Hamilton untouchable in charge to Belgian Grand Prix victory.

53A superbly controlled drive saw Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to win Sunday’s 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The hard-charging Lotus of Romain Grosjean took third after Ferrari’s gamble to one stop Sebastian Vettel backfired with a spectacular tyre failure on the penultimate lap.

Daniil Kvyat made two strong passes in the closing laps to finish fourth for Red Bull, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. A typically aggressive drive from Max Verstappen resulted in eighth place for Toro Rosso, with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson completing the top ten.

As expected, the new starting procedures mixed things up off the line, with Rosberg and Bottas making poor getaways from P2 and P3 on the grid, as Perez (starting P4) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (P5) capitalised to chase polesitter Hamilton out of the first turn.

It wasn’t until the first round of stops that Rosberg was able to get back on terms with Hamilton, moving up to second using sheer pace rather than passing, and when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed on lap 21 to remove Ricciardo’s broken-down Red Bull the gap was barely two seconds.

From there, however, Hamilton had things in hand and the real battle was for third, with Grosjean pushing Vettel hard in the closing stages, only for the German’s right-rear tyre to let go in dramatic fashion approaching Les Combes with less than two laps remaining.

There were two early retirements: Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg had power issues on the grid, prompting a second formation lap, while Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus came to a halt on just his second tour of Spa. Carlos Sainz also had technical issues en route to the grid and made a delayed start from the pit lane. Two laps down, he ultimately pulled his Toro Rosso into the garage to retire on lap 36.

Belgian Grand Prix Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Behind Status Points
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 44 Leader Running 25
2 6 Nico Roseberg 44 -2.0 Running 18
3 8 Romain Grojean 44 -37.9 Running 15
4 26 Daniil Kvyat 44 -45.6 Running 12
5 11 Sergio Perez 44 -53.9 Running 10
6 19 Felipe Massa 44 -55.2 Running 8
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen 44 -55.7 Running 6
8 33 Max Verstappen 44 -56.0 Running 4
9 77 Valtteri Bottas 44 -1:01.0 Running 2
10 9 Marcus Ericsson 44 -1:31.2 Running 1
11 12 Felipe Nasr 44 -1:42.311 Running 0
12 5 Sebastian Vettel 43 -1 Lap Running 0
13 14 Fernando Alonso 43 -1 Lap Running 0
14 22 Jenson Button 43 -1 Lap Running 0
15 98 Roberto Merhi 43 -1 Lap Running 0
16 28 Will Stevens 43 -1 Lap Running 0
17 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 35 -9 laps Retired 0
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo 20 -24 Laps Retired 0
19 13 Pastor Maldonado 2 -42 Laps Retired 0
20 27 Nico Hulkenberg 0 -44 Laps DNS 0

 

Drivers Championship
After Race 11 of the 2015 season at Belgian Grand Prix
Pos. Car # Driver Team Wins Points Behind
1 44 L. Hamiton Mercedes 6 227 Leader
2 6 N. Roseberg Mercedes 3 199 -28
3 5 S. Vettel Ferrari 2 160 -67
4 7 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 0 82 -145
5 19 F. Massa William-Mercedes 0 82 -145
6 77 V. Bottas William-Mercedes 0 79 -148
7 26 D. Kvyat Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 57 -170
8 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 51 -176
9 8 R. Grojean Lotus-Mercedes 0 38 -189
10 33 M. Verstappen Toro Rosso 0 26 -201
11 11 S. Perez Force india-Mercedes 0 25 -202
12 27 N. Hulkenberg Force india-Mercedes 0 24 -203
13 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 0 16 -211
14 13 P. Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 0 12 -215
15 14 F. Alonso McLaren-Honda 0 11 -216
16 55 C. Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 0 9 -218
17 9 M. Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 0 7 -220
18 22 J. Button McLaren-Honda 0 6 -221
19 98 R. Merhi Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -227
20 28 W. Stevens Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -227
21 20 K. Magnussen McLaren-Honda 0 0 -227

 

Constructors Championship
After Race 11 of the 2015 season at Belgian Grand Prix
Pos. Team Wins Points Behind
1 Mercedes 9 426 Leader
2 Ferrari 2 242 -184
3 Williams-Mercedes 0 161 -265
4 Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 108 -318
5 Lotus-Renault 0 50 -376
6 Force India-Mercedes 0 49 -377
7 Toro Rosso-Renault 0 35 -391
8 Sauber-Ferrari 0 23 -403
9 McLaren-Honda 0 17 -409
10 Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -426

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Infraction Sheet for IRWIN Tools Night Race

Sprint

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Infraction Sheet for IRWIN Tools Night Race
Car Lap Infraction Flag Penalty Lap Assessed Notes
21 53 Speeding-Exiting pits Y Tail End 57
10 53 Speed-Entering Pits Y Tail End 57
42 126 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 132
42 126 Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Y Tail End 132
4 128 Crewmember(s) over the wall too soon Y Tail End 132
47 147 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 151
51 252 Speeding-Exiting pits Y Tail End 257
42 360 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End Garage
4 362 Speed-Entering Pits Y Tail End 367
27 363 Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires Y Tail End 367
40 375 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 379
16 385 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 390
16 385 Speed-Entering Pits Y Tail End 390
16 385 Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Y Tail End 390
16 385 Disobeying a NASCAR request Y Tail End 389 Improper exit on pit road
17 386 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 390
38 386 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 390
27 386 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 390
27 386 Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Y Tail End 390
18 432 Speed-Entering Pits Y Tail End 437
17 432 Pitting before pit road is open Y Tail End 437
6 433 Speed-Entering Pits Y Tail End 437
78 442 Safety Violation G Pit 445 Sheet metal loose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joey Logano holds off late surge by Kevin Harvick to win Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol

2Joey Logano held off the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion and current points leader, Kevin Harvick, by 0.220 seconds to win Saturday night’s IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Logano, who also won the event last year, received his third series victory and 18th top-10 finish of the 2015 season, his 11th series career victory in 243 races and his second series victory in 14 races at the track in “thunder valley.”

