The NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday had a wild finish with Tyler Reddick winning his second road course race this month, but Ross Chastain almost stole the show with an unorthodox restart in overtime.
Chastain started fifth in overtime and drove wide after the restart and down the access road near the first turn. He returned to the track and swapped the lead with Reddick. The two battled in overtime, despite the uncertainty that Chastain’s strategy was legal.
“I was like, ‘Uh-oh,’” Reddick said. “But that was a scenario that had been talked about. If you get bottled up, what do you do? Take the access road. I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me. I was kind of waiting to see if he was going to have a penalty, because I didn’t want to move him out of the way and make his race worse than what it was.
“Yeah, I was really surprised by that, but, hey, we made it work. Hats off to Ross for trying to do that, but really glad it didn’t end up working out, because I’d have been pretty pissed off.”
The access road shenanigans were all for not as Chastain was assessed a 30-second penalty after the race that dropped him back to 27th overall. Due to the penalty Austin Cindric finished second followed by Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland and Bubba Wallace.
After 22-races Chase Elliott leads the Cup standings with Chastain, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the Top 5.
Don’t call it a comeback! Max Verstappen started 10th at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday and ultimately won his eighth race this season, despite spinning out on lap 41. With his 28th career win Verstappen upped his championship lead to 80-points over Leclerc, and made a Ferrari’s constructors’ championship an even less likely possibility as they fall 97-points behind Red Bull.
“It was a fantastic race today. Everyone put in a top performance. Max was exceptional, even adding a little spin to his race as if coming back from 10th wasn’t hard enough,” said Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO of Red Bull F1. “This win gives us a healthy lead going into the break but there are still areas to improve on. Ferrari are still quick, Mercedes are coming back as you saw today. There is plenty more still to come.”
Lewis Hamilton finished second and his Mercedes teammate, George Russell, finished third. Going into F1’s summer break Verstappen sits atop the driver standings, followed by Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Russell, and Carlos Sainz.
News & Notes
Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel announced that he is retiring at the end of the 2022 season. Vettel’s F1 career started in 2007 with BMW Sauber, but his legacy started when he joined Scuderia Toro Rosso and at the time he became the youngest driver in F1 history to win a race.
After moving up to Red Bull he would win four-straight F1 drivers championship from 2010-2013 (tied for third all-time). In a career that includes stops at Ferrari and Aston Martin, Vettel won 53 career races (third all-time in F1 history), and stood on the podium 122 times.
“I love this sport, it has been central to my life since I can remember,” Vettel said in his retirement statement. “But as much as there’s life on track, there’s my life off track too. Being a racing driver has never been my sole identity. I very much believe in identity by who we are and how we treat others, rather than what we do.
“Who am I? I am Sebastian, father of three children and husband to a wonderful woman. I am curious and easily fascinated by passionate or skilled people. I am obsessed with perfection.”
F1 will miss Vettel as both a great driver and great person. A free spirit that abhorred social media, he never had to brag about his accomplishments on Twitter because we all knew he was a legend.
Vettel will be replaced by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso next season.
Phoenix Raceway announced that stock car fans will be able to drive a real NASCAR race car on the mile-long track leading into NASCAR Championship Weekend in November. Starting on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the NASCAR Racing Experience will offer driving opportunities each day through Thursday, Nov. 3, while also offering those opportunities on Monday, Nov. 7, the day after the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway.
“This is an incredible opportunity for fans to experience Phoenix Raceway from the most exciting perspective possible – the driver’s seat,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “Thanks to the NASCAR Racing Experience, fans can now enjoy a taste all of the heart-pounding thrills that the Championship 4 drivers will experience during NASCAR Championship Weekend.”
Participants in the NASCAR Racing Experience go to a drivers meeting with a crew chief that provides training and instruction, fans suit up and get behind the wheel for timed racing sessions that range from 5 to 48 minutes in duration. Ride-along programs are also available.