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The top three finishers from Saturday night’s Bojangles Southern 500, the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race before a two-week stretch at Charlotte for the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, had reason to celebrate with the odds against them going into the night.
Winner Matt Kenseth took his first Southern 500 victory with interim crew chief Wally Brown. Denny Hamlin, in second, raced hard in his first full race since his injuries suffered at Auto Club Speedway at the end of March. And Jeff Gordon, who’d been off to a rough start with only two top-10 finishes from the first 10 races, finished a needed third in his 700th career start.
British youngster Dan Ticktum took a dramatic victory in the 64th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after the leading two cars crashed out at the final corner on the last lap of the race.
In an incident-packed race that saw front-row starters Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilott clash early on amid a litany of Full Course Yellows, Brazilian racer Sergio Sette Camara was able to move into the lead ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Maximilian Günther.
Günther’s pace dropped off in the closing stages as he struggled to keep his tires alive, causing a train of cars to form up behind him including McLaren youngster Lando Norris and the Red Bull-backed Ticktum.
Ticktum pulled off a brilliant double-pass on Norris and Günther around the outside of Lisboa to move up to third, with Sette Camara and Habsburg dueling for position right the way to the finish.
Habsburg attempted a brave pass around the outside of the Mandarin kink, but was forced to wait until the penultimate straight before he got a tow and was able to pass for the lead.
Drama then struck when both Habsburg and Sette Camara ran wide and crashed into the wall exiting the final fast right-hander by their own accord, paving the way for Ticktum to charge through to victory.
Norris and Ralf Aron benefited from the crashes to score second and third place respectively, while Habsburg was able to get to the checkered flag in fourth on three wheels.