Following Logano and Harvick to the drop of the checkered flag were pole-sitter Denny Hamlin finishing third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Clint Bowyer finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-10 finishing positions were Brad Keselowski claiming sixth-place, Carl Edwards seventh, Kyle Busch (led the most laps – 192 out of 500) eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ninth and Ryan Newman brought home 10th-place.

With his second-place finish, Kevin Harvick leaves Bristol with a 43-point lead over tonight’s winner, Joey Logano.

RACE NOTES:
Average Speed: 96.891 MPH
Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 45 Mins, 05 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.220 Seconds
Lead Changes: 14 among 5 drivers
Cautions: 8 for 52 laps

Up Next: The series takes their final “off-weekend” of season this coming weekend, and they return to action on Sunday, September 6th, at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. The race is scheduled to get started around 7:20 p.m. (ET) on NBC.

IRWIN Tools Night Race Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Status Laps Led Points Bonus Points
1 22 Joey Logano 500 Running 176 47 4
2 4 Kevin Harvick 500 Running 0 42 0
3 11 Denny Hamlin 500 Running 54 42 1
4 48 Jimmie Johnson 500 Running 0 40 0
5 15 Clint Bowyer 500 Running 0 39 0
6 2 Brad Keselowski 500 Running 4 39 1
7 19 Carl Edwards 500 Running 74 38 1
8 18 Kyle Busch 500 Running 192 38 2
9 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr 500 Running 0 35 0
10 31 Ryan Newman 500 Running 0 34 0
11 1 Jamie McMurray 500 Running 0 33 0
12 51 Justin Allgaier 500 Running 0 32 0
13 3 Austin Dillon 500 Running 0 31 0
14 41 Kurt Busch 499 Running 0 30 0
15 6 Trevor Bayne 498 Running 0 29 0
16 5 Kasey Kahne 498 Running 0 28 0
17 43 Aric Almirola 497 Running 0 27 0
18 9 Sam Hornish Jr. 497 Running 0 26 0
19 14 Tony Stewart 497 Running 0 25 0
20 24 Jeff Gordon 496 Running 0 24 0
21 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 496 Running 0 23 0
22 21 Ryan Blaney (i) 496 Running 0 0 0
23 13 Casey Mears 496 Running 0 21 0
24 27 Paul Menard 496 Running 0 20 0
25 16 Greg Biffle 496 Running 0 19 0
26 47 AJ Allmendinger 495 Running 0 18 0
27 10 Danica Patrick 495 Running 0 17 0
28 78 Martin Truex Jr. 495 Running 0 16 0
29 35 Cole Whitt 495 Running 0 15 0
30 34 Brett Moffitt # 495 Running 0 14 0
31 95 Michael McDowell 495 Running 0 13 0
32 7 Alex Bowman 494 Running 0 12 0
33 83 Matt Dibenedetto # 493 Running 0 11 0
34 23 J.J. Yeley (i) 492 Running 0 0 0
35 32 Josh Wise 491 Running 0 9 0
36 38 David Gilliland 488 Running 0 8 0
37 33 Mike Bliss (i) 486 Running 0 0 0
38 40 Landon Cassill (i) 480 Running 0 0 0
39 98 Timmy Hill (i) 476 Running 0 0 0
40 55 David Ragan 443 Accident 0 4 0
41 42 Kyle Larson 356 Accident 0 3 0
42 20 Matt Kenseth 110 Engine 0 2 0
43 46 Michael Annett 0 Engine 0 1 0

