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Preview: Weekend of June 7-8-9, 2019: CDN GP, IndyCar, NASCAR

Preview: Weekend of June 7-8-9, 2019: CDN GP, IndyCar, NASCAR

This week we are watching five races: the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, IndyCar at Texas and three NASCAR races (trucks at Texas and Xfinity + MENCS at Michigan).

This is the 50th Formula One World Championship Canadian Grand Prix. The race made its debut in 1967 when it was won by Jack Brabham. It was not on the calendar in 1975, 1987 or 2009.
The race moved to its current home in 1978. Originally named the Circuit Île Notre-Dame, it became the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1982 . The original home of the Canadian Grand Prix was Mosport Park (now CTMP) where the race was held eight times, interrupted with Grands Prix at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in 1968 and 1970.

The Michigan International Speedway opened in 1968 under Lawrence LoPatin’s ownership. It was part of a planned conglomerate of speedways called American Raceways which included Texas World Speedway (not TMS), Riverside and Atlanta International Raceway – but the financing failed and the bank foreclosed in 1972. Roger Penske bought the facility in 1973. Part of his concept was that this track could be used by American Motors for on-the-road emissions certification testing. Penske gradually accumulated a number of other race tracks including the California Speedway (now Auto Club Speedway), Nazareth and Rockingham – as well as stake in the Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 1999 ISC absorbed Penske’s race track operations into its portfolio of race tracks. MIS along with its sister track, Auto Club, is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR calendar (not counting Daytona and Talladega where the speeds have been controlled using restrictor plates).

The Texas Motor Speedway was built by Bruton Smith and it opened in 1996. The track was originally intended for both NASCAR stock cars and CART-style Indy cars. The track proved to be too fast for the CART cars and in 2001 the first race planned for them was cancelled at the last minute. Since then, the IRL cars (which were slower) raced here and now that the two series were amalgamated, the IndyCar series cars have raced here. The track was reconfigured in 1998 to make the track a bit slower for the Indy cars. Note that the official lap length is different for IndyCar and for NASCAR. This in not a big deal because it really only affects the calculated lap speeds which are essentially for PR reasons only; racers go by the lap times.

Friday, June 7:
1. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks SpeedyCash.com 400, Texas Motor Speedway
• TV: FSR at 9:00P
• 1.5 mi (2.4 km); 167 laps = 250.5 mi (403.1 km); Stages: 40/40/87 laps
• Johnny Sauter was the race winner here at TMS a year ago. Stewart Friesen finished in second place ahead of Justin Haley.
• The most recent NGOTS race was the one run at Charlotte on May 17. It was won by Kyle Busch; Brendan Poole was second and Stewart Friesen was third.
• Going into Michigan, Grant Enfinger is leading in the NGOTS standings with 331 points and no wins. Stewart Friesen is second with 316 points and no wins. Brett Moffitt is third with 298 points and no wins. Remember Kyle Busch, who is ineligible for NGOTS points has won five of the first eight races this year. The other race winners have been Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter and Ross Chastain. Following this win Chastain has opted to race for the championship in this series – although it is unclear if he will be able to count his win at Kansas towards a championship run.

• Click HERE for the NGOTS Entry List

Saturday, June 8:
2. NASCAR Xfinity, LTi Printing 250, Michigan Intl. Speedway
• TV: TSN2 at 1:30P
• 2.0 mi (3.2 km); 125 laps = 250 mi; Stages: 30/30/65 laps
• This race was won by Austin Dillon last year. Daniel Hemric was second. Cole Custer was third.
• Cole Custer was the Xfinity winner at Pocono last week ahead of Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe.
• Tyler Reddick, among the Xfinity-eligible drivers, is at the top of the Xfinity standings with 572 points and two wins. Christopher Bell is second with 495 points and three wins while Cole Custer has 473 points and three wins. These three look like the strongest contenders for the series championship.

• Click HERE for the Xfinity Entry List

3. NTT IndyCar Series DXC Technology 600, Texas Motor Speedway
• TV: SN World at 8:00P
• 1.44 mi (2.32 km), 248 laps = 357 mi (575.4 km)
• The IndyCar race here in 2018 was won by Scott Dixon with Simon Pagenaud second and Alexander Rossi third. James Hinchcliffe finished in fourth place.
• Last week there was a doubleheader IndyCar race at Belle Isle in Detroit. Josef Newgarden won on Saturday, while Scott Dixon won on Sunday.
• Newgarden is at the top of the current points standing with 316 points to Rossi’s 301 and Pagenaud’s 291. Scott Dixon, despite crashing out of the Saturday race at Detroit, won his first race of the season on Sunday; he now stands fourth in points with 264 points.

• Click HERE for the IndyCar Entry List

Sunday, June 9:
4. NASCAR MENCS, FireKeepers Casino 400, Michigan Intl. Speedway
• TV: TSN2 at 2:00P
• 2.0 mi (3.2 km); 200 laps = 400 mi; Stages: 60/60/80 laps
• Last year’s June race was won by Clint Bowyer. Kevin Harvick was second and the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle third and fourth.
• At Pocono last week, Kyle Busch was the race winner. Brad Keselowski was second and Erik Jones was third.
• Kyle Busch is at the top of the MENCS Standings with 568 points and four wins to second place Joey Logano with 564 points and one win. Chase Elliott is third with 511 points and one win while Keselowski is fourth with 509 points and three wins.

• Click HERE for the MENCS Entry List

5. FIA Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix du Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
• TV: TSN4/5
• 4.361 km (2.71 mi); 70 laps = 305.3 km
• A year ago, this race was won by Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari with Valtteri Bottas second (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo (both Red Bull) were third and fourth while Lewis Hamilton was fifth. Only six cars finished the complete race distance.
• The previous F1 Grand Prix was the Monaco GP run on May 26. The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas finished first and third with Vettel in second place. This kept the unbroken streak of podium finishes for both the Mercedes drivers going through the first six races of th season.
• Hamilton is leading in the points race with 137 points to Bottas’ 120. Vettel is in third place with 82 points while Verstappen is fourth with 78 points.


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