N News & Results

Race Weekend Review: June 3rd 2018

MENCS Pocono1 Truex 060318 resizeMonster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway, June 3, 2018: Martin Truex leads Kevin Harvick (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/NASCAR)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway
Truex the unexpected winner after race-long Harvick-Bush duel

Long Pond, PA, June 3, 2018 (GRW): This race was a classic battle between the two heavyweights of this season – Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch and it had looked certain that one of these heavyweights would be in victory circle when it was all over – but things changed late in the race, A caution for debris on lap 140 of the 160-lap race saw Martin Truex taking the lead, a lead he would hold through two more cautions to the checkered flag, giving him his second win of the season.

On that restart, Kyle Larson jumped Harvick from the second row to take over second place behind Truex. Busch who was the only one of these four to have pitted for fresh tires under this caution vaulted to fourth behind Harvick. Larson held off the challenge from behind through two more yellows and he finished second ahead of Harvick and Busch.

On lap 148, Denny Hamlin tangled with Alex Bowman in the first turn bringing out the fifth caution of the race but the front runners all stayed out and held their positions. On this restart the yellow flew immediately when Erik Jones spun just past the flag stand after contact with Joey Logano and Ryan Newman in the jumble of cars vying for position into the first corner. This restart was a replay of the previous one with Truex jumping out in front and building his lead ahead of Larson – a lead he was able to build to a 2.5-second margin by the time he took the checker.

Despite having newer tires, Busch could not get the better of Harvick. Behind them, the Penske teammates exchanged places. Brad Keselowski, who had been battling far back in the pack for most of the race, passed Ryan Blaney – who had run near the front all day after starting from the pole – for fifth, relegating Blaney to sixth in the final standings.

After a slow start to the season, Truex, who now has two wins, has to be considered to be a challenger to the Busch-Harvick duo (who have nine wins between them) for the season-end honours.

Harvick had been the dominant factor for much of the race, taking the lead from Blaney on lap 12 and leading for a total of 89 laps. Busch beat Harvick out of the pits during the third caution which fell on lap 126 and Truex, who took the restart from the second row behind Busch was able to jump Harvick for second behind Busch – until that fateful caution for debris which saw Truex taking the lead when Busch pitted.

Afterwards, Busch was bitter, claiming that the debris was a ‘silver bootie’, the kind of thing drivers wear to keep the heat of the exhaust off their feet – suggesting that some unnamed driver had thrown this out to create a spurious caution – and costing him the win. When Busch repeated this story in the press room post-race interviews, Larson spoofed at the claim.

Given NASCAR’s convoluted method of determining the championship based on the playoff races, the current points standings do not count for much but they are an indicator of who is doing well so far. After this race Busch had an 87-point lead over Harvick ( 624 points to 537) while they both had 25 ‘playoff points’ each. Joey Logano, despite his ninth-place finish here was third in points just three points behind Harvick while Truex was fourth in the points 137 behind the points leader Busch.

Next week the circus moves to the two-mile high-speed Michigan International Speedway where they will battle it out the next Sunday.

Click HERE for full results of the Pocono 400. 

NXS Pocono1 Burnout 060218 resizeNASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway, June 2, 2018: Kyle Busch celebrates his win (Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images/NASCAR)

NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway
Kyle Busch recovers from pit-lane penalty to add Pocono Xfinity to his win box.

Long Pond, PA, June 2, 2018 (GRW): Kyle Busch started the race from the second row but he soon gave notice that his was the car to beat when he powered past pole-sitter Cole Custer to take the lead on the third lap of the 100-lap race. He led until the end of the first Stage at lap 25 but during the subsequent round of pit stops he was caught speeding in pit lane and sent to the back. It took him until lap 61 before he regained the lead, but once there, he easily held off the opposition to come home the winner.

Busch’s fellow Cup driver Chase Elliott finished second, three seconds behind. Daniel Hemric was third, Austin Cindric fourth and Custer fifth. The third Cup driver in the field was Paul Menard, driving the No. 22 Penske Ford, who was eighth.