# – Rookie
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Unofficial Point Standings
After Race 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Car # Driver Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNF
1 4 Kevin Harvick 908 Leader 24 2 17 21 1
2 22 Joey Logano 865 -43 24 3 14 18 0
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr 819 -89 24 2 11 15 1
4 2 Brad Keselowski 793 -115 24 1 5 16 1
5 48 Jimmie Johnson 792 -116 24 4 11 16 0
6 78 Martin Truex Jr. 771 -137 24 1 7 16 2
7 20 Matt Kenseth 753 -155 24 3 9 15 2
8 41 Kurt Busch 713 -195 21 2 8 13 0
9 11 Denny Hamlin 712 -196 24 1 8 11 1
10 1 Jamie McMurray 696 -212 24 0 2 7 1
11 31 Ryan Newman 683 -225 24 0 4 12 1
12 27 Paul Menard 674 -234 24 0 2 4 1
13 24 Jeff Gordon 672 -236 24 0 3 12 1
14 19 Carl Edwards 666 -242 24 1 2 8 2
15 15 Clint Bowyer 655 -253 24 0 2 10 0
16 43 Aric Almirola 620 -288 24 0 1 1 1
Points Outside the Top 16
17 5 Kasey Kahne 618 -2 24 0 2 6 2
18 16 Greg Biffle 572 -48 24 0 2 3 0
19 3 Austin Dillon 564 -56 24 0 1 4 2
20 42 Kyle Larson 551 -69 23 0 1 6 4
21 10 Danica Patrick 525 -95 24 0 0 2 1
22 13 Casey Mears 516 -104 24 0 0 1 3
23 47 AJ Allmendinger 515 -105 24 0 0 3 3
24 55 David Ragan 491 -129 24 0 1 1 3
25 9 Sam Hornish Jr. 476 -144 24 0 0 3 2
26 14 Tony Stewart 466 -154 24 0 0 2 4
27 6 Trevor Bayne 443 -177 24 0 0 2 3
28 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 434 -186 24 0 1 1 2
29 18 Kyle Busch 433 -187 13 4 5 7 2
30 51 Justin Allgaier 409 -211 24 0 0 1 3
Points Outside the Top 30
31 35 Cole Whitt 387 -22 24 0 0 0 1
32 38 David Gilliland 362 -47 24 0 0 0 2
33 7 Alex Bowman 304 -105 23 0 0 0 3
34 34 Brett Moffitt # 303 -106 20 0 0 1 0
35 46 Michael Annett 271 -138 24 0 0 0 2
36 83 Matt Dibenedetto # 263 -146 21 0 0 0 1
37 32 Josh Wise 202 -207 19 0 0 1 4
38 95 Michael McDowell 161 -248 11 0 0 0 0
39 26 Jeb Burton # 136 -273 18 0 0 0 3
40 33 Alex Kennedy # 93 -316 10 0 0 0 0
41 44 Reed Sorenson 41 -368 4 0 0 0 0
42 32 Bobby Labonte 39 -370 3 0 0 0 1
43 55 Brian Vickers 32 -377 2 0 0 0 0
44 55 Michael Waltrip 26 -383 2 0 0 0 0
45 66 Mike Wallace 8 -401 1 0 0 0 0
46 Eddie Macdonald 7 -402 1 0 0 0 0
47 Will Kimmel III 6 -403 1 0 0 0 0
48 30 Ron Hornaday Jr. 2 -407 1 0 0 0 1

# – Rookie

Untitledchase

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Standing
After Race 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Owner Car # Wins Points Behind Attempts
1 Tony Stewart 4 2 473 Leader 23
2 Walter Czarnecki 22 3 432 -41 23
3 Rick Hendrick 88 2 410 -63 23
4 Gene Haas 41 2 407 -66 23
5 Roger Penske 2 1 401 -72 23
6 Jeff Gordon 48 4 393 -80 23
7 Barney Visser 78 1 381 -92 23
8 Joe Gibbs 20 3 372 -101 23
9 J D Gibbs 11 1 353 -120 23
10 Felix Sabates 1 0 346 -127 23
11 Richard Childress 31 0 345 -128 23
12 Richard Childress 27 0 343 -130 23
13 Rick Hendrick 24 0 339 -134 23
14 J D Gibbs 19 1 336 -137 23
15 Joe Gibbs 18 4 321 -152 23
16 Rob Kauffman 15 0 312 -161 23
17 Richard Petty 43 0 296 -177 23
18 Linda Hendrick 5 0 292 -181 23
19 Chip Ganassi 42 0 284 -189 23
20 Jack Roush 16 0 284 -189 23
21 Richard Childress 3 0 274 -199 23
22 Tony Stewart 10 0 263 -210 23
23 Bob Germain 13 0 261 -212 23
24 Tad Geschickter 47 0 253 -220 23
25 Richard Petty 9 0 234 -239 23
26 Margaret Haas 14 0 230 -243 23
27 Michael Waltrip 55 0 224 -249 23
28 John Henry 6 0 208 -265 23
29 John Henry 17 0 207 -266 23
30 Harry Scott Jr 51 0 204 -269 23
31 Bob Jenkins 35 0 202 -271 23
32 Brad Jenkins 38 0 193 -280 23
33 Jerry Freeze 34 0 188 -285 23
34 Michael Hillman 40 0 150 -323 23
35 Tommy Baldwin 7 0 144 -329 23
36 Ron Devine 83 0 136 -337 23
37 Joe Falk 33 0 134 -339 23
38 Harry Scott Jr 46 0 131 -342 23
39 Ron Devine 23 0 125 -348 23
40 Mike Curb 98 0 123 -350 23
41 Archie St Hilaire 32 0 106 -367 23
42 Glen Wood 21 0 101 -372 11
43 Bob Leavine 95 0 74 -399 13
44 Anthony Marlowe 26 0 60 -413 23
45 Rick Hendrick 25 0 47 -426 4
46 Jay Robinson 62 0 36 -437 23
47 John Cohen 44 0 12 -461 4
48 Jay Robinson 66 0 8 -465 4
49 Curtis Key 30 0 6 -467 8
50 Robby Benton 129 0 0 -473 4
51 Gordon Smith 139 0 0 -473 2

 

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Standings
After Race 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Manufacturer Wins Points Behind
1 Chevrolet 11 1066 Leader
2 Toyota 9 996 -70
3 Ford 4 995 -71

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton storms to tenth pole position of 2015 in Belgium

untitled2Lewis Hamilton will start the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix from pole position, after beating Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg by almost half a second in Saturday’s qualifying session. It was Hamilton’s sixth consecutive pole, and his tenth of the season.

