Racing Results: September 2-5, 2005

September 5, 2005

On a Labor Day Weekend of mixed emotions, it was hard to fully enjoy oneself pursuing leisure and athletic activities with the knowledge that so many thousands were suffering the ravages of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. Still, the show must go on, and many racing folks made generous pledges to aid the various relief funds and activities. We hope that you will join them, and pray for the victims and their families.

 

Herewith, the results:

 

 

Formula 1: Montoya Wins at Monza

 

McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya picked up his second win of the year on Sunday in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and had to baby his car over the last few laps as his left-rear tire was losing chunks of tread.

 

Montoya led from the pole after teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was fastest in qualifying, had to start 11th after an engine change in practice (costing him ten grid spots). Raikkonen employed crafty strategy that might have helped him win, but tire problems of his own forced an unscheduled pit stop, then an unforced-error spin cost him more precious time.

 

Renault teammates Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella finished second and third, respectively, ahead of Raikkonen, further padding Alonso’s championship lead over Raikkonen, which now stands at 27 points with four races remaining.

 

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli finished fifth, with teammate Ralf Schumacher, Williams/BMW’s Antonio Pizzonia (standing in for injured Nick Heidfeld), and BAR/Honda’s Jenson Button claiming the final points. Sauber’s Felipe Massa and the man with whom he will be teammates next year, Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher, rounded out the top ten.

 

Michael Schumacher has now accepted the fact that he has no mathematical chance to retain his championship crown. Despite Ferrari’s refusal to limit its testing days like its competitors, the fact remains that their Bridgestone tires have been a problem (Bridgestone supplies Ferrari, Jordan, and Minardi, while Michelin supplies everybody else and has the benefit of more overall testing miles with higher-quality cars).

 

The series moves on to another legendary circuit, Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps and its daunting Eau Rouge corner, next weekend.

 

Grand Prix of Italy Top Five:

 

1) Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 10 McLaren/Mercedes-Benz, 53 laps

2) Fernando Alonso, No. 5 Renault, -2.479 sec.

3) Giancarlo Fisichella, No. 6 Renault, -17.975 sec.

4) Kimi Raikkonen, No. 9 McLaren/Mercedes-Benz, -22.775 sec.

5) Jarno Trulli, No. 16 Toyota, -33.786 sec.

 

Driver’s Championship: 1) Fernando Alonso, 103; 2) Kimi Raikkonen, 76; 3) Michael Schumacher, 55; 4) Juan Pablo Montoya, 50; 5) Jarno Trulli, 43.

 

Complete Race Results

 

 

NASCAR: Kyle Busch Wins California, Becomes Youngest-Ever Winner

 

The “other” Busch, Kyle, won Sunday’s night’s Nextel Cup race under the lights at California Speedway, fending off the strong and expected-to-win Roush Racing armada and becoming the youngest-ever event winner in series history.

 

At 20 years, four months and two days old, Busch displaced Donald Thomas, who was 20 years, four months, and six days old when he won at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway on Nov. 16, 1952.

 

The younger brother of defending series champ Kurt started 25th, with four of Jack Roush’s five Fords at the front of the grid. Smart pitwork and adjustments helped Kyle move up through the pack. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 82, and led 95 laps of the eventual 254 (four extra for a late caution and green-white-checkered finish) to claim the extra five points for leading the most laps in claiming victory in his 31st series start.

 

Greg Biffle finished second, ahead of Kyle’s teammate Brian Vickers. Polesitter Carl Edwards, who won Saturday’s Busch Series race, finished fourth, with current series points leader Tony Stewart fifth. Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Rudd, and Joe Nemechek completed the top ten.

 

There now remains only one race before the ten-race “Chase to the Championship” begins. Currently, Stewart, Biffle (who moved up a spot in the standings in California), Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin are locked in to the Chase. Kurt Busch will be locked when he starts the next race. The other contenders to make the Chase are Jeremy Mayfield, Edwards, Kenseth, and Jamie McMurray. On the outside looking in, with only one more chance to make the cut, are Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, and Elliott Sadler. Those with a remote mathematical chance remaining include Dale Jarrett, Kevin Harvick, and Nemechek.

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