by Bob Priddy, Contributing Editor
(NASCAR)—Kyle Busch, who got Toyota’s first victory in the NASCAR Cup series, has picked up the brand’s 100th win and in the process posted his first victory at Pocono.
The win secures a spot for Busch in the playoffs. But it means less wiggle room for Joplin’s Jamie McMurray. Busch is the thirteenth driver to lock in one of the sixteen playoff slots by winning a race. The other three playoff positions—for now—belong to Chase Elliott, McMurray, and Mat Kenseth. McMurray is one point behind Elliott and twenty-one ahead of Kenseth, not much of a margin with five races before the playoff lineup is set. Semi-Missourian Clint Bowyer is outside the top sixteen by seventeen points.
McMurray finished a lap down, in 26th. Bowyer won one of the stages of the race and ended up sixth.
Busch has won a Cup points race at every track on the NASCAR circuit except Charlotte. The series takes to the road course at Watkins Glen, NY next Sunday.
(INDYCAR)—Josef Newgarden has bolted into the lead for the IndyCar champions with a victory in the 200-mile race on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course that follows his win in Toronto in the previous IndyCar race—at Toronto. He finished 5.1 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power.
He’s the first American driver to sit atop the point standings in the series since Ryan Hunter-Reay led briefly in 2014. He’s seven points up on another Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh in the race. Scott Dixon, who came into the race as the points leader, finished ninth and now trails Castoneves in the championship standings by a single point.
IndyCar’s next race is August 20 on the “tricky triangle,” Pocono.
(FORMULA 1)—Teamwork and personal courtesy helped Sebastian Vettel pick up the trophy at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, stayed behind Vettel, on team orders, to hold rival Lewis Hamilton at bay. Hamilton was unable to challenge Vettel because running in the wake of Raikkonen’s car caused his own car to lose grip. Raikkonen felt he was faster than Vettel and was not happy serving as a rolling buffer for the team leader, But F1 observers think his actions made it more likely that he will remain a teammate to Vettel at Ferrari—if Vettel stays there for 2018.
Hamilton gave up a podium finish to teammate Taltteri Bottas because he kept a promise to Bottas that he would give back third place if he was not able to get past Raikkonen and Vetel.
(Photo Credit: McMurray at Indianapolis, Rick Gevers)