20 second lead after he came out of the pits with his rain tires. When lightning started to accompany the rain it was unsafe for the race to continue, so it was stopped, and eventually abandoned, giving Munoz the win ahead of Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud both of whom stayed out longer than most on slicks (but not as long as Munoz did). Will Power and Scott Dixon both stopped to change onto rain tires early – while Power had the lead – which proved to be the wrong choice with Power finishing 4th and Dixon 5th. Juan-Pablo Montoya finished 10th. In race two there were again lots of differing opinions as to when to run slicks versus dry tires. Along with lots of cautions (and many laps behind the pace car), and gambling with fuel mileage, it was at the end Sebastien Bourdais who got it all right. It looked like Juan-Pablo Montoya was going to get second, and he would have deserved it with a good race, but he ran out of fuel at the end of the final lap and crossed the line 10th. Simon Pagenaud was a victim of poor gas mileage, having to stop for a splash-and-dash at the end of the race, demoting him to a 14th place finish. That was still better than Will Power who first had to change his steering wheel after the electronics kept putting the car into neutral, then he got spun by Helio Castroneves, ruining any chance Power had and leaving him with an 18th place finish; and Scott Dixon who was pushed into the wall by Charlie Kimball, leaving him 20th at the end. Our method of combining results to give a composite result for both races, placed Pagenaud 6th, Power 8th, Dixon 11th, and Montoya 12th (thanks to Sebastian for the double-header score board).

Another close event in USCC with 10 cars finishing on the lead lap. It looked like it was going to be a Corvette one-two, but the #5 Action Express spun out with just a couple of laps to go and lost second place to the #60 Michael Shank Honda, who was at that time too far behind to catch the winner, the #31 Action Express. Behind the Honda and the #5 Corvette came the #01 Ganassi Racing Ford, and in fifth the #90 Visit Florida Corvette. In sixth place the #8 Starworks Oreca was the leading PC car, and behind them in seventh was the #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette. That gave Corvette four spots in the top 10 in their home town of Detroit. The #02 Ganassi car was not racing in Detroit this weekend.


Congratulations to me again – three in a row and my sixth of the year. It was close with Sebastian with my pick of Montoya being the decisive one. Sebastian and Drewe once again toggle positions in the season long standings…


May 25, 2015

2015 Week 19

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:27 pm

Welcome to week 19 – four races this weekend. Moto GP is in Italy at Mugello; NASCAR is on the short track in Dover, Delaware; Indycar and the USCC are together (different days) racing around Belle Island, Detroit, Michigan. Picks can be made at:

Scores from week 18:

F1 Monaco, WRC Portugal, NASCAR Charlotte, Indycar Indianapolis:


Lewis Hamilton dominated the F1 Monte Carlo GP, but didn’t win it thanks to a ridiculous decision by his team to bring him in for fresh tires during a safety car caution with just 10 or so laps to go. The commentators were incredulous, then tried to find some excuse as to why Mercedes might have made the decision, but at a track with practically no opportunity to pass, I didn’t see any reason for him to come in. It gave his teammate Nico Rosberg the lead and hence the win, followed across the line by Sebastian Vettal, then Hamilton. It cuts Hamilton’s championship lead to just 10 points. Daniil Kvyat had his best race ever with fourth place which he briefly ceded to Daniel Ricciardo who tried to catch and pass Hamilton in the closing laps, but Ricciardo gave the position back again (a gentlemanly act) in the final lap. Behind Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen was the top finishing Ferrari with sixth place. Our other pick, Valtteri Bottas finished 14th – he simply didn’t have the pace.

The WRC event in Northern Portugal was an interesting race with both Citroen and M-Sport (Ford) introducing new and they hoped more competitive cars to challenge the Volkswagen might. It seems like mission accomplished with five different stage winners in the first five stages. As championship leader, Sebastien Ogier was sweeper for most of Friday and Saturday and that put him down a bit in positions. But from the second loop of stages on Saturday he didn’t have to sweep and so started a charge that eventually took him to a second place finish. He was bested by his teammate Jari-Matti Latvala who held the lead from Friday afternoon through to the finish. Third VW driver Andreas Mikkelsen took the final podium position, but until the last stage it was very close for third with Kris Meeke – the only other driver who seemed to stay competitive with the VWs. But Meeke broke the rear sway-arm on the Citroen on the penultimate stage which meant he had to settle for a fourth place finish. Fifth was the Ford of Ott Tanak, and sixth the Hyundai of Dani Sordo. Sordo’s teammate Thierry Neuville had a miserable weekend; poor tire choices saw him down the standings after Friday, and then on the first stage of Saturday he rolled. He returned on Sunday under rally 2, but with the penalties could do no better than a 38th place finish.

The Indianapolis 500 was a nervous race for everyone, including me as TV spectator, after three horrible crashed occurred in the practice week leading up to qualifying. Three cars in solo crashes hit the wall and went airborne. Fortunately all three drivers were ok. But it prompted some rule changes for qualifying and the race to slow the cars down. Still, the crashes dominated the pre-race talk, and as mentioned, everyone was nervous for the race. A crash on lap 1 involving Sage Karam and Takuma Sato didn’t help. But after that the race settled down. There was a pit road incident involving Carlos Huertas, Pippa Mann, and Tristan Vautier, which unfortunately sent a crewman to the hospital, but apparently not a serious injury. There was one final nasty looking crash on lap 176 which took out Jack Hawksworth, Stefano Coletti, and Sebastian Saavedra. After that is was an exciting final few laps with Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power, Charlie Kimball, and Scott Dixon battling for the win. Montoya passed Power with four to go and stayed ahead for the win – 15 years after he won it as an Indy rookie. Following him across the line was Power, Kimball, and Dixon in that order. Our other pick, Simon Pagenaud had a good race, being up front for stretches, but faded to a tenth place finish.

The NASCAR race in Charlotte is the longest of their calendar at 600 miles. And it was long to watch too. There was a smattering of crashes (nothing big), at least one engine failure, and mostly lead by Martin Truex Jr. But different tire/fuel strategies shuffled the pack in the closing stages when the race stayed green, causing some drivers, including Truex, to have an extra stop for gas and tires. Carl Edwards was not one of them, and by staying out he inherited the lead and won the race over Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.


Congratulations to me and my fifth win of the year, and back-to-back from last week. Drewe and Greased Lightning tied for second. For Drewe it was enough to edge back ahead of Sebastian in the season long standings…


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