Behind the two silver cars, Valtteri Bottas was a distant third for Williams, with Romain Grosjean taking a superb fourth for Lotus. The Frenchman will drop five grid places, however, thanks to a gearbox change penalty.

Sergio Perez secured a season-best fifth for Force India, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa in the second Williams, and Pastor Maldonado in the second Lotus. Sebastian Vettel was ninth in a very poor session for Ferrari, with Carlos Sainz rounding out a tightly-packed top ten for Toro Rosso.

Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile was a big-name casualty of Q2, after technical issues forced him to bring his very sick-sounding Ferrari to a halt approaching Turn 14.

The first part of qualifying had offered an ominous sign of Mercedes’ advantage, as Hamilton led Rosberg on 1m 48.908s to 1m 48.923s despite both using Pirelli’s medium tyre, which has proved around 1.5s slower than the softs the rest of the field used. Perez was at least right with the Mercedes pair on 1m 49.006s, while a late-improving Bottas worked his way into fourth on 1m 49.026s. The Finn had been in the drop zone until his late breakthrough, and his improvement therefore demoted Sauber’s Felipe Nasr into 16th – the Brazilian eliminated despite setting a 1m 49.952s, within 1.1s of Hamilton’s benchmark.

Behind Nasr, Jenson Button beat Fernando Alonso at McLaren, with 1m 50.978s to 1m 51.420s for 17th and 18th. Both cars have had further engine changes for the weekend, though they won’t influence further the team’s back-of-the-grid starting positions that have already been mandated by the stewards.

Will Stevens narrowly headed Marussia team mate Roberto Merhi, with 1m 52.948s to 1m 53.009s.

Rosberg got back on top in Q2, pipping Hamilton’s 1m 48.024s with 1m 47.955s, and they opened the gap to their pursuers – Vettel for example was third with 1m 48.761s. There was bad news for the Scuderia, however, as Raikkonen came to a halt without completing a lap.

While Perez was fourth, Force India team mate Nico Hulkenberg dropped out in 11th place on 1m 49.121s, as did Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat on 1m 49.228s. Less surprising was Marcus Ericsson in 13th on 1m 49.586s for Sauber. In the second Toro Rosso Max Verstappen opted not to run, preferring instead to save a set of tyres given his impending 10-place grid drop, while Raikkonen was left in 15th.

Into Q3, and Hamilton’s first flyer gave him a resounding early advantage as he clocked 1m 47.449s to Rosberg’s 1m 47.895s. The German had made a fist of the second sector, however, which meant he had potential time in hand… Bottas got closest to the two Silver Arrows with 1m 48.567s ahead of Massa on 1m 48.937s, but Vettel was a disappointing fifth on 1m 49.698s.

Rosberg and Hamilton were neck and neck through the first sector of their second runs, but Hamilton was simply irresistible over the rest of the lap and improved to a magnificent 1m 47.197s. Rosberg improved too, but was firmly in his team mate’s shadow with 1m 47.655s.

Bottas held on to third, improving to 1m 48.537s, but the surprise was Romain Grosjean’s jump up to fourth for Lotus on 1m 48.561s. Perez grabbed fifth on 1m 48.599s, fractions ahead of Ricciardo on 1m 48.685s, Massa on 1m 48.685s and Maldonado on 1m 48.754s. Just two-tenths of a second therefore covered third through to eighth.

Vettel paid the price for the closely-matched field, as a 1m 48.825s proved good enough only for ninth, ahead of Sainz on 1m 49.771s.

Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:48.908 1:48.024 1:47.197 Leader 15
2 6 Nico Roseberg 1:48.923 1:47.955 1:47.655 -0.458 16
3 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:49.026 1:49.044 1:48.537 -0.882 18
4 8 Romain Grojean 1:49.353 1:48.981 1:48.561 -0.024 16
5 11 Sergio Perez 1:49.006 1:48.792 1:48.599 -0.038 15
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:49.664 1:49.042 1:48.639 -0.040 16
7 19 Felipe Massa 1:49.688 1:48.806 1:48.685 -0.046 14
8 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:49.568 1:48.956 1:48.754 -0.069 16
9 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:49.264 1:48.761 1:48.825 -0.071 16
10 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:49.109 1:49.065 1:49.771 -0.946 11
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:49.499 1:49.121 Eliminated 0.650 11
12 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:49.469 1:49.228 Eliminated -0.107 11
13 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:49.523 1:49.586 Eliminated -0.358 11
14 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:49.288 0:00.000 Eliminated 0.298 7
15 33 Max Verstappen 1:49.831 0:00.000 Eliminated -0.543 9
16 12 Felipe Nasr 1:49.952 Eliminated -0.121 5
17 22 Jenson Button 1:50.978 Eliminated -1.026 5
18 14 Fernando Alonso 1:51.420 Eliminated -0.442 5
19 28 Will Stevens 1:52.948 Eliminated -1.528 5
20 98 Roberto Merhi 1:53.099 Eliminated -0.151 6
Grid penalty: Grosjean (5 spots – Gearbox Change), Verstappen (10 spots – Engine Change), Button and Alonso (back of grid for Engine Change).

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Hamilton strikes back to top final Belgian GP practice

UntitledAfter seeing his team mate lead the way on Friday, it was Lewis Hamilton’s turn to top the times for Mercedes in Saturday morning’s final practice at Spa-Francorchamps. The world champion lapped the famous circuit half a second quicker than Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third fastest for Ferrari.

