Another light weekend of racing is ahead with NASCAR the only big series with any on-track action. After last Sunday's crash-fest at Talladega, things will no doubt be a little calmer this weekend. Let's take a look.
KEZ WINS CRASH-FEST
Brad Keselowski won Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway for his second NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the season. The typically wild race went above and beyond what is usually expected at the 2½-mile track and six drivers in the top ten in points finished 15th or worse.
Following the race, there was uproar as to what NASCAR could do to limit the mayhem of flying cars and wrecks involving multiple cars. During the race, 35 of the 40 cars were involved in at least one wreck and two cars got airborne. No drivers were injured, which shows how far the safety of these cars has come in the last decade or so. What is interesting is that this if far from the first time that has happened, but with each restrictor plate race, the mayhem seems to increase.
Besides the season-opening Daytona 500, which had no major wrecks involving multiple cars, I don't remember the last time I watched a race at Daytona or Talladega that didn't have at least one “big one.” I'm not sure that anything can be done to limit that with the way the cars are currently set up. When you have a pack of 30 cars running over 200 mph, a big wreck is going to happen. However, when you consider it good news that “no cars got into the stands this time,” it might be time to look for a solution.
This weekend, NASCAR heads to the much tamer Kansas Speedway for Sprint Cup's Go Bowling 400 on Saturday night. The Camping World Truck Series will hold the Toyota Tundra 250 on Friday, the first race for the series since early April.
Sprint Cup has held a fall race at Kansas since 2001, but this is only the sixth spring race. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner and has won at the track three times while Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano have all won there twice. Other past winners of the spring race include Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth.
After Kenseth's big crash Sunday in which he put blame on Logano for being the reason Kenseth was in the position he was in, will we see more fireworks between the two of them? Perhaps, though you can bet that Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are going to be looking to rebound from poor finishes at Talladega to secure their spots in the point standings.
Coverage for Sprint Cup's Go Bowling 400 starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday while coverage for the Toyota Tundra 250 starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, both on Fox Sports 1.
NO INDYCAR IN BOSTON
As a huge fan of the Verizon IndyCar Series, I wasn't at all surprised when I found out the Grand Prix of Boston was cancelled. The maiden street race was supposed to held Labor Day weekend, but was problematic from the start. It was obvious that many city officials and citizens didn't want the series in their town, though the promoters had lined up numerous sponsors.
The sad thing is that IndyCar needs to have visibility in New England, especially since series sponsor Verizon is a high-profile business in that part of the country. However, this is the same city that rejected the 2024 Summer Olympics, so it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. I guess the majority of the highfalutin folks of Beantown want to concentrate on their stick-and-ball sports since it's clear they don't care about much else.
While the cancellation is no fault of IndyCar, it's still going to be a black eye for the series. This isn't the first IndyCar event to be cancelled before it is ever run, and it probably won't be the last. As Racer's Robin Miller reminded us, the late Paul Newman, who was co-owner of an IndyCar team for years before his death, once tried to put on an IndyCar race in Philadelphia. Newman quickly retreated when it was obvious the city had no interest, saying, “You can't go where people don't want you.” That's something IndyCar needs to remember going forward.
In any case, there is plenty going on this month for the series, including the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29.
Speaking of the Indy 500, check out highlights and photos by the Associated Press from every race since 1980 that we will post up until this year's race. As of today, we are up to 1995 in which Jacques Villeneuve took a controversial win and Janesville native Stan Fox suffered career-ending head injuries in a horrific crash.
ROSBERG CONTINUES F1 REIGN
Formula One is off this weekend, which is probably good for everybody except Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes driver won for the fourth time in as many races this season at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday. Dating back to last season, Rosberg has now won seven races in a row and is only the fourth driver in history to do so.
Rosberg sits 43 points ahead of teammate and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who finished second in Russia. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the podium and sits a further 14 points behind Hamilton.
Raikkonen's teammate Sebastian Vettel had a run-in for the second race in a row with Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat, who slammed into the rear of Vettel not once, but twice on the opening lap. The second collision put Vettel into the wall and out of the race.
In a bit of a surprise, Vettel's former team demoted Kvyat to its sister team Toro Rosso and replaced him with current Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen. The move has to be directly related to Kvyat's on-track issues with Vettel, the driver Kvyat replaced at Red Bull in 2015. For Verstappen, the youngest driver in F1 at 18 years old, this move could put him in a position to become the youngest race winner ever in the series.
F1 will be back on track for the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, May 15.
MAJESKI WINS JOE SHEAR CLASSIC
Ty Majeski won the Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway on Sunday. Majeski beat Johnny Sauter in the caution-free 100-lap feature to take his third feature race in his last four starts at the track. Also on Sunday, Chester Ace took the win in the 30-lap Midwest Truck Series feature while Kenny Joosten won the 30-lap feature for the Mid-American Stock Car Series.
Madison International Speedway will hold its season opener Friday, May 13 with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Late Models, Sportsman and Bandit divisions. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 students ages 13-17 and $5 kids ages 6-12. Get tickets here.
Jefferson Speedway will have a full racing program plus Ethanol Super Trucks at 7 p.m. Saturday while Rockford Speedway will also have a full lineup of racing Saturday at 7 p.m.