FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX
Next Race: 10/12 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka, Japan (3.64-mi. road course; 53 laps; 192.986-mi. race distance; 1:00 a.m. ET; SPEED Live)
NASCAR WINSTON CUP
10/11 UAW-GM Quality 500, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC (1.5-mi quad-oval; 334 laps)
Tony Stewart had the most dominant car at the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway but still had to run down Ryan Newman over the final stretch to score his second win of the season. Newman, the pole-sitter and hottest driver in the series with eight victories this year, made an early pit stop with a vibration in the #12 AllTel/Penske Racing South Dodge Intrepid. When the rest of the field had to make their stops much later, Newman inherited the lead from Stewart. With an eight-second lead when Stewart got back on the track after his stop, Stewart had only 36 laps to run him down. Four fresh tires made the difference, as Stewart was faster and chipped away at Newman’s lead. Stewart pulled alongside Newman with seven laps to go, then passed him for the lead. He was in the clear from there, piloting the #20 Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet to an easy win over Newman. Jimmie Johnson, trying to become the first driver in track history to win all three events here in the same year, finished third in the #48 Lowe’s Home Improvement/Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, followed by Bill Elliott in the #9 Dodge Dealers/Evernham Motorsports Dodge in fourth, and Jeff Gordon’s #24 DuPont Refinishes/ Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet rounding out the top five. Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth finished eighth to gain a little ground in his title chase. Kenseth, who lost 177 points the previous two weeks, has a 267-point advantage over Kevin Harvick with five races remaining. The points battle got even hotter when Kenseth’s #17 DeWalt Power Tools/Roush Racing Ford and Harvick’s #29 GM Goodwrench Service/Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet bumped on the track coming out of Turn 2 about a third of the way into the race. The two were running side by side and Harvick, running on the high side of the track, wouldn’t budge when Kenseth tried to pass. They made slight contact and Kenseth had to let off the gas to save his car, falling back behind his closest rival. Kenseth later had power steering problems that forced him to make several stops under caution for repair, but battled back for his 23rd top-ten finish of the season, as Harvick finished 10th.
Next Race: 10/19 Subway 500, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA (12:00 p.m. ET; NBC)
NASCAR BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL SERIES
10/11 Little Trees 300, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC (1.5-mi quad-oval; 200 laps)
Greg Biffle won the rain-postponed Busch Series race on Saturday with the season’s largest margin of victory. Scheduled for Friday night, the race was delayed by bad weather. So it started eight hours before the Cup race, and Biffle was one of 11 drivers entered in both. Biffle, last season’s Busch champion, beat Michael Waltrip’s # 99 Aaron’s Chevrolet to the finish by 12.628 seconds in Evans Motorsports' #7 Kleenex/Winn-Dixie Chevrolet. It was Busch’s 10th career win, and first since August, 2002. Mike Bliss’ #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy finished third, Brian Vickers’#5 GMAC/Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet fourth, and Jamie McMurray’s #240 Havoline Dodge was fifth. Everyone in the top five except Bliss was scheduled to run in the Cup event, including Vickers, who was to make his Winston Cup debut. Series points leader David Green in the #37 Timber Wolf Pontiac was sixth and holds a 36-point advantage over Vickers with five of 34 races remaining. Pole winner Kevin Harvick, who shares driving duties with Johnny Sauter in Richard Childress Racing's #21 Payday team, finished ninth. The #21 team holds a 156-point advantage in the chase for the series’ car owner championship.
Next Race: 10/18 Sam’s Town 250 benefiting St. Jude, Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, TN (0.75-mi. oval; 3:00 p.m. ET; TNT)
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
10/11 Silverado 350, Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, TX (1.5-mi. oval; 146 laps; 122.727 mph avg. speed)
Brendan Gaughan won his fourth consecutive race at Texas Motor Speedway to extend his championship lead over second-place Travis Kvapil. Gaughan, in the #62 Orleans Hotel Dodge, overcame the handicap of a rear-of-the-field start — the penalty for a post-practice engine change. Leading three times for 60 laps, Gaughan took the lead for good on lap 104, passing Rick Crawford’s #14 Circle Bar Motel/RV Park Ford off Turn 2. The victory, Gaughan’s sixth win of the season and eighth of his career, extended his season points lead from 20 to 30 points over Kvapil with three races left. Half of Gaughan’s eight career wins are at the Ft. Worth, Texas track. Kvapil, also a rear starter after a happy hour accident damaged his #16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet beyond repair, brought his backup mount to second at lap 133, Kvapil’s 18th consecutive top-ten performance. Ted Musgrave, third in the championship standings, finished third in the #1 Mopar Performance/Ultra Motorsports Dodge to fall 73 behind Gaughan. Carl Edwards was fourth in the #99 Superchips/Roush Racing Ford with pole winner Andy Houston fifth in the #2 Team ASE Racing/Carquest Dodge.
