Several days have passed since the two big races of the weekend were held (Sebastien Vettel and Matt Kenseth were the winners in F1 and NASCAR, respectively) so today’s entry will be more of a collection of random thoughts than race reports with comment.
First, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and its NASCAR future.
Ron Fellows told me during the weekend that the cancellation of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve was unfortunate for two reasons: as a driver, he likely won’t get to race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve again but, more important, that when it's combined with the cancellation of the 2013 Edmonton Indy, it’s not particularly good news for Canadian motorsport in general.
Fellows said he didn’t expect the cancellation of the Montreal race would lead directly to the Nationwide Series event being moved to his facility, although he didn’t deny that the possibility had crossed his mind.
But if anything, he hinted that if there is to be a NASCAR touring series race at Old Mosport in 2013 it will likely be a round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
And he admitted to being surprised, and encouraged, by comments published on the NASCAR.com Internet site by Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president for racing operations, who said the league is hoping to fill the Montreal gap with another national-series race in Canada next year, most likely a Camping World Truck Series event.
"Certainly we want to be in Canada in some capacity, either Trucks or Nationwide next year," O'Donnell told NASCAR.com on Friday. "That's a hugely important market to us. We've got some work to do certainly to make that happen. But we've got no complaints certainly about the fan base that turns out for the event."
O'Donnell called a potential Truck Series event in Canada "fairly realistic" for next season, although he declined to name the potential venue. "We've got a good shot at that," he added. "Nationwide, a much longer shot. You may be looking at 2014 for that. But I feel fairly good about our ability to bring a Truck event up to Canada in 2013."
So, in short: nothing concrete to report about NASCAR and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as yet but, as Fellows said: "It will be an interesting next couple of weeks."
I would add that it will be an interesting next couple of years.
Okay, moving right along.
Five Ontario drivers will be at the Indinapolis Motor Speedway this Wednesday and Thursday to participate in the annual Mazda Road to Indy Test.
The test is designed to provide drivers with seat time in USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights cars on the road course at the Speedway in order to showcase their talents to potential teams for the 2013 season.
Michael Adams of Courtice, Dalton Kellett of Stouffville, Nathan Blok of Pembroke and Matthew DiLeo of Innisfil will be showing their stuff in USF2000 cars. David Ostella of Maple will be auditioning for another Indy Lights ride.
Good luck to all those drivers.
- Lewis Hamilton is now reportedly "rubbishing" his teammate at McLaren, Jenson Button. I can hardly wait for him to get to Mercedes and try pulling some of this stuff. He’s going to a German team that has a German driver. Does anybody really think he’s going to be No. 1 over there?
- Romain Grosjean is getting a bum rap, I think. Crashing is what you get at the start of just about every F1 race because it’s a race. Some guys get going like rockets, others are not so fast. Kimi Raikkonen hit the back of Fernando Alonso’s car and Alonso was out of the race. Didn’t hear much about that. Grosjean hits Webber, who was able to keep going, and all hell breaks loose. Romain is everybody’s favourite whipping boy at the moment. What if it had been a veteran F1 driver who ran into Webber? Would he have been so vocal? Would he have been so insulting?
- I didn’t hear anybody criticizing Tony Stewart after the Big One at Talladega. (Grosjean might fit in really well in NASCAR . . .) I didn’t hear anybody suggesting that Stewart be thrown out of the next race. They don’t hand out grid penalties in NASCAR, do they?
Stewart owned up to making a mistake. "I was trying to win the race," he said.
Isn’t that what racers are supposed to do?
- I think I should run a pool on how long Kurt Busch lasts with Furniture Row Racing. One race? Six? A quarter of the 2013 season? Sunday, he makes a fool of himself again and this time he blames his "competitive desire." There is no hope for that man.
- The NASCAR story on the autosport.com website starts like this:
"Matt Kenseth claimed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup win of the season by driving through the carnage of a last-lap pileup at Talladega."
How can you drive through something when you’re already ahead of it? See photo above. Kenseth is in the pink car. The one in front. Which is where he was when the wreck started.