Vettel’s best was 0.6s down on Hamilton, and the German was backed up by newly re-signed team mate Kimi Raikkonen in fourth. Sergio Perez took fifth for Force India, followed by the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, and team mate Nico Hulkenberg. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completed the top ten.

It proved to be a tough session for McLaren, who already face the prospect of starting from the back of the grid due to penalties. Fernando Alonso failed to set a time and managed just one lap thanks to suspected exhaust problems, while team mate Jenson Button finished 17th, trailed only by the two Marussias.

It was Red Bull who led the switch onto the faster, soft tyres, and Ricciardo and Kvyat duly hit the front, posting 1m 49.930s and 1m 49.980s respectively. Max Verstappen also elected to make an early change for the yellow-marked rubber, and for a time occupied third for Toro Rosso on 1m 50.599s.

At that stage Hamilton was the fastest runner on mediums with 1m 50.635s, before Vettel fired a shot across Mercedes’ bows with 1m 50.460s.

That left the order Ricciardo, Kvyat, Vettel, Verstappen, Hamilton, Raikkonen (1m 50.707s) and Rosberg (1m 50.821s) going into the final 10 minutes. But that’s when the serious stuff happened.

First Rosberg clocked 1m 49.482s on softs, but Hamilton immediately smashed that with 1m 48.984s to move ahead of his team mate for the first time this weekend. Vettel jumped to third with 1m 49.629s, while Raikkonen slotted into fourth with 1m 49.864s, which came in spite of traffic. The Finn then set the best sector one time, but promptly lost a second and a half to Hamilton in sector two; Vettel, meanwhile, was also pushing hard enough to run wide at Les Combes. Neither went quicker.

Perez very nearly ousted Raikkonen with 1m 49.866s, which was good enough to demote Ricciardo and Kvyat, whose focus had turned to long runs. Hulkenberg, meanwhile, jumped up to eighth with a very neat lap of 1m 50.000s, which left him a few tenths clear of Bottas and Massa. The Williams pair only really got going in the final 20 minutes of the session, and managed 1m 50.179s and 1m 50.447s respectively.

Carlos Sainz ended up Toro Rosso’s faster runner, in part because Verstappen had switched to his own long-run simulation on the softs. The Spaniard posted 1m 50.552s for 11th, ahead of Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado on 1m 50.585s. Verstappen was up next, with Felipe Nasr in the lead Sauber one spot further back in 14th, on 1m 50.690s.

Marcus Ericsson took the sister C34 round in 1m 51.054s to head Romain Grosjean on 1m 51.187s for Lotus and Button who couldn’t better 1m 51.981s in the McLaren. That left the closely matched Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi 18th and 19th, on 1m 54.262s and 1m 54.281s respectively.

There were several minor offs and spins during the session, while Pirelli also confirmed mid-way through the hour that overnight investigations into Rosberg’s tyre failure in FP2 had revealed ‘no structural integrity issue,’ pointing instead to an external cut being the cause of the incident.

Belgian Grand Prix Final Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:48.984 Leader Leader 14
2 6 Nico Roseberg 1:49.482 -0.498 -0.498 19
3 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:49.629 -0.645 -0.147 16
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:49.864 -0.880 -0.235 18
5 11 Sergio Perez 1:49.866 -0.882 -0.002 15
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:49.930 -0.946 -0.064 18
7 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:49.980 -0.996 -0.050 17
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:50.000 -1.016 -0.020 14
9 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:50.179 -1.195 -0.179 15
10 19 Felipe Massa 1:50.447 -1.463 -0.268 15
11 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:50.552 -1.568 -0.105 19
12 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:50.585 -1.601 -0.033 16
13 33 Max Verstappen 1:50.599 -1.615 -0.014 20
14 12 Felipe Nasr 1:50.690 -1.706 -0.091 16
15 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:51.054 -2.070 -0.364 19
16 8 Romain Grojean 1:51.187 -2.203 -0.133 17
17 22 Jenson Button 1:51.981 -2.997 -0.794 12
18 28 Will Stevens 1:54.262 -5.278 -2.281 15
19 98 Roberto Merhi 1:56.162 -7.178 -1.900 7
20 14 Fernando Alonso 0:00.000 48.984 56.162 1

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle Busch passes out-of-fuel Chris Buescher to win 8th career Xfinity Series race at Bristol

6After a green-white-checkered (flags) dash to the finish in Friday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) Food City 300, it was Kyle Busch capitalizing on Chris Buescher’s misfortune of running out of gas, to win at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).

This was Busch’s series win and top-10 finish of the 2015 season, his series career win in races and his eighth series win in races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Finishing in second behind Busch was Kyle Larson, and they were followed by pole-sitter Denny Hamlin (led the most laps – 106 out of 302) finishing third, Ty Dillon fourth and series Rookie of the Year (ROTY) candidate, Daniel Suarez (Dash4Cash $100k winner) finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-10 finishing positions were Brian Scott taking sixth-place, defending series champion Chase Elliott seventh, Kevin Harvick eighth, Regan Smith ninth and Brendan Gaughan claimed 10th-place.

The current series points leader, Chris Buescher, was still able to “crawl” under the checkered flag in 11th-place, and he leaves Bristol with a 19-point lead over Ty Dillon.