After the race, news came that Busch’s car had failed post-race inspection – too high on the left front corner.. Presumably this will result in the standard penalties but the win will stand. Given that Busch, by virtue of his status as an ‘ineligible’ driver, has no chance of competing for the season-end championship, these NASCAR penalties will have little or no effect on him – and the No. 18 car will still be leading in the car owner points ahead of the No. 22 Penske Ford.. In just his second start in an Xfinity car here, Busch gets to check the ‘Xfinity win at Pocono’ box with no real cost, the post-race penalties notwithstanding.

Busch’s teammate Christopher Bell finished the first Stage in second place behind Busch and he followed Busch down the pit lane under that yellow – he was sucked into going too fast as well. He fell to the back of the field but he was not able to slice forward quite as quickly as Busch. Just as the fourth caution ended on lap 61 Busch had regained the lead while Bell was still far back in the field – having made an strategic extra pit stop. As Bell headed down the Long Pond straight the bunched-up cars started jostling for position into the narrow tunnel turn and Bell was the victim. Both he and Justin Allgaier were knocked out of the race.
This year they used the same aero/restrictor plate package they used last year at Indianapolis. The bigger rear spoiler and the restrictor plate slowed the cars and it was supposed to bunch up the cars more on this fast track. After the race, Busch made it clear that he did not like this setup – especially at next week’s race at Michigan, claiming it will produce ‘pack racing’. At Pocono, Busch did not seem to be too hampered by these rules. He led most of the first Stage. He recovered from a pit lane speeding penalty to regain the lead and he led the final third of the race. Ho can we not expect a similar result next week at Michigan?

Elliott Sadler, who finished in sixth place retained his lead in the points standings with 474 points, 62 points ahead of Custer at 412 and 63 over Hemric at 411.

The next NASCAR Xfinity Series race is the LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway next Saturday, June 9.

Click HERE for results of the Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250.

IMSA Detroit No31 winnerIMSA Weathertech Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle, June 2, 2018: The winning No. 31 Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr/Eric Curran (Credit: Jake Galstad/LAT/IMSA)

IMSA Weathertech Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle

Nasr makes it another win for Cadillac at Detroit

Detroit, MI, June 2/18 (GRW): This race was won last year by the Taylor brothers in their Cadillac DPi. This year, it was another Cadillac, the No. 31 Cadillac DPi of Felipe Nasr/Eric Curran, taking the honours. Pipo Derani had put the No. 22 Nissan on the pole but he had to settle for a seventh-place finish.

Juan Pablo Montoya had qualified the No. 6 Acura DPI second quickest with Helio Castroneves in the No.7 Acura third. These two cars finished the race two-three behind Nasr but in the reverse order.

In the second half of the 100-minute race, the Acuras had cycled up to the front, the No.7, driven by Ricky Taylor ahead of Dane Cameron in the No. 6 car. But when these two cars made their second pit stops, Nasr took the lead. With ten minutes to go, Nasr had a 5-second lead over Taylor’s Acura but, as the laps wound down, the two Acuras closed up to within 1.6-seconds. Despite older tires, Nasr was able to hold them off to take the win.

The only other class running here was the GT-Daytona class. It was won by the No. 86 Acura NSX driven by Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher while the sister car, the No.93 Acura of Justin Marks/ Lawson Aschenbach, was second in class. Earlier, car owner Michael Shank had planned for the No. 86 car to only run in the endurance races series-within-a-series, but the plan was revised as of this race and the No. 86 car was a late entry. Legge’s usual co-driver Alvaro Parente was otherwise occupied this weekend. The No. 48 Paul Miller Lamborghini driven by Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow was third.

