FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX
• 2003 Formula 1 World Drivers Champion – Michael Schumacher (6X; Schumacher has surpassed Juan Manuel Fangio in F1 World Drivers Championships)
• 2003 Formula 1 Manufacturers Champion – Ferrari
NASCAR WINSTON CUP
10/26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA (1.54-mi. oval; – 39 laps completed – RAIN DELAY UNTIL 10/27) – RESULTS NEXT WEEK.
Next race: 11/02 Checker Auto Parts 500, Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ (1.0-mi. oval; 3:00 p.m. ET; NBC)
NASCAR BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL SERIES
10/25 Aaron’s 312, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA (1.54-mi. oval; 203 laps)
Greg Biffle’s #7 Kleenex/Winn-Dixie Chevrolet Monte Carlo passed Michael Waltrip in the #99 Aaron’s/The Cat In The Hat Chevrolet for the lead with ten laps left to win the Aaron’s 312, his second victory in the past three Busch Series races. Biffle, whose crew changed a flat tire on the starting grid, became the first Busch driver to win from the pole at Atlanta since Jeff Gordon in the inaugural race in 1992. David Green, in the #37 Timber Wolf Pontiac, finished eighth and took the points lead from Brian Vickers, who fell off the pace after an early spin and finished 14 laps down in 31st in the #5 GMAC/Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Green leads Scott Riggs’ #10 Nestle Nesquik/ppc Racing Ford by 13 points; Vickers is 49 behind in fifth. Matt Kenseth, in the #17 Express Personnel Services Ford Taurus, trailed Biffle by 0.961 seconds, about ten car lengths, and Bobby Hamilton Jr.’s #25 U.S. Marines Ford was third. Michael Waltrip and Hank Parker Jr. in the #8 Bass Pro Shops/Remington Chevrolet rounded out the top five.
Next race: 11/01 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ (1.0-mi. oval; 3:00 p.m. ET; TNT)
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Next Race: 10/31 Chevy Silverado 150, Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ (1.0-mi. oval; 5:30 p.m. ET; SPEED)
• 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Manufacturers Champion – Dodge (2X)
NHRA POWERade CHAMPIONSHIP DRAG RACING
10/26 ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV
Tony Pedregon ended team owner John Force’s string of ten consecutive Funny Car championships with a final-round win over Whit Bazemore to clinch the series title and take event win at the same time. Top Fuel legend Kenny Bernstein won his third race in the last four events, pushing his career mark to 68 wins, while 2003 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson tied the single season record for victories in a season with his 11th of the year.
TOP FUEL: The two hottest Top Fuel drivers lined up in the finals with Bernstein taking the win over Tony Schumacher's U.S. Army rail by a 4.545 to 5.436-second advantage. Coming into this event, Schumacher had won three of the last five events, with Bernstein winning the other two, including the last stop in Dallas. Coming into the final, Schumacher appeared to have the edge, but his car hazed the tires just past half-track, allowing Bernstein to drive away for the victory, his 38th Top Fuel win.
FUNNY CAR: The Funny Car final was a race worthy of the POWERade championship with the last two men in the running for the title battling all the way down the strip. Like the Top Fuel finale, the Funny Car trophy round started with both cars even until about when both began to spin their tires. It was a pedaling contest from that point and Pedregon’s Castrol Syntec/John Force Racing Ford Mustang did just enough to take a 0.03-second win. The final numbers showed Pedregon winning with a 5.135, 272.39 to Bazemore’s 5.183, 266.64 in the Matco Tools/Schumacher Racing Dodge Stratus R/T. Adding to the drama, Pedregon was assessed an oildown violation but since it was just his second of the year there was no deduction in points.
PRO STOCK: With Kurt Johnson’s large starting-line advantage — 0.035 to .069 seconds — Pro Stock winner Anderson managed to overtake him to win his 11th race of the year. Anderson’s 6.837, 201.73 in the Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am gave him a 0.007-second margin of victory over K.J.’s ACDelco Chevy Cavalier’s 6.878, 200.56 mph, improving Anderson’s final-round record against Johnson to 5-0 on the season. Anderson now owns the single-season elimination round record for Pro Stock with 63 round wins, eclipsing Jeg Coughlin’s mark of 62 set in ’00. He also tied the class record for most final rounds in a season at 14 with Coughlin and Darrell Alderman. Anderson is also tied with Alderman for most Pro Stock victories in a single season with 11.