RACE NOTES:
Average Speed: 86.270 MPH
Time of Race: 01 Hrs, 51 Mins, 57 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.426 Seconds
Lead Changes: 10 among 4 drivers
Cautions: 8 for 52 laps

Up Next: The series’ third and final road course race with the Road America 180 at Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) on Saturday, August 29th, with an approximate starting time of 3:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Food City 300 Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Status Laps Lead Points Bonus Points
1 54 Kyle Busch (i) 302 Running 89 0 0
2 42 Kyle Larson (i) 302 Running 0 0 0
3 20 Denny Hamlin (i) 302 Running 106 0 0
4 3 Ty Dillon 302 Running 0 40 0
5 18 Daniel Suarez # 302 Running 0 39 0
6 2 Brian Scott 302 Running 0 38 0
7 9 Chase Elliott 302 Running 0 37 0
8 88 Kevin Havick (i) 302 Running 1 0 0
9 7 Regan Smith 302 Running 0 35 0
10 62 Brendan Gaughan 302 Running 0 34 0
11 60 Chris Buescher 302 Running 106 35 2
12 6 Darrell Wallace Jr # 302 Running 0 32 0
13 33 Brandon Jones (i) 302 Running 0 0 0
14 51 Jeremy Clements 302 Running 0 30 0
15 01 Landon Cassill 302 Running 0 29 0
16 39 Ryan Sieg 302 Running 0 28 0
17 4 Ross Chastain # 302 Running 0 27 0
18 14 Cale Conley # 301 Running 0 26 0
19 28 J.J. Yeley 299 Running 0 25 0
20 44 David Starr 298 Running 0 24 0
21 8 Blake Koch 298 Running 0 23 0
22 22 Ryan Blaney 297 Running 0 22 0
23 25 John Wes Townley (i) 297 Running 0 0 0
24 43 Dakoda Armstrong 297 Running 0 20 0
25 16 Ryan Reed 295 Running 0 19 0
26 13 Brad Teahue 291 Running 0 18 0
27 52 Joey Gase 289 Running 0 17 0
28 15 Ryan Ellis (i) 288 Running 0 0 0
29 26 Hermie Sadler III 287 Running 0 15 0
30 70 Derrike Cope 275 Running 0 14 0
31 1 Elliot Sadler 254 Accident 0 13 0
32 97 Dyan Kwasniewski 253 Accident 0 12 0
33 24 Eric McClure 252 Running 0 11 0
34 0 Harrison Rhodes # 247 Accident 0 10 0
35 90 Mario Gosselin 180 Handling 0 9 0
36 74 Jordan Anderson (i) 170 Running 0 0 0
37 66 Benny Gordon 65 Electrical 0 7 0
38 89 Morgan Shepherd 28 Brakes 0 6 0
39 40 Carl Long 22 Handling 0 5 0
40 19 Jeff Green 3 Vibration 0 4 0

