Start, NASCAR, Auto Club Speedway, 2017

NASCAR gets fifth different winner in as many races

Weekend Racing Wrap

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A driver with three consecutive runner-up finishes in NASCAR finally broke his duck by taking victory in the fifth race of the season.

Elsewhere Moto GP saw drama at their opening race in Qatar while Formula One kicked off in Australia with a much more subdued race.


Race 5: California

Kyle Larson put a run of three consecutive second-place finishes behind him to take his first victory of the season and extend his championship lead. Larson had to overcome four cautions and restarts over the final 21 laps scything his way back to the front after a late pit stop for fresh tyres under caution.

Also last weekend

Pole sitter Maverick Vinales won a disrupted Moto GP season-opener in Qatar after the weather played havoc with proceedings at the Losail International Circuit. Qualifying was abandoned and the race start was delayed as rain turned the circuit into an ice rink.

Once the race got underway it was action-packed. Johann Zarco spent the first laps of his Moto GP career at the head of the field but his dream debut soon clattered to the ground along with his bike when he fell at turn two.

That left Andrea Dovizioso out front defending from Marc Marquez, but the threat of the reigning champion soon faded, to be replaced by that of Yamaha duo Vinales and Valentino Rossi. Dovizioso and Vinales traded places over a number of laps before the pole sitter eventually built a gap, taking victory in his first race for Yamaha.

Sebastian Vettel won the first race of the F1 season after some smart pit work from Ferrari got him out ahead of early race leader Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver had been unable to extend his advantage having started from pole position, and fell behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull after his only pit stop.

Moto GP and Formula One have improved their social media video offerings this year but are still lagging behind NASCAR, so to watch highlights from these races you’ll have to venture off to their preferred sites.

Over to you

What racing action did you watch last weekend and what are you looking forward to next week? Let us know in the comments.

Next weekend’s racing

The following series are in action next weekend:

  • British Touring Car Championship races 1-3: Brands Hatch
  • Formula E race 4: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
  • NASCAR Cup race 6: Martinsville
  • World Rallycross Championship race 1: Spain

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  • 9 comments on “NASCAR gets fifth different winner in as many races”

    1. I watched F1, MotoGP and a little of the NASCAR race. The MotoGP race was by far the most exciting especially and while I’m a Rossi fan, it was really exciting when Zarco was leading and pulling away. It looks like MotoGP will have another exciting season.
      F1 may need to consider a different venue for their opening race, as it doesn’t make sense to me to start the season on a circuit that usually does not provide exciting racing. With the natural excitement that the first race of the season will have for fans, a processional race with little overtaking probably hits harder than it usually would.

      1. Whoever pays for it will get the opening race… Maybe that will change a bit with Liberty, but with Bernie that was how it went

      2. @velocityboy
        I disagree about the F1 season opener, there are enough stories to make the weekend interesting even if the racing isn’t up to scratch. More important is that it’s at a circuit with strong fan presence, the last thing I want is some desert race with twelve people in the grandstands, they don’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. It’s not like we haven’t had good racing at Albert Park before.

      3. I would like a race closer to the teams’ homes as the season opener. The first four rounds are suffering because of lack of spares/prototyping in this testing-limited years.

        1. @faulty Isn’t it still Winter for most of Europe right now? I know one of the reasons Australia has either been at the beginning or the end of the season is due it being Summer down there.

          1. The last time the first race of the season was held in Europe was in 1966, in Monaco… when the season started in May.

            By country, the first race has been held in
            Australia: 20
            Argentina: 15
            Brazil: 10
            South Africa: 9
            Monaco: 5
            USA: 3
            Bahrain, Switzerland: 2
            Britain, Holland: 1

            Seems a very big tradition to start with a fly-away!

            1. So 54 races in the Southern Hemisphere and 14 in the Northern. And I remember some of those South African GP’s taking place in January.

      4. It was exciting to real F1 fans, since great racing doesn’t just mean an overtake a minute. It had more than enough to keep me intrigued for a full 4 hours, if you include pre-race and post-race proceedings.

      5. A first race is going to be more of a procession than usual no matter where it’s held.

        With reliability faults in play and a lack of spare parts nobody is going to want to (usually) be taking huge risks and throwing potential positions away on wild maneuvers that could cost them valuable points early in the season.

        I was actually a bit surprised the broadcast didn’t point this out a bit more.

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