Next race: 11/9 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, L.A. County Fairplex, Pomona, CA (10:00 p.m. ET; ESPN2)
• 2003 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Champion – Larry Dixon
• 2003 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Champion – Greg Anderson
O'REILLY WORLD OF OUTLAWS SERIES
10/25 Lone Star Classic, Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, TX – RACE CANCELLED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. Steve Kinser, the defending series champion opened a 153-point advantage over Danny Lasoski Friday by winning the “A” Feature at Lone Star Speedway. Lasoski, who won the 2001 series championship, can’t catch “The King of the Outlaws” in the point standings in the season finale at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway event even if he wins both feature races and Kinser receives show-up points.
• 2003 O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series Champion: Steve Kinser (18X)
Next race: 11/1 Season Finale Feature, The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV
INDY RACING LEAGUE INDYCAR SERIES
• 2003 IRL IndyCar Series Drivers Champion – Scott Dixon, Team Target Chip Ganassi Racing
• 2003 IRL IndyCar Series Manufacturers Champion – Toyota
Next race: 2/29/04 Toyota Indy 300, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, FL (1.5-mi. oval; 200 laps; 300-mi. race distance; broadcast time TBA; ESPN)
CART CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES
10/26 Lexmark Indy 300, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (2.795-mi. street course; 1:49:02.803 race time; RAIN SHORTENED TO 47 OF 65 SCHEDULED LAPS)
Bruno Junqueira’s #1 PacifiCare/Newman-Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola and Paul Tracy in the #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone were the only drivers remaining in the title hunt with two races left this season. However, a pair of rookies, Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, and Darren Manning in the #15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, had aspirations of their own, leading the field across the finish line for the first time in 20 years. What’s more, three Reynards swept the podium for the first time in two seasons, and the CART championship went to Tracy despite a pair of on-track incidents. Neither of the title contenders finished in the points, and the race was plagued by heavy rains, leading to a mid-race stoppage that shortened the event. Tracy looked like his title chase would be continued to next week’s finale in Fontana after just one lap when he and pole-sitter Sebastien Bourdais in the #2 Lilly/McDonald’s Newman-Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola tangled, sending Tracy into a spin and to the rear of the field as the yellow flag waved for Tracy as well as for an incident later with Oriol Servia’s #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola. Tracy took the restart in 18th while Junqueira built a three-second lead, but the points leader began to march through the field until his progress came to a halt on Lap 14 when the rain began. Delaying the race for nearly 30 minutes before getting a restart, Tracy was seventh while Junqueira led. Then Roberto Moreno’s #4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola spun, triggering a five-car accident. Alex Tagliani’s #33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola wedged Tracy in between his car and Darren Manning’s. Tracy pulled his car off of Manning’s but rolled onto Tagliani’s in the process, causing damage to his right rear suspension. The damage took three laps to fix, giving Junqueira hope in carrying the title fight to Fontana. Hunter-Reay, Manning and Jimmy Vasser in the #12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, pitted on Lap 30, which ended up being a great call when the yellow flag flew on Lap 31. Everyone else would pit on Lap 32, but would emerge behind the trio of Reynards, with Hunter-Reay and Vasser leading the way ahead of Manning. The caution stayed out when Mario Dominguez’s #55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola lost a wheel, but the green flag flew on Lap 34 with the Reynards in front and Junqueira in seventh, holding the last spot that would keep Tracy from claiming the championship here. Junqueira’s title aspirations vanished three laps later when he spun while being pressured by Tracy’s teammate Patrick Carpentier in the #32 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola. The crash led to only his second DNF — but it was the costliest DNF of the year as the title was immediately ceded to Tracy. The race was still up for grabs as Manning made quick work of Vasser to claim second, but could not close on Hunter-Reay, who took his first-ever Champ Car win by a margin of 1.546 seconds. Manning would hold on for second while Vasser rounded out the podium, marking the first 1-2-3 Reynard finish of the 2003 season. Jourdain would come home 4th while Carpentier claimed fifth.