Next Race: 10/18 Advance Auto Parts 200, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA (12:30 p.m. ET; SPEED)
• 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Manufacturers Champion – Dodge (2X)
NHRA POWERade CHAMPIONSHIP DRAG RACING 10/12 O’Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Texas Motorplex, Ennis, TX Kenny Bernstein, and John Force won Top Fuel and Funny Car respectively, while Pro Stock’s Greg Anderson and Top Fuel’s Larry Dixon clinched their respective POWERade titles. Anderson also added his 10th event win of the year.
Top Fuel: Bernstein scored his 37th career Top Fuel win and 67th overall with a 4.514-second E.T. at 327.86 mph in the Budweiser King dragster, to Scott Kalitta’s tire-smoking 8.685, 84.90 in his Jesse James dragster. Larry Dixon, in the Miller Lite/Don Prudhomme Racing dragster, clinched his second consecutive POWERade championship with a second round victory over Darrell Russell.
Funny Car: John Force’s victory over unsponsored Dean Skuza came on Force’s 0.051-second reaction time in the Castrol GTX/John Force Racing Ford Mustang, overshadowing Skuza’s 0.059-second start, then clocking a 4.889, 317.68 to Skuza’s losing 5.013, 274.30. This was Force’s 109th victory of his career, extending his own record. It also moved him to within 177 of the POWERade Funny Car points lead, keeping alive slim hopes for a 13th title. Points leader Tony Pedregon, in Force’s 2nd Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang, had another opportunity to put away championship rival Whit Bazemore, when Bazemore lost to Worsham in the second session, but Pedregon was beaten one round later, adding just 20 extra points to his advantage. He now leads Bazemore by 114 points.
Pro Stock: Greg Anderson’s 10th Pro Stock victory of the season puts him within one of tying the record set by Darrell Alderman in 1991. Jeg Coughlin, Jr., in the Jeg’s Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier, red-lighted with a 0.015-second foul. Anderson still ran a 6.807, 203.66 in the Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to Coughlin’s 6.833, 202.02, to clinch his first NHRA PowerAde Pro Stock title. Anderson’s win over Gene Wilson in the quarterfinals clinched his first title as a driver. He won four titles as a crew chief for Warren Johnson.
Next Race: 10/26 ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV (9:00 p.m. ET; ESPN2)
O'REILLY WORLD OF OUTLAWS SERIES
10/11 Cheaper Than Dirt Shootout, Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Ft. Worth, TX
Jason Johnson put together a late-race run Saturday at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track on his way to winning the first O’Reilly World of Outlaws Series “A” Feature of his career. Johnson, who started inside the seventh row, raced in the middle of the pack while former boss, series points leader Steve Kinser, battled to maintain the lead over Preliminary Feature winner Daryn Pittman. Johnson, “The Cajun Sensation”, realized the #22 Harrison Trucking Eagle felt comfortable in the high groove with nine laps remaining and started making his way to the front. He executed identical fourth-corner passes of Pittman and Kinser during the 34th and 35th laps and took the checkered flag with 3.97 seconds to spare. Johnson is the 17th driver to win a main event this season, and the fifth driver to record his first victory this year. He passed 12 cars, the most of any “A” Feature winner in 2003. Kinser, who opened a 134-point advantage over Danny Lasoski in their battle for the series championship with his second runner-up run of the weekend, won his 27th Dash Race of the season to start the 40-lap main on the pole. “The King of the Outlaws” appeared to be on his way to a flag-to-flag victory before his engine started losing power. Despite colliding with front-row starter Shane Stewart as the green flag fell, he burst into the lead and opened a ten-car-length advantage while running the high line during the first four laps. Cautions for Jason Meyers, Randy Hannagan, Aaron Berryhill, and Sammy Swindell tightened the field, but Kinser controlled the restarts and was 15 car-lengths ahead of Pittman with 12 laps remaining. Johnson won a front-straightaway drag race with Joey Saldana for third place on lap 32, then surged ahead of Pittman and Kinser in the next three laps. He opened a 15-car-length advantage within a lap and was a full straightaway ahead by the 38th lap. Saldana passed Pittman for third on the final lap, leaving Pittman 16 points behind Saldana in their battle for third in the standings with four events remaining.
