Saturday afternoon, I was looking for the NASCAR Nationwide race and stumbled across the tape-delay presentation of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Circuit ICAR north of Montreal that was held several weeks ago.
I’m not a fan of tape-delay but I kept watching for two reasons: I was curious about the TV package produced by Toronto’s James Robinson Associates Ltd. and I wanted to see if young driving star Andrew Ranger had been as out-of-control on the track as I’d been led to believe.
As I’d suspected, the Robinson company presented a first-rate visual and sound package (including aerial shots) that covered all aspects of what was really an exciting race. If you’ve never watched one of the Canadian Tire Series races, I urge you to do so.
And Ranger really was extremely aggressive. I received a couple of rockets after that ICAR race, criticizing me for being too hard on him. But I suggest the letter-writers keep an eye out for a repeat of that Circuit ICAR race and see for themselves.
I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. Ranger is an incredibly talented young guy and he doesn’t have to ride roughshod over people to get past them.
In any event, the stars of NASCAR Canada – D.J. Kennington, Scott Steckly, Kerry Micks, Robin Buck, Jason Hathaway, Don Thomson Jr. and Mark Dilley, among others – will be in action next weekend at Mosport International Raceway for the Vortex Brake Pads 200
The Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship and the Ontario Formula Ford Series will also see action. Practice and qualifying starts Friday, with the Canadian Tire Series race headlining the weekend next Sunday afternoon.
Now, I finally found that Nationwide race at Michigan later on Saturday afternoon and Carl Edwards won it.
Sunday, Denny Hamlin finally won his first race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season when he won the Helluva Good (Cheese) 400 at Michigan, with Matt Kenseth second, Kyle Busch third, Paul Menard fourth and Edwards fifth.
Ryan Newman was sixth, Tony Stewart seventh, Clint Bowyer eighth, Mark Martin was ninth and Bryan Vickers finished tenth.
Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson spun out early in the race and never got untracked while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was put into the wall by his teammate, Mark Martin.
– Earnhardt was not nice when asked about Martin, suggesting that he was too old to be racing stock cars at that level. At least, that’s the way I heard it.
– Earlier in the week, Stewart had "traded places" with Lewis Hamilton and took an F1 car around Watkins Glen while Hamilton ran a bunch of laps in Stewart’s stock car.
Now, I didn’t get excited about this for two reasons. 1) it was done before (Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya at Indy in 2003) and, 2) the first time it had been an F1 test of Gordon’s abilities with serious interest from Frank Williams while this was just a . . . stunt.
In fact, McLaren sent a 2008 car for Stewart to drive, unlike the real deal Williams Gordon got to drive eight years ago.
Stewart said it’s a good thing he didn't have this opportunity years ago or perhaps he wouldn’t have gone to NASCAR. I’m not sure I believe him.