(NASCAR) Kyle Busch, who thought his chance for victory went away with a pit speeding penalty near the halfway point of NASCAR’s Cup race at California, seized control of the race late and outran Penske Drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski to the checkered flag.
It was Busch’s 53rd career Cup win, his second in a row, and the 200th win in 998 races across NASCAR’s top three touring series in a nineteen-year career that began when he ran his first pickup truck race at age 16.
Some NASCAR observers compare Busch’s accomplishment to the 200 wins Richard Petty racked up in his 24-year career. All of them were in Cup races. “It’s just a number, period. I did mine in my time. And he is doing his in his time,” Petty recently said. “He’s got fifty-some Cup wins. There’s no comparison.” For the record, Petty got his 200 wins in 994 Cup races.
Busch doesn’t make any claims of being Petty’s equal. “It’s not a comparison to Richard Petty’s 200 wins. It is not. It is my own and an accomplishment on itself that should stand alone separate from Richard…It’s not for me to argue. I don’t care.” He says his goal is 100 Cup wins. Only David Pearson, with 100, and Petty have reached that mark.
Sunrise Beach driver Clint Bowyer’s 473rd career start ended early. Early in the race he thought his car had lost a cylinder. He dropped out on the 130th lap of the 200-lap race, the only car not running at the finish. The disappointing result dropped Bowyer to fifteenth in the points standings after five races. NASCAR begins its playoffs after the 26th race with the top sixteen drivers in wins and points having a shot at the championship.
NASCAR heads back east after its annual west coast swing scheduled to avoid bad weather early in the season in the east. Drivers will be on the short track at Martisville next weekend.
(INDYCAR)—IndyCar President Jay Frye hopes to hear from a third engine manufacturer for the series by May. Chevrolet and Honda supply engines now. Cosworth, which has developed series racing engines in the past for Ford and Mercedes says no manufacturer has approached it about developing a powerplant. The series is to move to a 2.4 liter engine in 2021, replacing the 2.2 liter twin turbo engines now used.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner (and four-time national champion) Dario Franchitti is one of the newest members of the National Motorsports Hall of Fame. Joining him in the Hall that night was Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion who was an IndyCar champion in 1996-97 before moving to NASCAR. He also won the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race at Indianapolis twice. The Motorsports Hall of Fame is in Daytona Beach, Florida.
IndyCar runs its first race at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin, TX next weekend.
(FORMULA1)—Formula One’s season has begun with the number two Mercedes driver finishing in P1 at Australia, ahead of teammate and defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas got the jump on Hamilton at the start and won by twenty seconds over his teammate, who had smashed the track record in qualifying.
F1 is off next weekend before the Bahrain Grand Prix.