(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Will Power (No. 12 team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6) hoists his winner's trophy in Victory Circle after winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Monday afternoon. The race was delayed due to rain on Sunday. It was Power's fourth victory of the season and he now is within 20 points of the top of the standings. Power held off Verizon P1 Award pole winner Mikhail Aleshin by 1.1459 seconds on the 2.5-mile triangular speedway oval to capture the 29th win of his Indy car career. Power is now tied with a pair of Team Penske greats - Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves - for 11th on the all-time Indy car victory list. "I love winning 500-mile races and this is one of the toughest ovals that we race on," said Power, whose other 500-mile victory came in the 2013 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson SMP Racing Honda Turbo V6) sets up for Turn 1 during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Monday. Aleshin led a race-high and career-high 87 laps in equaling his career-best finish. Aleshin shadowed Power over the closing 18 laps but couldn't make the pass for the lead. "I'm very proud of my team and everyone who works on the SMP Racing car No. 7," said Aleshin, the first Russian driver to win an Indy car pole position. "They did a fantastic job today and it paid off. Will was just faster in the end and I couldn't do anything with him."
(Photo by Bret Kelley/INDYCAR)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda Turbo V6) has a cold drink following the IndyCar race on Monday. Hunter-Reay charged from last place on the starting grid to finish third. He moved into the lead on Lap 49 and ran up front until an electronics malfunction on Lap 163 dropped him a lap down. Hunter-Reay got back on the lead lap during the last caution period and raced from 12th place to third over the final 20 laps. "I had to come through the field twice and that is heartbreaking for us," Hunter-Reay said. "This is the type of year it has been, really heartbreaking. The No. 28 DHL Honda really deserved to be in contention for the win there at the end."
Cal Crutchlow (No. 35 LCR Honda RC213V) become the first British rider to win a motorcycle premier-class Grand Prix since Barry Sheene in 1981 when he was victorious in the HJC Helmets Czech MotoGP at the Automotodrom Brno on Sunday. The Englishman was as low as 15th early on in the wet race, but his choice of the hard front and hard rear tires allowed him to make a spectacular charge to the front. Valentino Rossi (No. 46 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1) likewise struggled with his choice of the hard rear tire in the early stages before clawing his way to second place, with Marc Marquez (No. 93 Repsol Honda Team RC213V) completing the podium in third. Read more here.
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Busch Beer Chevrolet SS) dominated Sunday's rain-interrupted NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (which was postponed from Saturday night). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Fastenal Ford Fusion) delivered the best result of his Sprint Cup career, finishing 1.933 seconds behind Harvick. The race was an out-of-control mess per usual on the .533-mile concrete short track. It was Harvick's second win at Bristol, his second of the season and the 33rd of his career. Harvick had this to say after the race: "We've had some good cars here over the last few years… We knew we had the performance that we needed to have in the cars pretty much every week. And it’s been one of those deals where things have just not gone exactly right. But to have the win now and just try to get that momentum before we get into the Chase and get things rolling is really what we needed." Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Express Toyota Camry) came from two laps down to finish third. Read more here.
(John Thawley ~ Motorsports Photography @ www.johnthawley.com ~ 248.227.0110)
The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is the only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season to feature only GT class cars. BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing recently conducted a one-day test at the 3.27-mile, 18-turn permanent road course, located in Alton, Virginia, and is ready for this weekend’s two-hour and forty-minute race. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner will be in the No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM machine, while Lucas Luhr and John Edwards will be in the No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM team car. “To be honest we haven't had the kind of success we have wanted over the years at VIR,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Clearly we have been fast in the past. We have qualified reasonably well there but if I remember correctly, I feel like we have been ‘mugged’ there a few times in traffic by some of our competitors. The circuit should fit the BMW M6 a bit better than the Z4. Our car likes fast corners and there are plenty of those at VIR. There is also a long straightaway and we should be competitive on top speed as well. We had a test there not too long ago so I think we are prepared. It's just a matter of having a trouble free event.” You can see live coverage of the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR on FoxSports1 @1:30 on Sunday.
Showing up empty-handed at Pebble Beach is anathema to these manufacturers, so the BMW Group did yet another rehash of one of its competition cars from the past, the BMW 2002 Hommage. The company did so in order "to shine the spotlight back over its successful history with turbocharged engines." In 1973 the BMW 2002 turbo became the first series-produced vehicle in Europe to feature turbo technology (about ten years after the Chevrolet Corvair, in case you were wondering). This is what BMW said: “The BMW 2002 Hommage celebrates the extraordinary feats of engineering on which BMW turbo technology is based and re-interprets them in the form of a design study,” says Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “With its iconic orange/black paintwork, the car has a color scheme and livery synonymous in the minds of many motor sport fans with the triumphs of the 1970s.” This is what he meant to say: "We were so fresh out of ideas and so tired of doing 'i' electric vehicles that we decided to blow off a little steam."
America's National Park of Speed.
I was getting caught up on the Pirelli World Challenge Races at Road America, and thought I saw the Autoextremist.com sign at Turn 5. Could you please show a picture of it, and the story behind it? I am a huge fan of both Road America and your website!
Editor-In-Chief's Note: I first went to Elkhart Lake's Road America in 1967, when my brother Tony was racing a "A" Production Corvette in the SCCA June Sprints National races. I've been going ever since. If you have traveled around to race tracks as much as I have - including the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany - you will come to appreciate Road America, simply the most stunning natural-terrain road racing circuit in North America. With a track layout that has been unaltered since it was first opened in 1955 - which, believe me, is a rarity - and a park-like setting that is simply unrivaled, Road America is the race track for road racing enthusiasts in this country. To me, Road America looks and feels like a national park, and the track's theme line - America's National Park of Speed - is something I came up with to best describe the feeling you get when you're there. We first used it on that Autoextremist billboard in Turn 5 and I'm proud to say that it has become a fixture there. I gave the theme line to the track to use several years ago and I encouraged track president George Bruggenthies and his talented staff to use the theme consistently in all of their communications, and it's really starting to pay dividends. It's gratifying to hear the theme on TV broadcasts and to see it in-person when you're at the track. -PMD