by Bob Priddy, Contributing Editor

(NASCAR)—Kurt Busch, a three-time runnerup in NASCAR’s biggest race, finally gets a win, moving into the lead on the last lap to edge Ryan Blaney by .228 second.   It’s Ford’s second win in the last three years.  Joey Logano, who finished fifth, won the race in a Ford in 2015.

Wrecks knocked out several major contenders including reigning NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, and two-time 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was making his first race start after sitting out eighteen  races last year with concussion syndrome.

Joplin’s Jamie McMurray was running strongly midway through the race when he was caught up in one of the multi-car crashes and finished 28th in the 40-car field.  Clint Bowyer, the Emporia, Kansas native who has a place at the Lake of the Ozarks, ran among the leaders early but also was a crash victim and fnished 32nd in his first start with Stewart-Haas Racing.  SHR owns Busch’s winning car.  The co-owner, Tony Stewart, retired last year, going 0-18 in the Daytona 500 as a driver.

Danuel Suarez, the rookie who took over the car that would have been driven by Columbia’s Carl Edwards had he not decided to sit out the 2017 season, was 29th, another crash victim.

The NASCAR cup series runs at Atlanta next Sunday.

(INDYCAR)—IndyCar starts its 2017 season in three weeks with a race through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.  The seventeen-race series includes evens at Iowa on July 9 and a return to Gateway International, across the river from St. Louis, on August 26.

(FORMULA 1)—Formula 1 does not begin its 2017 season until March 25 with the Australian Grand Prix. This will be F1’s first season under new ownership. John Malone’s Liberty Media bought out longtime Formula 1 owner Bernie Ecclestone for $4.4 billion in the off-season. Malone once headed the cable television giant TCI.