Next Race: 10/18 Delta Bowl Speedway, Tunica, MS
INDY RACING LEAGUE INDYCAR SERIES
Next Race: 10/12 Chevy 500, Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth, TX (1.5-mi. oval; 195 laps; 292.5 mi. accident-shortened race distance)
IndyCar veteran Gil de Ferran won the IRL season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. Closing out his open-wheel racing career with a victory was de Ferran, who announced in August that he would retire after this race. de Ferran’s third victory of the season, he also won the Indy 500 in May, and the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville SuperSpeedway in July. Scott Dixon, in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota, and Dan Wheldon, in the #7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda, finished second and third, respectively. Dixon’s second-place finish enough to win the five-way battle for the championship. Dixon entered the race tied with Helio Castroneves, but Castroneves, in the #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota, and Tony Kanaan, in the #11 Team 7-Eleven/ Dallara/ Honda, made contact on lap 179, eliminating both from championship contention, and a possible race win. de Ferran’s win elevated him to second in points behind Dixon with 489. Castroneves finished third in points (484), Kanaan fourth (476) and Sam Hornish Jr., in the # 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet, rounded out the top five with 461 points.
Hornish dominated much of the race before an engine problem on lap 176 ended his day. Wheldon became the Bombardier Rookie of the Year with his season-best third-place finish. Scheduled for 200 laps, the race ended five laps early after Kenny Brack, in the #15 Pioneer/Miller Lite/Dallara, and Tomas Scheckter, in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota, made contact on the backstretch on lap 188.
Brack’s car became airborne and flipped violently in Turn 3. Brack was awake and alert when he was airlifted to Dallas Parkland Hospital. Brack is in serious and stable condition said Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League.
Brack suffered a fractured right femur, a fractured sternum and lumbar, and fractures to both ankles in the accident. He is awake and alert and will undergo surgery on the femur and both ankles.
• 2003 IRL IndyCar Series Manufacturer’s Champion – Toyota
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
10/12 Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico (2.75-mi. road course; 70 laps)
Paul Tracy was flawless, leading all but six laps on his way to a 1.782-second margin of victory in the #3 Indeck/Forsythe Racing Lola/Ford and stretching his points lead to 29 points over Bruno Junqueira’s #1 PacifiCare/ Newman-Haas Racing Lola/Ford with two races left. Sebastien Bourdais finished 2ndin the #2 Lilly’s/McDonald’s/Newman-Haas Racing Lola/Ford to win Rookie of the Year honors, and local hero Mario Dominguez’s #55 Herdez/Herdez Competition Lola/Ford finished third.
