Motorsports Update – June 25, 2012
Next race: Iveco TT Assen, June 30
AMA Pro Racing
Triumph SuperBike Classic, Barber Motorsports Park
Two-time defending AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike king Josh Hayes registered the 25th victory of his SuperBike career at Barber Motorsports Park Sunday.
Much was made of the learning opportunity Hayes’ Monster Energy Graves Yamaha teammate, Josh Herrin, enjoyed on Saturday by racing on the SuperBike champ’s rear wheel. Unwilling to give Herrin a chance to cling on again, Hayes raced exceptionally hard early and quickly eliminated any hope Herrin might have entertained about sticking with him.
NOTE: Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP Wild Card entry, Steve Rapp finished seventh.
GRAND-AM Road Racing
GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Driven by VISTFLORIDA.COM
Corvette’s Daytona Prototype winning streak wasn’t the only thing that ended Saturday at Road America. So did the winless streak for co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
Pruett and Rojas ended the Corvette DP run of five-straight Rolex Series wins by taking the checkered flag in the Rolex 250 Driven by VISITFLORIDA.com. It snapped a nine-race winless streak for the defending Daytona Prototype co-champions.
A late caution-lap crash by race leader Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP opened the door for Pruett’s first 2012 triumph.
American Le Mans Series
Next race: The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, July 6-7
Grand Prix of Europe, Valencia
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso won a thrilling European Grand Prix on Sunday making the Spaniard the first repeat winner of the season. Less than 24 hours after Spain had secured their place in the semi-finals at Euro 2012, the two-time drivers’ champion gave his home fans in Valencia more reason to celebrate.
Alonso finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and third-placed seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.
In a dramatic finale, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren crashed out after a final lap collision with Pastor Maldonado of Williams
Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was forced to retire after dominating most of the race from pole position as also was his nearest challenger, Romain Grosjean of Lotus.
Mark Webber, who started 19th, came home fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg.
NOTE: Maldonado was penalized for ‘failing to rejoin the track in a safe manner’ after he ran off the circuit while attempting to pass Hamilton for third place. Their subsequent coming together put Hamilton into the wall and out of the race. As a result of the penalty, Maldonado drops from 10th to 12th in the final race standings.
Iowa Corn Indy 500, Newton IA
Championship contenders and big-name drivers dropped left and right and on a wild Saturday night at Iowa Speedway.
Ryan Hunter-Reay passed Scott Dixon with 12 laps to go and held on to win for the second straight week in the race that ended under caution.
The winner last week at the Milwaukee Mile, Hunter-Reay moved to second in the season standings with his seventh career IndyCar victory.
Teammate Marco Andretti was second, followed by Tony Kanaan and Dixon.
It was only fitting Hunter-Reay would win under caution, because 10 of the 25 cars failed to finish.
Toyota/Save Mart 350, Race Sonoma
Clint Bowyer raced to his first victory on a road course, and first with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR), by holding off Kurt Busch at Sonoma.
Bowyer dominated Sunday’s race by leading 70 of the 112 laps. Defending race winner Busch, in an unsponsored car, was all over the bumper of Bowyer’s Toyota late and got a final shot at taking the win away when caution flew with four laps remaining.
Only Busch damaged his car with roughly eight laps to go, and he worried the entire caution period whether his Chevrolet was ruined and had no chance of catching Bowyer through the two-lap overtime sprint to the finish.
Bowyer raced side-by-side with Busch at the green flag, then cleared Busch and pulled away for the win
Tony Stewart passed Busch on the final lap to claim second. Brian Vickers was fourth for MWR, followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Greg Biffle was seventh, followed by pole-sitter Marcos Ambrose, AJ Allmendinger and Joey Logano.
Next race: O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, presented by Super Start Batteries, Chicago, IL, June 28-July 1
Next race: Motorland Aragon, Spain, July 1
Sources: series websites, press releases and various independent motorsports websites