NASCAR Sprint All-Star

Johnson rewrites record books with 4th NASCAR All-Star win


Jimmie Johnson became the first four-time winner in the history of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway, taking the lead from Kasey Kahne with eight laps to go in the final 10-lap segment and pulling away to a $1 million prize.

A second $1 million bonus that was to be handed out if one driver could win all five segments in tonight’s event did not materialize for Kurt Busch, who won the first segment but was unable to win the next one. That second segment was won by Kyle Busch, who would split the first four stints with his older brother (Kyle winning Segments 2 and 3, Kurt winning Segments 1 and 4).

With both Busch brothers notching the same average finish throughout the first four segments, Kurt won the tiebreaker with his Segment 4 win and led the field to pit road for a mandatory four-tire stop before the final 10-lap sprint to the finish. But a slow stop on his end sent him falling back to fifth, while Kasey Kahne and Johnson came out first and second, with Kyle in third and Joey Logano in fourth.

One lap after the green came back out for Segment 5, Johnson dueled with Kahne for the lead and after a brief fight, the five-time Sprint Cup champion made what would be the million-dollar pass on his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. Johnson’s finishes in each segment were 15th, fifth, third, third and first.

“We had a fast car and I could pass cars,” Johnson told SPEED Channel afterwards. “I found my way up through there three or four times. And when we started on the front row for that last segment, I knew we had a good shot at it.”

In addition to breaking a tie with Jeff Gordon and the late Dale Earnhardt for most All-Star Race victories, Johnson also became the second driver to ever win it back-to-back; the late Davey Allison was the first to do so back in 1991 and 1992.

Logano climbed two spots in the final segment to finish second, followed by Kyle Busch, Kahne and Kurt Busch. Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards completed the Top 10. Fan vote winner Danica Patrick was 20th and defending Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski was 23rd after his transmission broke just two laps into the race.

Status targets 2016 GP2 title after GP3 exit

2015 GP2 Series Round 8.
Autodromo di Monza, Italy.
Sunday 6 September 2015.
Marlon Stockinger (PHL, Status Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _G7C2088
© GP2 Series
Leave a comment

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.

Hakkinen: Verstappen is already “a real pro”

during a media interview at the Shanghai Grand Theatre prior to the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards on April 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.