# – Rookie
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Unofficial Point Standings
After Race 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Car # Driver Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 DNF
1 60 Chris Buescher 800 Leader 22 2 10 12 0
2 3 Ty Dillon 781 -19 22 0 7 16 0
3 9 Chase Elliott 777 -23 22 0 8 18 1
4 7 Regan Smith 749 -51 22 1 7 15 1
5 1 Elliot Sadler 718 -82 22 0 4 12 1
6 18 Daniel Suarez # 697 -103 22 0 5 10 1
7 6 Darrell Wallace Jr# 697 -103 22 0 1 8 1
8 2 Brian Scott 681 -119 22 0 3 14 4
9 62 Brendan Gaughan 676 -124 22 0 3 11 3
10 16 Ryan Reed 606 -194 22 1 1 1 1
11 51 Jeremy Clements 567 -233 22 0 0 1 1
12 28 J.J. Yeley 536 -264 22 0 1 1 3
13 43 Dakoda Armstrong 527 -273 22 0 0 1 2
14 4 Ross Chastain # 514 -286 22 0 0 3 4
15 39 Ryan Sieg 509 -291 22 0 0 0 3
16 44 David Starr 487 -313 22 0 0 1 3
17 8 Blake Koch 429 -371 22 0 0 0 4
18 14 Cale Conley # 421 -379 22 0 0 0 4
19 01 Landon Cassill 417 -383 20 0 0 1 3
20 24 Eric McClure 373 -427 22 0 0 0 3
21 52 Joey Gase 358 -442 22 0 1 1 4
22 42 Brennan Poole 334 -466 13 0 0 2 2
23 0 Harrison Rhodes # 292 -508 19 0 0 1 7
24 22 Ryan Blaney 283 -517 8 1 5 6 0
25 97 Peyton Sellers 238 -562 16 0 0 0 5
26 70 Derrike Cope 207 -593 18 0 0 0 6
27 74 Mike Harmon 198 -602 18 0 0 0 9
28 88 Ben Rhodes 149 -651 6 0 0 2 2
29 19 Mike Bliss 141 -659 8 0 0 0 1
30 25 Dylan Lupton 134 -666 6 0 0 1 1
31 55 Jeffrey Earnhardt 128 -672 6 0 0 0 1
32 90 Mario Gosselin 126 -674 8 0 0 0 3
33 54 Boris Said 119 -681 4 0 1 1 0
34 40 Derek White 91 -709 9 0 0 0 4
35 97 Josh Reaume # 81 -719 9 0 0 0 6
36 90 Jimmy Weller 80 -720 6 0 0 0 1
37 90 Martin Roy 73 -727 4 0 0 0 0
38 89 Morgan Shepherd 73 -727 13 0 0 0 13
39 10 Jeff Green 72 -728 17 0 0 0 17
40 55 Jamie Dick 68 -732 5 0 0 0 2
41 40 Carl Long 66 -734 10 0 0 0 9
42 90 Todd Bodine 65 -735 3 0 0 0 0
43 55 Brandon Gdovic 63 -737 3 0 0 0 0
44 26 Kenny Wallace 56 -744 3 0 0 0 1
45 66 Benny Gordon 46 -754 3 0 1 1 1
46 22 Alex Tagliani 44 -756 1 0 1 1 0
47 Ross Kenseth 39 -761 1 0 0 1 0
48 29 Justin Marks 39 -761 2 0 0 0 1
49 13 Chris Cockrum 38 -762 2 0 0 0 0
50 Michael Self 36 -764 3 0 0 0 2
51 15 Stanton Barrett 35 -765 3 0 0 0 1
52 Tomy Drissi 31 -769 2 0 0 0 1
53 Kenny Habul 31 -769 2 0 0 0 1
54 Bobby Gerhart 30 -770 2 0 0 0 1
55 Matt Wallace 30 -770 2 0 0 0 1
56 John Jackson 27 -773 4 0 0 0 3
57 15 Carlos Contreras 26 -774 3 0 0 0 2
58 26 CJ Faison 25 -775 2 0 0 0 1
59 Andy Lally 23 -777 1 0 0 0 0
60 56 Charles Lewandoski 23 -777 3 0 0 0 2
61 Dylan Kwasniewski 22 -778 2 0 0 0 1
62 TJ Bell Jr. 21 -779 1 0 0 0 0
63 Brad Teague 18 -782 1 0 0 0 0
64 Johanna Long 17 -783 1 0 0 0 0
65 13 Mark Thompson 17 -783 1 0 0 0 0
66 Anthony Kumpen 16 -784 1 0 0 0 0
67 Hermie Sadler III 15 -785 1 0 0 0 0
68 Tim Cowen 14 -786 1 0 0 0 0
69 19 Scott Lagasse Jr. 14 -786 2 0 0 0 2
70 Matt Frahm 13 -787 3 0 0 0 2
71 Bobby Reuse 12 -788 1 0 0 0 0
72 Kevin O’Connell 11 -789 1 0 0 0 1
73 15 Enrique Contreras 10 -790 1 0 0 0 0
74 92 Dextor Bean 8 -792 2 0 0 0 2

# – Rookie

2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standing
After Race 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Owner Car # Wins Points Behind Attempts
1 Roger Penske 22 5 879 Leader 22
2 Jack Roush 60 2 800 -79 22
3 JD Gibbs 54 4 794 -85 22
4 Richard Childress 3 0 781 -98 22
5 Richard Childress 33 3 778 -101 22
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr 9 0 777 -102 22
7 Kelly Earnhardt-Miller 7 1 749 -130 22
8 Joe Gibbs 20 3 741 -138 22
9 Rick Hendrick 88 2 727 -152 22
10 Jack Roush 1 0 718 -161 22
11 Joe Gibbs 18 0 697 -182 22
12 Jack Roush 6 0 697 -182 22
13 Richard Childress 2 0 681 -198 22
14 Richard Childress 62 0 676 -203 22
15 Harry Scott Jr. 42 0 619 -260 22
16 Jack Roush 16 1 606 -273 22
17 Tony Clements 51 0 567 -312 22
18 Gregg Mixon 28 0 536 -343 22
19 Richard Petty 43 0 527 -352 22
20 Rod Sieg 39 0 509 -370 22
21 Gary Keller 4 0 507 -372 22
22 Tony Townley 25 0 489 -390 22
23 Mark Smith 44 0 487 -392 22
24 Johnny Davis 01 0 455 -424 22
25 Mark Smith 8 0 429 -450 22
26 Mark Smith 14 0 421 -458 22
27 Michelle Gosselin 90 0 373 -506 22
28 James Whitener 126 0 371 -508 22
29 Mark Smith 124 0 361 -518 22
30 Jimmy Means 52 0 358 -521 22
31 Andrea Nemechek 0 0 305 -574 22
32 Victor Obaika 97 0 304 -575 22
33 Fred Biagi 98 0 300 -579 11
34 Derek White 13 0 265 -614 22
35 Jamie Dick 55 0 259 -620 14
36 Rick Ware 15 0 242 -637 22
37 Mary Louise Miller 70 0 220 -659 22
38 Mike Harmon 74 0 218 -661 22
39 Derek White 40 0 130 -749 22
40 Mark Smith 119 0 88 -791 21
41 Morgan Shepherd 89 0 67 -812 15
42 Roger Penske 12 1 47 -832 1
43 Larry Mostoller 166 0 46 -833 2
44 Dale Earnhardt Jr 5 0 42 -837 1
45 Denise Mixon 93 0 37 -842 2
46 Billy Boat 84 0 36 -843 3
47 Robby Benton 29 0 31 -848 2
48 William Gerhart 85 0 22 -857 3
49 Thom Kapusta 156 0 14 -865 1
50 Bobby Dotter 192 0 8 -871 3
51 Adrian Berryhill 17 0 0 -879 2
52 Jimmy Means 179 0 0 -879 5
53 Duane Deese 135 0 0 -879 1
54 Andrea Nemechek 87 0 0 -879 1
55 Michael Affarano 03 0 0 -879 1
56 Lynn Cockrum 137 0 0 -879 1

 

2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Manufacturer Standings
After Race 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Manufacturer Wins Points Behind
1 Ford 9 967 Leader
2 Chevrolet 6 951 -16
3 Toyota 7 938 -29
4 Dodge 0 264 -703

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosberg on top again in FP2 at Spa, but suffers frightening rear tire failure

24Nico Rosberg continued to head Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in this afternoon’s second free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps, but the German’s session ended early after a very scary high-speed rear tyre failure.