Next Race: 10/26 Lexmark Indy 300, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (2.795-mi. street course; 12:00 a.m. ET; SPEED Live)
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
Next Race: 10/18 Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center, Braselton, GA (2.54 mi. road course; 11:00 a.m. ET; SPEED)
TRANS-AM SERIES FOR THE BFGOODRICH CUP
Next Race: 10/26 Puerto Rico Grand Prix, Isla Grande Airport. San Juan, Puerto Rico (temporary circuit; 1:00 p.m. ET; SPEED Live)
• 2003 Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Drivers’ Champion — Scott Pruett (3X)
IHRA HOOTERS RACING SERIES
Next Race: 10/19 IHRA World Finals, Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, NC
ASA AC DELCO CHALLENGE SERIES
Next Race: 10/18 Fairgrounds Speedway, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN (4:00 p.m. ET; SPEED Live)
• ASA Rookie of the Year: Reed Sorenson, #29 ACDelco/Port City Racing/Tilton Engineering Chevrolet
ARCA RE/MAX SERIES 10/9 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 150, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC (1.5-Mi. Paved Course) — Kirk Shelmerdine, who crew-chiefed the late Dale Earnhardt to four NASCAR Winston Cup championships and 44 victories, resurfaced as a force within the ARCA RE/MAX Series ranks in James Hylton’s #48 Freddie B’s Ford where the savvy veteran kept a sharp eye on the radar screen, and ultimately victory lane. Shelmerdine steadily worked his way towards the front from the 18th starting spot and then bypassed the chance to pit during a caution with the other leaders. When it began to rain as the race approached the midway point, Shelmerdine, who was leading, settled in under caution and waited for more foul weather. Just as it appeared the rain had stopped and the field would go back to green, the rain returned with more intensity, thereby prompting officials to end the event. With the checkered and red flags waving, Shelmerdine, who led the final 25 laps, cruised across the finish line as the winner 34 laps shy of the scheduled 100-lap distance. AJ Henriksen, in Ted Campbell’s #17 CLR-Fastenal-ECC Ford, also chose not to pit and finished 2nd, his career-best RE/MAX Series finish. Jeremy Clements, with the same strategy, tied his career-best finish in third in the #3 Broadway Motor Company Chevrolet ahead of Andy Ponstein, who in his first Lowe’s start, finished fourth in the #70 Bailey Excavating-Georgetown Construction Ford. David Boggs, who pitted once for a splash of gas, finished fifth in the #38 David Boggs-Greg Sarff Racing Chevrolet. Frank Kimmel, the polesitter in the #46 Advance Auto Parts-Pork Ford, led the first 25 laps before Kyle Busch, who started 30th, charged into the top spot and took control for the next 16. But with 150 miles to cover, at least one stop for fuel would be needed to go the distance, so both pitted near the 40-lap mark. They ultimately finished down in the running order when the rains came. Yet Kimmel, by simply starting the race, secured his fifth ARCA RE/MAX Series championship in the last six seasons. Only six-time champion Iggy Katona holds more series titles than Kimmel. Next Race: 10/18 South Boston Speedway, S. Boston, VA (0.4-mi. oval; delayed broadcast — 11/1; 11:00 p.m. ET; The Outdoor Channel)
GRAND AMERICAN ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES Next Race: 10/31 Daytona Finale, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL (300 mi./3-hr. timed event)
NHRA SUMMIT SPORT COMPACT DRAG RACING
Next Race: 10/26 Mazda NHRA Sport Compact World Finals presented by Toyo Tires, Pomona Raceway, L.A. County Fairplex, Pomona, CA
NDRA NOPI THE FAST & THE FURIOUS RACING SERIES
Next Race: 10/19 Mopar Drag City, Banning, CA
IDRC IMPORT DRAG RACING CIRCUIT
Race: 10/18-19 Mid America Finals, River City Raceway, San Antonio, TX
USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP
Next Race: 10/18 Myrtle Beach Speedway, Myrtle Beach, SC (Delayed Broadcast — 10/18; 7:00 p.m. ET; SPEED)
WRC WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Next Race: 10/19 Rallye de France-Tour de Corse
TECATE SCORE DESERT SERIES
Next Race: 11/23 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Ensenada, BC Mexico
CHAMPIONSHIP OFF ROAD RACING EXXON SERIES
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Pro-4 Champion - Carl Renezeder
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Pro-2 Champion - Scott Taylor
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Pro-Lite Champion - Jeff Kincaid
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Manufacturers Pro-4 Champion - Ford
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Manufacturers Pro-2 Champion - Chevrolet
• 2003 CORR Lucas Oil Series Manufacturers Pro-Lite Champion - Toyota
BEST IN THE DESERT RACING ASSOCIATION Next Race: 12/7 Las Vegas 200, Las Vegas, NV
SNORE SOUTHERN NEVADA OFF ROAD ENTHUSIASTS
Next Race: 11/8 Western Desert Championship, Henderson, NV
BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
• 2003 BTCC Drivers’ Champion - Yvan Muller
• 2003 BTCC Manufacturers Champion - Vauxhall
• 2003 BTCC Hilton Independents Cup Champion - Rob Collard
Next Race: 4/10-11, 2004, Rounds 1 and 2, Thruxton