NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. survived two late restarts and pulled away from Kyle Busch to claim today’s Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – his first NNS victory since November of 2011.
Hornish had a solid gap on Busch before a Turn 2 spin for Scott Lagasse Jr. brought out the caution flag with 18 laps remaining. The subsequent restart with 13 laps left was short-lived, as Kyle Larson and Joey Gase wrecked coming out of Turn 2 to put the race under yellow again.
With six laps left, the green flag flew once more and after a brief battle, Hornish got by Busch on the outside for what would be the winning pass. The 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion led 114 laps en route to his second career Nationwide win.
“I just enjoyed having a car that was this good,” Hornish said to ESPN in Victory Lane. “The way the car was handling was just perfect, and I could take my time.
“Dreams are made of how cars [run like that]. Kyle put up a heck of a fight and raced me clean, so it was a real fun race.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series – Sam’s Town 300
Top 10 Finishers
1. Sam Hornish Jr., led 114 laps.
2. Kyle Busch, led 13 laps.
3. Brian Vickers, led 27 laps.
4. Trevor Bayne, led 21 laps.
5. Elliott Sadler
6. Austin Dillon, led one lap.
7. Regan Smith, led four laps.
8. Alex Bowman
9. Brian Scott
10. Travis Pastrana
Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.
Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.
However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.
Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.
This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.
“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.
“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.
“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.
“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”
Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has heaped praise upon Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen, supporting his decision to ignore team orders during last month’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen only turned 18 on Wednesday, but has already made a big impression on the F1 world during his first 14 races with his aggressive driving style and mature approach to racing.
In Singapore, Verstappen was told by Toro Rosso to let faster teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. go past, but refused to give up his position and eventually beat the Spaniard to finish eighth.
Writing in his Hermes blog, Hakkinen backed Verstappen’s decision to stay ahead and praised the Dutchman for his performances so far this season.
“A driver must be alert and keep track of what is happening around him at all times,” Hakkinen wrote. “That’s what Verstappen is. He does not simply let anyone pass if it’s not for the world championship, but only a few championship points.
“Verstappen is 18 years old, but the guy’s already a real pro. Young people are developing incredibly fast nowadays, and by that I don’t mean just drivers.”
Despite having more than half a season of F1 racing under his belt, Verstappen only gained his road driver’s license on his 18th birthday, having previously been under the age limit to drive a regular car in public.