The incident happened just over an hour into the 90 minute session and left an unhurt Rosberg stranded on the approach to Blanchimont, having luckily avoided the barriers after his right-rear Pirelli let go.

Marcus Ericsson was less fortunate. The Sauber driver brought the red flags out again in the session’s closing stages as he lost control at Pouhon, swiping the front-left corner of his car against the wall. The Swede emerged unscathed.

Third in the times behind the two Mercedes was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, seven-tenths down on Rosberg’s best, followed by team mate Daniil Kvyat. Next up was the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

Completing the top ten were Ericsson, Sauber team mate Felipe Nasr, and Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari.

It was Rosberg who had set the pace on the medium tyres, and he maintained his momentum after the field switched onto the soft tyre, cutting down to a 1m 49.385s. Hamilton was in his shadow, but was half a second down on the mediums and three tenths down on the softs, posting a best of 1m 49.687s. He was also troubled at points by poor downshifts.

Rosberg then switched onto a longer run on the softs, and had completed 11 laps when, barrelling into Blanchimont, his right rear gave way.

Once again the two Red Bulls were in play, suggesting that they have indeed made a lot of progress with the RB11’s chassis and aerodynamics. Ricciardo was third with 1m 50.136s, while Kvyat backed him solidly with 1m 50.399s. Later, however, the Australian voiced suspicions that his engine felt like it was about to break.

Ferrari’s best runner was Raikkonen on 1m 50.461s, a time later matched by Hulkenberg, while Grosjean ended up seventh on 1m 50.489s. The Frenchman, however, is being investigated for impeding Hulkenberg early in the session. Right at the end, Grosjean rolled to a halt and was stranded on track with power loss.

Ericsson had earlier been temporarily fastest when he switched to the softs, before Rosberg restored the status quo. He held on to an encouraging eighth with 1m 50.709s ahead of team mate Nasr on 1m 50.928s, both revelling in the performance of the upgraded Ferrari power units which are to the specification Ferrari themselves had several races ago. The Brazilian had a scare when Kvyat was released right into his path in the pits, another incident the stewards are investigating.

Vettel finished the session a subdued 10th on 1m 50.940s, with Sergio Perez in the second Force India right behind on 1m 50.971s. The Mexican went fastest in sector one for a while, but had to go round Felipe Massa’s Williams heading down to Pouhon, which didn’t help his lap.

Toro Rosso weren’t as fast as they had been in the morning, relatively speaking, with Carlos Sainz this time easing ahead of Max Verstappen, 1m 51.037s to 1m 51.117s. Valtteri Bottas was next on 1m 51.250s after a rear wing endplate was changed, and Pastor Maldonado wheeled his rebuilt Lotus round in 1m 51.317s for 15th ahead of Massa on 1m 51.588s. One has to assume that Williams were majoring on race work, as they did in Hungary.

It was another disappointing outing for McLaren; both drivers were using the Mk3 version of the Japanese engine, but Button’s best of 1m 51.854s was well away from where Honda had expected to be. Alonso was behind him on 1m 52.570s, having spoiled a faster lap by locking up badly going into the Bus Stop chicane. With all of their various component replacements and engine changes, the two of them face respective grid penalties of 25 and 30 places.

Will Stevens continued to lead the inter-team Marussia fight with 1m 54.065s, but Roberto Merhi was on his tail with 1m 54.253s.

Belgian Grand Prix Second Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Roseberg 1:49.385 Leader Leader 19
2 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:49.687 -0.302 -0.302 23
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:50.136 -0.751 -0.449 14
4 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:50.399 -1.014 -0.263 17
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:50.461 -1.076 -0.062 22
6 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:50.461 -1.076 0.000 20
7 8 Romain Grojean 1:50.489 -1.104 -0.028 20
8 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:50.709 -1.324 -0.220 17
9 12 Felipe Nasr 1:50.928 -1.543 -0.219 23
10 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:50.940 -1.555 -0.012 22
11 11 Sergio Perez 1:50.971 -1.586 -0.031 20
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:51.037 -1.652 -0.066 23
13 33 Max Verstappen 1:51.117 -1.732 -0.080 24
14 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:51.250 -1.865 -0.133 24
15 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:51.317 -1.932 -0.067 15
16 19 Felipe Massa 1:51.588 -2.203 -0.271 25
17 22 Jenson Button 1:51.854 -2.469 -0.266 15
18 14 Fernando Alonso 1:52.570 -3.185 -0.716 13
19 28 Will Stevens 1:54.065 -4.679 -1.494 16
20 98 Roberto Merhi 1:54.253 -4.868 -0.189 13

This slideshow requires JavaScript.