The next IMSA WeatherTech race will be the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen, an endurance race at Watkins Glen on Sunday, July 1.
Click HERE for full results of this WeatherTech Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Belle Isle

 IndyCar Detroit1 podium 16C 6294 1 resizeVerizon IndyCar Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Dual Races at Belle Isle, Race #1, June 2, 2018: Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Alexander Rossi on the podium (Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar)

 

Verizon IndyCar Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Dual Races at Belle Isle

Race #1: Scott Dixon win his 42nd Indy car race

Detroit, MI, June 2/18 (GRW): Scott Dixon held off three Andretti drivers to win Saturday’s half of the IndyCar double-header at Detroit’s Belle Isle street circuit. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, 1.8 seconds behind, with Alexander Rossi third and polesitter Marco Andretti fourth.

Dixon started from the front row alongside Andretti and passed him for the lead on lap 23 of the 70-lap race – but he only led for one lap before Graham Rahal got past and led for two laps. Hunter-Reay had a turn in the lead for six laps before Dixon cycled back into the lead on lap 32. After trading positions with Hunter-Reay again, Dixon had just retaken the lead when Rahal hit the wall bringing out the first caution on lap 47.

Soon after the track went green, Charlie Kimball ran into the rear of Santino Ferrucci bringing out the race’s second yellow. Ferrucci was replacing Zachary Claman DeMelo in the Dale Coyne rent-a-racer for this event. Dixon held onto the lead to the end of the race.

There were two Canadian drivers entered in this race. Robert Wickens started in third and finished eighth. James Hinchcliffe started ninth and finished 11th after getting a drive-through penalty for a pit exit violation on his first pit stop.

Click HERE for the results of IndyCar race #

Indycar Detroit2 RHR June 3Verizon IndyCar Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Dual Races at Belle Isle, Race #2, June 3, 2018: Race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay ( (Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar)

Race #2, Hunter-Reay wins after Rossi locks up his tires

Detroit, MI, June 3/18 (Howard Cohen): The race started with several different factors after the Saturday event: Chevrolet vs Honda; tires, soft or hard and when; two or three pit stops. Once again, race strategy was going to be important. In the end, it was, in favour of Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, gaining his first Indy car victory in almost three years.

The Belle Isle track is difficult for passing, very narrow in some areas and bumpy, hard on the cars. The race is more demanding mentally than physically and this came to be important in the last 10 laps.

Alexander Rossi led from the pole and led the most laps of the day, with Hunter-Reay starting in 10th and working his way forward. Rossi was strong all day and seemed to have a comfortable lead. However, as the race got down to the last 20 laps, Hunter-Reay was putting in some amazing lap times, setting the fastest lap along the way.

Rossi was on a two pit stop schedule while Hunter-Reay was going for three stops. Hunter-Reay made his final stop with less than 15 laps to go while trailing Rossi. Then he started to gain quickly as his fresh tires had better grip. He set another fastest lap and was closing on Rossi. With 10 laps to go, Hunter-Reay was only two seconds behind Rossi and really applying the pressure. Hunter-Reay was able to go deeper into the turns as his newer tires had better grip than Rossi’s older tires, causing Rossi to briefly lock up his wheels.

Then, with seven laps to go, Hunter-Reay put more pressure on Rossi and, this time, Rossi locked up the wheels for good. His car slid off line into a run-off area and Hunter-Reay took the lead. Rossi had to pit for new front tires and lost any chance of a podium finish. Hunter-Reay now had a massive lead over the now second place car of Will Power, a lead of almost 16 seconds. Hunter-Reay took the checkered flag in a hard-earned, well-driven and well-managed event, with Will Power and Ed Jones on the podium as Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Robert Wickens filled out the top six.

The race got off to a farcical start when the Corvette pace car, driven by a GM executive, went out of control and crashed fairly heavily. No serious damage was done but the race start was delayed. Indy driver Oriol Servia took over the pace car driver duties for the rest of the race.

In all, the race had lots of smart racing, very few yellow flags and a great finish for Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Click HERE for results of IndyCar race #2

 

Popular News

top logo 2018

PRN Motorsport Magazine.

For Canadian Race Fans and Racers

Since 1989

Email:

Info@prnmag.com

Phone:

1-800-667-RACE

Social Links